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Lakeland reacts to four-way stops downtown

The first round of intersection transformations took place in January 2023, and it looks like more could be on the way — here’s how our readers feel about the changes to driving downtown.

Cloudy sky over downtown Lakeland, FL streets and businesses

We asked our readers how they felt about four-way stops downtown.

Photo by @nicolefeller_

Following the transformation of seven downtown traffic lights to four-way stops in January, the City of Lakeland is planning to add even more at the intersections of Kentucky Avenue and Tennessee Avenue at Lime Street and Orange Street.

We asked our readers how they felt about the changes after roughly six months of using the new four-way stops. Here’s what they said:

  • 81% think the four-way stops have improved the flow of traffic; 19% said they’ve worsened the flow of traffic.
  • 71.6% believe that pedestrians are safer following the change; 28.4% believe pedestrians are less safe.
  • When we asked how this change would affect our readers’ downtown experience, 43% said it has no effect on their likelihood of driving downtown. 42% are more likely to drive downtown; 15% are less likely to drive downtown.

Some readers provided additional feedback. Here are a few answers that caught our eye:

  • “We love the changes. Ideally I’d love to see the roads turn into pedestrian only like during the farmers market.” — Kristen H.
  • “The signage should be more obvious leading up to each four-way stop. I haven’t witnessed anyone run the stop sign, but many have come close.” — Maelyn B.
  • “It’s been great. Those lights are all so long that there’s honestly still a few more I would switch to stop signs.” — Jackson H.
  • “More traffic slowing devices and visual reminders to slow cars would be useful.” — Uwe D.
  • “It is wonderful to move through downtown now. Before, it was so frustrating to sit at red lights for extended periods with zero cars coming through the intersection. The new pedestrian crossing signs are helping people learn to navigate safely.” — S. W.
  • “I would like to see more traffic lights turned to four-way stops. Most of the lights are just too long for the amount of traffic that does/does not go through them.” — Gary R.

Editor’s note: Some answers have been adjusted for clarity.