No lights, no traffic

To the Editor: In case anyone hasn’t noticed, the activity in downtown Grand Haven is a lot quieter during the winter months than it is during summer, with all its tourists, parades and fireworks.
Sep 24, 2013


Yes, the merchants do a good business during the Christmas season; although with the economy the way it is, they’ll have a lot of competition with the discounts at the Big Box stores on Comstock, as well as the giant shopping mall a few miles north.

So why, then, would the City Council vote down an opportunity to give Grand Haven business owners a real shot in the arm with the Holiday Road Light Show proposed and produced by Brad Boyink?

I can see thousands of locals as well as folks from all over West Michigan traveling here to see this marvel of music mixed with awesome visual technology, while visiting shops and restaurants before and after their experience. By the way, some of that music you would have heard would have been coming from the cash registers.

Is traffic really the problem? Then why put up with hundreds of thousands of people and vehicles during Coast Guard Week? Why not call that off, too, with the fear that downtown merchants would lose business because of gridlock?

Come on, City Council, what’s the real reason for shooting down this great show, and the opportunity of raising thousands of dollars for Special Olympics?

Whatever your reason, it not only costs us the light show and the boost for Special Olympics, but also Brad Boyink’s tireless dedication to keeping the Musical Fountain a technological marvel that Grand Haven can be proud of.

Don’t worry about driving west on Franklin this winter. The traffic will be very light.

John Stern
Grand Haven Township



I have to agree. Well said.


Good article and I also agree. But, the council will not admit they are wrong at this point. So, quiet streets it will be.


The streets will not be quiet according to certain members of the city council and the store owners.


'Baaaa humbug' -GH City Council


I don't understand the "excuse" about hindering the businesses downtown that the city stated. They all close around 5pm anyway. The light show wouldn't start until dark. If I owned a business downtown, I would be really angry with the council. I would have made bank before, during and after the show... If I stayed open long enough for working people to shop my store...


With all of the sidewalk and road repairs that the businesses downtown had to endure over the past few winters, I think the store owners welcome the people who would venture downtown to see the lights.
I wonder if the GH City Council members are really interested in bringing consumers to the area or not?


To assume the influx of traffic to see the light show translates to sales for the downtown merchants is ill conceived. The majority of families IMO are not going to frequent the downtown either before or after the show, there there for the show and then on their way home with kids in tow given the time of the event.


It seems as though some responders have a very poor opinion of the stores and resources of their own hometown. How sad! Grand Haven has a lot to offer, and downtown seems to be thriving. Anyone reading the letter sent to Council by a local minister may get an idea of just how disruptive the light show would have been. Council's job is to serve and protect ALL people - not give special dispensation to one charity, one man, or one project.


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