The intersection in front of Harry's Bar with a stop sign in the foreground.
Lakeland converted seven downtown intersections to four-way stops from Jan. 20-22. Tuesday marked 100 days since the change took effect. | Salvatore Ambrosino, LkldNow

Five additional intersections in downtown Lakeland will be converted from stop lights to four-way stops starting July 21.

The intersections that will be converted with flashing lights and stop signs are:

  • Orange Street at Missouri Avenue
  • Orange Street at Tennessee Avenue
  • Orange Street at Kentucky Avenue
  • Lime Street at Tennessee Avenue
  • Lime Street at Kentucky Avenue 

 In January, seven intersections were converted to four-way stops. Tess Schwartz, manager of traffic operations, said the intersections converted in January are operating efficiently.

“There have been half as many crashes in that area of downtown as compared to the same period last year, so it makes sense to convert the five remaining locations,” Schwartz said.

The seven converted in January are:

  • Main Street at Missouri Avenue
  • Main Street at Tennessee Avenue
  • Main Street at Kentucky Avenue
  • Lemon Street at Missouri Avenue
  • Lemon Street at Tennessee Avenue
  • Lemon Street at Kentucky Avenue
  • Orange Street at Iowa Avenue

City spokesman Kevin Cook noted that Lakeland’s downtown has undergone significant transformation over the past decade, including the construction of the in-town bypass — also known as George Jenkins Boulevard. The city also removed a state highway around the south side of Lake Mirror, reclaiming the waterfront for recreation and development. 

The bypass diverted traffic away from the downtown street network, dropping traffic counts so much that the stoplights are no longer warranted under requirements of the Federal Highway Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation.

Cook said in a press release that the city’s traffic operations department reviewed traffic patterns and collected data on the downtown intersections during peak hours to measure crash and capacity analysis. In most cases, travel time, freedom to maneuver, traffic interruptions and convenience for drivers improved with the four-way stops installed.

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Kimberly C. Moore, who grew up in Lakeland, has been a print, broadcast and multimedia journalist for more than 30 years. Before coming to LkldNow in the spring of 2022, she was a reporter for four years with The Ledger, first covering Lakeland City Hall and then Polk County schools. She is the author of “Star Crossed: The Story of Astronaut Lisa Nowak," published by University Press of Florida. Reach her at or 863-272-9250.

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