Monday, August 28, 2006

To all drivers on US-23 - The speed limit is 70, not 20

I have a bit of a rant here. I'm used to a Lansing commute. While it's 40 miles away and longer than my current commute to the People's Republic of Ann Arbor, it is actually quicker for me to get to Lansing than to Ann Arbor during that %#@!ing morning rush hour. Lansing's easy for the most part outside of the US-127/I-496 interchange. US-23 is a nightmare, especially around North Territorial.

I've never seen so many atrocious drivers in my life. I should not have to stop when there are no accidents or lane blockages. I shouldn't be going 20 miles per hour on the expressway. I almost got rear-ended today when I had to hit the brakes once again every 3 miles.

I'd like to borrow my dad's snowplow and push the lead slowpoke out of the way, but I can't do that sort of thing when I'm in law school. I will ask the slowpokes to go at least the speed limit when the weather isn't bad. That really isn't too much to ask.


Keith Richards said...

Well Dan, I don't know quite how to say this . . . so . . . welcome to the world of rush hour traffic and traffic jams! Unfortunately, this is a fact of life and we just have to deal with it as best we can.

Here is something to think about. The MDOT had a US-23 expansion included in their long term plans and was talking about doing a study when Granholm got elected and abruptly dropped it from their list. Now we are back to the stage where we are trying to get a study done with any actual project at least 10 years off.

Thank you, Jennifer Granholm. I will definitely remember this come November.

Unfortunately there is no straight forward alternative route from Brighton although it can be done if you learn some of the back roads. A better alternative is leave before rush hour hits. If this means getting there an hour early plan on using that time to study. Traffic is just as bad during the evening rush hour so try to avoid US-23 between 3:30pm and 6:00 pm if possible.

Also be warned that traffic is often completely stopped on Friday afternoons going north from about 2pm on. Traffic backups are also common on Saturdays when UM has home football games. And lest I forget, MDOT has a sadistic tendency to do frequent lane closures on US-23 for no obvious reason and WITHOUT WARNING.

Unknown said...

Welcome to my world everyday of the week. And Keith is right, Friday afternoon northbound is absolutely terrible!

We don't need a million dollar "study" to tell us what we already know -- just a 3rd lane in each direction.


liberalshateusa said...

Why are semi trucks allowed to continue to go 70MPH when the posted speed for any vehicle 10,000 GVW and over is 55mph?

Perhaps we have a police official that could respond to this question.
All we here about every week is a major freeway is closed due to an overturned truck.

Why doesn’t our Gov enforce the law? Oh that’s right because she is in the unions back pocket.

Why are our roads such a mess? Oh because Michigan allows more weight per axle than any other state as the unions control what happens in Lansing.

anonymous said...

One big problem on US-23 is that the entrance/exit ramps are too short. At most exits traffic is slowed WAY down by exiting/merging traffic. Some acceleration ramps are so short that it is common to see cars going 30-35mpg merging into traffic. Longer ramps would do a lot to smooth traffic flow. The state should seriously consider bringing these entrance/exit lanes up to federal standards even if expansion is years away.

Another problem is the use of left lane exits/entrances at both the M-14 and I-96 interchanges. Once again traffic is forced to slow way down at these points because of all the slow traffic moving into the left lane. Not much can be done about this now but I hope they consider switching to the more common right-lane entrance/exit system when US-23 is reconstructed.

Three lanes moving in each direction is ultimately the best solution but this will be a long and expensive project because just about every bridge on US-23 will have to be demolished and rebuilt to accomodate a wider road.

One problem I see right now is that current discussion centers around making the road wider from M-14 to I-96. It really needs to be wider all the way from M-14 to M-59. And considering that we can't expect any major relief for at least 10 years they should just plan on doing this from the start.

Before this project is begun in earnest the state should consider improving Whitmore Lake road (the old road running parallel to US-23) since it will be needed badly while US-23 is torn up.