AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

New rules to ensure post quality. See this thread for details.

Author Topic: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?  (Read 7628 times)

tradephoric

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2336
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 07:08:17 AM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #50 on: January 25, 2022, 03:14:21 PM »

Michigan Lefts maximize the green band and allow for impressive travel time runs along the major corridor.  Where else can you drive for nearly an hour and make it through 109 consecutive green lights without getting stopped?  And it's second nature making a left turn at a Michigan left once you are accustomed to it. 



Logged

HighwayStar

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1299
  • Location: Lilliput
  • Last Login: May 13, 2022, 12:02:36 AM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #51 on: January 25, 2022, 03:26:55 PM »

Problems with Michigan Lefts
  • Require turning right to go left, which is confusing for drivers because random intersections require you to approach in the right lane to go left
  • Require weaving right after turning in order to get in the left lane to perform the U turn
  • Require a U turn (without protection) as part of the operation
  • Consume land in areas that it may be expensive or hard to acquire

The one area I will grant the Michigan left as a superior design is some rural freeway intersections, in that case land is usually available, one road can maintain full traffic flow at highway speed, and the other road traffic can go right in all cases (which is usually safer as only one set of lanes is involved) then wait in a separate area for a U Turn. For roads that are a T junction no cross traffic at all is needed which is a plus.
I don't see where any of this is a problem. Turning right, going up to the U-turn and turning around to make a left turn is a heck of a lot easier than you are making it out to be. There is a traffic light at the U-turn most of the time for one thing and another it doesn't confuse anyone. What do you mean U-turn without protection?

The Michigan Lefts I have encountered never had a light at the U turn.
And its easy if you have 1 lane, but when you have 2 or more now there is a weaving problem you have to account for.
And again, even if it is an equal effort, it is considerably more difficult for the driver to know which lane to be in as they approach the intersection, the same reason Jersey Jug handles are bad.
Logged
There are those who travel, and those who travel well

ran4sh

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 726
  • Age: 35
  • Location: North Georgia
  • Last Login: Today at 12:39:44 AM
    • YouTube - mostly my Cities:Skylines live streams
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #52 on: January 25, 2022, 03:44:54 PM »

Lights are not needed at the less-busy U turns. Especially if the mainline lights are already given signal progression. Such progression gives a green band for mainline traffic, which usually results in sufficient gaps to make the U turn when the mainline signals are red, or even before they turn red.
Logged
Atlanta Braves 2021 Champions! Georgia Bulldogs 2021-22 CFP Champions!

jakeroot

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 14700
  • Transportation Design

  • Age: 26
  • Location: Renton, WA / Vancouver, BC
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 04:05:34 PM
    • Flickr
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #53 on: January 25, 2022, 04:21:29 PM »

And its easy if you have 1 lane, but when you have 2 or more now there is a weaving problem you have to account for.

Agreed with this. Accessing the U-turn point requires merging all the way left to the inside, and then turning across traffic much like you would at a regular left turn...just slower.
Logged
Check out my Flickr | Add me on Facebook!

Flint1979

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6745
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Michigan
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 10:25:49 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #54 on: January 27, 2022, 06:50:35 AM »

Problems with Michigan Lefts
  • Require turning right to go left, which is confusing for drivers because random intersections require you to approach in the right lane to go left
  • Require weaving right after turning in order to get in the left lane to perform the U turn
  • Require a U turn (without protection) as part of the operation
  • Consume land in areas that it may be expensive or hard to acquire

The one area I will grant the Michigan left as a superior design is some rural freeway intersections, in that case land is usually available, one road can maintain full traffic flow at highway speed, and the other road traffic can go right in all cases (which is usually safer as only one set of lanes is involved) then wait in a separate area for a U Turn. For roads that are a T junction no cross traffic at all is needed which is a plus.
I don't see where any of this is a problem. Turning right, going up to the U-turn and turning around to make a left turn is a heck of a lot easier than you are making it out to be. There is a traffic light at the U-turn most of the time for one thing and another it doesn't confuse anyone. What do you mean U-turn without protection?

The Michigan Lefts I have encountered never had a light at the U turn.
And its easy if you have 1 lane, but when you have 2 or more now there is a weaving problem you have to account for.
And again, even if it is an equal effort, it is considerably more difficult for the driver to know which lane to be in as they approach the intersection, the same reason Jersey Jug handles are bad.
Which ones have you encountered? Here's just one example at Big Beaver and Rochester Road in Troy. https://www.google.com/maps/@42.563072,-83.1260508,3a,26.9y,4.21h,94.22t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sUHYjglcGTrtya_fYxe5tgw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

The less busy intersections probably won't have a light but the busier one's will. It's easy if you have more than one lane, you turn, move over to the far left lane, turn around and you've made your left turn. How is it difficult for the driver to know which lane to be in? https://www.google.com/maps/@42.5629481,-83.1271592,143m/data=!3m1!1e3

But you will find them along streets all over the Metro Detroit area and they have done fine for over 60 years.
Logged

Flint1979

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6745
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Michigan
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 10:25:49 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #55 on: January 27, 2022, 06:57:08 AM »

I take it you guys just aren't familiar with them on a regular basis. You go through this with people about roundabouts too. Michigan left turns increase traffic flow and reduces accidents. Michigan is still building them where needed too like the US-131 project in Three Rivers last year. It also eliminates a left turn light as well. The only disadvantage is the extra distance a driver has to drive.
Logged

tradephoric

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2336
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 07:08:17 AM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #56 on: January 27, 2022, 07:31:50 AM »

In 2019, Elon Musk predicted there would be a million robo taxi's on the road by the end of 2020.  That prediction did not come through.  Now in last night's conference call Musk predicted that they would achieve Full Self-Driving in 2022.

“My personal guess is that we’ll achieve Full Self-Driving this year,” he said. “I would be shocked if we do not achieve Full Self-Driving safer than a human this year. I would be shocked.”

Of course juxtaposing that prediction to how much Tesla FSD 10.8.1 currently struggles through a Michigan Left, you really question how attainable Full Self Driving is going to be.  I feel like FSD is always going to be just a "few years out".

Logged

SEWIGuy

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2807
  • Notice: US-2 is not an interstate worthy corridor

  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 08:59:11 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #57 on: January 27, 2022, 08:48:36 AM »

I take it you guys just aren't familiar with them on a regular basis. You go through this with people about roundabouts too. Michigan left turns increase traffic flow and reduces accidents. Michigan is still building them where needed too like the US-131 project in Three Rivers last year. It also eliminates a left turn light as well. The only disadvantage is the extra distance a driver has to drive.


People don't like Michigan lefts for the same reason they don't like roundabouts.  While sure it increases traffic flow, most drivers just want to go straight without making too many decisions.  So when people have to sit at a light for a couple of cycles, what they WANT is to sit at the light less, NOT a roundabout that they then have to navigate.  (I am not saying this is a rational thought.)
Logged

SEWIGuy

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2807
  • Notice: US-2 is not an interstate worthy corridor

  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 08:59:11 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #58 on: January 27, 2022, 08:49:44 AM »

In 2019, Elon Musk predicted there would be a million robo taxi's on the road by the end of 2020.  That prediction did not come through.  Now in last night's conference call Musk predicted that they would achieve Full Self-Driving in 2022.

“My personal guess is that we’ll achieve Full Self-Driving this year,” he said. “I would be shocked if we do not achieve Full Self-Driving safer than a human this year. I would be shocked.”

Of course juxtaposing that prediction to how much Tesla FSD 10.8.1 currently struggles through a Michigan Left, you really question how attainable Full Self Driving is going to be.  I feel like FSD is always going to be just a "few years out".




Elon Musk routinely makes predictions on all sorts of things that fall laughably short of reality.
Logged

HighwayStar

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1299
  • Location: Lilliput
  • Last Login: May 13, 2022, 12:02:36 AM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #59 on: January 27, 2022, 10:25:02 AM »

I take it you guys just aren't familiar with them on a regular basis. You go through this with people about roundabouts too. Michigan left turns increase traffic flow and reduces accidents. Michigan is still building them where needed too like the US-131 project in Three Rivers last year. It also eliminates a left turn light as well. The only disadvantage is the extra distance a driver has to drive.

No, they numerous other disadvantages in terms of land required, weaving, and the turn right to go left conflict which dooms them to being inferior in most applications.
Logged
There are those who travel, and those who travel well

roadman65

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 12312
  • Location: Lakeland, Florida
  • Last Login: Today at 12:53:52 AM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2022, 10:31:57 AM »

Good golly, the monster is in OH now.
https://goo.gl/maps/AJ57VTaZUQQXhbgj8
Those ugly trusses on Orlando’s Orange Blossom Trail exist someplace else.
Logged
Every day is a winding road, you just got to get used to it.

Sheryl Crowe

jakeroot

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 14700
  • Transportation Design

  • Age: 26
  • Location: Renton, WA / Vancouver, BC
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 04:05:34 PM
    • Flickr
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #61 on: January 27, 2022, 01:33:28 PM »

I take it you guys just aren't familiar with them on a regular basis. You go through this with people about roundabouts too. Michigan left turns increase traffic flow and reduces accidents. Michigan is still building them where needed too like the US-131 project in Three Rivers last year. It also eliminates a left turn light as well. The only disadvantage is the extra distance a driver has to drive.

I think roundabouts are a little different. You can do everything, turns wise, at a single roundabout, whereas a Michigan left turn has at least three intersections, sometimes more, to allow all traffic to perform the necessary maneuvers. Requiring the navigation of more than one intersection to complete a single maneuver is an inherently foreign practice for the vast majority of people in this country.
Logged
Check out my Flickr | Add me on Facebook!

HighwayStar

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1299
  • Location: Lilliput
  • Last Login: May 13, 2022, 12:02:36 AM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #62 on: January 27, 2022, 01:37:31 PM »

I take it you guys just aren't familiar with them on a regular basis. You go through this with people about roundabouts too. Michigan left turns increase traffic flow and reduces accidents. Michigan is still building them where needed too like the US-131 project in Three Rivers last year. It also eliminates a left turn light as well. The only disadvantage is the extra distance a driver has to drive.

I think roundabouts are a little different. You can do everything, turns wise, at a single roundabout, whereas a Michigan left turn has at least three intersections, sometimes more, to allow all traffic to perform the necessary maneuvers. Requiring the navigation of more than one intersection to complete a single maneuver is an inherently foreign practice for the vast majority of people in this country.

I will add that with a roundabout the convention of "get in the left lane to go left" holds, while that does not hold for jug handles or Michigan left. That is a significant difference.
That said I also hate roundabouts.
Logged
There are those who travel, and those who travel well

Flint1979

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6745
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Michigan
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 10:25:49 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #63 on: January 27, 2022, 05:38:18 PM »

I take it you guys just aren't familiar with them on a regular basis. You go through this with people about roundabouts too. Michigan left turns increase traffic flow and reduces accidents. Michigan is still building them where needed too like the US-131 project in Three Rivers last year. It also eliminates a left turn light as well. The only disadvantage is the extra distance a driver has to drive.

I think roundabouts are a little different. You can do everything, turns wise, at a single roundabout, whereas a Michigan left turn has at least three intersections, sometimes more, to allow all traffic to perform the necessary maneuvers. Requiring the navigation of more than one intersection to complete a single maneuver is an inherently foreign practice for the vast majority of people in this country.
I'm talking about the people that complain when one is being put in and refuse to learn how to use one.
Logged

Flint1979

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6745
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Michigan
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 10:25:49 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #64 on: January 27, 2022, 05:44:00 PM »

I take it you guys just aren't familiar with them on a regular basis. You go through this with people about roundabouts too. Michigan left turns increase traffic flow and reduces accidents. Michigan is still building them where needed too like the US-131 project in Three Rivers last year. It also eliminates a left turn light as well. The only disadvantage is the extra distance a driver has to drive.

No, they numerous other disadvantages in terms of land required, weaving, and the turn right to go left conflict which dooms them to being inferior in most applications.
So what? Michigan planned their roads to be this way. Taking up more land to build these roads isn't that much of a disadvantage. These roads were built before development started so how much land they take up doesn't mean much.
Logged

Flint1979

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6745
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Michigan
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 10:25:49 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #65 on: January 27, 2022, 05:45:47 PM »

I take it you guys just aren't familiar with them on a regular basis. You go through this with people about roundabouts too. Michigan left turns increase traffic flow and reduces accidents. Michigan is still building them where needed too like the US-131 project in Three Rivers last year. It also eliminates a left turn light as well. The only disadvantage is the extra distance a driver has to drive.


People don't like Michigan lefts for the same reason they don't like roundabouts.  While sure it increases traffic flow, most drivers just want to go straight without making too many decisions.  So when people have to sit at a light for a couple of cycles, what they WANT is to sit at the light less, NOT a roundabout that they then have to navigate.  (I am not saying this is a rational thought.)
What I meant is you get the same argument regarding roundabouts.
Logged

jakeroot

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 14700
  • Transportation Design

  • Age: 26
  • Location: Renton, WA / Vancouver, BC
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 04:05:34 PM
    • Flickr
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #66 on: January 28, 2022, 08:23:11 PM »

I take it you guys just aren't familiar with them on a regular basis. You go through this with people about roundabouts too. Michigan left turns increase traffic flow and reduces accidents. Michigan is still building them where needed too like the US-131 project in Three Rivers last year. It also eliminates a left turn light as well. The only disadvantage is the extra distance a driver has to drive.

I think roundabouts are a little different. You can do everything, turns wise, at a single roundabout, whereas a Michigan left turn has at least three intersections, sometimes more, to allow all traffic to perform the necessary maneuvers. Requiring the navigation of more than one intersection to complete a single maneuver is an inherently foreign practice for the vast majority of people in this country.
I'm talking about the people that complain when one is being put in and refuse to learn how to use one.

I think people complain about change in general. But I would still argue that roundabouts are easier to grasp, especially for people not from the area. If people have to 'take a left', most people expect to be able to simply make a left, not a right turn, then a U-turn, then go straight.

Michigan planned their roads to be this way. Taking up more land to build these roads isn't that much of a disadvantage. These roads were built before development started so how much land they take up doesn't mean much.

That's not a very helpful point. The ROW along these corridors are basically twice the width of the standard arterial in my area; most roads don't go beyond about 100'-120'.
Logged
Check out my Flickr | Add me on Facebook!

1

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 11762
  • Age: 23
  • Location: MA/NH border
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 09:22:19 PM
    • Flickr account
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #67 on: January 28, 2022, 09:20:07 PM »

That's not a very helpful point. The ROW along these corridors are basically twice the width of the standard arterial in my area; most roads don't go beyond about 100'-120'.

This, which is not currently a median U-turn (it's currently authorized vehicles only) but could easily become one, is about 120 feet wide, and it's much narrower at points other than the U-turn itself.
Logged
Clinched

Traveled, plus
US ⒔50
MA ⒐2⒉40.9⒐10⒎10⒐1⒒1⒘1⒚14⒈159
NH 27,38,111A(E); CA133; NY366; GA 42,140; FL A1A; CT32; VT 5A; QC 16⒉16⒌263

Flickr: Click the globe under my avatar

kernals12

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2090
  • Love highways and cars. Hate public transit.

  • Location: Suburban Boston
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 09:58:01 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #68 on: January 28, 2022, 09:27:29 PM »

The world if Michigan Lefts were the norm
Logged

jakeroot

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 14700
  • Transportation Design

  • Age: 26
  • Location: Renton, WA / Vancouver, BC
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 04:05:34 PM
    • Flickr
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #69 on: January 29, 2022, 12:30:02 AM »

That's not a very helpful point. The ROW along these corridors are basically twice the width of the standard arterial in my area; most roads don't go beyond about 100'-120'.

This, which is not currently a median U-turn (it's currently authorized vehicles only) but could easily become one, is about 120 feet wide, and it's much narrower at points other than the U-turn itself.

My 100'-120' example was an eight lane road, with three lanes each direction and a double left turn. The vast majority of roads aren't much wider than two lanes and a center turn lane (60 to 70 feet).

My point is that it's hard to create Michigan U-turn corridors outside of Detroit because the ROW acquisition required to do it properly (left on red, no bulb-outs) would be astronomical. They would never be more than a novelty here and there.
Logged
Check out my Flickr | Add me on Facebook!

Terry Shea

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 521
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 02:37:14 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #70 on: January 29, 2022, 12:42:52 AM »

I'd like to hear some truck drivers weigh in on this.  And I'm sure there must be others like myself who have been nailed by a semi completing a Michigan left.  And I was on the right shoulder here.  He said he couldn't see me and I'm sure he couldn't.  I don't think there's any way after turning their cab to the left with the trailer angled behind them that they can see traffic 2 0r 3 lanes behind them to the right (even though seeing traffic in the left lane would be the biggest problem).  There is absolutely nothing safe about Michigan lefts!

« Last Edit: January 29, 2022, 01:14:36 AM by Terry Shea »
Logged

Flint1979

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6745
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Michigan
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 10:25:49 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #71 on: January 29, 2022, 07:44:46 AM »

I take it you guys just aren't familiar with them on a regular basis. You go through this with people about roundabouts too. Michigan left turns increase traffic flow and reduces accidents. Michigan is still building them where needed too like the US-131 project in Three Rivers last year. It also eliminates a left turn light as well. The only disadvantage is the extra distance a driver has to drive.

I think roundabouts are a little different. You can do everything, turns wise, at a single roundabout, whereas a Michigan left turn has at least three intersections, sometimes more, to allow all traffic to perform the necessary maneuvers. Requiring the navigation of more than one intersection to complete a single maneuver is an inherently foreign practice for the vast majority of people in this country.
I'm talking about the people that complain when one is being put in and refuse to learn how to use one.

I think people complain about change in general. But I would still argue that roundabouts are easier to grasp, especially for people not from the area. If people have to 'take a left', most people expect to be able to simply make a left, not a right turn, then a U-turn, then go straight.

Michigan planned their roads to be this way. Taking up more land to build these roads isn't that much of a disadvantage. These roads were built before development started so how much land they take up doesn't mean much.

That's not a very helpful point. The ROW along these corridors are basically twice the width of the standard arterial in my area; most roads don't go beyond about 100'-120'.
Uh it's not like it's something new, if you've drove in Michigan on a regular basis you'd be used to them, not the other way around. They are not that hard to get used to and as far as the extra ROW that doesn't make much of a difference.
Logged

Flint1979

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6745
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Michigan
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 10:25:49 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #72 on: January 29, 2022, 07:56:27 AM »

The width of the median on these streets is about 25-30 feet it's not that big of a deal really and Michigan left turns. The only disadvantage really is that you have to drive an extra half mile to make a left turn. Michigan left's eliminate the need for a left turn light increasing the green light for through traffic, reduces left turn accidents, reduces the number of different traffic light phases increasing traffic flow. They aren't just in the Detroit area either they are all over the state.

Here's an example about 6 miles from my house that you HAVE to make the Michigan left to continue on Freeland Road.
https://www.google.com/maps/@43.5232749,-83.9757339,561m/data=!3m1!1e3
Logged

SEWIGuy

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2807
  • Notice: US-2 is not an interstate worthy corridor

  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 08:59:11 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #73 on: January 29, 2022, 03:42:48 PM »

I want someone to defend me as much as Flint defends anything road related in Michigan.
Logged

GaryV

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2471
  • Location: Southeast Michigan
  • Last Login: May 23, 2022, 05:52:58 PM
Re: Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?
« Reply #74 on: January 29, 2022, 06:21:17 PM »

^ Bring up potholes. I bet Flint won't have much good to say about MI then.
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.