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Michigan Notes

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JREwing78:
Apparently, Dukes of Hazzard launches aren't just limited to Indiana. A guy towing a lawn mower performed a huge jump into Sycamore Creek on I-96, just west of the I-496/US-127 interchange near Lansing.

Driver in dramatic I-96 crash expected to make a full recovery
http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013308200039

JCinSummerfield:
Construction has been completed at the US-23/US-223 interchange in Monroe County.  Roundabouits have been added, now the drivers just need to be educated on how to use them.  The signage, however, is a virtual nightmare.  Erroneous cardinal directions, inappropriate "TO" signs, missing shields make this exit a hoot.

getemngo:
Grand Rapids is getting some significant rush hour congestion when it never used to have any. During the evenings, the worst I've seen are I-96 westbound (yes, really, westbound) between M-11/28th Street and where the third lane comes in at M-21, and northbound M-44/East Beltline between Cascade and Knapp. Stop and go the whole length, every day. Both have room to be widened, and I think there are plans eventually for I-96. I-196 between US 131 and M-11 isn't great either.

What's been bad for years is M-37/Alpine Ave for its first few miles north of I-96. The only viable long-term solution I can see is to bypass the shopping corridor entirely. Would it make more sense to hook into US 131 around 6 Mile or so, or to go west and reach I-96 around the Walker Ave exit? Heck, you could just designate Fruit Ridge Ave as M-37 from I-96 to Kent City with minimal improvements (widen shoulders, smooth curves), but I feel like all the traffic that wants to take that route already does. It also wouldn't help traffic to Sparta.



--- Quote from: mgk920 on June 13, 2013, 02:52:53 PM ---A quick question that just came to my mind while I was checking something else in the area - Are, or were, there plans to develop a transport corridor between I-196 at M-21 (interchange 69, with that wide spot in median and an unusual interchange layout) and the wide spot in the median of I-96 just west of Fruit Ridge Ave (interchange 26) on the west side of the Grand Rapids area?  IMHO, this would very nicely complement the recently built M-6 and complete a good metro area 'beltline'.

 :hmmm:

Mike

--- End quote ---

You know, I'd never noticed those wide spots before, but you're probably right. The original plan for Grand Rapids in the 1960s was for there to be four beltlines, though presumably as divided surface streets and not freeways. East Beltline was built (M-37/M-44), the beginnings of the South and West Beltlines became M-11, and the North Beltline (roughly 3 Mile Rd) was never started. The Wilson Ave part of M-11 would have been widened and extended into what you're seeing. (Of course, now that M-6 is the semi-official South Beltline, it doesn't make as much sense.)

On that note, the Wilson Ave portion of M-11 is mostly two lanes, with the occasional passing lane or left turn lane. All the rest of M-11 is 5 lanes, even the part west of Wilson! I sure hope that changes soon. It's not very safe.

ftballfan:

--- Quote from: getemngo on September 30, 2013, 11:42:08 PM ---Grand Rapids is getting some significant rush hour congestion when it never used to have any. During the evenings, the worst I've seen are I-96 westbound (yes, really, westbound) between M-11/28th Street and where the third lane comes in at M-21, and northbound M-44/East Beltline between Cascade and Knapp. Stop and go the whole length, every day. Both have room to be widened, and I think there are plans eventually for I-96. I-196 between US 131 and M-11 isn't great either.

What's been bad for years is M-37/Alpine Ave for its first few miles north of I-96. The only viable long-term solution I can see is to bypass the shopping corridor entirely. Would it make more sense to hook into US 131 around 6 Mile or so, or to go west and reach I-96 around the Walker Ave exit? Heck, you could just designate Fruit Ridge Ave as M-37 from I-96 to Kent City with minimal improvements (widen shoulders, smooth curves), but I feel like all the traffic that wants to take that route already does. It also wouldn't help traffic to Sparta.



--- Quote from: mgk920 on June 13, 2013, 02:52:53 PM ---A quick question that just came to my mind while I was checking something else in the area - Are, or were, there plans to develop a transport corridor between I-196 at M-21 (interchange 69, with that wide spot in median and an unusual interchange layout) and the wide spot in the median of I-96 just west of Fruit Ridge Ave (interchange 26) on the west side of the Grand Rapids area?  IMHO, this would very nicely complement the recently built M-6 and complete a good metro area 'beltline'.

 :hmmm:

Mike

--- End quote ---

You know, I'd never noticed those wide spots before, but you're probably right. The original plan for Grand Rapids in the 1960s was for there to be four beltlines, though presumably as divided surface streets and not freeways. East Beltline was built (M-37/M-44), the beginnings of the South and West Beltlines became M-11, and the North Beltline (roughly 3 Mile Rd) was never started. The Wilson Ave part of M-11 would have been widened and extended into what you're seeing. (Of course, now that M-6 is the semi-official South Beltline, it doesn't make as much sense.)

On that note, the Wilson Ave portion of M-11 is mostly two lanes, with the occasional passing lane or left turn lane. All the rest of M-11 is 5 lanes, even the part west of Wilson! I sure hope that changes soon. It's not very safe.

--- End quote ---
I don't get how Wilson Ave is only two lanes from Burton to Remembrance (except around Lake Michigan/M-45) and it's four/five lanes from Remembrance to 3 Mile. I also don't get how some much less congested roads are five lanes in Grand Rapids (see 60th St east of East Kentwood HS, 68th St from Byron Center to Burlingame, and Barden Dr)

JREwing78:
MDOT would like you to ask your politicians to raise the gas tax, pretty please.
http://justfixtheroads.com/

Given the current level of state taxation (and the fact that it hasn't changed since 1997), they have a point.

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