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Michigan Notes

Started by MDOTFanFB, October 26, 2012, 08:06:31 PM

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thenetwork

Quote from: triplemultiplex on June 25, 2024, 11:21:02 AMIs it some kind of ancient law that makes cop cars in Michigan have those goofy "Barney Fife" lights?  What's the deal with that?

Don't forget the swivel sign on the hood that says STOP!


Flint1979

Quote from: triplemultiplex on June 25, 2024, 11:21:02 AMIs it some kind of ancient law that makes cop cars in Michigan have those goofy "Barney Fife" lights?  What's the deal with that?
The Sheriff in Saginaw County who has been the Sheriff for several years wanted the old Western theme look for the cruisers that the Sheriff's Department uses.

JREwing78

Fox 2 Detroit decided to try its hand at covering the story behind why Michigan roads suck, with a 2-part series.

The first part, titled Michigan's roads are worse than Ohio's – what are they doing right?, attempts to explain why Ohio's roads are perceived as better.

But first, we have to do the standard pile-on about how horrible Michigan roads are (which may or may not be deserved), then throw in a jab that Michigan is responsible for half the "lane miles" - 28,000 to Ohio's 50,000 miles. And, OMG, the road color CHANGES when you cross the border! Clearly Ohio must be better... because it's darker? :banghead:

The differences, so says Fox 2 Detroit:
- Ohio uses more asphalt, less concrete. Because concrete is bad, or something. (Actually, they say concrete costs more but doesn't last longer. Debatable. Also that it's less flexible and prone to cracking... eh, OK...)
- Michigan can't build a proper roadbase. Apparently MDOT's too stupid to use larger aggregates, or perform proper testing and evaluation like Ohio. Surprisingly, Fox 2 backs this particular assertion up with reports from Michigan's auditor general in 2022 and 2023.
- Michigan's sales taxes on fuel do not go towards the roads. Another valid point. But they state this fact in a way that makes it sound like there's no other form of taxation on fuel from the state.
- They (accurately) point out that while Michigan's max load is double that of Ohio, the per-axle load is the same.

The segment started out shaky, but improved markedly once they started presenting helpful facts.

That brings us to the 2nd segment, What will it take to really fix Michigan's roads? Oh, s**t! We finally get to a big part of the problem - the roads are underfunded.

How do we fix it? Oh, just get rid of the roads! Look, this politician (Rep Ranjeev Puri) thinks it's a good idea! Oh, and hey, let's just use drones to transport everything instead! (Sigh... Can we get some non-idiotic reporting here? Please?)

OK, back to facts. Ohio spends $2.5 billion a year to Michigan's $1.5 billion. That has obvious consequences on road quality.

"Oh hey, Ohio agreed to spend more on roads, but Michigan couldn't do that." Um, yeah. Let's gloss over the PAINFULLY OBVIOUS REASONS for that, shall we? First, asking for a 45 cent hike up front was overly ambitious. 

(ALSO... Gov. Whitmer is a Democrat trying to get a Republican-controlled legislature to cooperate - at least until 2022. Gov Dewine is a Republican working with a Republican legislature. OF COURSE he got his funding!)

At least Fox 2 didn't gloss over this fact - voters don't like paying more taxes for anything, ever. So, yeah, partially your own fault there, Michiganders.

And then Fox 2 drives into the ditch... they claim part of the problem is that it takes a supermajority of the Michigan legislature to approve a tax increase. Wait, what? Didn't stop previous legislatures from raising fuel taxes.

There was Proposal 5 in 2012 that purported to put a supermajority requirement in place to raise taxes. It never passed. So, Fox 2, WTF are you talking about?

Why can't Michigan fix the damn roads? Maybe part of the problem is incompetent media coverage of the issue.

jzn110

Quote from: thenetwork on June 25, 2024, 06:22:48 PM
Quote from: triplemultiplex on June 25, 2024, 11:21:02 AMIs it some kind of ancient law that makes cop cars in Michigan have those goofy "Barney Fife" lights?  What's the deal with that?

Don't forget the swivel sign on the hood that says STOP!

As far as the Michigan State Police are concerned, they still use the single red flasher beacon on the roof and the "STOP" fin on the hood out of tradition because both have become deeply symbolic of the department.

In fact, they recently worked with SoundOff Signal to develop a "next generation" of the roof beacon that's slightly shorter in height — because the current generation of Ford Explorer-based cruisers are a couple inches taller, and the shorter beacons ensure they can still fit in existing garage stalls.

wanderer2575

Quote from: jzn110 on June 30, 2024, 09:45:31 PMAs far as the Michigan State Police are concerned, they still use the single red flasher beacon on the roof and the "STOP" fin on the hood out of tradition because both have become deeply symbolic of the department.

Some of those MSP roof beacons (maybe newer ones?) flash only on the back half while the front half is a steady solid red.  I wonder why that is; seems to me the flashing light would better attract motorists' attention in the rearview mirrors for them to move out of the way.  It reminds me of the lights on the police cars seen on Adam-12 in the late '60s/early '70s.

bulldog1979

Michigan's last unregulated highway is getting a speed limit. M-185 is going to have a posted speed limit under legislation signed by Gov. Whitmer this week.

JREwing78

Quote from: bulldog1979 on July 09, 2024, 05:56:52 PMMichigan's last unregulated highway is getting a speed limit. M-185 is going to have a posted speed limit under legislation signed by Gov. Whitmer this week.

I suspect speed enforcement will look a lot like this:

JREwing78

Hmmm... what exactly is MDOT doing here (besides replacing bridges) - @ I-96 at the Grand River between M-99 and Lansing Rd: https://maps.app.goo.gl/5sfgYeh7JLpjjGRM8

Note the odd angle of the new bridge structure going up. While there's definitely no ROW width issue, the angle of the new structure makes it slightly awkward for future use by WBD I-96 traffic, but perfect for maintaining EBD I-96 traffic while MDOT replaces or repairs other overpasses east toward US-127.
 
But this 3rd span isn't a temporary bridge - it's a permanent structure. It looks like ultimately (10-20 years into the future), I-96 will emerge with a narrower median separating both directions between the I-69 interchange and Creyts Rd. It also appears at some point MDOT is going to replace the cloverleaf at Lansing Rd (Old 27) with a narrower interchange. Why else have the new, permanent bridge angled this way?

Flint1979

Quote from: bulldog1979 on July 09, 2024, 05:56:52 PMMichigan's last unregulated highway is getting a speed limit. M-185 is going to have a posted speed limit under legislation signed by Gov. Whitmer this week.
Like she has nothing better to do.

Flint1979

Quote from: JREwing78 on July 10, 2024, 02:01:00 AMHmmm... what exactly is MDOT doing here (besides replacing bridges) - @ I-96 at the Grand River between M-99 and Lansing Rd: https://maps.app.goo.gl/5sfgYeh7JLpjjGRM8

Note the odd angle of the new bridge structure going up. While there's definitely no ROW width issue, the angle of the new structure makes it slightly awkward for future use by WBD I-96 traffic, but perfect for maintaining EBD I-96 traffic while MDOT replaces or repairs other overpasses east toward US-127.
 
But this 3rd span isn't a temporary bridge - it's a permanent structure. It looks like ultimately (10-20 years into the future), I-96 will emerge with a narrower median separating both directions between the I-69 interchange and Creyts Rd. It also appears at some point MDOT is going to replace the cloverleaf at Lansing Rd (Old 27) with a narrower interchange. Why else have the new, permanent bridge angled this way?

They are rebuilding I-96 in both directions over Billwood Highway, the Grand River, M-99 and Washington Avenue. You'll see the finished product next year.

wanderer2575

Quote from: Flint1979 on July 10, 2024, 07:53:07 AM
Quote from: bulldog1979 on July 09, 2024, 05:56:52 PMMichigan's last unregulated highway is getting a speed limit. M-185 is going to have a posted speed limit under legislation signed by Gov. Whitmer this week.
Like she has nothing better to do.

I'm tired of hearing that comment.  Part of the governor's job is to approve or veto legislation.  This took her maybe five minutes.  How much time did the legislature spend on it?

wanderer2575

Quote from: JREwing78 on July 10, 2024, 02:01:00 AMHmmm... what exactly is MDOT doing here (besides replacing bridges) - @ I-96 at the Grand River between M-99 and Lansing Rd: https://maps.app.goo.gl/5sfgYeh7JLpjjGRM8

Note the odd angle of the new bridge structure going up. While there's definitely no ROW width issue, the angle of the new structure makes it slightly awkward for future use by WBD I-96 traffic, but perfect for maintaining EBD I-96 traffic while MDOT replaces or repairs other overpasses east toward US-127.
 
But this 3rd span isn't a temporary bridge - it's a permanent structure. It looks like ultimately (10-20 years into the future), I-96 will emerge with a narrower median separating both directions between the I-69 interchange and Creyts Rd. It also appears at some point MDOT is going to replace the cloverleaf at Lansing Rd (Old 27) with a narrower interchange. Why else have the new, permanent bridge angled this way?


Looks like the new span might be closer to a right angle to the river and therefore slightly shorter than the existing one.  Shorter = less expensive.  See the replacement LaPlaisance Road bridge over I-75 in Monroe -- shorter bridge at a different angle, even though it required adding curves to the road at both ends.  https://maps.app.goo.gl/bwJCwfAbcecrUgQX6

But how this fits into future overall design, good question.



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