What do you think about the Green Oak roundabouts?

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Among the birth of Michigan’s first roundabouts was the set of triplets at Lee Road and Old U.S. 23, sired by the construction of the Green Oak Village Place Mall.

We’d never seen such a roundabout before, let alone three of them in a row. And this photo of two-thirds of the roundabouts posted by the Green Oak Charter Township Police Department on its Facebook page is from an angle most of us have likely never seen before.

Complaining about these roundabouts is common. While they seem to do their job of getting people to slow down and think about where they’re going, when we drive through them we always feel like all hell breaking loose is just one wrong move away.

Maybe that’s the genius of the triple roundabouts — no one relaxes when driving through them.

One person not entirely thrilled about the Green Oak roundabouts is Todd Scott, greenways coordinator for the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.

In an interview on the Mode Shift website — “an online hub that provides stories, tools, and know-how to empower people to take action and make Michigan communities more walkable, bikeable, and livable” — Smith talks about the problems he sees with the roundabouts, including those for pedestrians and cyclists. (You can read the entire piece by clicking here.)

For more information on how to use a roundabout, here’s some information from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

What do you think? Do you like using the roundabouts, or do you drive out of your way to avoid them?

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

4 Comments

  1. I was born and raised in Massachusetts where rotaries (a.k.a. roundabouts) are common and commonly insane. When I first encountered the Green Oak trio of terror, I thought to myself ‘these people are insane!’. Even the nuts who run Massachusetts would never put three of these death circles together like this!

    But there is one thing I hate more than roundabouts and that is waiting for endless light cycles to get through an intersection and the traffic backups that occur during rush hours. I’ve come to appreciate what roundabouts do to keep traffic moving and I can’t imagine how traffic could possibly flow smoothly from Costco to JC Penny without them.

    In 2005, I had the pleasure (and pure terror) of driving all over Ireland on the wrong side of the road, with the steering wheel and drive controls on the wrong side of the car, and roundabouts everywhere that flowed clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. Many little towns had multiple roundabouts with nothing but painted circles and arrows to guide you and those quaint little posts with twenty arrows going in all directions to show you the way. Believe me, the Green Oak Trio of Terror is a vast improvement after that experience.

    I may be in the minority, but I’ve come to appreciate those roundabouts but not so much the drivers who are petrified to enter them. That’s the real horror story!

  2. I have to use the first one by Whitmore Lake road every day to get to work, however, I avoid the others at all costs. I would really like to shop at the mall there, but won’t use the roundabouts to get there. The biggest problem I see is that the signage is not far enough away for people to get in the correct lanes and then they try to switch lanes in the middle. People just don’t know how to use them. I have personally seen people do figure eights, stop in the middle, stop before they get on and try to wait until there is nobody on the roundabout… I am surprised that there have not been more accidents, I have been in a few near misses.

  3. They beat waiting behind multiple traffic lights. I wonder if they could of been made bigger like in Europe. I see people miss their exit point often.

  4. I really, really dislike those particular roundabouts and do my best to avoid them

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