There have been some spectacular failures in Livingston County through the years, but the Green Oak Township roundabouts are certainly at the very top of that list. And now the time has come for us to admit defeat.
It’s time to rip out the roundabouts. Don’t fix them, don’t tweak them, don’t reconfigure them. Don’t change them. Rip them out. Rip them out and replace them with good, old-fashioned traffic lights.
And do it now.
Located at the intersection of Lee Road and U.S. 23, the roundabouts have been a controversial mess since the day they opened in 2006. The single roundabout on the east side of U.S. 23 is a mess, but the double roundabout on the west side is a billion times worse.
They’re confusing, they’re aggravating and they’re dangerous. The Livingston County Road Commission says the roundabouts see about 40-60 crashes every year, which means that roughly once a week, there’s an accident there that’s bad enough to be reported to the cops.
I’m willing to bet a dollar that if we tore them out and put traffic lights in, we wouldn’t see an average of one accident every week.
According to this story last month on MLive.com, the Livingston County Road Commission is planning a major renovation of the roundabouts this summer. They’re going to spend $1.1 million to remove the outside lane on the roundabouts – a move they say will make them safer and less confusing.
I say that should spend that million bucks to just rip them out and put traffic lights in. Let’s just admit that we made a really big mistake back in 2006 and rip them out.
Having heard all the comments through the years, I’m guessing that if we put it to a vote in Livingston County, it would be roughly 90 percent to 10 percent in favor of ripping them out.
Among the minority of people who actually do love the roundabouts, their arguments all go pretty much like this:
“Blah blah blah you people just don’t know how to drive blah blah blah I’m a great driver and you just need to be a great driver like me blah blah blah Europe blah blah blah Canada blah blah blah everybody’s stupid except me blah blah blah.”
Well, good for you. I’m glad you’re a great driver and that you love the roundabouts. The rest of us would just like to be able to go to Costco without getting on southbound U.S. 23 by mistake.
So, that’s my plea to you, Livingston County Road Commission.
Don’t fix the roundabouts. Remove them.
What do you think?
Here’s the Livingston Post’s drone video of the roundabouts.