When it comes to poorly designed intersections and interchanges, Livingston County takes a back seat to no one. We might be a relatively small county (do you know that there STILL isn’t a single building in our county that’s higher than three stories?), but we have more bad intersections than some entire states.
For many years, the worst-designed intersection in Livingston County was the Lake Chemung I-96 interchange, which was roughly as safe as the Figure-8 track at the Fowlerville Fair. It took a major effort (led by Maria Stuart, who was then the managing editor of the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus) to finally get it fixed.
So, which ones are the worst of the worst? It was hard coming up with the final four, but here’s one man’s list of the Four Worst-Designed Intersections in Livingston County:
1. The Green Oak Township Roundabouts
I’m sure you were able to guess my No. 1 before you even clicked on this story. Yes, when it comes to disastrous intersections, there’s the Green Oak roundabouts, and then there’s everything else.
I’ll give a pass to the single roundabout on the east side of U.S. 23, but the double roundabout on the west side remains a modern miracle of bad traffic management.
Now, to be fair, they just spent a million dollars fixing it up, and I haven’t been through the intersection since it’s been finished. I have to believe that nothing short of ripping it all out and replacing it with a traffic light will move it out of the No. 1 spot on my list.
2. Burkhart Road and I-96, Howell Township
I drive though this one almost every day, and it STILL makes my heart race.
This brilliant piece of traffic design has cars coming full speed off of I-96, mixes in some cars going full speed down M-59 to enter I-96, and mixes in cars coming off Burkhart Road trying to make either a right or left turn. It looks like they just made this one up as they went along.
3. Hartland Road and M-59, Hartland Township
The U.S. 23 and M-59 intersection in Hartland is a beast, but I actually don’t mind it, because it seems to make some sense. Where they screwed up here was in reconfiguring Hartland Road just to the east of that.
For some reason, they decided that everybody would pretty much have to drive through the Meijer parking lot if they want to head north on Hartland Road. Then they threw in a roundabout that serves absolutely no purpose.
The first few times I drove through this – and I’m certain that everyone has had this same reaction – I thought, “This can’t POSSIBLY be the right way.”
4. The Teeny-Tiny Roundabouts, City of Howell
These things are everywhere in the City of Howell now, all up and down almost every street both north and south of Grand River Avenue. They’re in almost every intersection in the residential neighborhoods, and they serve NO PURPOSE WHATSOEVER.
Worse, they’re confusing as all get out. When you’re making a left turn, do you go behind the roundabout? Do you turn in front of it? Who knows?
So, what do YOU think? Which disastrous intersections make your list? Leave a comment below and let us know!