One man’s list: The four worst-designed intersections in Livingston County

The roundabouts.
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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.

The Burkhart Road/I-96 interchange in Howell Township.

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.

 

 

 

 

The Hartland Road intersection.

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.”

 

One of Howell’s totally confusing and useless teeny-tiny roundabouts.

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!

About Buddy Moorehouse 169 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

9 Comments

  1. Stop complaining about the roads and there designs.

    Go to a Road Commision or Township meeting and state your problems there. Put your money where your mouth is, if you will. If not, you’re just writing click bait articles, Buddy.

    • Yeah, I’ve done that. More than once. No one cares.They told me there are far worse roads and that there aren’t enough accidents there. So please don’t be so rude and assume you know what you’re talking about. You don’t.

      • Sounds as if you were given an answer that was truthful, but you didn’t like the answer and now “they don’t care”. Some free advice – life isn’t fair.

        Judging by how quickly it seems as if you attack people, you most likely didn’t present yourself in a professional manner. Put your anger to the side and state your issues in a calm, educated manner. Best of luck.

  2. Love the Green Oak roundabouts. You obviously don’t live near them or drive them very often.

  3. You got it right Buddy Moorehouse! I completely agree with your opinion here. I will drive out of my way to avoid the devils handiwork at Lee Rd n 23! In fact i rarely go to businesses in this area because of the traffic and getting around is a hassle.

  4. Please add the ultra dangerous blinking light at Chilson and Lahtson. It seems every person coming down Lahtson going south on Chilson thinks we are all turning and just aren’t using our blinkers!!! In the four years I’ve traveled that road, I’ve had to keep from plowing into a driver too clueless to understand many of us go north on Chilson at least twice a week. I mean horn, squealing tires, etc. I hold my breath and drive slow through it every single day. They STILL pull right out in front of me; women, guys in trucks, the elderly… they all do it.

    PLEASE STOP!!!!

  5. On return trips to Howell I have noticed the bad designs of some of the intersections. I thank Maria Stuart for the change to the intersection at Lake Chemung as I would drive my rental car through it and easier to be safe now. Nick Proctor and another Rotarian, during my last visit (for Zemp’s memorial) asked me when I would move back and help out your community after hearing about my work in Denver. I will do what I can from a distance but what would be better if my Dad came to life and provide the leadership he did during the last century. Joseph V. Brady retired as president of Citizens Insurance and was the founder and first president of the Michigan Traffic Safety Association (made a slight change in their name some years back), he would exercise the leadership to organize the community to stop traffic planning nonsense, also work on safe driving. Note also reading about a number of bad accidents in Livingston County past two or so years. See a number of motorcycle accidents, I ride bicycles only, should plan more paths and lanes for them, we are working on that here. You should find someone seasoned and qualified in SE Michigan, not necessarily a county resident, to assess the traffic situation and help organize community supported corrections to traffic problems and planning. Hope this helps, Matt Brady from Denver CO.

  6. I agree with the Howell tree circles. They make no sense, and I don’t know how to use them properly. So we’ve decided they are used to slow down people, when Grand River is busy in Howell.

  7. I totally agree, especially about I-96 and Burkhart Road!
    As a school bus driver having to drive through that mess in both am and pm rush hour traffic, it’s pretty difficult and DANGEROUS to move a large, slow moving vehicle through there, (sometimes with a bus load of kids!) with all the nuts speeding through!

What do you think?