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Tag Archive | "traffic"

City considers pedestrian safety island on Muskegon


By Judy Reed

Have you ever walked or rode your bicycle along the White Pine Trail and then tried to continue across W. Muskegon St (17 Mile Rd)? You often have to wait awhile or you make it only halfway across the street, and with good reason. A lot of cars travel that stretch of road.

This is the location where the White Pine Trail crosses W. Muskegon St.

On October 9, 2018, the Grand Valley Metro Council counted 14,659 cars in two-way traffic on Muskegon St between Main and Second St. On October 26, 2018, the city counted 4,426 cars traveling eastbound only on Muskegon just east of West Street. According to City Manager Mike Womack, the city’s count showed about 110 cars per half hour between 6:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Neither of those counts was right over where the trail passes over Muskegon Street, but gives you a good idea of the amount of traffic traveling W. Muskegon St.

This is an example of the type of pedestrian island that the City of Cedar Springs is considering putting in where the White Pine Trail crosses W. Muskegon St.

“I have found crossing over Muskegon St. on the White Pine Trail to be difficult when traffic is busy,” said City Manager Mike Womack. “Traffic also tends to speed a bit through that section of road making the crossing even more treacherous.”

The Cedar Springs City Council is looking for a way to help pedestrians cross W. Muskegon more safely. They are currently looking at a crossing island. A crossing island or traffic safety island is a median with a refuge area that is intended to help protect pedestrians crossing a multilane road. Research shows that the installation of a pedestrian refuge island can reduce pedestrian crashes by 32 percent. See http://www.trb.org/NCHRP/Blurbs/175381.aspx.

The City is looking at several options for a traffic safety island. They looked at permanent concrete safety islands, which were estimated to cost $25,000 and were also more difficult to remove. Next week the City Council will be consider one composed of traffic delineator markers. At $1,600, this is the least expensive one they have looked at and is much easier to remove and/or replace if needed. 

Womack said he is going to have the DPW put out some traffic cones or barricades at the location on Friday, May 3, to show about how big this island would be if it were installed. (Weather permitting.) He’s shooting for between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If people have comments, thoughts or concerns about this, Womack said he’s happy to hear them. Just email him at manager@cityofcedarsprings.org.

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Major US-131 project starts this week


MDOT plans to reconstruct the stretch of US131 from south of 14 Mile to two miles north of where it crosses over White Creek Ave.

MDOT plans to reconstruct the stretch of US131 from south of 14 Mile to two miles north of where it crosses over White Creek Ave.

The road project many residents have hoped for finally begins this Thursday, April 13.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will invest $22 million to reconstruct northbound and southbound US-131 between 14 Mile Road and White Creek Avenue (just north of 17 Mile Road). Work also includes repairing three bridges, culvert and drainage improvements, new signs, and ramp reconstruction at 14 Mile Road and 17 Mile Road.

Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction with the use of temporary crossovers and a split-merge traffic shift. This configuration is scheduled to go into effect April 21. Intermittent ramp and lane closures will be used throughout the project.

Ramp closures for ramp reconstruction will be allowed for a maximum of 14 calendar days per ramp. Ramps to be reconstructed include all 17 Mile Rd ramps, northbound 14 Mile Rd on ramp, and southbound 14 Mile Rd off ramp.

Visit www.Michigan.gov/drive for updates and sign up to receive Kent County traffic notices via text or email.

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Traffic violators get chance to shave points


A new state program that allows some Michigan drivers to avoid points for minor traffic violations by taking an online Basic Driver Improvement Course is up and running, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced Wednesday.

Under a state law that became effective Dec. 31, 2010, motorists ticketed for offenses such as speeding, improper passing or disobeying a stop sign may qualify to have points from the citation kept from going on their driving record by completing a course and paying court fines and costs. Only those who meet several restrictions will receive notification of eligibility to participate in the program from the Department of State.

The first notices to eligible drivers were mailed last month, Johnson said, and they have the option of taking a course online or in a classroom. There are currently 10 course providers approved by the state that offer the required defensive driving curriculum.

“This program offers a strong incentive to those who have received a traffic violation to improve their skills and become safer drivers,” Johnson said. “It gives them the pointers they need and takes away the points they don’t.”

“These drivers are still being held accountable, but in a way that safeguards against future violations,” Johnson added.

Eligible drivers have 60 days to arrange for and pass the course and may retake it as many times as necessary within that time. The provider electronically notifies the Secretary of State whether drivers pass or fail. If they ultimately do not pass, the points go on their record. If they pass, the Department of State will not add any points.

The fee for the course is determined by the provider, with the total not to exceed $100. Drivers are still responsible for paying fines and court costs involved in the traffic violation. The course may only be used once to avoid points.

A driver is not eligible if he or she:
•    is in the 60-day period of course eligibility for a previous ticket.
•    has already avoided points under the program.
•    has a restricted, suspended or revoked license or was not issued a Michigan license.
•    has three or more points on his or her record.
•    held a commercial driver license or was operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the ticket.
•    received a ticket that is not eligible for the program.

The law, sponsored by Sen. John Pappageorge (R-Troy), also requires an approved sponsor to conduct a study every five years measuring the effectiveness the successful completion of the course has in reducing collisions and moving violations. The Secretary of State must then report those findings to the Legislature.

For more information about the Basic Driver Improvement Course program as well as branch office locations and services, visit the Secretary of State website (www.Michigan.gov/sos) and sign up for official Secretary of State Twitter feeds (www.twitter.com/Michsos) and Facebook updates (www.facebook.com/Michigansos).
Customers also may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at (888) SOS-MICH (767-6424).

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