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Tag Archive | "White Creek"

CORRECTION


 

North and south: are directions really important?

By Judy Reed, Editor

Once upon a time there was a reporter who wrote a story on deadline (at midnight) describing a new left hand turn signal installed at a busy intersection in town. The story was pretty straight forward, but the reporter read it over three times, and made sure she had the directions listed in the photo caption right. Despite having gulped down several cups of coffee to stay awake and being amped up on sugar because of the delicious dark chocolate brownies brought in by an admirer, she did not catch that the directions in the story itself were not right—north was south and south was north. If you are traveling eastbound on 17 Mile and want to turn left on White Creek, it’s north not south; and those traveling westbound who turn left will be headed south, not north. We had several phone calls Thursday and an email letting us know we were heading in the wrong direction. So what’s a reporter who is directionally challenged to do? Is it a real malady? Well, I researched it to find out.

The first thing I found was something called dysorientation. That sounds about right, I thought. It was a facebook page. Maybe this would be a group where I could belong. Hurray! I’ve found my people! I even did a little happy dance. Then I read the description: “A Berlin based party line dedicated to vintage psych, grooves and dancefloor sleazyness from the golden days of analog production.” Ok, well maybe not my people, but it could be fun to listen or dance to if I was ever in Berlin. I’ll add it to my bucket list.

The second thing I found was geographical dyslexia or directional disability. There are people out there (and you know who you are!) who panic when you have to meander the corridors of the hospital or parking ramp to get back to your car; who fear you are lost forever when you leave your hotel to walk to the nearest restaurant but nothing looks familiar on the way back so you consider putting out an amber alert on yourself; or you break out in a cold sweat when you have to drive yourself somewhere you’ve never driven to before. You could’ve been to the place a million times—but if you were just riding along, you may not have been paying attention. You were probably playing Yahtzee with buddies (send me a bonus roll please) or Words with Friends on your cell phone and now you have to drive there yourself and you’re going to die because you have no idea what the streets are and your GPS just told you to turn in 200 feet and you don’t know how far that is and instead you turn in 100 feet onto a one-way street going the wrong way and directly into the path of a bus. Aaah! Don’t laugh! The struggle  is real! But this isn’t me either. Ok, maybe a little bit.

I also found out there are not guide dogs for the directionally impaired. Though I’m sure it could be a thriving business if someone took an interest. Because in my research, it looks like there are a lot of people out there who are perpetually lost. And they could really use a helping hand. Or paw.

As for this story, it was a simple mistake that got readers talking. If that’s what it takes to get readers talking, maybe I should slip in a few more mistakes. What will you find this week? And please—if you are traveling eastbound on 17 Mile in the left hand turn lane to White Creek, whatever you do, don’t try to turn south. Or you just might make the front page of next week’s paper!

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New left turn signals at 17 Mile and White Creek


 

This photo shows a new left-hand turn signal for westbound traffic at 17 Mile and White Creek. There is also a signal on the other side for eastbound traffic turning left. Photo by J. Reed.

This photo shows a new left-hand turn signal for westbound traffic at 17 Mile and White Creek. There is also a signal on the other side for eastbound traffic turning left. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Kent County recently installed two new traffic signals at White Creek and 17 Mile Road that will hopefully cut down on crashes in that intersection. Drivers that travel eastbound on 17 Mile and wish to turn left (north) on White Creek and those traveling westbound who wish to turn left (south) on White Creek now have a left-hand turn signal to help time their turn.

“Our Traffic and Safety Division had received a number of concerns regarding the intersection and had been monitoring the location,” explained Maura Lamoreaux, communications spokesman for the Kent County Road Commission. “Integral to the decision to install the signal was data that included the types of crashes occurring and the volume of traffic at the intersection, particularly the volume of eastbound left turns coupled with the lack of gaps in opposing westbound traffic.”

Lamoreaux said that the most recent 24-hour count showed approximately 19,000 vehicles travel through that intersection every day.

People might also be happy to know that another busy intersection in the area will get a stop and go signal later this year. The Michigan Department of Transportation will put in the signal at M-57 (14 Mile) and Myers Lake Avenue. “The traffic signal study showed significant delays on Myers Lake Rd, high enough traffic volumes, and a lack of gaps in the M-57 traffic stream,” explained John Richard, with MDOT. He said the signal will be installed sometime in their 2017 fiscal year, which means by or before September 30, 2017.

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Three car crash sends teen to hospital


A woman that ran a red light caused a three-car crash at 17 Mile and White Creek on Wednesday, September 14. Post Photo by J. Reed.

A woman that ran a red light caused a three-car crash at 17 Mile and White Creek on Wednesday, September 14. Post Photo by J. Reed.

A three-car crash at the corner of 17 Mile and White Creek sent a young teen to the hospital last week.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred about 4:34 p.m., Wednesday, September 14, at the intersection of 17 Mile Road and White Creek Avenue.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, of KCSD Cedar Springs unit, a 2002 Dodge Stratus, driven by Jamie Wachter, a 46-year-old White Cloud woman, was travelling eastbound on 17 Mile Road and disregarded the red light at White Creek. That vehicle struck a southbound 2013 Ford Explorer driven by Tracy Bucholtz, a 53 year old Pierson woman, causing her vehicle to strike a third vehicle. The third vehicle, a 2016 Chevrolet Equinox, was northbound and driven by Karen Pursley-Wood, a 48-year-old Cedar Springs woman. After colliding with vehicle 3, the Ford Explorer flipped onto its side, coming to rest on the driver side.

A passenger in the Dodge Stratus, a 14-year-old White Cloud female, was transported to DeVos Children’s Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Wachter, who ran the red light in the Stratus, was cited for Careless Driving.

Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

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Two trucks collide at 17 Mile and White Creek


Two trucks crashed after one ran the red light at 17 Mile and White Creek Sunday afternoon. Courtesy photos.

Two trucks crashed after one ran the red light at 17 Mile and White Creek Sunday afternoon. Courtesy photos.

Drivers disregarding the stoplight at 17 Mile and White Creek resulted in two traffic crashes in only four days. The first one occurred Sept. 14.

Then, on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at approximately 3:49 p.m., the Kent County Sheriff Department responded to another personal injury crash at the intersection of White Creek Avenue and 17 Mile Road, this one involving two pickup trucks.

A 54-year-old Rockford woman was travelling eastbound on 17 Mile Rd near White Creek in a 2004 Ford F150 when, according to witnesses, she disregarded the stoplight and struck a northbound 1999 Ford F250, driven by a 34-year-old Sparta man.

The crash caused the northbound F250 to roll. Both occupants of that vehicle, a 34-year-old Sparta man and a 36-year-old Sparta woman, were transported to Butterworth Hospital via Rockford Ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the eastbound vehicle was transported to Blodgett Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Cedar Springs Fire Department assisted with the crash scene. The crash remains open and under investigation, so names have not yet been released. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

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Crashes on 17 Mile and White Creek


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Once again, on the corner of White Creek and 17 Mile Road, there is a wreck—one truck with the front end destroyed and the other upside down. Quite a few crashes in the center turn lane and the other lanes on 17 Mile Road. Two people taken to the hospital from the two-truck incident. Cars are turning this way and that way into the stores. People run the light at White Creek and 17 Mile Road often. Does anyone else wish the speed limit on both roads was 35 mph enforced? Forty-five to 50 mph is way too fast.

David Viau, Cedar Springs

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Man killed in crash after leaving work 


William Rowan and his wife, Coreen.

William Rowan and his wife, Coreen.

A man who was a longtime employee of Vitale’s Pizza in Cedar Springs was killed after leaving work Sunday evening, January 17, when another car hit him head on.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, William Rowan, 48, of Grand Rapids was headed southbound on White Creek Avenue, just south of 17 Mile Road, in an Oldsmobile Cutlass, about 10:24 p.m., when a Cadillac headed north on White Creek crossed the centerline and struck Rowan’s vehicle.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 37-year-old Cedar Springs man driving the Cadillac sustained minor injuries and was treated on scene.

Police said that weather may have been a factor in the crash. It is unknown whether alcohol was a factor. The crash is still under investigation, and the name of the other driver has not been released.

A gofundme page has been set up for Bill’s wife, Coreen, who is also a Vitale’s employee, and their six-year-old son Levi. You can visit it at https://www.gofundme.com/a8jvycdg.

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Motorcyclist injured in accident


 

A motorcyclist suffered serious injuries when he was hit from behind by a car last week.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the accident occurred on Wednesday, October 7, at the intersection of White Creek and 16 Mile, at approximately 5:45 a.m. Police said that a 21-year-old White Cloud man was travelling southbound in his car, on White Creek Avenue, when he struck the rear end of a motorcycle.  The motorcycle was ridden by a 62-year-old Cedar Springs man, who was stopped on White Creek Ave waiting to turn onto 16 Mile Rd.

The motorcyclist was taken to Spectrum Butterworth Hospital, with serious injuries.  The 21-year-old suffered no injuries.

Heavy fog was believed to be a factor, however, alcohol was not.

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Man ejected in crash


N-Accident2 N-Accident1

Two people were injured Wednesday afternoon, shortly before 4 p.m., June 10, when a vehicle disregarded the red light at the intersection of White Creek and 17 Mile Road.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, witnesses at the scene said that a woman driving a white pickup truck was driving eastbound on 17 Mile, when she disregarded the stoplight, and struck a red Blazer that was southbound on White Creek. The truck then careened off the roadway to the right and drove down the hill into the BP gas station lot.

The driver of the Blazer, a Sparta man, was ejected.  His front seat passenger, a woman was also injured. Both were sent to the hospital by ambulance, with unknown injuries.

The driver of the pickup, a woman from Sand Lake, was not transported.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department assisted at the scene.

No other details were available at press time.

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Two injured in Solon crash


The driver of this car failed to stop at the stop sign at White Creek and 20 Mile and crashed into a pickup truck Wednesday. Photo by J. Reed

The driver of this car failed to stop at the stop sign at White Creek and 20 Mile and crashed into a pickup truck Wednesday. Photo by J. Reed

A Grattan man was sent to the hospital Wednesday, September 17, after a Grand Rapids woman ran a stop sign in Solon Township and t-boned his vehicle.

According to Kent County Sheriff Deputy Jason VanDyke, the 54-year-old Grattan man was headed westbound on 20 Mile late Wednesday morning, when the Grand Rapids woman, who was headed north on White Creek to visit relatives, failed to stop at the stop sign at 20 Mile and crashed into the Grattan man’s pickup truck. The truck rolled and landed on its roof. Both vehicles ended up on the northwest corner of the intersection.

The driver of the pickup was injured when his vehicle was struck and then rolled.

The driver of the pickup was injured when his vehicle was struck and then rolled.

The Grattan man suffered left shoulder and facial injuries, and was taken to the hospital by Rockford ambulance. The woman complained of pain in her lower extremities and went to the hospital with family.

Solon Township Fire and Rescue assisted the victims at the scene.

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Whose pothole is it anyway?


N-April-Fools-PotHoleA dispute over legal boundaries has left motorists dodging a crater in the middle of the road and no one to appeal to.

A pothole at White Creek and Shady Lane has been steadily growing this winter, in part due to an underground spring. The other reason is lack of road maintenance. And that won’t be remedied anytime soon, because the pothole is—quite literally—in no man’s land.

With road budgets dwindling and projects being scaled back, the city and townships began looking at critical areas to repair. While looking at this particular intersection, the city discovered that due to a legal technicality, it was not included in the 425 agreement with Solon Township and therefore not in the city’s jurisdiction.

“We’ve been maintaining that intersection for years,” said a city spokesperson. “But we can’t afford to use taxpayer money to repair something that doesn’t belong to us.”

Solon Township disagrees with that perspective. “They should honor the spirit of the agreement,” they said. “There is nothing in that agreement that shows it belongs to us either.”

In the meantime, drivers are getting flat tires and bottoming out in the hole. “It’s really bad when it snows because you can’t see the hole,” said one driver, who has had his car in the shop three times due to the pothole.  “It’s ridiculous that they can’t fix it. Does someone have to get hurt?”

Kent County was contacted to see if they could help repair the road, but they said they don’t have the money for anything north of 14 Mile Road.

A new community group called the “Shady Lane pothole initiative” is looking for donations of cash to help solve the problem. They plan to hold a meeting on Tuesday, April 1 at a local tavern to discuss whether to use the cash to fill the hole or use the money to pay for their drinks.

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