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Study finds no traffic signal warranted for 16 Mile & Northland

Study finds no traffic signal warranted for 16 Mile & Northland

Scott Latsch, 31, was killed at the intersection of 16 Mile and Northland Drive in January. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

After a traffic signal study was done for the intersection of 16 Mile and Northland Drive, the Kent County Road Commission concluded that the volume of traffic does not warrant a traffic signal.

The Post contacted the KCRC in early January after Scott Latsch, 31, of Newaygo, was killed there in a crash on January 2. Police said he was traveling northbound on Northland Dr NE and attempted to make a left turn onto westbound 16 Mile Rd NE when he was struck by a 2006 Volvo XC90 that was traveling southbound. Latsch was pronounced dead at the scene.

Just two months earlier, in November 2019, Marshall Taylor, 82, of Rockford, was headed southbound on Northland Drive when his vehicle collided with a Chevy Impala headed eastbound on 16 Mile Rd. He later died of his injuries.

The KCRC told the Post they would complete a traffic study on the intersection. “When a crash occurs along our network, the Kent County Road Commission investigates and works closely with law enforcement to determine causation. There are several variables involved in a crash and determining causation is part of the analysis used to determine whether a potential modification to traffic control could change or reduce the frequency of the given type of crash,” explained Maura Lamoreaux, of the KCRC.

The Post reached out to them this week to get a copy of the report. It shows that none of the many conditions needed to install a traffic signal were met—including traffic volume and crashes.

“Crash warrants are not met for signal installation in the most recent 12 month period since there were not five crashes susceptible to correction,” the report reads. “It should be noted that while the two most recent reported crashes had a fatality, neither of the crashes would necessarily have been preventable with use of a traffic signal.”

A summary of the report reads: “The volumes at this intersection do not meet any of the required warrant values per the MMUTCD. Since warrant criteria are not met, I do not recommend installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of 16 Mile Road and Northland Drive. I would recommend that we continue to review this location yearly,” wrote Shirley Wollner, Assistant Director of Traffic & Safety.

If you’d like to read a copy of the report, we will post it with this story on our website.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union

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