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Posted on Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

Public meeting Jan. 22 for new roundabout at intersection of Geddes and Ridge roads

By Amy Biolchini

The Washtenaw County Road Commission will be hosting a public meeting in January on the planned construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Geddes and Ridge roads in Superior Township.


A roundabout at Geddes and Superior roads in Superior Township. The Washtenaw County Road Commission is planning to install a new roudabout on Geddes Road at Ridge Road.

File photo |

The meeting will begin 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 at the Superior Township Hall, which is at 3040 N. Prospect Road in Ypsilanti. There will be a brief presentation followed by an open discussion.

The intersection is currently a four-way stop. Traffic there has increased this fall as a result of the opening of the new South Pointe Scholars Charter Academy at the intersection, said Matt MacDonell, senior project manager for the Road Commission.

Construction of the $1.1 million single lane roundabout is slated to begin in June and finish in August as to not interrupt school traffic, MacDonell said. Work will completely close the intersection while it is being completed, MacDonell said.

The project also includes the removal and replacement of the Ridge Road culvert over Fowler Creek, which is just south of the intersection.

The project will be paid for cooperatively by the school and by the Road Commission, and has not yet been put out to bid.

A roundabout is smaller in diameter than a traditional traffic circle and forces vehicles to travel at speeds between 15 and 20 miles per hour.

There is currently a roundabout on Geddes Road at the intersection of Superior Road.

The project will be the second roundabout constructed in Washtenaw County in 2013, as the Road Commission is planning to build a roundabout at State and Ellsworth roads in Pittsfield Township.

View Washtenaw County Road Commission work in a larger map

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.


Scott Batson

Mon, Jan 7, 2013 : 8:28 p.m.

The FHWA has a video about modern roundabouts that is mostly accurate ( ). Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world. Search for FAQs and safety facts.

Rob Pollard

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 11:31 p.m.

"The project will be paid for cooperatively by the school and by the Road Commission, and has not yet been put out to bid." What does that mean - 50/50? 75/25? Some other split? This is a privately-operated business (I know they use public money, but they are privately operated). Unless they were forced to use this site by the state/govt, they should be paying for the large majority of this upgrade which they caused. There is absolutely nothing else immediately around there, so they are the sole reason for the traffic issues.

Tom Todd

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 11:16 p.m.



Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 5 a.m.

I hate when people just stop mid way IN the roundabout or don't yield and nearly cause an accident. It is not hard.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

This has been kicked around before ground was broken for the South Pointe Scholars school. WHY did the school have to waste money on intersection improvements when the roundabout could've been completed at the time of the school's construction?


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 2:23 a.m.

Paul, have you actually been to West Bloomfield? I'm there quite a bit and haven't seen any trouble at the roundabouts. Far from it - there's no waiting, and it appears that a good 95+% of the people use them correctly (even all the old rich folks who live there).

Rob Pollard

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

I agree on the 4-way stop. Right now, I just avoid the area at drop-off/pick up times. Outside that one hour a day, this intersection is completely fine. The intersection that DOES need improving is just to the east, at Geddes and Denton, which is a 4-way stop. During "rush hour", it can get quite backed up on Geddes, I assume b/c people coming off I-94 at Mich Ave take Denton north to get to Cherry Hill Village and other parts of Canton. Since money is limited, either put a real traffic light or a roundabout THERE.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.

HB11, you ask an excellent question. And, originally we were told the corporation running the school was going to pay for road improvements. Now it's a joint effort? The 4 way stop could easily and cheaply be turned into a traffic light. Why not? The traffic there is only bad at school times. The rest of the day there's very light traffic. And when school is out all summer, again, no traffic to speak of.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 10:34 p.m.

Schools are the worst places for new stuff, more crashes will happen and even minor accidents can kill little kids. West Bloomfield was to get so many roundabouts but they stop building all they first plan on due to the problems they created. Did I bring up how hard it to WALK across a RUN to the center and wait till you can dart across a second time. God forbid a "minor" accident happens and a car jumps the curb and enters the center area where people sometimes stand


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:57 p.m.

Flat out stupid idea in the first place...nanny state crap....lawsuit bait....


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.

And get off my lawn.....


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

You forgot to add "Get off my lawn!"

harry b

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

I used to hate these things but the more I used them the easier they became. Now I love them. That make driving so much faster and you save a lot of gas.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 10:28 p.m.

Back when traffic lights just stayed red for 20--30 seconds traffic moved much quicker.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:12 p.m.

Our gravel (mostly mud) road needs 12" of new gravel to restore the grade of the road to that of our driveways. Ann Arbor -Saline road is a mess of pot holes on either side of the I-94 overpass. Could we spend money on these types of projects before re-doing intersections that are otherwise in good repair?


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 2:18 a.m.

OK, I'm a roundabout fan but I'm rather sympathetic to your complaint about Ann Arbor-Saline. People drive just about everywhere but in an actual lane there trying to avoid the suspension-breaking potholes. And G-d help you when it's snowy and you catch a rut. I'm pretty sure out-of-towners coming in for a sporting event think they've entered a third world country when they get off at that exit.

harry b

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:14 p.m.

I would say more people use Geddes that your gravel road. More bang for the buck.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

y do we have these beautiful paved roads in this part of the county but we have one laners and bad traffic in Pittsfield by the new Cotsco, with 9 times the volume of traffic? I never understand why we don't focus our limited resources better in this city and county of ours. there is never any real traffic out there but let's keep making fancy road designs there. Meanwhile packard road, platt road and the rest remain one lanes, with no left turn lanes heading out of town from downtown.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 10:26 p.m.

That to catch the smash and grabs thief's from Cotsco, lol


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

Roundabouts are great once driver's understand how to use them properly and the sit and wait for the entire circle to be empty before entering (e.g. Nixon and Huron Parkway). Please look at the Green/Nixon/Dhu Varren intersetion. Looks like a drunken sailor engineeered it. There is no better candidate for a roundabout.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

Yeah they make the lanes wavily so traffic slows down. Roads use to straight as an arrow, today they make them not so straight-I swear, only expressways and a few main roads are built right anymore.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

Oops, that would be "not sit and wait"


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

A public meeting is not necessary. You are gonna do it anyway!


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

I would not even waste my time going to this meeting. It will happen whether it is wanted or needed. Pittsfeild is planning one at State and Ellsworth. Nothing has even been considered for making Ellsworth wider so... if your on I 94 heading east and the freeway has any kind of accident don't take Ellsworth Road. Yes you won't have to wait at the light but you won't be moving either.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

Yep, they are going to do as they please, their minds are made up.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 6:35 p.m.

Is anyone actually FOR roundabouts? Please stop making these.


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

I can drive through them just fine, I just hate them because most people can't. I've never heard anyone say that the rules of a stoplight are hard. There's literally a game for little kids called green light red light.


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

@Hail2thevict0r, that is what a yield sign means. IF someone is in the circle you slow or stop to allow them to pass. Lee Road is quite busy and yes, I've had to stop many times when traffic was already in the circle. They still keep traffic flowing better than signal lights ever could at that same intersection.


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 2:06 a.m.

It's actually one of those things that's great in theory AND great in real life. As my 80-year-old mom just said to me last week, "I like them because the rules are simple." C'mon, if an old lady can do it, I'm pretty sure you can, too. No need to resist change just because it's in your nature to do so.

John Q

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 12:17 a.m.

They're great. My experience is that people who don't like them are usually poor drivers who can't seem to get down anything but a perfectly straight road.


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

HB, I'd love to see you bust right through the circle, or should I say circles, at Lee road without stopping 1 time.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

People aren't stupid-on a whole-they just have different styles of driving. Some need just a little space to feel safe to enter while others need to have the whole roundabout clear or they gotta sit there for a while before they enter with other cars around. Plus the roundabouts are made too small to force traffic to slow way down and the lanes after the roundabout taper off too quickly. The whole idea is to slow traffic DOWN--not speed it up. Oh sure, the big long lines for the long red lights are gone but even when no traffic is around you gotta slow way down to get through the intersection.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 9:29 p.m.

Please see my response to Dexter Man above.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:28 p.m.

It's one of those things that's great in theory but sucks in real life.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

The problem with roundabouts is the same with everything, people are stupid. You have a system built around people being smart, sharing and yielding to people. In the end they turn into circles of death where old people are confused, teenagers speed through ignoring everything and almost every time I enter one someone does something wrong. I'd much rather wait a minute than have the chaos which is a roundabout.

harry b

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 8:16 p.m.

I love them

Ann English

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 6:52 p.m.

Back in 2005 and 2006, I used Geddes Road to get to Canton. The scenery was pretty, but there were long lines of traffic waiting for turns to go at Geddes and Ridge Roads. So I stopped using Geddes and started using Michigan Avenue. With a roundabout, I don't see lines waiting for turns to go any longer than six vehicles. I don't mind the one at Huron Parkway and Nixon, or the one at Geddes and Superior. Unlike those at Lee and US-23, these roundabouts, as well as the three on North Maple Road near Skyline High, are only two lanes wide; you shouldn't have trouble deciding which lane you want to be in, in order to get to your destination. With two lanes, you don't need overhanging signs telling you where this lane or that lane takes you, as in the Lee Road roundabouts.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

They are wonderful! I love them, if most folks follow certain rules. If you are coming in to the roundabout , please do not occupy both lanes. The second right lane also allows the incoming traffic to share the road. AND,please do not stop if you do nto have to. The basis of the roundabout is the childhood expectation - share!


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 6:21 p.m.

smaller?.. hmmm This seems like overkill . why spend the money on this?.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

So you can't blow through the intersections at 3 am and vanish...ha ha ha


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 6:16 p.m.

Roundabouts move traffic quicker than intersections. This is incontrovertible, whether people like them or not. The one by WCC has cut what used to be a five minute wait down to nothing.


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 2:08 a.m.

Yeah, and I'm sure you're ready to produce the traffic studies that show there's the exact same volume of traffic as there was in the 80's. Oh, nevermind. Why try to reason with someone who thinks everything is the government's fault?


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 10:11 p.m.

What happen is the traffic lights stayed red too long-like for those green arrows to turn left. In the old days-the 80's, lol-there was few to no green arrows to turn left-people just knew how to turn a car better back then. Traffic did not bottle up at the lights like they do now. The gov. created a problem and now is turning to run abouts to solve it. People don't know how to drive as well since they get their full drivers license later and later in life and then there is the good old cell phone to mess with also while driving, ha ha.

Dexter Man

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

I hate these things.


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 3:49 a.m.

People behind me hate those things!


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

Oh sure long as you can see clearly, try it with a big SUV on your side-that doesn't know how to drive or your in the wrong lane-the right lane and you want to go 3/4 around and get hit by somebody going only 1/2 way around. We got many around my home, I see aftermath of crashes all the time, nobody might get injured but boy do they cause the damage. One round about here in W.B. had to get traffic lights for rush hour cause there was so many crashes, lol


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 9:28 p.m.

You are probably one of the folks who comes to a complete stop at the yield sign before entering the circle. They work wonderfully.