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Posted on Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 6:02 a.m.

Speed limit raised to 65 miles per hour on M-14 near Barton Drive

By Erica Hobbs


The speed limit increased from 55 to 65 miles per hour on the stretch of M-14 a half a mile before and after the Barton Drive exit, north of Ann Arbor.

Angela J. Cesere |

Motorists on the Ann Arbor portion of M-14 can drive by the city a little bit faster now.

The Michigan Department of Transportation just raised the speed limit to 65 miles per hour from the former 55 mph zone surrounding Barton Drive.

MDOT spokeswoman Kari Arend said the change was based on a joint speed study conducted by MDOT and the Michigan State Police that found the majority of motorists were traveling closer to 65 miles per hour instead of the posted 55.

“What we like to see is motorists traveling a consistent speed out there,” she said. “We feel it’s safer to have motorists traveling near or close to the same speed limit.”

Arend said workers changed the eastbound M-14 signs last Tuesday, followed by the westbound M-14 signs soon after.

Lt. Gary Megge of the Michigan State Police Traffic Services Division said the change wasn't an increase as much as it was a correction. He said the “artificially low” speed limit before caused more variations in driving speeds because only a few motorists actually obeyed the law.

“What we don’t want is that variance,” he said. “We tend to create problems when that happens.”

Megge said the change should reduce instances of tailgating, lane changing and passing to make driving along that portion of the highway safer.

Despite the increase, Arend said motorists still need to use good judgment when driving on the highway.

“The speed limit on the sign is basically the speed for ideal conditions,” she said. “Motorists still need to exercise caution and drive for current conditions.”

Megge said he didn't anticipate any additional law enforcement to monitor the change. He said people will most likely not notice a difference.

View Speed Zone Signs in a larger map

Erica Hobbs is a reporter for Reach her at 734 623-2537 or via e-mail at


Jim Walker

Sun, Apr 18, 2010 : 9:51 a.m.

For abc regarding the Corradino Group study I understand the issue with MDOT not approving or funding changes if they cannot make them perfectly agree with the design rules for a rural freeway. What I do not understand is the refusal to take an obvious and decent solution that would really help, and instead decide it is better to leave things at the far more unacceptable status-quo. This makes NO sense to me. For what it is worth, an engineer at a public meeting at Concordia College told me that the coming new on-ramp to southbound US-23 from Geddes road starting at the future roundabout on the west side of the freeway did NOT meet the full criteria for on-ramp length and speeds. It will start with a long curving entrance ramp north of Geddes Rd., putting the traffic into straight line acceleration somewhat north of the overpass. This will be a LOT better than the existing and much shorter ramp that goes from the south side of Geddes Rd. The problem again is a bridge over the Huron River which prevents a full length ramp of an ideal length for MDOT design rules starting from either the north or south side of Geddes Rd. But starting north of the road will be a MUCH longer ramp with more acceleration distance available, which is a common sense "best possible" solution. To not apply the same common sense thought of "What COULD we do to make this better at the M-14 and Barton interchange, even if it does not fit our ideal profile rules?" seems extremely foolish to me. Regards, Jim Walker

Rhe Buttle

Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 1:52 p.m.

The original plan was for Huron Parkway to dump onto US23 NB. Take a look to your right as you pass the Barton off ramp, its just north of there. Want to solve the Main Street problem? 1. eliminate the ramp. 2. Close the Barton off ramp. It only exists the way it is because US 23 once came down straight to Main, no east or west, there was no M14. Then the traffic went through town and joined back up with 23 South of town. But that was in the day before papaGM uncleChrysler and grandpaFord decreed that it was important for people to use their cars to get AROUND towns. Oh, and by the way, when M14 was completed, the speed limit was 70. There was no guard rail blocking the view. And people didn't die every other month there.


Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 7:30 a.m.

Sorry for the redundancy but Mr. Walker The last study was done about 5 or 6 years ago by the Corradino Group and they reported that they were limited in the way they looked at this highway. It was classified as a rural highway, serving traffic from west of AA to Detroit, rather than an urban highway serving the comings and goings of AA. They were not able to take into account the fact that purely local traffic uses this bridge just to jump the river. As a rural highway they had to design the ramp to accommodate traffic speeds of 60 to 70 mph on the ramp, which made it large and would cause it to decimate the houses there. (Urban highway ramps can be designed for slower speeds.) They could not simply make it better, they said they had to meet all of MDOTs requirements or MDOT would not fund any change.


Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 6:28 a.m.

Clownfish, Ed - if you're interested, I have a copy of the original MDOT plans for the area in my basement. I went down and got them and I'm looking at them right now. They show the configuration for the interchange, including the existing Barton ramp. There is no indication that it was intended to be temporary. It and a smaller Whitmore Lake Road access were left in. But as I said before, the original plans were from the 50s, not the 60s. The dates are all 1953 and 1954. In the 60s they intended to put Huron Parkway through and probably planned to remove that ramp at that point. I've never seen those plans. Let's not forget that this was last hashed out about a decade ago. At that point, City Council asked Rep. Rivers for a million dollar study of what to do with that interchange. Rep. Rivers got us a federal grant of 3/4 of a million as part of Tea-21 to do the study. That study was done as part of the last Northeast Area Plan, and it recommended closing the ramp and not replacing it. Council accepted most of the conclusions, but not the recommendation to close the ramp. And with due respect to everyone, you're missing the real problem for an interesting bit of minutiae. Volume on the Barton ramps is only a fraction of the volume for Main every day. I use these ramps about weekly now, and there is constant conflict from traffic entering and exiting on Main, and only rare problems from Barton. The real problem is the high volumes from Main entering on a blind, tight curve at 40mph, and merging with people flying down the hill in the right lane.

Jim Walker

Wed, Apr 14, 2010 : 3:45 p.m.

For 2ndAve and what about this house - very accurately shown in the mapping. I have walked the area carefully and you could make a really good and long entrance ramp to northbound US-23 in the existing right of way that is outside and west of the fence down in the gully that borders the property to that house. If you did this, the paved area up close to the current traffic lanes would have a very wide spot - wide enough to put a dividing median barrier between the lane turning sharply right to exit onto Barton after crossing the bridge, and the lane coming up from Barton to go north on US-23 in a new and long entrance ramp with no stop sign. The dividing barrier could also be lined with crash-abating barrels, so an exiting vehicle that blew the exit and hit the barrier would have the crash energy mitigated by barrels lining the lane-dividing barrier. It would NOT be perfect and would not meet the normal MDOT requirements for a new interchange where more land would be available, but it would be DRAMATICALLY better than what is there now. Crashes between exiting and entering vehicles there would be virtually impossible. No one would have to stop to enter northbound US-23. And crashes by exiting vehicles would be less dangerous. All it would take is common sense to do the best with the existing land, and money - of course. Regards, James C. Walker For TJ - I trust you know that raising the posted speed limit to the 85th percentile speed does NOT normally raise the actual travel speeds of the upper groups. I wish everyone knew that, then opposition to posting speed limits that reflect reality and traffic engineering science to maximize safety and smooth traffic flow would evaporate -- except, of course, from the traffic court treasurers.


Wed, Apr 14, 2010 : 2:07 p.m.

People keep missing the point that the AAPD keeps writing illegal citations on speeders in this area. The citations are written for violating a city ordinance, which has no bearing on a state highway. The reason the police do this, is that the city does not participate in the county fine pool. If the citations were written correctly, the money would go into the pool, and not to the city. Same thing happens on US-23 near Geddes. It will be interesting to see if AAPD keeps poaching, or if the new speed limit, and the elimination of some patrol positions will stop the activity.


Wed, Apr 14, 2010 : 8:07 a.m.

For those of you headed North to 23 and not in too much of a hurry, try going up Whitmore Lake Road! It is a beautiful drive, and you can catch 23 at N. Territorial. So instead of going up the awful Barton Rd. entrance, just go on under the bridge and around to your right. Voila! And you'll also miss the traffic backup at the 23 - M14 interchange.


Wed, Apr 14, 2010 : 7:21 a.m.

I don't think that changing the posted speed limit on M-14 near Barton will cause people to increase their speed by any more than what they are already typically traveling. As you're heading eastbound on M-14 from I-94, there is a curve just before the Main St ramps that (in my experience) most people don't take at more than about 60-65mph anyway. Even the speed demons that are doing 70-80 coming from I-94 tend to slow down going into that curve. I also agree that the speed limit on some of the non-residential, 5-lane or divided main roads in Ann Arbor need to be increased to around 40-45mph. This will be consistent with the majority of 5-lane roads throughout the state. Most of the drivers on Plymouth Rd and Huron Parkway are driving at around 40-45 during ideal conditions anyway. Those people driving 30mph or less on these main roads cause serious backups on these roadways and induce situations like tailgating and unsafe lane changes in people trying to get around them. I know that people are concerned about pedestrian and bicyclist safety when speed limits are increased, but does a car traveling at 35mph really hurt less than a car driving 45mph when it hits you? I think not. (Disclaimer: That part was a joke) And whatever happened to the rules most 5-year-olds are taught? Like cross at the cross walk, look both ways before crossing the road, and don't step into the road when the the little red hand is lit up? The Ann Arbor area really has some of the most inattentive pedestrians and unsafe bicyclists I have ever seen. Just this spring, I have been hit twice, from behind, by BICYCLISTS while I was walking on the sidewalk. And I do wish Ann Arbor would ticket for jay walking. Especially in the main campus areas where there is an intersection about every 100 ft where people can safely cross.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 11:20 p.m.

Super. All the speedsters here just got rewarded by blaming the posted speed limit for their own impatience and irresponsibility.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:11 p.m.

The ramps at Barton will never close because of the "high brow" people that live in and near Barton Hills. The entrances and exits in this area are a complete travesty (why can you not go SW on M-14 from Main?) and simply reflect a lack of planning around Ann Arbor transportation (why is there no entrance/exit scross the entire north side? Why can you not go from M-14W to I-94 in order to access southern Ann Arbor? Instead people speed down Maple between M-14 and I-94... with NO police monitoring).

Duane Collicott

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:14 p.m.

>How did Ann Arbor end up with what may be the two worst freeway entrance ramps in the state? Because it was built in the wrong place. I have heard a first-hand account of the meetings that were held before it was built, and the original path was across the top of Barton Hills. One of the Barton Hill elite, as I heard the story told, walked up to the map and drew a line where the road now lies, saying, "The expressway goes HERE!"


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 6:47 p.m.

how about this house?

scooter dog

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 3:03 p.m.

I wasent aware of anyone who did below 65 ever,so now they will due 75 plus. I also feel that the only reason that the entrance ramp to north bound 23 at Barton dr is still in use is that some big shooter with lots of serious clout lives in the area and would be really p/od if they closed the ramp.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 1:51 p.m.

@ lee miserables Are you in the left lane when people are tailgating you? That would be a typical michigan move...and then a break check, awfull.

Jim Walker

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 1:18 p.m.

This area was the number one speed trap for city police, per the article last year. Now it is fixed. Contrary to the negative comments from Griffen, blahblahblah, bearlab, DadooS, Mick52 and others - this speed limit correction will tend to make the area safer by reducing speed variance, and will NOT result in any significant actual travel speed increases from most drivers. It simply makes the normal safe driving behavior of the vast majority of motorists legal. AND it will end the use of the area as a cash register for the city of Ann Arbor. Gene Rye is correct that MANY posted speed limits inside the city need correcting to improve smooth traffic flow and safety, including the Plymouth Road and Huron Parkway areas he mentioned - both of which should be posted at 45 to match the 85th percentile speeds of traffic under good conditions. However, the city refuses to comply with state laws and a large number of our main streets have posted limits which are not legal under state laws. Tickets in those areas can be challenged in court on the basis of illegally posted limits. The Michigan State Police and MDOT do not have control of the posted speed limits on roads that are not state trunk lines (numbered highways). Ann Arbor simply defies state law and posts illegal speed limits on many of our main streets. This facilitates the use of speed limits for predatory revenue collection, instead of the proper use to improve safety. Statewide, with many main state highways now posted correctly by the State Police and MDOT at or close to their proper 85th percentile speed levels, Michigan has a very low fatality rate of.86 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, about 25% lower than the national average of 1.16. IF every city, village, and township also posted their main roads at the correct 85th percentile speed level, the fatality rate would drop even further. Ann Arbor's artificially low posted speed limits are a part of the problem, not a part of the solution. Regards, James C. Walker, Member - National Motorists Association


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 12:57 p.m.

I was going 65 thru there when I got pulled over for a ticket (officer sitting at the top of barton intrance at stop sign), when the pack of cars saw him everyone slowed down and freaked out, posing more of a hazzard than me driving the speed that should have been posted.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 12:53 p.m.

granholm's fault


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 12:26 p.m.

"not so great they didn't put a sign telling motorists to move over a lane because of slow merging traffic ahead" I back you on that but a sign wouldn't have helped. Worst drivers in the country in michigan. Horrible.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 12:10 p.m.

I was surprised to see this a few days ago. For one, the westbound drop to 55 was unnecessary and annoying. Some followed it, some did not. Why does there have to be the same speed limit on both sides of a divided highway? Is that a state law? And two, even 55 isn't safe eastbound for all the reasons listed above. Maybe something could be done with Main, but the Barton ramp needs to be closed or made into an exit ramp only (hopefully the curve could be made less severe). I'm amazed how dangerous it is even when you're aware of all the issues - people do all sorts of things in front of you, next to you, there are cops all over the place distracting you. I'm surprised it isn't closed every day by accidents. It's about the only place I can think of where the best way to go through is to speed up (so as not to clog things up or get people shifting to the right to pass you) and travel only in the left lane as you approach.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 12:08 p.m.

I regularly get on M-14 from Main Street and have hardly ever had any trouble merging in even when people refuse to move from the right lane to the left lane. But really, they almost always do and when they don't, one can still merge in ok as long as there isnt someone decelerating in the entrance lane because they are exiting at Barton Dr. In all of the years I have been driving there, there was only one time when I wasnt able to merge safely so I exited at Barton drive and cursed the drivers in the right lane on M-14 who were driving 65mph with not enough space between them for me to get in. I do that that entrance at Barton with the stop sign should be closed though. I have often encountered drivers who just pull out onto the freeway from a dead stop where I've either had to swerve into the left lane to avoid them or I have had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting them. I wont use that entrance myself unless it is at a time when traffic is very light.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 12:01 p.m.

Sure its great they upper the speed to 65 mph - not so great they didn't put a sign telling motorists to move over a lane because of slow merging traffic ahead (I also agree the stop sign should be removed on the entrance ramp). Being A.A. the reason this got changed with so little thought usually points to someone who got a ticket and knows how to bribe the right department head to get the law changed.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 11:54 a.m.

never realized it was 55. I was always going 75-80 unless there is a slower person in front of me.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 11:54 a.m.

Mick52 - I agree! Have wondered now for the past few years why no one at any level of government has mentioned going back to the 55 mph that we all lived with for a while. Much safer for us and the environment...


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 11:34 a.m.

"study conducted by MDOT and the Michigan State Police that found the majority of motorists were traveling closer to 65 miles per hour instead of the posted 55." It's called the will of the people. Speed limits that are under what the majority speed that people drive just turn into these infamous speed traps everyone cries about.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 11:25 a.m.

I saw the signs indicating the increase last week. An AAPD command officer said its a state decision. I agree its a stupid decision, but what do you expect, a good decision (on anything) from the state? For years people have been complaining about this intersection being dangerous. I would like to know how many accidents occur there. If there are few accidents, it not so unsafe. And so what if you have to wait to enter eastbound 14? You wait. Traffic will clear enough to get onto the freeway. I have done it many times and its been no big deal. I will admit because of the design the traffic speed should be lower. With the river alongside Barton, I think changing this intersection would be quite difficult. With so much babble about the environment, economy, carbon emissions, does anyone other than me wonder why highway speeds are not going back to 55? Supposedly this saves gas and I wonder why lowering speed limits to control carbon emissions is not on the table. No, we raise speed limits.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 11:20 a.m.

Awesome. Although I'm usually at around 85mph by then.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 11:05 a.m.

So now, instead of going 10 over the 55 mph limit, cars will now go 10 over the 65 mph limit, making the stop and go Barton entrance all the more untenable. A bureaucratic decision yielding to irresponsible citizenry is compounded idiocy. And, of course, no one will be held accountable when the inevitable tragedy occurs.

Erica Hobbs

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 10:25 a.m.

Thanks Sellers. I hope this map is clearer.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 9:58 a.m.

Seems most people do not exercise good judgement when driving along that stretch already, didn't we just experience a high number of accidents last year along that area and now with the increase in speed I guess we should expect more in the future.

Peter A Webb

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 9:32 a.m.

As a regular user of the on-ramp, I agree that it is dangerous. I would say that higher speeds are going to make it more dangerous, except that nobody seems to obey the current limit. Those who think that the people coming off the ramp need to get to highway speed before the top of the ramp have either never used it or have forgotten it. There is a hairpin turn near the top of the on-ramp and no visibility until you reach the top.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:59 a.m.

@C6 Sure, there's no obligation to move over to the left lane, but since when does having no obligation mean that people can't apply some common sense and help contribute to smoother traffic and fewer accidents by moving over to help onramp traffic merge safely. Good driving skills are more than just the mechanics of moving your own vehicle and following traffic laws, but also includes strategic driving and various other behaviors that make driving better and safer for everyone (like using turn signals in a timely fashion, or moving over when you have the space).


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:37 a.m.

So, the "sticky wicket" was democracy trumping all else. I dont think that is quite right; maybe bureaucracy trumping all else is more like it. The last study was done by the Corradino Group and they reported that they were limited in the way they looked at this highway in that it had to be viewed as a rural highway, serving traffic from west of AA to Detroit, rather than an urban highway serving the comings and goings of AA. They were not able to take into account the fact that purely local traffic uses this bridge just to jump the river. As a rural highway they had to design the ramp to accommodate traffic speeds of 60 to 70 mph, which made it large and would cause it to decimate the houses there. (Urban highway ramps can be designed for slower speeds.) The layouts clearly showed that that ramp could be made safer for both exiting and entering traffic but that it could not meet this rural standard without condemning a number of houses. Because it could not meet ALL of MDOTs requirements MDOT will not fund a renovation.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:30 a.m.

I routinely speed up to about 60 MPH before I hit the on ramp just to make sure that I can merge properly and avoid being rear ended by a fast approaching semi. I feel badly for the cyclists on their way to Huron River Drive... they won't know what hit them in the coming months when folks will be racing down main street at a 70 MPH plus. No sidewalks, no barriers, it is going to be a slaughter along Main street.

I'm Ron Burgandy

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:25 a.m.

Great News! One less speed trap for AA/MSP police that no one followed anyway. For those complaining about the entrance/exit ramps, don't use them if you're so worried about them. There are plenty of other ramps in AA to use.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:20 a.m.

When the state and others make this change based on drivers habits (the 85% rule) they are just saying "we can't police this any more and we give up... go kill yourselves... we don't care". While it may be true that driving at a uniform speed is safer, it is also true that driving at a slower speed is safer. They can't make both happen so they give up.

Life in Ypsi

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:14 a.m.

I avoid M-14 as much as possible. It's too scary. I agree people should move to the left lane to allow merging traffic, but there's no time to merge and everyone is speeding. I have actually almost been hit by a car coming from the Barton ramp who decided to blow through the stop sign.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:12 a.m.

KJMClark, My driver education is just fine. Not only do people consistently drive below the speed limit, they just plain can't drive around here. IT


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 8:09 a.m.

one temp one "not" temp. one bad entrance ramp. Not really a great source, but this arborwiki page matches what I was told by the city engineer 20 years ago: Exit 4: Barton Drive and Whitmore Lake Road * Built as a "temporary" solution when the highway was first constructed in 1964, the exit from eastbound 14 to Barton Drive has long been considered one of the most dangerous in the state---drivers must go from 65 mph freeway traffic, weave among drivers entering from 45 mph Main Street, and slow to a 15 mph hairpin turn exit ramp, in less than 1,000 feet. The entrance ramp from Barton to eastbound 14 isn't much better--- up a steep hill, dead stop at the top of the ramp, and immediately merge with traffic: there's no acceleration lane. M-DOT and the City have been making concerted efforts to get the ramp replaced for ten years, but money concerns and opposition by homeowners who have turned the original "permanent" ramp's easement-to-be into a park have prevented anything from actually happening.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:52 a.m.

What took so long? Unless the AAPD was sitting at the on-ramp, most everyone ignored the speed limit. (Speed limit, is that maximum or minimum?!) Yes, the on-ramp North needs to be re-done, but the 10 mph difference really doesn't affect most individuals. If you have an issue, go under the bridge to M14 South/East, get off on Main, turn around and head North/West again. There is much more lane to accelerate up to the traffic flow. Now, when will the speed limit on Plymouth Rd be bumped back up to 40/45? And what about Huron Parkway with its ridiculous 35mph?


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:39 a.m.

C6 - No, people don't have to be courteous and move over to let people merge, and legally the people entering have to yield to people already on the expressway. However, when you have dozens of motorists trying to get on M-14 from Main and a half-dozen motorists already on M-14 but mostly in the right lane, it would make a lot of sense for the people already there to move over. Independent - It looks like you need the education. The speed limit is a maximum. The minimum is much lower, and trucks are supposed to be doing around 60. I see very few people trying to go much below the speed LIMIT, but quite a few trying to do the Michigan limit, that is, 10mph above the legal limit. Guinea pig - the "wicket" is known as engineering. There's almost no way to engineer the current minimum standard ramps onto the existing space. That's why the last transportation plan recommended just closing the ramp. We let substandard ramps exist (grandfathered) all over the state, but MDOT doesn't build new ones that are substandard.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:32 a.m.

The on-ramps and off-ramps were built in a different era, the one where seat belts were a novelty. Of course these ramps are not up to current MDOT and National standards. A study was done in the past ten or 15 years that showed there is no way to bring the Barton Hills ramp up to standard. There is simply no room for it. So it's either close it, or keep it open as is and leave access for those that need it.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:31 a.m.

I have heard that the ramp was temporary but there was some sticky wicket that prevented a better onramp and offramp from being built. Anyone else hear of that or know any details? The Barton exit/entrance was supposed to be temporary, with an extended Huron Parkway replacing the temp. If you look at the "green space" just north of Barton you will notice it is a right-of-way that was supposed to be the Huron Parkway extension. It had been in The Plan for decades, and would make a LOT of sense, and make the whole area safer. But, Nimbyism won over common sense and safety. The neighborhood stood against the extension, even though when they all bought their property they could look at any city map and see that HP was going to be extended eventually. So, the "sticky wicket" was democracy trumping all else.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:28 a.m.

The Barton ramp is one of the oldest in the state. It dates to before there were interstates, when US-23 was being expanded very early in the Eisenhower-era expressway system. It was *not* designed to be temporary. The original design, which had US-23 and M-14 going where Huron Parkway is today, included the Barton ramp as permanent. A few years later (1957 I think), after City Council convinced MDOT to move the expressways to their current configuration instead, there was a plan to put Huron Parkway through to US-23/M-14 and Whitmore Lake Rd. On that plan, there was the potential to put something different in place of the Barton ramp. However, the city ran out of money by the time Huron Parkway made it to Tuebingen Parkway, and the rest was never built. We've had at least two transportation plans since then, one that said expand the existing ramp a tiny bit, and the most recent, that said close it. Right now, everyone seems to be content to let it slowly turn into potholes and keep it where it is. But it was originally intended to be permanent, back when expressway speed limits had gone to the previously unheard of 55mph!


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:23 a.m.

I used to live in that area and used that on/off ramp frequently. This is a bad idea. It's a dangerous area and cars should not be going more than 55. If you're going to raise the speed limit, it should raised to 70mph. But by raising it to 65, they acknowledge the fact that it's a dangerous area and people should go slow. The difference between 70 and 65 on the highway is purely arbitrary.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:23 a.m.

Wonder how the new 65 mph speed limit will affect/effect truckers "Jake Braking" on the hills leading into the Huron River Valley at M-14 and Main St.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:21 a.m.

Before worrying about speed limits, the first thing that money should be put towards is driver education in Ann Arbor. I have never seen a higher concentration of horrible drivers than in AA. It's a statistical anomaly. People tailgate in and around Ann Arbor (I know I do) because it's the only city I have ever lived in where DROVES OF PEOPLE CONSISTENTLY DRIVE 5-10 MPH BELOW THE SPEED LIMIT ALL OVER (AND ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF) THE CITY. PS - Sorry for the rant, I just hate driving around here.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:20 a.m.

How about a reporter add a link to the MDOT designs for the full cloverleaf interchange (and other options) for the Barton Road entrance and exit ramps. MDOT has owned the land from Pontiac Trail to M14 and around the interchange for years. The improvements were rejected since the the northbound US23 left lane merge would be too close to the east bound M14 entrance from Barton.

Guinea Pig in a Tophat

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:17 a.m.

I remember the "Have an accident and need a lawyer? Call 734..." sign that was placed in full view when you were exiting off on Barton Drive. What a disaster that onramp/offramp is. I have heard that the ramp was temporary but there was some sticky wicket that prevented a better onramp and offramp from being built. Anyone else hear of that or know any details?


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:15 a.m.

1) The Barton ramp to East bound needs to be closed. It is a safety hazard. 2) Everyone traveling these roads knows the change reflects the speed everyone is going. Should be 70.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:10 a.m.

Bad, bad decision! The variation in speed of the traffic in this area will now be even worse. The commuters going 65 mph through the old 55 zone will now be going 75 through the new 65 zone. All the while, the exiting and entering traffic will continue at its usual slower speeds. At the higher speeds, I predict that tailgating will continue in this area and some aggressive, idiotic drivers will continue to try their luck at passing on the right - therefore dangerously cutting off the entering traffic from Main and/or Barton.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:08 a.m.

Speed kills.

Steven P. Puhl

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 7:04 a.m.

It seems to me that MDOT and A2 missed the point here since most traffic going thru this section (E or W) mirrors traffic movement and usually at high speeds. However, what I have always thought "IDIOTIC" was pulling off of Barton Drive onto eastbound 14 from a standing "stop" into a high speed lane! Who designed that?!? I avoid it like the plague..........


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 6:48 a.m.

YAY!!!! Finally! As an eastbound morning commuter, it was always bottlenecked with truckers having to slow WAY down going down the hill then they'd have no momentum to get up the opposite hill. Thank you MDOT!


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 6:44 a.m.

How did Ann Arbor end up with what may be the two worst freeway entrance ramps in the state? Those are of course the subject Barton Drive to eastbound M-14 with its stop sign, and Jackson Avenue to eastbound I-94 with its tight 90 degree turn at the bottom of the hill. They both do give me the opportunity for letting the 430 horsepower monster loose for a rapid acceleration run up to highway speeds however, which is generally fun. Just don't try it with the traction and stability controls switched off. Zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds can have its advantages...


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 6:29 a.m.

@KJMClark: I don't believe M-14 through traffic has any obligation to move over into the left lane so it's easier for entering North Main Street traffic to merge. You did hit on one of the problems there however. That on ramp traffic should be accelerating from 40 to the highway speed (be it the old 55, or the new 65) as it comes up the ramp. As you reach the top there, you should already be going the highway speed and that will make merging easier. Too many just putz up the ramp at 40 or 45 though, and then expect to merge while they're still 10 to 20 miles per hour slower than the highway traffic. It don't work like that...


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 6:25 a.m.

Now, that R E A L L Y (wrong!) makes a lot of adjust the speed limit to the speed of the traffic. Next we'll be seeing signs replacing the current 70 mph on most highways and 60 for trucks to match their real speeds. Why have speed limits if they are meaningless, if they simply mirror the speed of the traffic?

Jed I Knight

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 6:25 a.m.

The only problem with the speed change is not the highway itself but the stupid arse entrance ramp from Barton Drive onto M-14. Not only is it way too short to get up to highway speed but it has a stop sign before entering the highway. That needs to change before any other changes on that road are done. -> Exactly.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 6:20 a.m.

I agree the Barton and Main entrance ramps need some revamping. What I find odd is that it appears there is plenty of room for a Baron full entrance ramp versus a stop sign. At 55 it was not much different than a rural surface road entry from a stop but at 65 it's a little harder to get up to speed I fear. I do agree most people went 60-65 through the area, so the speed increase may not have much of an impact as I don't see many people going that much faster due to the increase. I suppose we'll have to see. Driver beware. (P.S. Your satellite map has the wrong coordinates. It's picking up the Newport Road overpass versus the Barton underpass. )


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 6:06 a.m.

The problem isn't the Barton ramp, it's traffic from Main Street. People come up from Main on a fairly slow, tight, blind curve onto the bridge. Then they have to merge with people coming down a fast, downhill, with good visibility, who rarely get over in the left lane to allow for merging traffic. It's not just a trickle entering from Main, at times there is far more traffic from Main than on EB M-14, but people on M-14 won't get in the left lane. For some reason, people entering and exiting don't bother to signal half the time and don't yield properly either. The crash reports don't help. The conflicts occur at the point where Main traffic attempts to merge with M-14 traffic, which happens to be over Barton Drive. The actual conflicts due to the Barton/Whitmore Lake ramps are minor compared to the Main/M-14 crash dance. How do they do these speed studies so that they ignore the speed of the traffic entering/exiting on the highest conflict part of the area? It looks like they put their speed tapes on the approaches to the conflicts - the fast, downhill, good visibility spots with no merges yet - and ignored the 40mph traffic attempting to merge. I'll just ignore the speed limit change there, thanks.


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 5:37 a.m.

This is going to seriously impact the AA city budget!

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 5:32 a.m.

speed limit? you're kidding me. it's a race track through there...

Alex Ackley

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 5:21 a.m.

The only problem with the speed change is not the highway itself but the stupid arse entrance ramp from Barton Drive onto M-14. Not only is it way too short to get up to highway speed but it has a stop sign before entering the highway. That needs to change before any other changes on that road are done.