You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 7:08 a.m.

New roundabout on South State: 'You either love them or hate them'

By Lisa Allmendinger


A look at the proposed roundabout at State Road and Ellsworth Road in Pittsfield Township.

Lisa Allmendinger |

An informational meeting about a proposed roundabout at State and Ellsworth roads near the Costco site drew about 250 people to Pittsfield Township Hall Wednesday night.

Many in the audience expressed concerns about the roundabout, questioning whether this was the best way to handle additional traffic, bikes and people expected to traverse the intersection. They asked if officials had considered that this route becomes a cut-through when Interstate 94 is backed up or other adjacent roads are clogged with traffic.

Residents repeatedly reminded officials that on home football Saturdays in Ann Arbor, there are 100,000 more people in town, many of whom don't know how to drive through a roundabout.

“All circles are not created equal,” said Mark McCulloch, an engineer for the Washtenaw County Road Commission, who is in charge of the project.


Mark McCulloch, the project engineer for the new proposed roundabout in Pittsfield Township.

Lisa Allmendinger |

He stressed that the roundabout proposed for State and Ellsworth would not be like the one on Lee Road near Brighton, which some residents said was very confusing.

Because this roundabout will be located near the Pittsfield Township Senior Center, several people in the audience said they hoped the Road Commission would provide seniors with training and a video so they could learn how to drive around it. Several asked if Road Commission officials would drive them through the roundabout so they’d be more comfortable navigating it.

More information about the history and safety features of roundabouts can be found here.

Additional information about how to navigate roundabouts can be found here.

McCulloch, who has worked on roundabouts for the Road Commission for the last five years, said that once people get used to roundabouts, they often end up liking them.

“I’ve been told roundabouts are like the Yankees. You either love them or hate them,” he said.

The proposed roundabout in Pittsfield Township will not be a “figure-eight” design, which is what makes the Lee Road one so difficult for many people to navigate.

He said roundabouts can cost between $700,000 to $2 million depending on the size and cost of acquiring a right of way for the project. If the land needed for a right of way is in a commercial or industrial area, the costs tend to be higher than in a residential area, he said.

The Road Commission was awarded federal aid in the amount of $1.4 million dollars for construction through a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant known as CMAQ.

In addition, Costco contributed $500,000 that will be used to pay for the design, construction engineering and testing and any needed right-of-way easements to construct the roundabout at the intersection, he said.

Several residents said they thought the proposed roundabout was too small for the amount of hourly traffic that already goes through that intersection, which is estimated to be between 3,000 and 3,500 vehicles.

“Although the concept by definition is a good concept,” one resident said, he called the proposed one “a toy roundabout,” when compared to European counterparts.

He pointed to the Maple Road roundabout where “half the signs are busted” as an example of another one that’s not large enough.

Another resident asked if there was anything he or she could do “to stop this madness.”

Road Commission officials said that this was the most feasible and safe alternative for moving vehicles, bikes and pedestrians through the area.

“I want this to be successful and for people to like it,” McCulloch said.

Wes Butch, planning division manager for DLZ Michigan, Inc. of Lansing, design consultant for the project, told residents that computer models were designed using a projected traffic flow that took into account a 20-percent growth rate in the area.

He expects about 5,000 cars to flow through the roundabout per hour.

When constructed in 2013, this will be the 10th roundabout in the county. It’s expected that construction would begin next April or May and be completed in time for Labor Day and the first home U-M football game.

Wednesday night’s meeting was the first forum on the project, and another meeting with more details is planned before construction commences.

Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for, who also covers the Washtenaw County Road Commission. She can be reached at


Another look at the proposed new roundabout in Pittsfield Township.

Lisa Allmendinger |


Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 2:12 a.m.

someone bttter recognize that, leaving costco eastbound on ellsworth and then turning north to i-94 at state, FIFTY-THREE FOOT tractor trailers are gonna gum iup the works for that 270-degree turn, big-time. won;t be too tough coming in though., only a 90-degree turn.


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 5:50 a.m.

Bad idea, so just think foot ball, rush hour traffic


Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 12:17 p.m.

Roundabouts work fine -if there isn't much traffic. I have driven in England on a holiday, and spent literally 90 minutes going through a roundabout. I can just about guarantee that the volume of traffic going through the proposed roundabout on South State will create a madhouse, plenty of lots tempers and time, and one ungodly mess. Keep this in mind after you open it for traffic. A. C. Wooll


Thu, Apr 5, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

I have driven in England and Wales. I think the problem with local roundabouts os that they are too small, especially if buses and trucks use them. There is one in downtown Brighton that was built for mini cars! If people just take it easy and try to learn something new you will probably find that you like the way the traffic flows. I think Americans are too quick to disparage anything they have no experience with. I do agree that football Saturdays will be a mess, but then I stay home anyway, get all errands done early, or just wait.

Jon Saalberg

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 10:02 p.m.

One reason people don't like roundabouts is that they require drivers to pay attention while driving, so that means all the other activities many people do while driving, such as talking on the phone, texting, eating, smoking, etc., must be relegated to second tier status while said drivers actually pay attention to their driving. And since the point of driving a car is to drive the car, that is a good thing, since so many drivers think they can multi-task while piloting a two ton piece of steel without causing mayhem. And as the series showed, and my near collisions with inattentive drivers proves, we definitely have a poor driver epidemic in our state.

say it plain

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 1:43 a.m.

exactly. european driving can require all that attention, for the roundabouts and other features, but the general lack of stopping more than makes up for it in terms of creating a generally more pleasant driving experience! The way we do traffic management in the US has probably encouraged even people who would like to pay more attention to the road as they drive to find *something* to do with their time as they stop, and stop, and stop again!

Momma G

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

The seniors have enough trouble getting into the senior center now. Just imagine when a round-about is put in. Sorry, but I hate roundabouts and that intersection is not the best place for one. Get real McCulloch.


Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 4:44 a.m.

Engineer? You must be joking - there is nothing "engineered" about this horizontal speed bump. If it made any sense, would it need 23 signs to work? Roundabouts are hugely successful when done right, but that takes something we don't want to talk about - MONEY. by LAND. Check out the ancient roundabouts in Europe that are large enough to circle and change lanes as vehicles maneuver to the next road. This is nothing like that - more like the disastrous mess near Skyline High. Very disappointing to see ideas taken from other countries, screwed up to save a few bucks, than thrown out there for us to deal with.

Thinking over here

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

According to the replier of one of the posts: AAW at 7:57 AM on March 1, 2012 "The design does not allow cars and trucks to be in the round about at the same time. " How does this work?

Ann English

Sat, Mar 3, 2012 : 1:02 a.m.

The roundabouts near Skyline High are designed for both school buses and cars. Nobody is mentioning buses in roundabouts, only trucks.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 5 p.m.

Noooooooooooooo! I hate roundabouts, especially the ones in Brighton by that Costco. I hope this doesn't happen!!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

Lisa Tubbs was a member of MDOT and advocated for them before her death a few years back. She is remembered for that lovely round about in Brighton, near that strip mall and on highway I 96 near the Kensington exit. RIP I for one want to see one at the State Street exit not at the Ellsworth site. But then again with COSTCO coming? Not a bad idea.

Bernhard Muller

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

I generally like the way Europeans have implemented roundabouts. They work, and traffic flow is barely impeded. Our implementations seem to me to be less optimal. The circles are too small, and the design is often complex with two entry or exit lanes. Virtually all European circles are the same, so when you approach one, you know what you have to do. Ours are all different, and can be a real headache to navigate if you are unfamiliar with the area, particularly at night. In addition to the problems of inconsistent design and small size the proposed roundabouts have pedestrian crossings with pedestrian right of way at the exits of the roundabouts. So when a pedestrian, especially a slow one crosses, the traffic flow in the entire circle can come to a halt. This is simply asking for rear end collisions. I like big, simple, uniform traffic circles without fear of running over pedestrians.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

After getting use to the one near Skyline, I am now a true believer in them now that there is one on Whittaker Road near the drug store and the library. Now, can we get one on Ecorse Road and Belleville Road? Please?


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

Sometimes you have to do the best you can with what you have. We are retrofitting a lot of intersections. The question isn't if this is the best possible implementation of a roundabout, but is it the best solution for a particular intersection, given the constraints.

Hal Dotson

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

There is a town in Switzerland about the same size as Ann Arbor (SanGallon) that has no traffic lights at all, only roundabouts. It has the safest driving statistics of any city in Europe.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

Do their people have the "Get out of my way or I'll run you over" mentality that the metro Detroit area has?


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

Geez, this intersection is not a problem. The I-94/State ramps ARE a problem, why don 't they address that?!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

Wow, someone else that agrees with me. Thank you.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.



Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

Can we sell tickets and errect bleachers so we can watch the AATA buses navigate a roundabout????? How will the light rail lines navigate a roundabout or can we transform them into turnabouts?????? This is folly!

Scott Batson

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 11:32 p.m.

light rail runs near and through several modern roundabouts throughout the world, even here in the US (Salt Lake City). Just like other intersections that rail interferes with, the cars stop, the train goes by, the cars go again.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Try watching school buses at 7 am near Skyline. Now that gets interesting to say the least. Near misses R Us is the key phrase at that hour.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

Abject crap....don't forget to put in foreign language signs and " zebra " pedestrian crossings too and a kiosk with instruction pamphlets at each entrance ..feel sorry for the speedway station that just spent a bundle on a redo ..looks like their gone...slower speeds ...bull... havent seen that yet at any I'm forced to use..send these people back to planet wacko where they belong...that intersection works just fine as it is.....just more wasted spending courtesy of your wallet......


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Many of the comments show concern for large vehicle and pedestrian use at the roundabouts. Large vehicles - buses, fire trucks, semi-tractor & trailers - can all navigate through safely at 15 mph. Cautious drivers of smaller vehicles can certainly give up a few seconds of their time and let these big vehicles move through the roundabout alone. ( It's just a few seconds out of your busy schedule...) Pedestrian safety is VERY well planned at roundabout intersections. The crosswalks - non-motorized pathways- are set a distance away from the roundabout lanes to allow cars to leave the circle and come to a stop, allowing pedestrians to cross. Rather than crossing 5-7 lanes at a signal-controlled intersection, pedestrians need only to cross half the lanes - with traffic coming from only the left- wait on the splitter (island,) then travel the other half of the lanes - with traffic coming only from the right. Unfortunately, ALL pedestrians are ALWAYS at a risk when going up against moving metal machines. Drivers ignore or are ignorant about crosswalks, wherever they are. I believe pedestrians have a better chance against traffic just leaving a roundabout (because it would be moving at 15 mph, right?) rather than crossing at the middle of a block against traffic moving at 35-45 mph. Get educated. Help inform others on the


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

Might want to take a look at how they do this in Brighton and I also believe at the Skyline one as well. Very interesting to see technology at work.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

Roundabouts are unsafe because too many drivers do not know how to navigate through them.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:13 p.m.

Channel 4 news a few years ago had a small segment on how to navigate a round about. Might want to see if it is on U Tube or on their web site. As a bus driver we too had to be taught how to navigate them as well. Talk about tail swing.

Jake C

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

Yet drivers don't know how to navigate roundabouts because we don't have enough of them in Michigan. Sounds like a Catch-22, no?


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:24 p.m.

The first time through each roundabout is a learning experience. as each is a unique design. Common Sense Rule #1 (and the law): DRIVE SLOWLY THROUGH A ROUNDABOUT. Posted speeds are usually 15 mph within the roundabout. Not too many "bad things" can happen at 15 mph! Rule #2: STAY IN YOUR LANE. Get into the proper lane BEFORE you enter the circle. Again, the first time through could be a bit confusing. Slow down BEFORE you get to the roundabout and read the signs that show you how to proceed. Rule #3: Traffic already within the circle has the right of way. Traffic entering the circle must yield. Rulle #4: Traffic already within the roundabout should KEEP MOVING (unless avoiding an accident) - If you randomly slow down, other drivers will consider that an opportunity to merge and move on! (Yes, they are wrong... but they are now on their way while you are sitting still in the roundabout looking silly...) Rule #5: Legal crosswalks are usually set a comfortable distance from the roundabout lanes. Drivers need to be aware as that they "whip through" those roundabouts at 15 mph that they may need to make a sudden stop while a pedestrian crosses. Note: I have seen pedestrians ignore the crosswalks and cut directly across the circle in the middle of a roundabout... As one WCRC representative said: We don't design intersections for people who break the law. Not really a rule, but common sense: At 15 mph, we (seasoned and confidant roundabout travelers) can all afford to be nice for a few seconds and let first-timers or timid drivers travel through a roundabout without us tailgaiting or blowing our horns. (The time we "waste" is still less than waiting at a red light.) They are probably from out of town and have just spent some money in our fair city. Give them a brake! Break! Get educated about roundabouts. Talk to friends, family members, neighbors, etc., and make sure they all know about proper travel through roundabouts.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 11:29 a.m.

These are excellent, they reduce air pollution from standing vehicles and studies show are the safest form of travel through an intersection with regard to fatalities, but you have to get off your cell phones and concentrate on the road.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:10 a.m.

I did not attend the meeting nor have I read how people exiting from the gas station onto State Street are suppose to able to turn. At least with a traffic light you are able to merge into the first lane when the light is red, that is if your turning right. Turning left I see being a hopeless case because even with a red light drivers didn't let people out (when they could turn left on to State Street). Then the comments that there are not many semi trucks going through this intersection are wrong, there are many business down Elsworth in both directions that have deliveries. Then there is the bus stop just around the corner on Elsworth - are they moving it or eliminating it? I don't have anything against roundabouts, they are helpful in certain areas but I do not see this intersection being a good location for one.

Jake C

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

It looks pretty simple to me -- drivers exist the new gas station on State St. going north. From there, you can go in any direction because there's a roundabout now, including State St. South (which is the hardest turn to make with the existing design).

Rod Johnson

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 7 a.m.

Getting out of that gas station is a miserable experience now--especially going south on State. I imagine that whole lot will have to get a redesign.

Scott Batson

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world. Visit <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> for FAQs and safety facts. If you want to see the difference between a traffic circle, a rotary (UK roundabout) and a modern roundabout, search <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> to see pictures. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> has a video about modern roundabouts that is mostly accurate (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> ).


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

Has ANYONE - including the WCRC- considered the BIG TRUCK TRAFFIC and this roundabout? Major truck traffic on this route!!! Is it going to be wide enough for cars AND the big trucks to navigate through together WITH OUT problems?? Sure, a gravel train can probably move through easily enough, but what about a straight 53 foot semi trailer?? The big trucks need room for sharp curves that also wont crowd the cars or their lanes! I don't think this is a good intersection for a roundabout.... by the way, is Ellsworth Rd also going to be widened???? That would help with traffic flow on that road, especially if you get behind a city bus and there is no place to pass ..... just a thought.

Rod Johnson

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 6:59 a.m.

Gosh, I bet the thousands of traffic engineers who have built the tens of thousands of modern roundabouts around the world in the last 60 years have never encountered the problem of trucks. You should definitely call MDOT and share this insight with them.

Jed I Knight

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

Round abouts and well timed traffic could end our dependence on foreign oil. Do you know the gas mileage we'd get it we didnt have to start and stop.

say it plain

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

Love 'em, love 'em, love 'em! Soon we'll all learn how to use them and it will be even better! Safer, prettier, wheeeeee....

say it plain

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

I actually think that roundabouts in the US should come with a loudspeaker in the middle playing calliope music. It would get the drivers in the *right* mood for proper roundabout use...slow steady entering, not the zoomzoom!runforit! I see too often. All aboard folks, find a little space and (slowly)jump right in. Very different from what we're used to at intersections but it works so well if done right, and if done right, you hardly have to *stop*, hooray! I can get used to that... the interminable waiting at lights around here can be soooo very tiresome, and actually encourage speeding and bad driving, because you find yourself so frustrated with all the stopping that a clear stretch of red-light free road looks like an invitation to make up time!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

Just please don't sing that song Round and Round.....I might just get dizzy.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

Real roundabouts and how they should look and function. Marshall Michigan Roundabout <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Roundabout.jpg Roundabout.jpg large_roundabout.png


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

Sixty years ago in the northeastern US we called these things rotaries. Another example of the dumbing down of the language: when did they start using baby talk i.e. round-about for these things. Back in the day the ones I remember were much much larger than the ones in the A2 area and seemed thereby to work much better. The proposed circle at Ellsworth and State looks way too small!!!

Rod Johnson

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 6:55 a.m.

There's always some guy who wants you to know things were better in his day, and he's usually wrong. Roundabouts are not the same as rotaries: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> And they've been called roundabouts for nearly a hundred years.

Ann English

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:37 a.m.

I don't know if one in a Montpelier, Vermont school district is sixty years old, but the safety of that roundabout has been covered over the Internet. Safe for schoolchildren who walk to school.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:49 p.m.

Wow - 143 comments on a done deal.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

Should make a great &quot;walkabout&quot; when gas prices blow through the roof.

Basic Bob

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

How does the State Road widening fit into this? The Road Commission is working on that, too. And why are they even looking at these project when US-12 grades an &quot;F&quot;? Easy, this is pork barrel and political favoritism. Widen the roads to Costco, narrow them to Walmart.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

I am tremendously in favor of the roundabout. I'm a resident, and I drive through the area in question almost daily. My experiences with roundabouts, both here and elsewhere, have been very positive. I am happy to hear there will be a new roundabout in an area I traverse frequently.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

I think the Road commissions computer studies are computer studies. Computers do not take into account for drives that are distracted by, a bad morning, running late, how traffic flows and who is waiting. It sees a perfect world of moving objects that move in perfect timing. To improve this intersection look north. First widen I-94 to 3 lanes from US23 to M-14, Second replace the State road bridge with a vastly better designed bridge, better turn lanes and sightlines. Three widen State and Ellsworth roads to two lanes with proper turn lanes and signage. This Round-about is not going to improve traffic flow. FYI, Trucks travel on state all the time, get ready for some side-swipes

Jake C

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:36 p.m.

Those sound like excellent proposals, but do you understand how much those 3 proposals of yours would cost, especially compared with the cost of putting in a simple roundabout? Not to mention the long-term traffic disaster it would cause on I-94 and State and Ellsworth while widening construction is being done. Remember how bad things were when they were just doing a simple re-paving on that stretch of 94 over the past 2-3 years?


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:57 p.m.

The roundabouts -- I like The drivers who don't know howto use them -- I don't like.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:18 p.m.

I remember a funny now, not then when the Skyline round about came into being. People would forget about them and well, one driver went over it and not around it. Sad. There were a lot of accidents then because they were new and people did not understand it. Good luck over there.

Wolf's Bane

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:36 p.m.

Roundabouts are not new and offer added safety to drivers and pedestrians alike. I am happy to hear that yet another stop light will bite the dust. Now, how to educate American drivers in using roundabouts correctly?

Ann English

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

I figure Paul W. Smith of WJR (760 AM) still offers online his instructional video on how to use roundabouts. I watched his online video among others for learning how to drive through roundabouts before the ones nearest home went in.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

They are adding a new light at Ellsworth and Airport Dr. I guess stop lights aren't so bad or they would put another roundabout there.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

For those saying roundabouts keep traffic moving as well as a traditional intersection, I say &quot;hogwash&quot;! I have been backed up at the Nixon rotary for the same amount of time as when it was a 4-way stop. There are still many people who won't yield and charge right in regardless of any oncoming traffic. I can almost see &quot;Mr. Mayhem&quot; from Allstate dancing through the proposed rotary now.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:19 p.m.

Don't give that company any new ideas. Although I would love to see that one too. I love Mayhem.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:09 p.m.

This makes me laugh!! Total insanity!!! I so know the collision repair groups are behind this!!!! Oh the complete and total mess this will create!!!!!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

My question is kind of wordy, but please bare with me. My question is for those who have used busy roundabouts (I think Geddes/23 might be the only one around here that gets really busy). I usually am traveling opposite of most of the 5:00 traffic. I am coming from w. ellsworth and going straight through the light continuing on E. Ellsworth. Most people at that time are going straight both directions along State or coming west on Ellsworth and turning right on to State. This means with a roundabout, that the people coming south on state will usually not have to wait because everyone to their left is exiting the circle to go to the freeway. I am worried that this means they will maintain a constant flow and those of us to their right will find it difficult to find a place to fit ourselves in because we aren't in the main &quot;flow&quot;. Can anyone who drives the less traveled road on their roundabout speak to this concern? Thanks!

Jake C

Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 3:40 a.m.

@aamom: this is a truly busy roundabout. Anything in America is just child's play by comparison: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 5:51 p.m.

Thanks Jake C. You are probably right about it feeling longer because you have to stay focused on it. I don't hate roundabouts and feel comfortable navigating them. I just have never seen one work with as much traffic as that intersection gets at rush hour because of the freeway entrance. A lot of times at these circles, as you drive up, if you see no one coming to your left, you don't even really yield. You just kind of stream in behind the car in front of you. Everyone does it and it's usually not a problem. This is the situation that I worry about for folks trying to enter from W. Ellsworth. Facing the constant stream of cars without the break that you see on all these You Tube videos. I've been trying to find a video of a busy roundabout, but I can't find one. I don't' need help navigating or understanding it, I just want to see a busy one in use. I guess there's nothing to do but wait and see and I honestly do hope I'm wrong.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

snark got deleted I think. If you really need a tutorial? Channel 4 news on line or U Tube has something to help you navigate these things. Better to be informed then uninformed. They did widen that area? Only I am in agreement, it made it worse then it already is. Good luck.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

&quot;I should just gun it and at least the accident won't be bad because everyone is going 25mph? Sounds great.&quot; If you feel that is the right thing to do, then have at it. Sounds great to me too.

Jake C

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

Have you ever merged from State St. to I-94 East at rush hour (when traffic is moving 5-10 MPH)? It really won't be much different from that. Or if you're a timid person and no one is &quot;letting you in&quot; in the roundabout, sometimes you'll just have to wait a minute or two before you're able to go. It's not that much different from how long you'd be waiting at a red light. It just &quot;feels&quot; a lot longer because you're constantly looking for an opening in traffic, instead of just sitting and zoning out and waiting for a light to turn green.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:20 a.m.

Thank you Jim for providing an answer without snark. It is appreciated. I honestly was hoping people who drive through these at rush hour would assure me that I was wrong and that it will work better than I anticipate. I got an agreement and rudeness. I actually like roundabouts for those places where you normally wait at a red light while hardly any traffic goes by. They are fantastic in those situations. Here's hoping it will be better than I think it will. As for Eyeheart's &quot;I would advise waiting for a truck to be on your left.&quot; Wow. I can't imagine saying (or typing) that kind of thing to someone. Even if I disagreed with them.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

So eyeheart, if I understand what you and many posters above are saying, concerning my specific situation, I should just gun it and at least the accident won't be bad because everyone is going 25mph? Sounds great. Can't wait for it.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.

Get a car with some horsepower....and use it.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Good luck navigating against traffic in a roundabout. I have hit every heavily traveled roundabout against rush hour traffic and it is really bad.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6 p.m.

I personally hate round-abouts, but that may be because so many people just seem to stop instead of merging and yielding where appropriate. That intersection is already pretty large - how about an alternative of putting in automatic lights to guage where the traffic is and move it accordingly, and flashing lights to let you turn left WHENEVER it is safe to do so, rather than wait, if it's safe to turn. I would personally rather see these alternatives than wasting the money on another round-about....fix the roads we already have that actually need something done to them, AND put the money to having two shifts of workers on the Stadium bridge so it can speed things along!!! And while I'm at it, for heavens sakes please OPEN UP 5TH St. in front of the library -- can't believe how long they've been allowed to have that closed down.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:25 p.m.

Roundabouts are fun. Once you been through them a couple of times and know what to do. You can always tell who the rookies are. Their facial expressions look like characters from a Steven Spielberg movie. Except for the Mother of all Roundabouts up off US-23 near Brighton. I feel like Clark Griswald trying to get through that thing.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

Hey Saline Bob -- Great way to articulate the experience -- when I go to the CostCo in Brighton, I sometimes decline to exit the roundabout near CostCo, just so I can take another spin through the WHOLE thing and increase my jollies -- and no, I'm not kidding!!


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:24 p.m.

Try navigating a school bus thru one of those things. OMG! A nightmare to say the lease. And I know who designed it. Great job to her, but wow. What a system.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

Roundabouts are fine. They keep as much traffic moving as there would be using a traditional intersection. We're so used to having lights tell us exactly what to do that it's a shift in thinking to have to make your own decision about when to go and how to merge. My only suggestion is to NOT make them two lanes. The maple road one is just silly. I've been on it many times and have never seen a driver in both lanes at the same time - it's too disorienting to drive in a circle right next to another car. The Brighton circles are confusing because they try to assign lanes to certain traffic and destinations.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:20 p.m.

Only because it is too small! Large roundabouts are a joy to use, small ones are dangerous or not used properly.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

I use the round-a- about near Miller and Maple often, it is fine for the amount of traffic the area sees. That is when cars use it correctly. However the intersection at State and Ellsworth is way to busy in my opinion for one. Better timed lights and better lanes would be more effective.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:53 p.m.

I should say, b/c others have commented on it, that when I exit at the Miller/Maple exit it is two lanes, when you enter the roundabout it is two lanes, I am always in the right hand lane b/c I want to go straight and use the service drive to get to Miller, but 9 times out of 10 the car to the left (inside circle) acts like it is one lane and is driving down the middle whether or not they will be going left down Maple or straight to also use the service drive. on the flip side when I am using the service drive from Miller to Maple to go through the roundabout to get onto the expressway I do indeed need to stop if there is a car driving at me from the left and I swear a great number of people entering from maple to get on to the entrance ramp don't even look to see if there is a car on their left before entering.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

The big problem is people don't understand how the lanes work. First, you have to be prepared so you're in the correct lane well before you enter it - if you have to study the illustration to figure out what to do, it's already too late. The rules for roundabout lanes are very logical, but they're not simple - at least, not in how the lanes work with each other. You have to study the illustrations for a while before you understand why a vehicle in the inside lane will always be able to exit halfway or three-quarters of the way around the circle without interference from other vehicles, assuming other drivers follow the rules. Another problem is that drivers entering a roundabout are conditioned to believe they only have to yield to vehicles in the outside lane. That's how it works in regular intersections, but in a two-lane roundabout, drivers entering the circle must yield to both lanes. I recently had a guy lean on his horn and screech his brakes because he thought I was cutting him off as he entered the roundabout at Brighton as I was exiting from the inside lane after making a 3/4 loop around the circle (entering from the shopping center on the east and exiting onto US 23 south). The rules are straightforward, but we really need some serious driver education efforts on these things.

Tex Treeder

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

That's the thing about roundabouts: They work fine except when they don't.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

The problem is that they are all TOO SMALL!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

We could use roundabouts at Washtenaw &amp; Pittsfield and Washtenaw &amp; Yost (in front of Arborland). These two lousy intersections back up traffic on Washtenaw for miles. People that complain about roundabouts amuse me.

Ann English

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:27 a.m.

That's another thing to consider. What about those traffic signals at the top of hills such as the ones you bring up and southbound Maple at Jackson Road? Ice on the streets can make it risky for cars following one that has to stop at the top of the hill for a red light. Cars stopped on uphill slants lose some traction while idling. At least some momentum is maintained if there's a roundabout at the top of the hill. You don't lose as much traction if you keep moving, even at 15 mph.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:17 p.m.

I really hope they come up with better signage than the other roundabouts in town. I think that most of the problems could be fixed with simple Signs like &quot;State Street South: Right Lane&quot; instead of the crop circle images that are hard to figure out while driving.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:13 p.m.

Please put a roundabout at the Nixon/Green/Dhuvaren intersection. This is the worst in the entire county and is sorely needed.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

Imagine texting in a roundabout. Huron Valley Ambulance is about to get a big bump in business. This is a horrible proposal and only the latte liberal know it alls want this. How do the blind and disabled cross in a roundabout????????? Do roundabouts violate the American Disabailities Act???????????

Kara H

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

Accessibility has been accounted for. As Barb points out, all new crosswalks must be ADA compliant. Pedestrian safety is the primary reason for the crazy-looking z-walks. Other accommodations like lights and sound signals would be added if necessary as the design proceeds.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

Oh Barb, no facts at all. The ADA has not been accounted for in the design and in fact is in violation. Do your homework and don't spill the latte!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:21 p.m.

I would imagine HVA won't ever need to be called for an accident involving cars going 15 mph. And *any* pedestrian access these days is provided with the disabled in mind. So no, the ADA should be just fine with this. Signed, a liberal sipping a latte.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

I have found that they do create better traffic control. The problem I have had is that some drivers drive through them too fast, so you have to stop rather than enter with slower traffic.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:35 p.m.

Told you yesterday before the meeting this was a done deal. Is anyone really surprised? I would have attended the meeting except our Washtenaw County gravel road was flooded, full of pot holes and nearly impassable. 28 years have passed without any major grading, drainage or meaningful effort to even maintain the roadway. No new gravel, the ditches are now overgrown and dead tress present a hazard every time the winds blow. A roundabout to replace an intersection that was recently rebuilt? Priceless! Better have another paved bike path to complete the ensemble.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

All of the roundabouts around here are too small.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:28 p.m.

Toronto has one just south of their museum. That has a house sitting on it. Then there is one in Hartland with a gazebo I think in the center of it. Yes, if it is big enough? They may use it as a park. There were a number of them in Montana when we visited it last.

Ann English

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:20 a.m.

Have you yourself seen the roundabout that the Beatles sing about in their song, &quot;Penny Lane&quot;? I haven't seen it myself, but looking online, they say that THAT roundabout is big enough for a RESTAURANT to sit on it, and one actually does today. I'm figuring that you think of sufficiently big roundabouts to be large enough for a medium-size building to sit on.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

They are only too small if you can't make the turn.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

You may have hit the nail square on the head.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

"I want this to be successful and for people to like it," McCulloch said.&quot; yes, SIR!!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Having spent 10 years commuting through that intersection the proposed roundabout looks very good to me. The biggest thing I see is that eastbound Elsworth does not look to be widened any. It really needs to be 5 lanes all the way to Stone School. During rush hour or when I-94 is backed up the traffic on Ellsworth backs up onto state and the intersection comes to a stop. While pedestrian traffic will increase unless State has sidwalks all the way to at least Avis Farms I don't see that much of an increase. I could see some between Costco and University townhouses, but it makes much more sense to take the bus. I say go for it.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

If people know how to use them it wouldn't be a problem. I work at State and Ellsworth and I cant imagine how screwed up this will end up being. I live need Geddes and US23 and people don't even know how to use those, what makes you think people will know how to use a double lane round about? It's like they see them and just freak out. The drivers going into lanes at the wrong times, not staying in the proper lane and stopping while in the circle to let cars in when you are not supposed to seems to be the biggest problem.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:11 p.m.

If you live near Geddes and US23, you should also know that the traffic backups that used to extend up Earhard up to St. Pauls and over US23 on Geddes have been completely eliminated with the new roundabout. But, I do agree that it is tough to underestimate how moronic some drivers in the country's smartest city are. Backing up in the circle? Really? Why not go around again?


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Geddes and US-23 have at least one double lane roundabout. I know because I passed a minivan on the outside going through there last fall.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

If we're going to have roundabouts in this state - and I think they're a vast improvement - people need to learn how to drive them. Since they involve special rules many drivers haven't encountered before, drivers should have to pass a fairly detailed test on them when renewing their licenses. Put it into a four-year rotation and people would be up to speed fairly quickly. Of course, our current state legislature would never do anything that hints of endorsing an idea out of Europe - so this won't happen anytime soon.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

@ SMC...Touche!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

@SEC Fan: I would have included rule #4, but since people around here can't seem to grasp it any other time, there's no sense confusing them in the traffic circles. If you see a turn signal blinking in Ann Arbor, it was probably like that when the vehicle was purchased.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

@SMC, actually, there is a 4th rule, you're supposed to signal as you EXIT the circle. (At least that's what they teach in Europe.)


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

People don't understand how the lanes work and what constitutes an &quot;appropriate lane.&quot; The rules themselves aren't that complicated, unless you're not aware of them - which most people aren't. Part of the problem is that the illustrative signs at the entrance to roundabouts take a few seconds of study to grasp them - but drivers pass by them too quickly and forget about them until the next time they come to one. Seriously, these things require a driver education program - never underestimate the ability of people to fail to grasp a simple concept.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

Special rules? They really aren't that complicated: 1) Yield for traffic already in the circle before entering. (LOOK LEFT) 2) Once in in the circle, use appropriate lane. 3) DO NOT STOP when you are in the circle. Seriously, how hard is that?


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3 p.m.

Traffic circles are safer and more efficient, as numerous studies have shown. For those who say that they're too complex and people have a hard time understanding them, I should point out that many intersections on Michigan State University's campus have had them for years, and the drivers and pedestrians seem to get by. If those Spartans can figure them out, then surely the enlightened and educated populace of Ann Arbor should have no trouble at all.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

There used to be more than one. My recollections are from a few years, and many drinks ago.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

The one I can think of was really big too, wasn't it? Much bigger than the one proposed.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

SMC WRONG! There is exactly ONE &quot;traffic circle&quot; on the MSU Campus. that I know of at BOGUE and Shaw. Maybe the Spartans could not figure them out. Or they figured out they did not like them and removed some.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

They've removed most, if not all, of them. I don't know what that means.

John Q

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

What I want to know is how the roundabout opponents managed to safely get down the road to attend the meeting. If they can't manage to drive through a roundabout, they should have their driver's license taken away.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

I think it is more about not thinking a roundabout will help the intersection rather than a fear of driving through it.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

What's with the crazy pedestrian crosswalks?

Jake C

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

But there is a Pittsfield community center / senior center / voting precinct on one corner of this intersection. Some people need to take the bus to get there. The bus doesn't pull into the parking lot to drop you off, it drops you off on the side of the road. Therefore, some people will need to cross State and/or Ellsworth to get there. Listen, it's simple, really. These pedestrian crossings are nothing more than a few painted lines, slabs of concrete, and signs. Dirt cheap. What possible reason could you have to oppose making things safer for the rare occasion where someone might actually need to walk across a street?


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

Doesn't matter, Mick52. No matter where in Ann Arbor, walking/biking/rollerskating/Segway-ing must be encouraged, regardless of how much sense it makes... Like, say, near S. State and Ellsworth, where there aren't sidewalks.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

Is there going to be a lot of pedestrians in that area? With little residential development, there should not be many pedestrians anyway.

Jake C

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

It's a good design. You don't want pedestrians crossing the road where drivers are still focused on watching the oncoming cars to their left, and not what's in the road in front of them. It lets drivers finish going through the intersection, then they can look forward and see if there's a pedestrian trying to cross.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

Not that the pedestrians in this town would ever bother to look for oncoming traffic, mind you.

John Q

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

The pedestrian crosswalks are off set to provide room for drivers to stop, if necessary and for pedestrians to see oncoming traffic.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

This could be an issue for semi trucks. There is not much pedestrian traffic. There are no residential areas adjacent to this intersection. There is nowhere to walk south of State Street past the interesection.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

I think Pittsfield's big master plan called for mixed commercial/residential. Something about artist live/work residences. I don't actually see that happening, but sellers has a point that what is the point of the master plan if you don't use it to make decisions for the future?


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

Not sure how that would work since half a block or so down will be the Costco center. Any residential development will be many years away. I drive through that intersection enough to become very familar with that area so I just don't see pedestrian traffic as ever being a concern. I can see people walking from the residential area further west on Ellsworth on the north side but that would not affect the roundabout.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

There is a planning proposal for redoing the NW corner to be residential, urban commercial, and pedestrian heavy. While not there now, it's something to plan for if planning has any value.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

I attended the &quot;Informational&quot; meeting on the &quot;Proposed&quot; roundabout and they were flat out lying to us. This a done deal, no public input. We have a group of engineers in the state that are ramming this down everyones throat and thats it. There was a large turn out last night and I would dare them to ask for a show of hands because it was universal that we don't want this. It will be jammed in any emergency situation on I-94, Semi-trucks are OK to take up two lanes trying to use these (too bad if you are in the second lane!). They still will funnel multiple lanes of traffic into one lane on Ellsworth and their response is &quot;you will be less likely to be killed because everyone is going so slow!!!&quot;. No one from Costco was there last night I was told and they should be; this is why I won't patronize them, it's much easier to go to Sam's Club on Carpenter rd. then try and deal with this mess that will be there for years as they try to build this. Pittsfield and Ann Arbor aren't even considering talking to each other about widening Ellsworth or State which MUST be done but neither will act as it's the border between the two. All that they are doing is putting in a round cork to block the bottle even more.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

Widening State street to the south of Ellsworth is planned for the future. Widening Elseworth to the East really needs to be done, but I suspect easements are an issue over by AVFuel.

Jake C

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

&quot;Semi-trucks are OK to take up two lanes trying to use these (too bad if you are in the second lane!)&quot; And how is that any different from the current intersection?

John Q

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

If you can't handle a roundabout, you shouldn't be on the roads.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

The article mentions nothing about the light at State and Research Park Dr./Airport Rd, the traffic congestion on Ellsworth, social security offices and the charter school on Research Park Dr. and having to cross Ellesworth for a city bus stop. Were any of these mentioned at the meeting? If so, what were the answers. These intersections are just out of range of the graphic provided.

Heidi Koester

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

The success of this will depend a lot on the details of the design, but based on my experience with the circle at Nixon and Huron Pkwy, I'm optimistic. Everyone thought the sky was falling then, too, but the circle has dramatically improved traffic flow and actually feels much safer to me when I'm walking or biking. Ellsworth and State is certainly a very different location, but I bet an appropriate design would achieve much the same benefits.

Ann English

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:08 a.m.

I have gotten the impression at the Nixon-Huron Parkway roundabout that it was designed with pedestrian safety in mind, with pedestrian islands and each side having a strip of freeway-shoulder grooved pavement, noisy and rattling to go over. We don't like going over such surfaces at high speeds; that's most likely why the strips were put in: so bikers and pedestrians would be safer.

Tex Treeder

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

While roundabouts might be better for some intersections than 4-way stops or traffic lights, I don't see how they work well with mixed vehicle/pedestrian traffic, particularly given Ann Arbor's crosswalk ordinance.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

The basic foundation about safer is by death or severe injury. Speeds in roundabouts and traffic circles are slower. Accidents are nowhere near as severe when they do happen, as the impact speeds are 25mph or less. Someone running a red light at 45-50mph and broadsiding a cart is much more severe. Also, the angle of impact is less orthogonal and thus the forces are joined verses opposed (e.g. you bump each other verses broadside)

Jim Osborn

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:04 p.m.

This is not all in Ann Arbor, it is crossing into Pittsfield Twp. on the south side


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

As Mike D. points out above, they are much safer...if they are properly designed. The problem that I've noticed is that they are way too small, and too much energy is devoted to trying to control traffic on the roundabout. In the east they are very large and there are no lane markings in the roundabout. You hop on, go around, and hop off. It is sometimes impossible with these small ones to get to the proper inside lane across traffic in order to not be shuffled off where you don't want to be when traffic is heavy. I think that they should talk to traffic engineers with experience in roundabouts.

Kara H

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

I wish they could be larger too, but commercial property is hard to purchase. The key with these roundabouts is to not 'jockey for position.' You enter them in the proper lane and you can exist them unimpeded. Nice instructions from the DOT folks in AZ: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> There are some good videos by MDOT on their site and YouTube too.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:38 p.m.

Exactly. These are way to small. Roundabouts in England have a larger circumference allowing people to jockey for position properly.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

Roundabouts work great, if people know how to drive through them. They really get traffic through a congested or high-traffic area and reduces wait time. I live less than a mile away from the roundabouts on N Maple and they only reason why they get frustrating is the other drivers don't know what they're doing.

Ann English

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:02 a.m.

Isn't it great to use roundabouts for making U-turns if you miss the road you meant to turn onto?


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

I like roundabouts. I am dubious about the claim that the presence of Costco will only increase traffic at that intersection by 20%.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

I am forever an optimist! I think Ann Arbor residents can rise to the occasion and &quot;learn&quot; how to smoothly navigate the new roundabout, after all... those of us who live in YPSILANTI have done so at Stony Creek and Whittaker... The improved roundabout model is deliberately &quot;small&quot; to slow the speed of traffic. If the posted speed limit is 15 mph within the circle, simply slow down and drive 15 mph through the circle. Very simple concept. There are still plenty of people who don't seem to be able to manage regular traffic-signal intersections... these might be the ones you see turning left into a roundabout, or, backing up in a roundabout because they missed the road the first time... (yes, with my own eyes!) I am pro-roundabouts. I am against drivers who are: Distracted, uninformed, self-important, and occasionally those who are &quot;too nice&quot;. Know the rules and regulations and follow them. Simple, right?

5c0++ H4d13y

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

It's usually the out of town visitors that are they problem.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

&quot;I am against drivers who are: Distracted, uninformed, self-important, and occasionally those who are &quot;too nice&quot;. Know the rules and regulations and follow them. Simple, right?&quot; Here here!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

Bad idea. No lights at one of the busiest intersections in A2? It's congested enough the way it is now. Can't imagine Semi's and other trucks venturing through a roundabout during rush hour. When going to Costco in Brighton I always avoid the roundabout there. The roundabout on Maple I avoid during busy times.

John Q

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

News flash - Traffic lights contribute to congestion, they don't alleviate it.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

All this to make it easier to shop at Costco and they will pay only $500,000 of the cost. Has anyone done a traffic study on how Costco will affect the neighborhood?


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

&quot;Better to have an intersection like State &amp; US 12 (Michigan Ave.) by Walmart. It works very well.&quot; Yes, it does. If this is &quot;PROPOSED&quot;, why are they building it in 2013 when there is opposition to it? Somebody has a pet project that they are forcing down our throats...


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

State and US-12 is a very different traffic flow and has a lot more area to work with. There is not much traffic turning left there and State and Ellsworth has lots of traffic turning. I can't think of a better solution for this intersection, bu then I like roundabouts, and I spent 10 years going through this intersection suffering the backups from the light.

Jake C

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Pretty much every project has some kind of opposition to it. But guess what, there's also *support* for the project too! And it's &quot;proposed&quot; because it hasn't happened yet and is still subject to design and construction schedule changes. Pretty simple.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

Roundabouts are so much better than sitting at a red traffic light when based on traffic, you could actually go.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

Exactly the point, these are a good thing people! I don't get the grousing about it.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:45 p.m.

This is sooo European, That it must be good! You figure if people in Europe use it it cannot be that hard to figure out. It only took us 150 years to clean their clocks!

Ed Kimball

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

@brad: The problem with the Brighton roundabouts is that they have the so-called &quot;figure eight&quot; design: two roundabouts that feed directly into each other. I think one huge roundabout would have worked better, even if it had more than four roads feeding into it. The three single roundabouts on Geddes near Earhart and US-23 work beautifully!

Ann English

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 11:57 p.m.

One afternoon or two there were three or four of us motorists on the eastbound ramp from Miller Road, not moving through the southernmost ramp on Maple Road. Why? Because there was a lot of southbound traffic on Maple Road, traveling close together through the roundabout. We were right to stop and let those cars go through. But it doesn't happen often there.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 11 p.m.

Well I'm a big fan of roundabouts, but the one in Brighton is the worst design on planet Earth.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

How hard is it to figure out? I'm not sure but you should ask the people in Brighton because they seem to be clueless about it.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

Another person who for some reason can't understand how to use a roundabout. What is the big mystery? If the coast is clear then you go, if there's cars coming then you stop, how hard is that to figure out?


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:39 p.m.

The Road Commission was awarded federal aid in the amount of $1.4 million dollars. Another example of if we provide the money they WILL spend it! I hope these are different &quot;planners and consultants&quot; from the ones that designed the Maple rd fiasco. Put the lights somewhere that might allow more than 50 percent of them to be standing after one winter!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

Ugh not ANOTHER ROUNDABOUT in Ann Arbor!!!!

Kara H

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.

Strictly speaking, half in AA, half in Pittsfield.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

No, it is not another roundabout in Ann Arbor. It is another roundabout in Pittsfield Township.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

They're not that difficult to figure out what's the big deal? Do you like sitting at lights? I know I don't!


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

People need to be educated on what YIELD means for roundabouts to work. Almost daily, the Geddes Rd exit roundabouts are backed out onto the highway because people don't know what to do. The definition of YIELD ...In road transport, a yield traffic sign indicates that each driver must prepare to stop if necessary to let a driver on another approach proceed. A driver who stops has yielded the right of way to another.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 5:07 a.m.

Gah, I know what you mean. I'm getting off 23 and I'm slowing down and people are coming through the roundabout and they see me coming and STOP. IT freaks me out when they do this! Or when people don't yield and just keep on going. I read somewhere that other states have different rules for roundabouts. That's not good. I think it was said in Jersey that you yeild to people entering the roundabout, not to people IN it. What is up is up with that logic? That can back up the traffic really fast.

Ann English

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 11:51 p.m.

Those of us using the Maple Road roundabouts know how to use them. Northbound traffic on Maple know enough to yield to those of us taking part of a freeway ramp from the west, then turning left at the southernmost roundabout to go north onto Maple or straight ahead onto M-14. Sometimes I have to yield to traffic getting off westbound M-14 that intends to go straight through the middle roundabout onto the ramp's &quot;continuation&quot; to Miller Road. Most of us using these roundabouts don't treat the two lanes as one.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

i absolutely LOVE the roundabouts on Geddes at Earhart/US-23 - they are fantastic. The problem is not roundabouts, the problem is people don't want to actually pay attention and participate in the driving experience. Roundabouts require observation and consideration of the drivers around you. We're lazy - bring on the self-drive cars and let's just talk on our phones and text and ignore the world around us. Better yet, let's get meaningful mass transportation so people can completely check-out during their commutes.

Another Michael

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

I was skeptical when they proposed that set, but it probably saves me five minutes on an average day compared to the previous configuration.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

What daddy says!! I use the roundabout on Geddes almost every day and it is so much better than waiting in a line of cars on US 23 to exit at Geddes. Again, the only impediments are people that don't look to see if there are any cars to their left and stop before entering the roundabout. I followed someone yesterday that stopped before entering the roundabout, with no cars in the roundabout. Then stopped twice more while in the roundabout as cars came up from the right. The rule is if there is a car to your left, yield to them. Its simple.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

Best comment of the thread


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

Whatever they do, it can't make that intersection worse. Go for it.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

This is a boondogle and more evidence of the government forcing something on the people. The crowd was quite clear at the meeting that this is not a good idea. Volume and safety.....did they hear us?????? Will they listen to the people????????

Jimmy McNulty

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

@Hall, compare the roundabout model with a stoplight for the same volume of traffic. The roundabout is just more efficient for this situation.

Kara H

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:53 p.m.

&quot;The people&quot; were poorly informed and not generally interested in becoming better informed and instead wanted to voice their concerns over issues that were pretty well addressed in the 15/20 minute preso before the public comment period. There are valid concerns with any change to traffic flow, including circles, and to the specific design, but I thought the road commission did a good job anticipating many of the issues and addressed them already in their proposed design. It's a terrible intersection and will only get worse with the Costco traffic, but also later with just natural growth in the area, best to address it now.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

I for one prefer to listen to a bunch of risk-averse senior citizens and busybodies with time to attend traffic planning meetings about traffic engineering. Those professional traffic engineers with advanced degrees, sophisticated modeling software and reams of data about traffic patterns are just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.

Jon Saalberg

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:43 p.m.

That is because people don't understand that roundabouts are far safer and help save fuel. They'll learn this, soon enough.

Jake C

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

&quot;Volume and safety&quot; are the very reasons why people should support Roundabouts instead of standard 5/6-lane stoplight intersections. Just because a small percentage of the population is vocal in their opposition to a roundabout project because it's &quot;different&quot; doesn't mean it won't actually improve things.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

That is to be expected, supporters of something often don't go to a meeting, because they are happy and have other priorities to fight. Typically, negative comments come out in meetings like this so it's to be expected.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

If you want to go by popular opinion, then I'd suggest getting it on a ballot, not just using the loudness of people who were able to make it to a meeting.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

This is not about &quot;the people&quot;, it is about convenience and profits for Costco.

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

I'll be the roundabout The words will make you out 'n' out I spend the day your way Call it morning driving thru the sound and in and out the valley The music dance and sing They make the children really ring I spend the day your way Call it morning driving thru the sound and in and out the valley In and around the lake Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there One mile over we'll be there and we'll see you Ten true summers we'll be there and laughing too Twenty four before my love you'll see I'll be there with you

Jimmy McNulty

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

I used to listen to that song all the time when I was a kid. The lyrics make less sense now that I see them in print.

Jojo B

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

While I like Yes and many current lyrics are an afterthought, I also have to admit that Yes's lyrics are often an OVERthought, especially Closer to the Edge and beyond...


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

YES one of my favorite bands


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Nice. It almost seems like lyrics are an afterthought in music these days.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

I hate the Yankees, but I don't mind roundabouts.

Common Sense

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

How will pedestrians cross State or Ellsworth without any traffic lights specially senior citizens , workers, and students. I assume that those who use bicycles will also have a bike lane or do they go with the flow of traffic? While I totally support roundabouts, I don't think this is the best solution for this intersection. Better to have an intersection like State &amp; US 12 (Michigan Ave.) by Walmart. It works very well.

Kara H

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

+1 to Jake. I pass through that intersection on average 4 times a day at peak and non-peak hours and have for the last 15 years. I honestly think I can count on one hand the number of pedestrians I've seen there in all that time. It's not a pedestrian friendly area of the township/city, with few sidewalks or destinations.

Jake C

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

You definitely have to plan for pedestrian crossings, and I think they've done a good job of that. That said, I don't think I've *ever* seen a single pedestrian crossing this intersection after 5 years of living in Pittsfield township and driving down Ellsworth on a daily basis.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:18 p.m.

As a cyclist, I will be in the traffic lanes. Roundabouts slow the traffic down to where all but the slowest rider can keep up with traffic. Fast moving bikes on the sidewalks will lead to accidents.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

The intersection at state/US12/Moon is more geared toward US12 thruway traffic. I'd have to look, but State/Ellsworth has a lot more turning traffic per volume.

Jim Osborn

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:24 p.m.

Please look at the diagram. There is a bike path / Pedestrian walkway. It actually is well designed, where those who cross do so well after traffic merge, and a driver's eyes are presumably looking down the road. This is unlike that at Nixon Road. While being further down the road would be safer still, people would ignore it, and it would not be at the expected intersection. This makes good sense. BUT, a warning light should still be added,


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

Please, please, would someone help the editors and writers at MLive to understand grammar, syntax, and the benefits of an expanded vocabulary. These articles are some of the most poorly-written that I have seen in many years.

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

Big deal! If you can do better, then start writin' for them.

Mike D.

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

I'm a little surprised that this article makes no mention of the proven safety benefits of roundabouts over conventional intersections. Because people are traveling more slowly, injury and fatality accidents are almost unheard of. There are no red lights through which you can speed. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

It is interesting that this article and at the meeting they said it is a PROPOSED round about, but it is going to be built in spring/summer 2013 so...... this is not PROPOSED it is going to happen. Also not mention in the article is the addition of a light at Airport and Ellsworth Roads.

Jake C

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

&quot;studies show it is too dangerous to have street lights?&quot; No, studies show that some intersections work best with traffic lights, some with stop signs, and some with roundabouts. I don't know of anyone who thinks that roundabouts should, or even can be put in every intersection, everywhere.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

So they are adding a new street light because they have to take one out at State and Ellsworth because studies show it is too dangerous to have street lights? Makes a lot of sense........

Jake C

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

It's mostly semantics, but it's a proposed Design, meaning the *design* could be subject to change. Township officials recognize the pressing need for a roundabout at this location and how it will improve traffic flow and improve safety in the long-run.

Jim Osborn

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

The circle at Nixon is very unsafe for pedestrians, especially children, and the two at Maple have failed at being more than a single lane. Roundabouts and traffic circles are wonderful if done correctly – Lets do this one correctly. I was at this meeting and I asked this question: This roundabout is designed with two lanes, yet so are the ones at Maple and M-14, which many people treated as a single lane. Soon the lane lines were worn away and now it IS A SINGLE LANE. What will that do to the capacity projections? My other question addressed pedestrian safety, expressing the desire for a flashing light that is activated whenever the rare pedestrian is attempting to cross, since drivers are looking to their left to merge, not to their right for pedestrians.

Jake C

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

@ArthGuiness: I'm usually guilty of doing that too. It's rare when there's more than one or two other cars in that intersection when I drive through it, so I just lane-cut a bit. Unless there were cars coming from all directions (like there usually is at State &amp; Ellsworth) it doesn't make much sense to use both lanes simultaneously.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 6:02 p.m.

The ones at Maple never have traffic (at least when I'm there). I'm certainly not going to waste time and kinetic energy staying in one lane when there's nobody within a half-mile. Not to mention it's fun to treat it like a chicane. Perhaps it was 'designed wrong', but it's still 5x better than having any stop signs or stoplights. Which, given the low traffic, would be a monumental waste.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

Have you called or submitted an online service request about the line markings in the Maple roundabouts? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> or &quot;To report a damaged or missing sign, a malfunctioning signal, an obscured pavement marking, or a streetlight outage, please contact the Customer Service Center at 734-794-6320.&quot;

Tintin Milou

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

Yes, make it bigger. I wanna see at least 4 lanes and pave all the surrounding areas. In general, we should try to engineer bigger roads to make them safer. It also has the additional benefit of scaring away all non-motorized traffic because distances are just too big to overcome by foot / bike. Thus, no more car - pedestrian crashes!

5c0++ H4d13y

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

I know that for the roundabout at maple and M14 the pedestrians yield to the traffic.

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

&quot;Think of the children&quot;

Silly Sally

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

I don't want to get munched by a truck! This scheme would work better if made BIGGER, and except for Ed's Oil change station in the NE corner, there is land on the other three corners that would allow it to be made bigger with larger a turning radius. I don't want to get munched by a long 18 to 42 wheel truck!

Jim Osborn

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:59 p.m.

I should add that Mark McCulloch, the project engineer, was a wonderful speaker and gave great answers to both of my questions. What is needed is for the lanes is a commitment from the County Road Com. to repaint these lane lines frequently as they wear, not every 3 years. On Ann Arbor Saline Rd, turning left onto Lohr, the white pavement marking quickly wore away and far too many people need the guidance since it is a double left turn lane, but many act as if they are the only car turning left. Car in right left turn lane then changes lanes into the left lane to continue on to Best Buy, cutting off those in the other lane.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

Seriously, training videos on to get through a round-a-bout? My biggest concern is that large semi's tend to take up both lanes when they have to make a ninety degree turn. I can see a few accidents with people trying to pass them on the inside. Lisa, was there any discussion as to if the intersection would be kept open during the construction, or is it going to be completely shut down? Thank you,

Jon Saalberg

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

Seriously. Most people take driver's education to learn how to drive in the first place. This would just be part of driver's education, as is how to negotiate a traffic lighted intersection, which the collisions at those intersections clearly demonstrate many people don't understand, either.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:57 p.m.

The design does not allow cars and trucks to be in the round about at the same time. According to traffic studies very few trucks pass through this intersection. LOL. Yes the intersection will be open.

Mike D.

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

Roundabouts would be fine if people could drive. Yield does not mean stop, look to your right, and then pull out directly in front of traffic to your left.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:05 p.m.

Ha! I see what you did there. Nicely done.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Well actually yield does mean STOP if there is oncoming traffic, that's what you're doing, yielding to traffic. Now if the coast is clear, then you're right, you can keep going without coming to a complete stop but if there is traffic you most definitely are supposed to stop driving.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

you are correct YEILD, does not mean stop.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:28 p.m. get off my lawn


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

And they are European so Ann Arbor *must* have them. Except that we have crummy American drivers here.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

I hate those newfangled roundabouts and computers and cable tv and microwave ovens and cell phones and DVD and flat screens