Traffic flow patterns are something we take for granted on a daily basis. Many of us assume that if an intersection has operated a certain way for so long, that must be the best and safest option. But that is not always the case. As traffic increases or decreases, or as infrastructure updates are needed, traffic use patterns are often assessed for potential improvements. As people adapt to the change, there may be an increased risk of collisions. It helps to get familiar with some major changes happening locally:
- Lansing: Certain one-way streets are being converted to two-way streets in the downtown center of the city. Changes will include center left-turn lanes and changing of signal timing.
- Roundabouts in Jackson and DeWitt: A roundabout is a circular intersection where all traffic flows to the right. Traffic entering the roundabout must yield to vehicles already in the roundabout. During light traffic periods, vehicle wait time should decrease as there is no need to stop for a stop sign for red light. If there is a collision, the impact should be lower energy than a full-speed 90* crash, as all vehicles must slow down to enter the roundabout.
- Diverging Diamond Interchanges: Another change coming to Jackson is the conversion to a diverging diamond interchange (DDI) at the I-94/US-127 interchange that city. DDIs are one of the newest changes to traffic patterns and often one of the most difficult to get used to. In general, DDIs are safer because they eliminate left-hand turns and all intersections are governed by traffic lights. DDIs also typically take up less space than conventional cloverleaf style interchanges.
Pedestrian and motorist safety is of paramount importance. The minor inconvenience of learning new traffic patterns will be worth it to reduce the risk of injury or death.
Growing up in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nolan Erickson began working at Church Wyble PC in 2007 as a law clerk. Now as an attorney with Grewal Law, Mr. Erickson has developed extensive experience with all phases of trial and pre-trial resolution of personal injury matters, including major auto accident, medical malpractice, and other serious injury cases.