The state’s law on red light right turns is designed to increase traffic flow. It is not intended to be used as a merge lane. People seem to think if the light is red they can pull into the right turn lane and block it knowing that there is not room to fit into the thru traffic lane. This causes unnecessary stress, confusion and danger to vehicles attempting to use the right turn lane.
In the last two months, I’ve had two such incidents, forcing me to come to a tire screeching panic stop, along with all the vehicles behind me. I’m talking about the northwest corner at Van Dyke and Newark roads. People coming out of Wendy’s and the Speedway station completely ignore the existence of a right turn lane. I can’t understand the logic of the gas station’s southernmost exit on M-53. There are vehicles going every which way except the right way. The Michigan Department of Transportation and planning commission must have been sleeping the day they approved that driveway. But wait, it gets worse. There is no white line painted to separate the thru traffic from the right turn lane, nor is there a right turn arrow with the words painted on the pavement. Worst of all, there are no overhead signs along with the traffic light indicating left turn, thru traffic and right turn only.
We have a similar situation at the southwest corner of Newark and Fairgrounds roads. Vehicles coming out of Tri-County Bank try to pull into the thru traffic lane even though there is no room for them and they end up blocking the right turn lane; however there are proper lines and arrows on the pavement at that intersection.
Maybe the real problem is that nobody’s paying attention and they just don’t care because they’re in a big rush. So, let’s be careful out there.
—Mark F. Cromas,