We need a traffic light in Imlay City at the corner of Borland Rd. and VanDyke. It’s a dangerous intersection and a recipe for disaster and mishaps. We’ve been reporting on the dangers of Borland Rd. and VanDyke (M-53) for years. We’ve taken pictures and written headlines on deaths, personal injuries, costly vehicle repairs and more close calls than we care to think about.

Besides the horrible things that could happen, these perilous intersections are just bad for businesses in Imlay City. It seems though, that no one is listening, or at least not those at the Michigan Dept. of Transportation (MDOT), who have the power to give us a traffic light.

“There’s not enough traffic,” they say. Apparently, we’ll have to wait for another death and then, maybe.

Why would every Imlay City manager, police chief and city council person plead for decades for a traffic light anyway?

In December of 1992, traffic lights were installed at Newark Rd. and VanDyke, which have helped reduce serious injuries and fatalities at the intersection. However, that too required a five-year battle with MDOT.

You have to ask yourself; are these hanging red, yellow and green lights so expensive that one more would break the state’s budget. What is the purpose of traffic signals anyway?

Traffic signals exist to control traffic flow increase safety, manage traffic and travel times, and provide direction for drivers. They are also designed to prevent people from driving out into a busy intersection, resulting in an accident.

It all seems simple enough, but try to turn left onto VanDyke off Borland Rd. at around 4 p.m. It is dangerous and near impossible.

But still, MDOT traffic studies suggest we still don’t have sufficient traffic flow to justify another traffic signal. Apparently, we must experience yet more serious accidents and fatalities before MDOT will place us on the list for a traffic light.

The problems are obvious. On one side of Van Dyke there is a shopping mall, Little Caesars, Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Taco Bell and a Kroger store. On the other side, we have our schools, baseball, soccer, and football fields, a fairgrounds and the bulk of our residential homes. As we mentioned earlier, it’s a recipe for mishaps, injuries and possible loss of life.

The intersection of Borland Rd. and VanDyke is frequently utilized by both residents and visitors. So minimizing the frequency and severity of accidents should be a priority for residents and all who navigate through the community.

People are not infallible, so accidents will continue to happen at even some of the safest intersections.

Returning to the original question, what is the purpose of traffic signals? The short, simplified answer is that traffic signals help to maintain roadway safety.

So please MDOT, don’t tell us that because we only have 20,000 vehicles pass the intersection of Borland Rd. and Van Dyke, that we still need another 5,000 or 6,000 cars, trucks and motorcycles passing through Imlay City before you put up a traffic light for safety purposes. Seems ubsurd, right?

We encourage Imlay City officials to continue their efforts to convince MDOT of the need for a traffic signal, lest more people be injured or killed at this dangerous intersection.