Letters to the Editor Nov. 26, 2022

Road Commission Woes
On Oct. 4, the Road Commission for Oakland County held an informational meeting at Oakwood Elementary School regarding the rebuild at the Oakwood and Hadley intersection. Two questions were asked: Why is reconstruction needed? and why not a roundabout?
The answer to the first question is simple—the 70-year-old steel tubes under the intersection are failing and need replacement.
The second question was repeatedly asked. And the answer is more complicated.
The present intersection with its two stop signs was constructed 70 years ago to accommodate the traffic at that time. In the years since its construction, the intersection has had an increase in traffic each year. Oakwood Road is now designated as a truck route and each year an increasing number of semi-trucks use it. Traffic to the nearby park, school, and businesses has also contributed to the increase in traffic flow.
The current design of this intersection has been a contributing factor in the increasing number of accidents over the years. Since August 2022, there have been three or more multi-car accidents, two resulting in people being taken to the hospital.
For 50 years, I have lived 500 feet from this intersection. During this time, there have been many accidents of all types—head-on, rear-end, side-impact, and rollover. Some have resulted in death. Most of these accidents have involved speed, particularly on Oakwood Road.
The design presented at the meeting, the multi-lane intersection using stop signs, is an improvement. It will, at a minimum, improve safety from the perspective of traffic flow and would accommodate the traffic for 2022. It will not, however, be adequate for increased traffic in the future.
As has happened in the last 70 years, the farms in the area will be subdivided, resulting in many new homes and increased traffic at this intersection. The RCOC should build this intersection for that increased traffic.
So, why not a roundabout? According to traffic research comparing the crash risks of the different types of intersections, roundabouts are safer than conventional intersections. They decrease traffic delays and congestion. They also can handle a high volume of traffic and, as Oakwood Road is now deemed a truck route, the increased volume of commercial trucks.
Studies show roundabouts reduce vehicle speeds and crashes that often result in serious or fatal injuries. Roundabouts also reduce traffic delays and increase the capacity of the intersection. They also reduce long-term operational and maintenance costs.
Bill Rathburg
Brandon Township

Wolcott wins
The Mott Community College Board of Trustees election results are in and the voters have spoken. The votes cast on November 8th 2022 are as follows:
•Wendy Wolcott: 71,657, Art Reyes (I): 56,696, Anne Figueroa (I): 55,845, Art Marden: 29,668
I want to send an enthusiastic congratulations to Wendy Wolcott for winning first place in every county, township, city and village. Most people don’t realize that the Mott College Board election is on all ballots in Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston and Oakland Counties. Furthermore, most people don’t realize we all contribute our tax dollars to the college and need fighters on that board.
Wendy Wolcott managed to take on two popular incumbents (Anne Figueroa and Art Reyes), who happen to be the current chair and vice chair of the board. I thank outgoing Chairwoman Anne Figueora for her service.
As I wrote in a previous letter those months ago, Wendy Wolcott will be a total asset to us taxpayers, students and staff of the college district. I am happy to see it come to fruition.
I am thrilled that the voters agreed and elected Wendy to our board for six years.
Congratulations, Trustee Wendy Wolcott and Go Mott Bears!
Connie Green
Richfield Township

One Response to "Letters to the Editor Nov. 26, 2022"

  1. Scott Batson   November 29, 2022 at 12:02 pm

    People using the road make mistakes (like speeding, running stop signs and red lights, turning left in front of oncoming traffic), always have and always will. Crashes will always be with us, but they need not result in fatalities or serious injury.

    Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world – the intersection type with the lowest risk of fatal or serious injury crashes – (much more so than comparable signals). Modern roundabouts require a change in speed and alter the geometry of one of the most dangerous parts of the system – intersections. The reduction in speed to about 20 mph and sideswipe geometry mean that, when a crash does happen at a modern roundabout, you might need a tow truck, but rarely an ambulance. Visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or FHWA for modern roundabout FAQs and safety facts.


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