2011-05-12 / Front Page

Loxley light removed


COMING DOWN Michigan Department of Transportation employees from the Atlanta Sign Shop remove the second stoplight at Loxley Road and West Houghton Lake Drive (M-55) Monday as the last of four stop signs is installed. Dan Townsend, lead worker said stop signs will be placed on either side of both the southbound and northbound approaches to M-55. New “stop ahead” signs will warn drivers on both of the approaches of the stop signs. (CHP) COMING DOWN Michigan Department of Transportation employees from the Atlanta Sign Shop remove the second stoplight at Loxley Road and West Houghton Lake Drive (M-55) Monday as the last of four stop signs is installed. Dan Townsend, lead worker said stop signs will be placed on either side of both the southbound and northbound approaches to M-55. New “stop ahead” signs will warn drivers on both of the approaches of the stop signs. (CHP) Despite the efforts of Roscommon Township, the Roscommon County Road Commission and the public at large, the stoplight at Loxley Road and M-55 came down Monday morning.

For several months signs near the intersection indicated that the light was under study by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Deemed unwarranted by a 2008 study of existing traffic signals in the North Region, which covers several northern Michigan counties including Roscommon County, the Loxley traffic light was identified as a location “that did not meet any of the traffic signal warrants outlined in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices,” according to a letter dated Oct. 6 from MDOT Chief Operations Officer Gregory Johnson. “As administrators of federal money, it is our responsibility to remove unwarranted traffic signals unless a local agency wishes to fund the upgrade along with future maintenance and operational costs. Since this traffic signal is on a state trunkline (M-55), any upgrades must conform to MDOT standards.”

The removal of the stoplight does not sit well with Roscommon Township Supervisor Diane Randall.

“They will never justify this action in my eyes,” she told the Resorter Monday following the light’s removal.

She thanked the road commission and Manager Tim O’Rourke, who acted as “public servants” trying to protect residents. She said protests “fell on deaf ears.”

She said she fears there will be accidents at the intersection and hopes she is wrong.

RCRC Commissioner Bill Ancel said his biggest concern is the safety of pedestrians and how the bike path transitions to the south side of M-55.

“I don’t think MDOT has considered the safety of the pedestrians at all in this decision,” he said.

MDOT had informed local officials that if they wanted to pay for an upgrade they could do so – if not, the light was coming down. O’Rourke said previously that the light was installed about 20 years ago in response to a special request following a fatal accident.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2011-05-12 digital edition

Poll

Did you ever have the opportunity to dance at the Music Box?