September 14, 2015 – Two new roundabouts on M-72 in Acme are scheduled to open later this month, and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is offering guidance for drivers who are unfamiliar with this newer intersection design.
Under permit with MDOT, the Grand Traverse Tribe of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians is constructing two roundabouts on M-72 at the entrance to the Village of Grand Traverse development and at the intersection with Lautner Road to provide safe turns for the expected increase in traffic. A third roundabout is being built on Lautner Road with another entrance to the development.
“While modern roundabouts are uncommon so far in northern Michigan, most drivers have now encountered them in their travels,” said Rick Liptak, manager of MDOT’s Traverse City Transportation Service Center (TSC). “When properly located and designed, roundabouts reduce conflict points for vehicles, reduce injury and fatal crashes, and keep traffic moving.”
A traditional intersection has 32 vehicle-to-vehicle conflict points, or areas with the potential for collisions, and 24 vehicle-to-pedestrian conflict points. Roundabouts have only eight vehicle-to-vehicle and eight vehicle-to-pedestrian conflict points.
For drivers who do not have experience with roundabouts, MDOT maintains a section on its website with helpful information and tips: www.michigan.gov/roundabouts. In addition to brochures and links to YouTube videos showing how to use roundabouts, the page includes links to Federal Highway Administration information and statistics.
Traffic in the roundabout always moves counterclockwise. Drivers should remember to:
- Choose your lane before entering.
- Yield to traffic already in the roundabout and to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Use signs and pavement markings to help guide you.
Download MDOT's Mi Drive traffic information app: www.michigan.gov/drive