MDOT adds left turn lane on Maple Street

UNAWARE: Many motorist are not aware of the second left turning option on Maple Street. MDOT added the left turn option last week during Maple Street construction. The change is to aide congestion during high traffic volume times. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

UNAWARE: Many motorists are not aware of the second left turning option on Maple Street. MDOT added the left turn option last week during Maple Street construction. The change is to aide congestion during high traffic volume times. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

Big Rapids Residents have two lane options for turning left on South State Street

BIG RAPIDS — Motorists driving west on Maple Street should find it easier to make a left turn on to South State Street after a new lane configuration.

The Michigan Department of Transportation made the change last week after a request from the city to ease congestion during heavy traffic periods in the downtown corridor, said Mark Gifford, director of the Big Rapids Department of Public Works.

“Several months ago, MDOT agreed with us traffic will be aided by two left turning lanes at Maple and State streets,” Gifford said.

MDOT has placed arrows on the lanes to direct traffic, but many motorist are still unaware of the change, said Big Rapids City Manager Steve Sobers.

“We are asking people to be carful at the intersection until folks get used to the change,” Sobers said.

Overhead signage at the intersection traffic lights likely will be added in the future, said Pam Blazo, MDOT traffic and safety engineer.

“We unable to put an overhead sign or arrow up at this time due to the type of signal that is currently there,” Blazo said. “If or when the signal is modernized we will add that.”

MDOT officials will upgrade directional street signage to make motorist aware after Maple Street construction is finished in early December, Gifford said.

“They will be putting signs up on the light poles notifying drivers of the dual left turn once our poles are finished being installed,” Gifford said.

TURN OPTIONS: Motorist planning to turn left from Maple Street onto South State Street no can use tow lanes to make the turn. MDOT added the option last week after request from the city several months ago. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

TURN OPTIONS: Motorist planning to turn left from Maple Street onto South State Street no can use tow lanes to make the turn. MDOT added the option last week after request from the city several months ago. (Pioneer photo/Lonnie Allen)

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Posted by Lonnie Allen

Lonnie is the Pioneer's city/county reporter. He also coordinates the Gardens and Growers page. He can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8328 or by e-mail at lallen@pioneergroup.com.

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