Traffic light a major source of aggravation

February 3, 2012

“It’s a huge source of frustration,” lamented Clare’s Sue Kelly. “As one who drives it every day it’s really horrible.”

Mrs. Kelly is talking about the left hand turn coming east on 5th Street and attempting to turn left on McEwan.  I think most of us that drive that way get frustrated.

Out of the gate, I’m a very impatient individual. This light drives me bonkers. If you are lucky, two cars can make a left before the light turns red. Sometimes only one car gets through. God forbid, if you are five or six cars back.

Mrs. Kelly has resorted to putting a watch to the time it takes to get through the light if you are 3 or 4 cars back. It took two minutes and thirty seconds. That might not sound like a big deal but when you’re trying to get some place in a hurry, it’s a major aggravation.

Most of us now take side streets to get to our destination. But as Mrs. Kelly points out, that isn’t  the best alternative.  “I sometimes feel like drivers are pushing me on the side streets. They always want me to drive faster.”

I’ve noticed the same. Some drivers are oblivious of the speed limit on side streets. They are already aggravated that they have to avoid McEwan, and sometimes take that aggression out by driving faster. It can be dangerous because you never know when a child or pet might be in the roadway.

I’m told the solution is an easy fix. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) can change the length of the light remotely. For some reason, however, they refuse to do it. The City has received a number of complaints and have pressured MDOT to make the change, but so far nothing.

If you feel like Mrs. Kelly and I do, and would like to see a change, I suggest you contact MDOT or register your complaint with City Hall. I would even suggest you contact our state representative Joel Johnson. Having been a Clare businessman for many years he is well aware of the problem, and should be able to expedite a solution in Lansing.

If a good number of us complain, it will get changed. So let’s eliminate the aggravation. Talk to your elected officials now.

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