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Village traffic light on blink



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May 26, 2010 - By Susan Bromley

Staff Writer

Ortonville- Visitors to the downtown this week may have noticed a change— the traffic light at the intersection of Mill and South streets is on the blink.

Shortly after noon on Tuesday, Department of Public Works employees removed the "no turn on red" sign at the intersection and the signal, fully functioning for more than two decades, was switched over to a 4-way blinking red light, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The village council approved the change by a 6-0 vote at their May 24 meeting. Councilmember Harold Batten was absent. Cost and whether the light is actually needed have driven the discussions that began in March on removing the downtown's only traffic light. The village spends roughly $1,500 per year to maintain the light, including electrical power and calibration.

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Officials from the Road Commission for Oakland County said they would remove the traffic light at a cost to the village of $5,500, which councilmembers felt was too expensive. The 4-way red blinking light will not yield savings on inspection to the village, but Interim Village Manager Larry Brown said it just makes sense to do it this way.

"The point was to save on inspection, but it was not the only point," he said. "The businesses believe it will improve the likelihood of people coming and shopping downtown, if they are not avoiding that traffic light."

"A 4-way blinking red light is just as safe for residents of the community (as the previous signal)," said Council President Ken Quisenberry.

The council plans to review the change after 90 days.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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