Source: Sherman Publications

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Project to make roads safer

August 03, 2011

Independence Township wants to team up with Clarkston Schools and Oakland Country Road Commission to make driving to and from Clarkston High School safer.

They will use tri-party money to make about $50,850 in light improvements at the intersections of Clarkston and Flemings Lake, and Walters and Waldon roads. Each contributes $16,950.

"Costs are minimal and the value is great," said Trustee David Lohmeier. "In that case this would be a great partnering opportunity for us, the school and the county to make two dangerous intersections safer."

According to township engineers Hubble Roth & Clark (HRC), drivers have trouble turning left from southbound Clarkston onto Flemings Lake.

"Courteous drivers from northbound Clarkston Road turning right onto Flemings Lake Road leave gaps for southbound left turning traffic, but northbound through traffic is not required to stop, creating potential for traffic crashes."

Their solution is to install an exclusive left turn light, with green arrow, for southbound Clarkston Road.

A "No Turn on Red" sign on northbound Clarkston Road would prevent conflicts between northbound right turns and southbound left turns. A green arrow for northbound right turns would allow right turns while traffic exiting Flemings Lake Road has a green signal, according to the report.

At Walters and Waldon road, HRC said eastbound drivers on Waldon have trouble turning left onto Walters because of cars coming from the opposite direction.

The solution is to install a "no turn on red" sign for westbound Clarkston Road. A green arrow for westbound right turns would allow right turns while traffic exiting Walters Road has a green signal, according to the report.

Trustee Mark Petterson said the two intersections have needed to be "safety qualified" for quite a while since both school traffic and student population have increased.

"These lights are something the road commission should have done. If we can make them safer, that's great," he said. "I'm happy for that because I've seen a lot of bad accidents right there at Walters and Waldon Road for the past couple years."

Petterson said there are other areas in the township which also need to be brought to the attention of the road commission for tri-party funds. He also hoped the schools would be able to partner with the township.

"It would finally show that maybe the schools are willing to work with the township," he said. "That's always my ultimate goal."

Trustee Larry Rosso noted it had "not always been easy working with the school."

"I think this is very commendable for them, taking their responsibility for their end of work on the road situations that are impacted by school traffic," Rosso said. "I think this is great. It's very positive and I'm very happy we're moving in that direction."

Clarkston Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock called it "a great partnership."

"Perhaps one of these entities alone could not, in these trying economic times, afford to upgrade the lights at these intersections; however, working together, we can make it happen. I believe that these changes will increase student safety," Rock said. "I'm grateful to Cheryl McGinnis, David Lohmeier, Wes Goodman, and Andrea Schroeder for their work on this agreement."