Archive for March, 2009

$873 Million + 25,000 Jobs= BETTER MI ROADS!

March 31, 2009

newsteam22This is what we’ve been waiting for! Governor Granholm signed legislation authorizing $873 million in road projects!  The BEST part of this money is that this federal recovery funding will CREATE 25,000 JOBS!! Now THAT is double the good news!

The legislation authorized Michigan to spend $873 million from the Amercian Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for a range of what they call, “shoverl ready” projects. Such as road-resurfacing, rehabilitation and widening, bridge rehab, and transportation enhancement projects. The projects were chosen by planners, engineers, and local leaders and cover every region of the state.

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So here is how that money is going to be divided:

  • $635.4 million directed to the state trunkline fund. Examples: US-23, I-94, M-14
  • $211.8 million directed to programs administered by local jurisdictions AKA larger WELCOME signs (something that would like a city welcome sign)
  • $25.8 million directed for rural and intercity bus capital projects

Just a few examples of projects include:

  1. Repair of 11 bridges over I-96 in Detroit ($22 million),
  2. Recosntruction and widening of I-96 in Kent County ($30 million) which has already started
  3.  Road reconstruction and bridge work on I-475 in Genesee County ($26 million

The spending is the first use of Michigan’s share of about $7 billion in federal recovery money that the state will invest in accelerating its own recovery plan. It is in addition to approximately $980 million the state is spending on transportation funding this year, which will create more then 27,000 additional jobs.

Visit the Michigan Recovery & Reinvestment Plan web page for the latest updates!

http://www.michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168-52827—,00.html

“These recovery projects will allow Michigan construction workers to keep working in Michigan,” said state Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle.  “It is also a shot in the arm for our transportation system.  Although this won’t meet all our state’s long-term transportation needs, it’s a huge step toward making our roads and bridges safer for our citizens and visitors and attracting new employers.”

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I WILL BE LIVE ON LOCAL 4 NEWS AT 5PM WITH MORE ON THE FEDERAL RECOVERY FUNDING FOR MICHIGAN ROADS!

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FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER FOR UPDATES AT http://twitter.com/LaurenPodell

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MDOT is getting *YOU* to the FINAL FOUR!

March 30, 2009

newsteam21Next weekend is going to MADNESS when the FINAL FOUR comes to town! Everyone here in Michigan, along with hundreds of thousand out-of-towners, will be pouring into the D and may not know there way around. When it comes to the Final Four, everyone wants to get into the act, but may not know how to get there!  So MDOT is helping us out…

The Michigan Department of Transportation has put maps and directions on line to help motorists headed to Ford Field for the Final Four on April 4 and April 6.

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The links will provide fanswith detailed driving directions on Metro Detroit freeways no matter which direction motorists are coming from. Now even though MDOT will more then likely omit weekend construction from April 4th – 6th, we can’t forget about the on going GATEWAY PROJECT. So MDOT including that the closure of north and southbound I-75 between Clark and the I-96 split, near the Ambassador Bridge in their directions!

Here is the link to take a look at these *very cool* maps they have posted on their website.

Options traveling from the EAST:

Map #1.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOTmap_east_option1_228893_7.pdf

  • Follow WB I-94 and exit onto SB I-75
  • Follow SB I-75 until it Merges into SB I-375
  • Use SB I-375 and exit at Madison (left lane exit) or Lafayette to access Ford Field and Comerica Park parking

Map #2.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOTmap_east_option2_228894_7.pdf

  • Follow EB I-94 and exit onto SB M-10 (left lane exit)
  • Exit SB M-10 to Grand River Ave.
  • Head south on Grand River to NB I-75 service drive
  • Use NB I-75 service drive to Brush Street
  • Take a right on Brush to access Ford Field and Comerica Park parking

Options traveling from the SOUTH:

Map #1:

 http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOTmap_south_option1_228911_7.pdf

  •  From Monroe area:
    – Exit northbound I-75 onto northbound I-275;
    – Northbound I-275 to eastbound I-94;
    – Use westbound I-94 into downtown Detroit;
    – Next – Follow eastbound I-94 into Detroit and use one of the following routes:
    • Option A:
      – Exit eastbound I-94 onto southbound M-10;
      – Follow southbound M-10 and exit at Grand River (M-5);
      – Follow Grand River south-eastbound to reach Ford Field or Comerica Park parking.
    • Option B:
      – Follow eastbound I-94 to southbound I-75;
      – Follow southbound I-75 until it merges into southbound I-375;
      – Use southbound I-375 and exit at Madison Ave (left lane exit) or Lafayette to
        access Ford Field and Comerica Park parking.

Map #2:

 http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOTmap_south_option2_228912_7.pdf

  • – From areas south of US-24 connector:
    – Exit northbound I-75 onto northbound US-24 connector;
    – Follow northbound US-24 and exit onto eastbound I-94;
    – Use eastbound I-94 into downtown Detroit;
    – Next – Follow eastbound I-94 into Detroit and use one of the following routes:

    • Option A:
      – Exit eastbound I-94 onto southbound M-10;
      – Follow southbound M-10 and exit at Grand River (M-5);
      – Follow Grand River south-eastbound to reach Ford Field or Comerica Park parking.
    • Option B:
      – Follow eastbound I-94 to southbound I-75;
      – Follow southbound I-75 until it merges into southbound I-375;
      – Use southbound I-375 and exit at Madison Ave (left lane exit) or Lafayette to
        access Ford Field and Comerica Park parking.

Map #3:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOTmap_south_option3_228914_7.pdf

  • – From downriver area:
    – Exit northbound I-75 onto northbound M-39;
    – Follow northbound M-39 and exit onto eastbound I-94;
    – Use eastbound I-94 into downtown Detroit;
    – Next – Follow eastbound I-94 into Detroit and use one of the following routes:

    • Option A:
      – Exit eastbound I-94 onto southbound M-10;
      – Follow southbound M-10 and exit at Grand River (M-5);
      – Follow Grand River south-eastbound to reach Ford Field or Comerica Park parking.
    • Option B:
      – Follow eastbound I-94 to southbound I-75;
      – Follow southbound I-75 until it merges into southbound I-375;
      – Use southbound I-375 and exit at Madison Ave (left lane exit) or Lafayette to
        access Ford Field and Comerica Park parking.

Options traveling from the WEST:

Map #1:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOTmap_west_option1_228898_7.pdf

  • – Exit eastbound I-94 onto southbound M-10;
    – Follow southbound M-10 and exit at Grand River (M-5);
    – Head south on Grand River to northbound I-75 service drive;
    – Use northbound I-75 service drive to Brush Street;
    – Take a right on Brush to access Ford Field and Comerica Park parking.

Map #2:

 http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOTmap_west_option2_228899_7.pdf

  • – Follow eastbound I-94 to southbound I-75;
    – Follow southbound I-75 until it merges into southbound I-375;
    – Use southbound I-375 and exit at Madison Ave (left lane exit) or Lafayette to
      access Ford Field and Comerica Park parking.

Map #3:

 http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOTmap_west_option3_228900_7.pdf

  • – Follow eastbound I-96 into Detroit;
    – Exit from eastbound I-96 onto eastbound I-94;
    – Follow eastbound I-94 to southbound I-75;
    – Follow southbound I-75 until it merges into southbound I-375;
    – Use southbound I-375 and exit at Madison Ave (left lane exit) or Lafayette to
      access Ford Field and Comerica Park parking.

Options traveling from the NORTH:

Map #1:

 http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOTmap_north_option1_228902_7.pdf

  • – Use southbound M-10 into downtown Detroit ;
    – Follow southbound M-10 and exit at Grand River (M-5);
    – Head south on Grand River to northbound I-75 service drive;
    – Use northbound I-75 service drive to Brush Street;
    – Take a right on Brush to access Ford Field and Comerica Park parking.

Map #2:

 http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOTmap_north_option2_228904_7.pdf

  • – Use southbound I-75 into downtown Detroit;
    – Exit from southbound I-75 onto westbound M-8 (Davison Freeway);
    – Follow westbound M-8 and exit onto southbound M-10 (left lane exit);
    – Follow southbound M-10 and exit at Grand River (M-5);
    – Head south on Grand River to northbound I-75 service drive;
    – Use northbound I-75 service drive to Brush Street;
    – Take a right on Brush to access Ford Field and Comerica Park parking.

Map #3:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOTmap_north_option3_228905_7.pdf

  • – Follow southbound I-75 into downtown Detroit until it merges into southbound I-375;
    – Use southbound I-375 and exit at Madison Ave (left lane exit) or Lafayette to
      access Ford Field and Comerica Park parking.

What *could* make our roads worse? I have the answer…

March 27, 2009

newsteam20Ever see those signs posted along our freeways or side streets about weight restrictions? Do you know what they mean? I never completely understood…until now. Seasonal Weight Restrictions… they are in place to help reduce wear and tear on Michigan’s roads. But the key word is “seasonal”, what happens when the restrictions COME OFF? Well thats exactly whats happening on Monday, March 30th. The Macomb County Road Commision will lift ALL weight restrictions on ALL of their roads, and the list is lengthy.

 

cass_road_weight_limit_sign1So when does the road commision know to put on the weight restrictions? Well during the winter months the soil underneath the road freezes, when the weather starts warming up the road beds begin to thaw. During that state, roads are at there weakest condition. The weight restrictions for 2009 were implemented on Macomb County Roads on February 25th. That means trucks have to carry and transport 25% less on concrete roads and by 35% on  all gravel roads.

Now to me, especially with Michigan’s crumbling roads, that sounds like something that should be in affect ALL YEAR! Well that is certainly not the case!

Now after sitting down with Bob Hoefnerr from the Macomb County Road Commission, he says that lifting the weight restrictions are better for businesses! “Trucks will be able to carry full loads, Michigan legal weight limits.”

For example a gravel hauler who would be delivering gravel to the road commission had to cut his load down, he couldn’t carry the full ton-age, so that makes it more costly for him to truck.

So while business may me back to normal for some, what happens to our already deteriorating roads? Well the road commission feels the roads are stable enough for trucks to carry full legal loads.

So to the business community the restrictioms are very important, but to Macomb County residents who are forced to drive over them everyday, they will slowly see the damage emerge.

I will have more information on this story on Local 4 News at 6pm, for now her is a complete list of the roads that will have the weight restrictions removed come Monday March, 30th.

THE LIST:

  • WB MORAVIAN, SOUTH OF CASS                                                             
  • NB HEYDENREICH, NORTH OF CASS
  • DURHAM, EAST OF HEYDENREICH
  • WB CANAL, WEST OF CLINTON RIVER
  • WB 17 MILE, WEST OF CLINTON RIVER
  • EB 17 MILE, EAST OF HAYES
  • WB MILLAR, WEST OF MORAVIAN
  • NB MORAVIAN, NORTH OF METRO PARKWAY
  • SB MORAVIAN, SOUTH OF METRO PARKWAY
  • EB MILLAR, WEST OF UTICA
  • NB MORAVIAN, NORTH OF 15 MILE
  • EB WEST UTICA, EAST OF DEQUINDRE
  • WB WEST UTICA, WEST OF MOUND
  • SB RYAN, SOUTH OF AUBURN
  • EB 21 MILE, EAST OF VAN DYKE
  • EB 22 MILE, EAST OF SHELBY
  • NB MOUND , NORTH OF SHELBY
  • NB SCHOENHERR, NORTH OF M-59
  • NB HAYES, NORTH OF M-59
  • NB ROMEO PLANK, NORTH OF M-59
  • SB HEYDENREICH, SOUTH OF M-59
  • NB HEYDENREICH, NORTH OF M-59
  • SB HEYDENREICH, SOUTH OF 22 MILE
  • WW 22 MILE, WEST OF CARD
  • NB CARD, NORTH OF M-59
  • NB FAIRCHILD, NORTH OF M-59
  • 21 MILE, WEST OF GRATIOT
  • EB COTTON, EAST OF GRATIOT
  • NB DONNER, NORTH OF COTTON
  • NB SUGARBUSH, NORTH OF 21 MILE
  • WB COTTON, WEST OF JEFFERSON
  • WB SUGARBUSH, WEST OF JEFFERSON
  • INTERSECTION OF SCHOENHERR AT 26 & 23 MILE
  • INTERSECTION OF MOUND RD. AT 26 MILE & 24 MILE
  • INTERSECTION OF ROMEO PLANK AT 32 MILE
  • NB JEWELL, NORTH OF 24 MILE
  • INTERSECTION 24 & 23 MILE AT DEQUINDRE
  • CARD RD AT 23 MILE RD
  • 24 MILE AT ROMEO PLANK

There are many more roads on the list, check out the Road Commision of Macomb County’s website: http://www.rcmcweb.org/ for the full and complete list of roads in Macomb Co.

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STAY TUNED TONIGHT ON LOCAL 4 NEWS AT 6PM…I WILL BE LIVE WITH A COMPLETE STORY ON THE REMOVAL OF THE MACOMB COUNTY WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS!

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No full FREEWAY closures this weekend, but still construction

March 27, 2009

heather-zara-headshot18Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

Happy Friday! The good news is that you won’t have to completely dodge a freeway this weekend because none of them are completely shutting down.  That’s not the case on a busy stretch of main roads in Dearborn though. Here’s a look at the scheduled weekend construction by county.

 

Wayne County

Ford Road (M-153) in Dearborn will be closed at Evergreen in both directions

  • 8pm tonight (Friday)-5am Monday
  • Traffic will be routed to the Evergreen exit and entrance ramps in each direction.
  • At 5am Monday, the following ramp closures will be in place: EB Ford to SB Evergreen and SB Evergreen to EB Ford. Detours posted through May
  • At 5 am Monday, expect the following lane restrictions: one lane block on Ford Rd. at Evergreen in both directions until mid-summer

Oakland County

EB I-696 at Couzens Avenue

  • Right lane blocked today (Friday) from 1-3pm
  • Expect minor delays

I-696/I-75 Ramps

  • 6am-9am Saturday: EB I-696 to NB and SB I-75 will close
  • 9am-12pm Saturday: WB I-696 to NB and SB I-75 will close
  • 6am-9am Sunday: NB I-75 to EB and WB I-696 will close
  • 9am-12pm Sunday: SB I-75 to EB and WB I-696 will close
  • Detours will be posted but you can use Woodward as an alternate

Macomb County

I-696 between Hayes and Gratiot

  • 8pm tonight (Friday) until 5am Monday
  • 2 right lanes will be blocked in both directions

I-696 between Van Dyke and Dequindre

  • 8pm tonight (Friday) until 5am Monday
  • 2 right lanes will be blocked in both directions

*Try using 10 or 12 Mile Road instead of I-696 to avoid probable congestion this weekend

That’s all folks! Not that bad, right? Have a great weekend-see you back here bright and early on Monday and on Local 4 News Morning, starting at 5am. Also, follow us on Twitter @HeatherZara and @Local4News for updates over the weekend. I’ll try and keep up with the tweeting. Someone help me… Is that the correct Twitter lingo? 🙂

Trash combed out before Final Four!

March 26, 2009

newsteam19Michigan highways are trashed! Not only with potholes…but literally with TRASH! Take a look out your window next time, its everywhere!  We’re talking bountiful litter as the weather warms after a long, snowy winter. You name it, it’s out there: Fast-food bags, pop bottles, plastic bags, even pieces of clothing! I’ve even seen and reported on MATTRESSES! Come on?

So workers are getting up and outside to pick up the trash in an effort to spiff up our roads in time for the NCAA Final Four.

detroitfinal4logo

A few years back there was another enormous road cleaning effort that went into preparation for Super Bowl XL in 2006, and the Michigan Department of Transportation said it’s sending out road crews again for the next big event!  Don’t be surprised to see those work crews, contractors  in Wayne County, petty-criminal details with trash bags to pick up a long, heavy winter’s worth of roadside litter.

trashProgress is already being made! The cleanup has been particularly noticeable on I-94 between downtown Detroit and Metro Airport, with bright orange bags piling up — filled with papers, cups, clothing, bottles and all sorts of debris that has been painfully evident this mild March after staying hidden under snow.

There still is lots to do, but “it’s going to look better,” MDOT spokesman Rob Morosi said. “We’re going to do everything we can. We’re asking citizens to please refrain from using freeways as trash containers, especially for large items.”

The #’s say it all…

$66 Million:

Approximate decrease in Michigan’s Transportation Fun revenues from gas taxes and vehicle registration fees btw. December 2007 & November 2008

60 tons:

Amount of trash removed from Metro Detroit expressway roadsides by high school students in the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Youth Corps summer jobs program in 2008

865:

Number of miles of expressways and major state roads in Metro Detroit

$40 Million:

Amount MDOT pays to road commissions in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties for all kinds of summer and winter maintenance. For the current fiscal year its $23 Million for Wayne, $11 Million for Oakland and $6 Million for Macomb.

Detroit pitches in

doc47ba7b7387357685580412Daniel Cherrin, spokesman for Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr., said city crews are sweeping roadside debris in and around downtown for the basketball tournament April 4-6 at Ford Field, which is expected to draw at least 30,000 out-of-town guests.

“With an eye on the Final Four coming to Detroit, we’ve increased our efforts to clean up the city,” Cherrin said. “We encourage homeowners and business owners to clean up around their homes and businesses. We encourage them to get in the game.”

What *we* can do…

If you’re fed up with highway litter, you can help the state through lean times by volunteering to clean up roadsides.

MDOT’s Adopt-a-Highway program began in 1990 and now has nearly 2,600 groups, with about 32,000 volunteers, who have adopted 5,700 miles of roadway. Last year, the groups gathered 72,000 bags of trash.

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MDOT said church groups, families, companies, social clubs and other groups sponsor segments of highway and go out three times a year to spruce up roadways and remove litter.“This time of year is when we get the most complaints,” Morosi said. “And the first sweeping of the year always takes the longest.”

The program saves MDOT about $1.2 million a year, and volunteers say it feels good to give back to the community, spokeswoman Janet Foran said.

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FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @ http://twitter.com/LaurenPodell  AND @http://twitter.com/local4news

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If you drive through Warren… Check this out

March 26, 2009

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Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

 

If your commute takes you through the city of Warren, you have probably already figured out that the I-696 ramps to Mound Rd. have been closed for the last couple of weeks- and that ramp closure will be in place until early June.

Here’s another addition to the $24 million project dedicated to repairs through that area: a 9-week full closure of Mound Road over I-696. Uh oh…

 

THE DETAILS

Who:Our friends at MDOT are rolling out the barrels-don’t be hard on them-they’re making our roads nicer 🙂

What:It’s a part of the bridge rehabilitation project along I-696 between Dequindre and Schoenherr

When: It starts tomorrow, Friday, March 27th at 9pm and will last until early June

Where: Mound Rd. in both directions right over I-696 in Warren will be blocked

Why: To help facilitate the Fall 2009 completion date of the entire project!

How:NB Mound traffic will be redirected via the EB I-696 service drive, NB Van Dyke Avenue & the WB I-696 service drive to access NB Mound. The posted detour for SB Mound traffic includes the WB I-696 service drive, SB Dequindre & EB I-696 service drive to get back to SB Mound.

 

Have a great day and check in with me on Twitter for updates throughout the morning! You can follow me @HeatherZara. See you tomorrow.

 

 

 

The Nations Worst Roads

March 25, 2009

newsteam18DING DING DING! You guessed it MICHIGAN is on the list for having some of the worst roads in the nation according to Overdrive Magazine’s Highway Report Card. To get more specific Michigan ranked THIRD overall in the nation!

While the ranking may come to no surprise to you and me, who are forced to drive on the unsafe cement and asphalt obstacle courses we call roads, the message this sends to the nations leading businesses and job creators is alarming.

 

od_coverHere’s the recent list of worst state roads and worst highways according to Overdrive Magazine:

10 WORST ROADS BY STATE

1. Louisiana

2. Pennsylvania

3. MICHIGAN

4. California

5. Oklahoma

6. New York

7. Illinois

8. New Jersey

9. Missouri

10. Arkansas

Here is the list of the worst INDIVIDUAL roads across the nation:

10 WORST ROADS INDIVIDUALLY

1. I-10, Louisiana

2. I-40, Oklahoma

3. I-5, California

4. I-65, Kentucky

5. I-80, Pennsylvania

6. I-95, New York

7. I-40, Arkansas

8.I-78, New Jersey

9. I-75, MICHIGAN

10. I-94, MICHIGAN

“The quality of our roads remains low because our states commitment to our roads remains low,” said Mike Nystrom, vice president of Government and Public Relations for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association and co-chair of the Michigan Transportation Team. “We have the technology to fix our roads and we have the talent, unfortunatelywe lack the will.” Until the legislature steps up and provides adequate funding to repair our crumbling infrastructure, national groups and publications will keep sending messages to businesses and job creators across America- STAY OFF MICHIGAN ROADS.

Check out the DRIVE MICHIGAN campaign, its committed to promoting the development and maintenance of a safe, convenient, and efficient transportation network that serves the public, private and economic needs to Michigan. Visit www.drivemi.com

I’LL BE LIVE WITH MORE ON LOCAL 4 NEWS AT 5:30!

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Rumble Strips Saving Lives

March 24, 2009

newsteam17We’ve all done it, swerved out of a lane on the expressway and have been alarmed by the sound between the road and our tires! Now most I’ve talked to find that rumbling somewhat annoying…but what is all the rumbling about? It’s the sound of lives being saved!

This comes straight from the MDOT website, National crash reduction studies indicate that after installation of center line rumble strips (and some shoulder rumble strips) on rural two-and four-lane highways, MDOT can project:

  • a reduction of more then 300 crashes annually
  • a reduction of approximately 60 incapacitating injuries annually
  • to save more then 15 lives annually

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Over the next 3 years, MDOT will install 5,700 miles of centerline rumble strips (and an additional 1,700 miles of shoulder rumble strips)on rual highways across Michigan. Although the department has received some concerns about maintenance, motorcycles, and noise, it believes that if one life is saved each year, the investment in this safety initiative is well worth it.

CHECK THIS OUT: Video of MDOT’s PSA about rumble strips 

 http://mdotwas1.mdot.state.mi.us/public/mivideo/mivideo.cfm?vidId=17

bax3Noise and vibration produced by shoulder rumble strips are effective alarms for drivers who are leaving the roadway. They are also helpful in areas where motorists battle rain, fog, snow, or dust. Rumble strips also help reduce highway hypnosis-a condition where white lines and yellow stripes on long, monotonous stretches of straight freeway can mesmerize and wreak havoc with a driver’s concentration.

There are four types of shoulder rumble strips. They differ primarily in how they are installed, their shape and size, and the amount of noise and vibration produced:

  1. Milled
  2. Rolled
  3. Formed
  4. Raised
Highway agencies often use all types of shoulder rumble strips, depending on the need and the material. The groove pattern can be installed intermittently or continuously. The groove pattern, depth, width, shape, and spacing may also change with the road agency.

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This is a side note from yesterdays blog regarding alleged traps surrounding Metro Airport. I asked viewers to sound off about there experiences or if they have in fact been caught in one of these “traps”, well one viewer did. I received this email this morning….

Thanks Dan for your input!

I work at the airport so I know. Every day it’s the same thing. There are about 5 or 6 “unmarked” police cars that sit in the very same spots each day. All the cars are either Dodge Magnums or Dodge Chargers. If it isn’t those guys then it’s Romulus police or Wayne County Sheriffs. When I drive by the usual spots, if they’re not there then that means they are writing a ticket up ahead. One of the problems is when you drive by a speed limit sign, it’s posted at 45. Then when you are pulled over ¼ mile ahead the sign reads 40. If that’s not a speed trap then I don’t know what is. Dan.

 

EMAIL ME AT LPODELL@WDIV.COM OR FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER AT http://twitter.com/LaurenPodell

TUNE INTO LOCAL 4 NEWS FIRST AT 4 FOR THE RIDE HOME COMMUTE

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Where are you going and where do you come from?

March 24, 2009

heather-zara-headshot16Local 4 Blog by Heather Zara

Good Morning. I want to take a little survey on what your commute is like each and every morning. Do you hop on more than one freeway or take the back roads? Does your commute take you less than 10 minutes or is it over an hour each day? When you’re driving from point A to B, what is your starting location and where do you end up?

The more I know about your commute… the better. This way your traffic reports will be as personalized as possible. Feel free to leave a comment below or email me at hzara@wdiv.com with what traffic reports you would like to see when you wake up.

As for Gas Prices to Drive 4…

In what cities do you usually stop to fill up your gas tank?

  • Detroit
  • Troy
  • Warren
  • Dearborn
  • Southfield
  • Romulus
  • Ann Arbor
  • Novi
  • Madison Heights
  • St. Clair Shores
  • Brighton
  • Other????

Let me know! Email me or follow me on Twitter @HeatherZara. Looking forward to hearing from you! Have a great day and I’ll see you right back here tomorrow on clickondetroit.com as well as on the tube on Local 4 News Morning starting at 5am.

Back in saddle again…

March 23, 2009

newsteam16WOW! Where do I begin? Well I am back in good ‘ol Michigan and I came back at the perfect time, the 1st full week of SPRING! But, trust me going from 85 degrees to 35 in 4 hours was a true shock to the system. My vacation to the Riviera Maya was incredible… white sand beach’s, turquoise water, sun beating down.. I could go on and on! Very relaxing but it’s always good to return home… especially to Local 4!  

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You can catch me today back at my regular time on First at 4 and throughout the 5pm newscasts… looking slightly bronzed! 🙂

 

 

So not to keep talking about my amazing vacation lol…. BUT you must know about this. If you thought road construction in Michigan was bad, Mexico has one up on us. On my way to my resort from the Cancun airport, the expressway in Mexico WAS COVERED with orange barrels! It came to such a shock to me how much construction was affecting there main freeways! It was down to one lane… speed bumps were up… flashing signs about every 1/2 mile. It looked like Michigan with palm trees!! I said to myself, “Boy I could make a good living as a traffic reporter here!”

~WELCOME TO METRO-AIRPORT! HERE’S YOUR SPEEDING TICKET ~

large_254450351_metroairport2But here is something to chew on that affects us MUCH close to home…Metro Airport speed traps! More and more people are being greeted by or caught in police patrols that smell of speed traps. I was surprised to see new signs warning people about this when I returned from vacation.

Here is whats going on in Romulus: signs are posted inside of the airport’s passenger terminals warning people that Romulus police have dramatically increased patrols, so drivers should go slowly and obey all traffic laws.  The targeted areas include I-94, I-275, and Eureka Rd. Drivers are seeing, on a more regular basis, groups of police cars, some unmarked, nabbing one driver after another.

“From what we’re hearing, you don’t have to be doing much over the speed limit,” said airport spokesman Michael Conway. He said he found out that from July to December 2008, Romulus officers wrote 10,000 tickets.

At one point, Wayne County Airport Authority police parked on roadsides and turned on their flashing lights to warn people about Romulus cops staked out ahead, said Romulus Mayor Alan Lambert, who contends the crackdown is justified.

speedcheck“Our traffic accidents have gone down by 250,” in 2008 compared with 2007, “so we’re saving lives,” Lambert said. “It’s not just around the airport.”

The airport won’t label these patrols speed traps, but the National Motorists Association does. Spokesman Aaron Quinn said the group, which hosts the Web site www.speedtrap.org, has heard about the aggressive policing around Metro and the airport authority’s alerts to travelers

Our objective for traffic enforcement is to improve safety,” said First Lt. Thad Peterson, commander of the traffic services section of the Michigan State Police, which routinely announces speeding and drunken-driving crackdowns ahead of time to alert drivers and raise awareness.

Peterson said roads with high numbers of speeding tickets can be “an indicator that we have to check the speed limit” to make sure it’s appropriately set based on conditions. The State Police works with state and local road officials to adjust speeds on roads that, for example, have been improved over time and can handle faster traffic.

You can serve yourself and others around Metro Airport by spreading the word: Slow down and stick to the rules so you don’t get caught up in — ahem — aggressive policing.

 

SOUND OFF! WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THESE SO CALLED SPEED TRAPS? HAVE YOU SEEN THE SIGNS? ISSUED A TICKET IN THE SURROUNDING AREA?

Let me know… comment or email me at lpodell@wdiv.com