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Let there be light … at the Sprinkle Road roundabouts

January 14, 2016 by Steven M. Gursten

MDOT shares welcome safety news about Kalamazoo’s roundabouts: Consumers Energy scheduled to install lighting in spring 2016

Sprinkle Road roundabout image

It’s official: There will be lights installed at the Sprinkle Road roundabouts in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This has been confirmed by the Michigan Department of Transportation and the installation is scheduled to take place this spring.

In an e-mail to Michigan Auto Law, Nick Schirripa, Communications Representative for MDOT’s Southwest Region stated:

“Street lighting was not part of the project design because MDOT doesn’t traditionally provide street lights on local routes. So, when Consumers Energy was approached about the possibility, it was already too late in their season to complete the lights this year [2015]. They are planning to install them in the spring, which is the soonest they could get it.”

As those of you who regularly drive the Sprinkle Road roundabouts know, lighting – or lack thereof – is a major safety concern.

The issue came through loud and clear in the comments we received on our December 22, 2015, Facebook post where we asked people to tell us “what’s working … and what’s not working” for them at the new Sprinkle Road roundabouts.

Here are a few of the comments we received about the lighting at the Sprinkle Road roundabouts:

  • “I love it!! Only drawback so far is that it is too dark at night. It needs lights. (Cathy Gray)
  • “Good [point] on the lighting, I was there the other night and it was dark and raining. Spooked me out !! was hard to see everything. Hope that is fixed this summer!!!” (Judy Johnston Bard)
  • “It needs lighting. Too dark at night to see properly.” (Sherry Stewart Bell)
  • “It is definitely too dark to see.” (Sharon M Hagenbuch)
  • “I just hate it at night. That is when it is the scariest. I can’t see the lines. We need more lighting.” (Christa M. Longtin)
  • “Tried using the I-94/Sprinkle Road east-bound exit and ended up going south instead of north. It was dark and wet and difficult to see the white lines. Would really help if there were overhead lights so we could see clearly at night.” (Vito Valella)
  • “I love it! But it could use a little improvement. Better lighting for one.” (Katie Tuinier)

Gratefully, during the conversation, we heard from the Road Commission of Kalamazoo County:

“The Sprinkle Road roundabout is an MDOT project. We were informed that the street lighting is currently being designed by Consumers Energy. Lighting is expected to be installed by Consumers Energy in the spring.”

As the temperatures here in Michigan start to drop and the snow begins to fall, we know have one more reason to look forward to spring.

Thank you to the Road Commission of Kalamazoo County and to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for sharing this helpful and welcome important safety information.

To learn more about Michigan roundabouts, please check out Michigan Auto Law’s “Michigan Roundabout Accident Resource Center.”

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