Four Lake Lansing Roundabouts Studied To Ease Traffic

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If you're planning on passing through Lake Lansing and Coolidge roads around rush hour, be prepared to wait.

A while.

"It's frustrating," driver Lizzy MacDonald told us.

Local leaders say something needs to be done because this intersection just can't handle all the cars passing through it. It's pretty easy to see their evidence.

"At this time of day, Lake Lansing will back up for a couple of hundred feet or further," East Lansing Public Works Director Todd Sneathen said. "So will Coolidge."

So East Lansing has been studying building a roundabout there. The city's next door neighbor, Lansing Township, is already building a couple of roundabouts near Eastwood Towne Center.

One would be at Chamberlin Drive and Lake Lansing Road. The other along Wood Road near the Sam's Club store.

Now the two are coming together to study whether four new roundabouts along Lake Lansing could work: One at Coolidge, one at each ramp to U.S. 127 and one at Preyde Boulevard, the entrance to Eastwood.

The study will get underway in about a week. It should last about three months, but construction likely wouldn't get underway for two years.

If roundabouts are recommended, it could make the stretch similar to an interchange along U.S. 23 near Brighton, where four roundabouts can be found. Those traffic circles are also next to a new shopping center.

"Roundabouts allow free flowing traffic," Sneathen explained. "Nobody really has to stop and wait for the signal to turn green."

That free flow of traffic could mean the bridge over U.S. 127 doesn't need to be widened, making the roundabouts a money saver.

Studies show the traffic circles can be safer because the accidents that happen in them are less severe than ones at traditional stoplights.

But the study might find they are not the best option. If they're not, turn lanes may be added, that bridge might have to be replaced and Lake Lansing could may need to be widened.

Even if roundabouts are selected, one issue remains: will the public accept them as well as engineers do?

"I think that's the million-dollar question," Sneathen said.

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