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Talk About Town: Will the New Hacker Road Caution Light Be Effective?

A new caution light has been installed at the busy intersection. Are the flashing lights enough to help direct traffic or should a regular traffic light be installed?

A new caution light on the corner of M-59 and Hacker Road is a warning for drivers at the busy intersection to slow down and be aware of other drivers.

It’s a warning system that members of the St. John’s church has been trying to get for five years, according to congregation member James Lorang. 

“We wanted to put a regular light there, but the state wouldn’t do it right away,” Lorang said. “Supposedly, they’re going to do it in another year or something.”

With safety being their number one concern, Lorang says that the church was hoping for the regular light with a timer device to help with the flow of traffic on Sunday mornings.

With two heavily attended masses that day, Lorang says that approximately 600 cars can be waiting for up to a half hour when trying to exit from Hacker Road onto the busy M-59 highway. Left turns are the most dangerous, according to Lorang.

“We’ve had several really bad accidents here,” he said. “Several head-on collisions.” 

With the new caution lights now installed, Lorang says he doesn’t know how effective the lights will be. The 12-year Hartland resident also hopes for more safety precautions in the future, including the regular stop light as well as a widening of the highway to include a possible turning lane.

“This is the state giving us a starting block," he said. "But we don’t know if they’re going to do the stoplight thing or the turn lane thing and just leave the caution light.” 

Hartland Patch wants to know: Are the flashing caution lights enough to help direct traffic on Hacker or should a regular traffic light be installed? Are there other intersections in Hartland that need traffic lights as well?

Tell us in comments.

In this Thursday morning feature, we want to hear your opinions about certain topics making headlines. We'll be looking for your feedback in the comment section weekly. And we want to know what the Talk About Town is in your circles. Email Tatum at tatum.ryan@patch.com and it could be a topic of a future Talk About Town.

Lori S October 04, 2012 at 08:02 PM
They have been talking about widening M59 from Hartland west to I-96 for the last 30 years........
Joe Kleiner October 05, 2012 at 02:37 AM
About 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to interview the pastor of St. John's, Fr. Francis George; I was producing a video for HCAT about the construction of the 'new' church. He told me at that time 'his' plan for the traffic problem was to have a regular traffice signal at the M-59/Hacker intersection [operating in a timely manner during church service hours AND an exit for west-bound cars from the church parking lot. MDOT's response is lame, to say the least; let's hope it's temporary. The comment by "Pround Cheer Mom" [above], about 'through' traffic using the shoulder of the road to by-pass 'left-turning' cars, gets right to the point - many drivers are not going to yield their 'rights to the road' just for a flashing yellow traffic light. Opposing 'left-turners' [from M-59] create a nearly intollerable situation, so, whatever you do, carefully monitor traffic in ALL directions. Keep in mind that 'your' left turn from M-59 onto Hacker can be completed in 3-4 seconds, but even that doesn't help if a driver uses the shoulder to by-pass the courteous traffic queue.
Janet October 05, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Installing the flasher is pointless. It's no more than a glorified Stop sign for Hacker traffic and meaningless for M-59 traffic. I'd like to think that it's just temporary, and that a regular traffic signal will replace it. But if that's the case, why not just install the regular light in the first place and set it to flash until people get used to seeing it, then switch it to fully functional? Personally, I'd love to know what MDOT was thinking when they came up with this flasher idea.
Janet October 05, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Lori S is correct, Hartland Dad. Only I think it's been closer to 40 years. I was a young woman when they first talked about such a plan. At this point I'm just wondering if I'll live long enough to see it happen!
hartland eagle October 06, 2012 at 01:32 AM
A boulevard is exactly what's needed. We've had very ineffective representation in Lansing for the last 10 years - which is why it hasn't happened.

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