The five-point intersection of Mast Rd – Huron River Dr – Joy Rd is a problem Dexter area residents would like the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) to solve.
Wednesday, on a We Love Dexter Facebook post linking an article about the coming Baker Road roundabouts, comments quickly diverted to the dangerous intersection just outside Dexter City Limits.
“Please, let’s get a roundabout at the intersection of Huron River Dr, Mast Rd and Joy Rd? Traffic is murderous there in AM and PM during max commute times!”
“I think you’d actually need a double roundabout there since the south route for HRD if so separate from the Mast/Joy/HRD (North) intersection.”
“Agreed, the intersection is quite dangerous.”
“I agree with this location too, if you have concerns contact the City of Dexter and WCRC and have them do a study of the intersection.”
“That ‘intersection’ is insane.”
“I think we should be more focused on putting A roundabout at the Huron River Drive intersection where the blue party store is that is more important.”
Reading the comments, I quickly shot off an email to the WCRC to see if there were any plans addressing the problematic intersection. Communications Coordinator for WCRC, Emily Kizer, was quick to respond saying she would check into it with the Assistant Director of Engineering and get back with me. Responses came soon after.
My quick questions were:
- If there any plans for a roundabout there in the future?
- How are locations for roundabouts decided?
- What would it take for concerned citizens to get a roundabout constructed at a specific intersection?
WCRC’s initial response, via Emily, reads:
“Thanks for your patience. We are aware of the concerns about this intersection and it is on the list that we are monitoring. As of right now, there are no funded plans to put a roundabout here.
“We don’t believe a simple roundabout would solve the problems at this intersection and unfortunately, there is no easy fix for this intersection due to the five legs of traffic that come to it.
“Locations for roundabouts and other intersection improvements (like traditional traffic signals) are decided by looking at the traffic data, talking with townships and by available funding resources.
“Concerned residents can call us at 734-761-1500 or submit a request to review the intersection via our app WCRC Fix It:https://www.wcroads.org/residents/report-an-issue/ When these requests come in, we review the most recent traffic study or conduct a new study and try to help come up with solutions to the problems.”
I tried the “Fix It” link and found it was designed to report repair needs and not overall traffic concerns. I have sent Emily another email thanking her for the WCRC quick response to my questions. While that is appreciated, it’s now obvious concerns over the Mast Rd – Huron River Dr – Joy Rd intersection are more serious than simple questions and with short answers.
In the email, I made the following request:
“Here’s the link to our Facebook page. I ask that you scroll down to the article on the Baker Rd roundabouts and read the comments regarding the Mast Rd. – Huron River Dr. – Joy Rd. intersection and ask that, even though already aware, you would pass these concerns along to the Board. It might be time to take another look at a solution. Since the subject of this busy intersection has now come up, and it is an obvious public concern, I think residents would appreciate a more detailed response from the Board explaining why measures can’t be taken to make this intersection safer. What are the challenges? How can we get this intersection on the list of WCRC projects?”
We’ll pass along the WCRC response and plans as they develop.