Thanks to David Rossman and Barbara Laird for their Oct. 30 comments on the Catherine/Glen intersection. Regarding Mr. Rossmans letter, I did not know CDL regulations suggest that right turns are to be executed in the curb lane of traffic, and am grateful to him for pointing it out. I am puzzled, however, as to what suggest could mean here.
But lets suppose that a bus must turn right in the curb lane to comply with Michigan CDL regulations, as Mr. Rossman clearly implies. This would create a strong case for his solution of requesting changes (unspecified) to signals at Catherine and Glen, since, moving to Ms. Lairds letter, Cars in the middle lane often have their view blocked by buses or SUVs in the right lane. I was appalled to read further on of stories told to Ms. Laird of peoples near misses and being brushed by cars.
The crux of the matter is this: The traffic lights at Catherine and Glen turn green simultaneously for both right turn vehicles and people crossing at Glen. This setup seems almost preprogrammed for big trouble. All there is to protect crossers is a blue and yellow metal sign put up on the other side of Glen, telling vehicles Right turn must yield to pedestrians. Common sense has to tell us that no matter what the acumen of drivers on the one hand, in nasty weather drivers unfamiliar with the corner will not see the sign. On the other hand, the vision of drivers turning right in the center lane onto Glen will be blocked by large vehicles turning in the curb lane, as Ms. Laird and Mr. Rossman have stated.
My initial suggestion stands: Reroute the bus. There are too many small dangers at this corner that pass unnoticed in good weather, but in bad can quickly add up to a treacherous situation. If a reroute is not possible, by all means the city of Ann Arbor should install a highly visible electric signal allowing pedestrians to cross while all traffic is stopped. Susan Weinberg made this suggestion in the Oct. 2 Record.
Dennis Moore, audio/visual aide, Taubman Medical Library