In 2015, a complete reconstruction of Sprinkle Rd. from the overpass above I-94 to the intersection of Cork Street with two new roundabouts was finished in Kalamazoo. Many were worried, but it seems to be going well and the traffic flow is SO much better in that area of the city than it was with regular stop-and-go traffic.

Along with the addition of roundabouts, there were major changes to the entrance and exits to for Sprinkle Rd. and I-94 in all directions. But there has been one area where I can't understand the logic for the design and it seems to be a recipe for close calls when traffic is congested on a regular basis for me.

Try to follow this, but I am guessing many of you know exactly what I am talking about...

When you enter WB I-94 from southbound Sprinkle Rd. and reach the merging area, you actually merge into another merge lane that is getting ready to end. And if you end up getting in too late, you're in a weird no man's land. It's two merging lanes ending simultaneously and then soon after ends, again, into the two regular traffic lanes. I've been caught having anxiety exactly like the vehicle below was (see their brake lights?) in this Google Maps image.

Google Images - Funny Merge
Google Images - Funny Merge

The other merge lane is traffic coming from northbound Sprinkle Road onto WB I-94 and it extends all the way until the two merging lanes meet and then end together. I will guess the design idea was, this gives the drivers from northbound Sprinkle Rd. plenty of extra time to merge. But during busy times, drivers linger in that merge lane until the second one comes along and that's when it seems like no one really knows what to do. I have had to nearly come to a complete stop at this area to either let a car in or to try and merge into traffic myself.

I am sure this area was "paved with good intentions", but we know where that road goes. Is anyone out there smarter than me (don't answer that).... who can explain why it was designed this way?

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