Is I-496/U.S. 127 Bad or Do We Just Suck At Driving?
I have lived a lot of places. Driven in a lot of places. I thought that when I lived in Alaska and had my first turn at dealing with a roundabout, THAT WAS THE WORST THING EVER.
Alaskans can't drive. They are literally used to it snowing so much, and making deep ruts in the snow with their tires, that they pretty much let the car guide itself down the highway. That's real talk my friends.
I had lived in Michigan for several years before moving to Alaska. I, like many Michiganders, am used to our famed Michigan Left. Even after that, I was still O.K. with Michigan drivers, the law, and the lay of the land here.
But upon returning to Michigan from Alaska and moving to Lansing, never have I face a monstrosity that compares to the mess that is the 496 and 127 interchange.
It's a mess, it sucks, and not only is it poorly built and designed but it makes me rethink how bad Alaskan drivers are. This thing makes us look stupid. Or are we just terrible drivers?
Let's start northbound on U.S. 127 & I-496.
If you're going 496 West, you should get over now. Actually before you get here, you should be over already. All the way left. But no one reads and pays attention to the signs.
Because by the time you are here...
MOST drivers who aren't already all the way over to the left lose it and freak out. Let me use some arrows.
Most folks are usually all the way in the right lane and shoot over across 3 lanes because THEY JUST REMEMBERED, "Oh crap I need to go west...I need to get over NOW!"
This HAPPENS ALL THE TIME! I have seen so many near death experiences underneath the above sign. I have seen a person split the lane and shoot straight between 496 and 127 and go off the highway right up the middle. Crazy.
Southbound is no better.
Here, you're going 496 East and merging onto 127 Southbound. The 496 lane shrinks quickly from 2 lanes to one. 127 is two lanes. But by the time the 496 lane gets to it, we've got a three lane rat race. And no one sees this.
That three lane is about to turn into two lanes REAL FAST. And folks all the way in the left are going anywhere from 75 to a bazillion. If you're here at rush hour no one wants to let you over.
I even left out the pure hell that is getting onto 127 Southbound from Howard Street. Merging over from this thing during rush hour is insanity.
Did I mention you should COMPLETELY stay away during rush hour (especially after work at 5 pm) NO MATTER WHAT?!?
Every now and again, it's even a speed trap. State boys like to sit in the median by East Trowbridge Exit 9.
Look at it.
And don't get me started if there's construction or an accident on it.
Either we need more (and bigger) signs with lights on them or we seriously need to put the phone down and pay attention to what we're doing when we're driving.
Operator error and distracted driving aside, I still think it sucks.