Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The "Lovely" Michigan Left Turn

When we first moved to Michigan, we were puzzled at certain intersections. There would be a "No Left Turn" sign posted, for no apparent reason. At the intersection in question, we could go straight through it, or turn right. Once, out of desperation to turn left (and noting that no police were around! LOL) Kevin turned left. (Shhh don't tell anyone!)

Finally we figured it out! We even learned that it has a name. Here's an example of what a Michigan Left Turn is like:

Often maligned, often misunderstood, the Michigan Left Turn is an operation which causes much consternation among out-of-state drivers and nary a second thought from locals. Developed in Michigan in 1960...these turning set-ups exist across the entire state, from Niles to Escanaba and from Detroit to Marquette. (Yes, the Upper Peninsula has Michigan Lefts!)

The Michigan Left was developed to avoid the interlocking left-turn movements along divided highways. In this way, the only turning movements allowed at such an intersection are right-hand turns. Traffic lights can be placed at busier Michigan Left intersections if warranted. For the most heavily-used "crossovers," specialized traffic signals may be placed to ensure traffic does not back up on the highway waiting to turn left.

Quote taken from


Annecourager said...

That is one of the things I love about MI: the "Michigan Left." That and the fact that they actually TIME their stoplights, esp. on Woodward Ave. though that isn't in your neck of the woods.

Other things I love about MI are Sander's Fudge, the Farmer Jack commercial, and Camp CoBeAc, though I've only been there twice; once overnight, once on a day trip with BIL and Fam. Oh yeah and Baker Book House, I love their store!

Corene said...

so you have to go to that little road connecting the two big roads in order to make a left turn to go back where you really wanted to make it in the first place but instead then you would be making a right turn on the road on which you wanted to be making a left hand turn at. Right?

Anonymous said...

you know...I never noticed those when I was there. That is interesting.

Anonymous said...

Here in Puebla we have the same type of Left Turns. At first I didn't like them, but now I have gotten use to them.

Tammy said...

Yes, Corene, you are correct. :)

And Erin, you like them? LOL Actually, once you know what they are, it isn't TOO bad. But sometimes you end up sitting through the same stoplight twice.