Why? Because that stretch of the highway — which runs south all the way to Indianapolis and beyond, and north nearly to the Mackinac Bridge — is a traffic nightmare on summer weekends.
The northbound lane is particularly packed as families in their SUVs — pulling campers, dune buggies and other trailers — clog the 2-mile stretch from Robbins Road to the drawbridge.
Hopefully, an end to this traffic problem is in sight as plans for the new M-231 bypass continue to move forward.
But for now, those of us who want to travel into or out of Grand Haven — or simply cross the highway on our way to and from work — must deal with a snarl of cars and trucks. A little common courtesy, with some common sense mixed in, can make this situation a little less painful to all involved.
First of all, when traveling in heavy traffic on U.S. 31 and you come to an intersection, especially one with a traffic light, make sure you’ve got enough room to get through the entire intersection before creeping forward. Otherwise, when the light turns red and you’re still stuck in the middle of the intersection, the cars trying to cross the highway suddenly have nowhere to go thanks to your impatience.
Secondly, when you’re stopped in traffic and you notice oncoming vehicles waiting to turn left, be polite and let them cross in front of you. It’s not going to delay your arrival time by more than a few seconds, if at all, considering that the vehicles in front of you are most likely at a standstill.
When someone in front of you is trying to switch lanes, let them in. One day, it’s going to be you who realizes you need to get over immediately, and you’ll be thankful when someone else allows you to merge into their lane.
Nobody likes to be stuck in traffic, but that doesn’t mean we have to take it out on those around us.
Be aware, be kind — and when in doubt, find a different route. It’s sure to save you a few headaches.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Kevin Collier, Nick White and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.