Those crashes certainly aren’t isolated incidents.
Mercury Drive has been a problem spot for drivers for decades. Whether it’s the 45 mph speed limit, the twists and turns as the road follows the contours of the Grand River, the sudden subtle elevation changes, or other factors, the road has seen more than its share of auto crashes through the years.
It’s time for something to be done about it.
One solution would be to put a stoplight at the intersection of Mercury Drive and Groesbeck Street.
This intersection has become busier and busier as more and more subdivisions have been built in the township. Longtime residents of the township remember when 152nd Avenue was a sleepy street with only a handful of houses interrupting the woods that lined both sides of the pavement.
Now, 152nd — which intersects with Groesbeck — is the gateway to a multitude of subdivisions, including the sprawling Forest Park, along with condominium units and other housing developments.
Much of the traffic from this rapid growth uses the Mercury Drive-to-Groesbeck route to get to and from Grand Haven. That makes turning onto Mercury Drive a nightmare at busy times of the day.
Compounding the difficulty is the limited line of sight from the stop sign at Groesbeck when looking to the southeast. Traffic coming down the road at 50-plus mph is on top of you in a second.
Would a stoplight at that intersection have made any difference in the two crashes that took place just hours apart earlier this month? Maybe. Maybe not.
The truck that crashed through a barrier and ended up in the muddy channel of the Grand River near Millhouse Bayou at about 10 p.m. may have had its progress slowed by such a light. That spot is only a few hundred yards from the intersection in question.
The fatal crash that happened earlier that day may not have been avoided, since that took place in the wee hours of the morning when the traffic signal likely would have been flashing yellow to traffic on Mercury Drive.
Still, as more and more people move into Grand Haven Township and the roads in that area become busier and busier, something needs to be done to make Mercury Drive a safe corridor for traffic between the city and the township.
A stoplight along the way would, if nothing else, force drivers to keep their eyes open and their speed in check along this busy thoroughfare.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. 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.