(UPDATE: The traffic signals have been restored)
Saline City Manager Todd Campbell is urging drivers to use caution at the city’s busiest intersection: Michigan Avenue and Ann Arbor Street.
Lights have been out at the intersection since Wednesday because of a power failure caused by Wednesday’s wind storm. The city erected four-way stop signs at the intersection to bring order to the intersection.
Today county road commission employees executed an MDOT order to remove the four-way stop signs.
“Believe me, I am very concerned. We’re trying to push back and reach out to MDOT, but it is their road and it is their rules,” Campbell said.
Campbell said Police Chief Larry Hrinik talked to a counterpart in Sturgis, Michigan, and Hrinik was told MDOT threatened to sue the city if it failed to comply with orders to remove the stop signs.
The order came out of the MDOT TSC office in Brighton. All calls from the Saline Post to that office failed, perhaps due to a power outage. The Saline Post also left an order with an MDOT communications official.
Campbell said the city is communicating with a Brighton MDOT TSC official via email.
Campbell urged motorists to use caution at the intersection.
“Just be cautious and patient and we will get through it,” Campbell said. “Just follow the rules.”
What are the rules?
When there are no lights and no signs, it’s not a four way stop.
According to the Michigan State Police, drivers should heed right-of-way laws.
Here they are:
257.649 Right-of-way; rules; violation as civil infraction.
(1) The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right of way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.
(2) When 2 vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right.
(3) The right of way rules declared in subsections (1) and (2) are modified at through highways and otherwise as stated in this chapter.
(4) The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign, in obedience to the sign, shall slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and shall yield the right of way to a vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver would be moving across or within the intersection. However, if required for safety to stop, the driver shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if there is not a crosswalk, at a clearly marked stop line; but if there is not a crosswalk or a clearly marked stop line, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway.
(5) The driver of a vehicle traveling at an unlawful speed shall forfeit a right of way which the driver might otherwise have under this section.
(6) Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, the driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is not a crosswalk shall stop at a clearly marked stop line; or if there is not a crosswalk or a clearly marked stop line, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right of way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on the highway as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when the driver would be moving across or within the intersection.
(7) When a vehicle approaches the intersection of a highway from an intersecting highway or street which is intended to be, and is constructed as, a merging highway or street, and is plainly marked at the intersection with appropriate merge signs, the vehicle shall yield right of way to a vehicle so close as to constitute an immediate hazard on the highway about to be entered and shall adjust its speed so as to enable it to merge safely with the through traffic.
(8) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.