M-24 Roadwork aka Driving Disaster

While I appreciate the long overdue improvements being made to M-24, I don’t appreciate the lack of thought of its consequences. This is the main thoroughfare into and out of Lake Orion. It is the only route to get to the only high school, a middle school and several housing communities.
With the already-in-progress construction projects, new housing sub-division, senior complex and center, our cities planners thought it was okay to approve allowing both north and south directions of M-24 to be worked on at the same time. Not only that, but having the construction extend the entire length from downtown Lake Orion to the boundary line of Auburn Hills as well. Everyone going to jobs in and out of the area, construction workers already in the area, nearly 3,000 students and faculty are all in the one lane per direction traffic allowances. The construction crews change turnaround options almost hourly, lights are not working and no one has made time allowances for our children.
I would like to know why our city planners, board members and counsel people apparently made no thought on the obvious impact of nearly eliminating our main route to/from/through the area of Lake Orion and Orion Township. Allowing both directions to be reduced, turnarounds moved/eliminated daily, and expecting “be careful”, “slow down”, “be prepared”, to be the only preparations made.
How about staggering school start times for the high school and middle school? Only allowing on side of the road to be worked on, or only sections, at a time? Not having the entire 5-mile route in and out to be dysfunctional at the same time? Not allowing all turnarounds to be eliminated/moved/changed and losing crossing lights at the same time?
Stress on our students is already high. In pre-construction days we see accidents and road conditions necessitating police presence. Why, with all the additional construction at the corner of Scripps and M-24, wouldn’t you make considerations to access the school safely and timely?
Since no forethought was made in planning these project’s collision courses, we now have to play catch-up. Telling the residents of the Lake Orion area to make allowances, i.e. wait in miles of traffic jams, is not acceptable – there needs to be a better plan by our district leaders.
I propose they work with the construction crews to stop changing turnarounds without notice (I’ve seen them change by the hour for no apparent reason), keep lights in working order, suspend left turns at Scripps to northbound M-24 in the morning (this puts school bound traffic down to a crawl) and try to get construction work to be focused northbound in the morning and southbound in the evening to ease the burden at rush hours.
And, school leaders, give leeway to students entering this turmoil. Allow them time to be in school without adding punishment (detentions) for being stuck in this lack of planning.
Brenda Waldroop
Orion Township resident

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