Can We All Agree This is Jackson, Michigan’s Most Annoying Intersection?
There are plenty of terrible intersections out there, especially on Michigan roads, and what makes them terrible can vary depending on where you are and what happens there. Maybe it's one where there just happens to be a lot of accidents, maybe a roundabout, maybe low visibility.
Some could probably benefit from an extra stoplight, but this one in Jackson either has too many or just can't seem to time them quite right.
From County Farm/Springport Road(s) to Boardman, Airport Road's Most Annoying Stretch
When it comes to driving in Jackson, I know my dad absolutely hates it, it's a place that truly thrives on defensive driving. However, that defensiveness can only get you so far when there are as many stoplights as there are on Jackson's Airport Road.
Now, normally stoplights are a good thing but there are SO MANY on Airport Road, you better plan accordingly for getting stuck at any, if not all, of them. It's actually the area I got my first ticket ever for "disregarding a steady yellow signal."
There are also businesses lining either side of the road which means you are not only stopping for lights but you are also constantly stopping for other drivers.
Not to mention, the higher flow of traffic being re-routed this way due to major construction at the West Avenue, I-94 interchange.
All of these annoyances, though, are nothing compared to when you get to the intersection with what seems like a million stoplights, turn lanes, etc. We're talking about the I-94 / Boardman / Airport Road interchange (for lack of a better term)
From Jackson's Airport Road to Boardman Road to the Highway to...a Straight-Up Pain
We want to start this part off by saying, we are glad the lights are there and it ultimately comes down to a timing thing. Like many trickier areas you may drive in, if you know what you are doing at this particular intersection, you should manage just fine, but it's everyone else who seems like they don't that are the problem.
First, if you are heading straight down Airport Road, going either direction, you should have a pretty easy time and not have to worry about any of it other than stopping when and where you are supposed to.
However, let's say you want to turn right off Boardman. You could right-on-red, however, there is a whole other multitude of lines of cars waiting just across to also potentially turn left, go straight or right that could get the light to go as you are. Then, when you make the turn, there is a short space available to choose from one of three lanes before there is another stoplight.
As cars file in line waiting for the light, ones that may have gotten there when those going straight on Airport Road, the light allowing others to make the turn onto Airport Road turns green and suddenly, you now have this whole line of cars jutting out, blocking traffic, but still waiting on that red light in a pretty tight spot.
It may seem a little hard to visualize, so to make this seem like less of an unhinged rant here are a few photos to illustrate the point:
In the photo above, this is what you see when you pull up to this intersection from Boardman Road. If you are wishing to turn right like I was here, you are better off staying where you are, stopped, as the car pulling to the right will already be sticking out into traffic behind the white van (far right) that is currently stopped at the stoplight.
As you are stopped, you look to your left and see more cars approaching, going straight down airport road with a green light...but that red light where you were hoping to turn before is still red, causing even more of a backup. Those cars (pointed out in red) are also waiting to turn left. Will the light turn green and get cars out of the way so there's enough room? Maybe.
As you look to the right, it appears traffic immediately following that right turn you hoped to make has started moving. As you can see, though, there is an exit ramp to the right as well as one to the left and, surprise surprise, another set of stoplights!
Stoplights Aren't the Problem, the Timing is
We've mentioned this before but it is worth re-iterating. There is quite obviously a need for the stoplights here otherwise they wouldn't have them up. However, if they are not timed in a way that can cater to this volume of traffic, it makes it almost as dangerous.
If there are cars sticking out into the lanes, like in that first photo, they risk getting hit as well as other drivers having a lot of maneuvering to do in a short amount of time. This could lead to not only carelessness, but also riskier driving.
People in Jackson are very defensive drivers and some people hardly know how to drive at all which makes intersections like this an annoying nightmare.
I'm sure there will be people flooding comment sections about how it seems "the author doesn't get out much" or "it's so simple, just follow the lights" which are both somewhat valid points but IT'S JUST ANNOYING, OKAY.
What are some of the other most annoying or worst intersections in Jackson? Let us know. In the meantime, here's a look at the worst in Lansing: