Making an Arborland Left
Question Corner: November 2013
by Tim Athan
Q: We exit our neighborhood at Pittsfield Boulevard and Washtenaw Avenue. For as long as I can remember, cars stopped at that light (going west toward downtown Ann Arbor) are turning left from Washtenaw onto Pittsfield, then making a quick left into the shopping center where Dollar Tree is, before turning back onto eastbound Washtenaw. If there are a lot of cars on Pittsfield waiting to turn, this can create a traffic jam, as the line of cars can prevent them from turning into the shopping center. For the life of me, I cannot figure why people need to do this. I have wanted to ask a driver or two, but don't want to be rude.
A. Our investigator confirmed that there is a steady stream of traffic out of Arborland making this maneuver. When he (not too rudely) approached one of the drivers, she explained that she had exited Arborland and wanted to travel east.
The shopping center U-turn is unnecessary. Arborland has three exits, and the westmost is directly opposite Pittsfield Blvd. Drivers who use it can turn left directly onto eastbound Washtenaw. This exit, however, is somewhat hidden, and so some drivers may be unaware of it--or at least unaware that an eastward turn is allowed there.
Contacted by the Observer, Arborland officials said they will consider adding signage. That could make customers' parking experience easier, while improving traffic flow in the neighborhood, too.
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[Originally published in November, 2013.]