Intersect this

My fellow Grand Rapids residents, if you’re like me, you have often wondered if it is possible to design a worse and more dangerous intersection than that at the 96/196/Beltline. Yes, I’m referring to the Intersection of Certain Death, where cars traveling at 70+ mph are given approximately four seconds to swerve across multiple lanes of traffic filled with other cars traveling at 70+ mph. I have in the past suggested that condemned criminals ought to be sent through this intersection; if they make it through alive, they would be released on the grounds that God had spared their lives.
But I’m an optimist; I like to think that things can always be improved. And so I’ve come up with a plan for making that intersection even more dangerous. Granted, I had to draw upon the animal kingdom for help, but I think the city of Grand Rapids should get right on with implementing my new and improved 96/196/Beltline intersection:

What do you think? I realize that the current intersection layout is a pretty tough act to beat, as far as killing the most number of commuters goes. But I think my design deserves a chance to prove itself.
update: Ed has been sending me some major linkage lately. Thanks! You should pay his blog a visit.

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5 thoughts on “Intersect this

  1. topher

    Really missing Michelle, eh? 🙂
    I think there’s another intersection in GR that could be considered worse. The “criss cross crash” going from north 131 to east 196 that crosses the on-ramp from Pearl to *either* 196 east or 131 north. The drivers from both directions get about a half second to decide look to see if they’re going to die today or not.

  2. alan

    Impressive, but I still think there’s room for improvement. Bear with me…
    Take your drawing, flip it on its edge and then stretch it into a 3rd dimension. Raise the highways into overpasses, sans guardrails of course, and have them cross various pools or lava, acid, scorpions, etc below. Rain down the carnage of your choosing from above onto the streams of unsuspecting motorists.
    Your mortality rate would approach perfection!

  3. KDC

    You are all lame. C’mon Andy, don’t you remember living in Chicago? The Ohio Street Feeder, the infamous Lake Shore Drive 45 mph “speed limit”, the sudden left-hand exits on the Eisenhower?
    To improve your “death” design, I recommend adding a few of those red and white striped crossbars that supposedly block the reversible lanes from opposite direction traffic on the Kennedy. Preferably at the unoccupied intersection just to the right of the angry samurai (is that singular or plural? I never remember). Or the sort of reverse-direction spikes that rental-car places tend to have. Then the velociraptors will surely have their way!

  4. michele

    Nice design, I’d like to propose an additional element which seems to be much beloved around here: rotaries. There’s one on almost every block.
    See you in about 24 hours…

  5. Kristen

    In today’s (8/18/04)GR Press, there was an article that the Michigan Dept. of Transportation is planning to do something about this, and MDOT is going to have a hearing about it tomorrow on their proposals. I think taking out the armadillo was one of the proposals…

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