March 2011 Archives

I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today.

Any Video Shot that starts with people at a starting line surrounded by a drunk crowd (below) cannot end well. And, predictably, this doesn't. I think the loser had the shopping cart with the wheel that goes wocka-wocka-wocka.

These are called "quadrocopters" (below), and someday they will beat you at tennis. In this Video Shot, they are playing ball by themselves. They "see" with cameras, and they know how to juggle the ball using special software. Next stop: Robo-Wimbledon.

It is beyond me why this Frenchman (below) wants to ski on the roads and not on the snow. Except that, maybe, it is because there is no snow. You must give him credit ... he is, how you say, intrepid? But in the end ... fail.

This is an archive Video Shot from 1990 (below), when men were men, women were women, and toddlers operated back hoes! Needless to say, this family never had to make a trip to Toys T Us to buy any Bob the Builder toys. This kids plays with the big boy toys.

We all forget things when we get excited. And we've all seen a dog get excited and run around. This dog .... forgets to jump over the bed. The experience seems to knock some sense into him.

EMBED-Crazy Dog Forgets To Jump - Watch more free videos

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The Drive: Tuesday 3/29

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No delays or crashes for the first 90 minutes of the morning commute (if you consider 5 a.m. the beginning of the commute).

6:20 a.m. Crash with injuries at the interection of M-57/14 Mile and Northland Drive. One of those involved complained of trouble breathing, so medical help responded at their highest priority. In all medical calls, a person having difficulty breathing is "Med One."

6:28 a.m. First responders reported they had two patients priority one and two patients priority two. Then someone on the scanner requested "shut the road off there." I could not confirm any closure when I called Kent County dispatch and to Michigan State Police in Rockford. It took some time to extricate one of the patients.

7:40 a.m. A three-car crash ruined some people's day at the intersection of 152nd Avenue and Quincy Street, but there were no injuries.

I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today.





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Videos: Lamborghini Fire, Wrong-Way Driver, Solowheel,

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I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today.



Two Motorcycles, Two Cars, One Wall of Death - Watch more Funny Videos
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The Drive: Monday 3/28

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While traffic ran smoothly and on time when FOX 17 Morning News began at 5 a.m., things got interesting when I heard scanner traffic from Ottawa County that indicated a vehicle hit the wall of the courthouse on 7th Street in Holland.

5:00 a.m. A minor two-car crash on US-31 at James Street did not affect what little traffic was on the road. The vehicles involved did not block any lanes.

5:45 a.m. A car hit the wall of the courthouse on 7th Street in Holland while missing the curbs and bushes. The driver was fine, except for the citation issued. Damage assessment was not available right away, except that the vehicle did not go through the wall.

6:00 a.m. An accident on Byron Center Avenue at Floyd Street caused injuries.

8:00 a.m. Traffic was partially blocked by an injury accident involving two vehicles on 16th Street between Lincoln Avenue and Fairbanks Avenue.

8:25 p.m. A minor crash put two vehicles on the shoulder on northbound US-131 at Pine Island Drive.

Vanity Shots: Babies - 3/28/11

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Remember The Good Old Days?

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Remember ... ?
Prices today are 78 cents higher than this date one year ago, according to

But at around $3.54 - $3.65, we are still doing better than the predictions from last week. The gas psychics called for $3.75. 

Didn't happen.

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Vanity Shots: Mike's Vacation Shots - 3.25.11

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The Drive: 3/25

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Twenty-four hours can make a big difference. Thursday morning was icy everywhere, but especially in Allegan and Kalamazoo Counties.

Friday morning: nice and dry. But still cold, so some stretches of country roads could have ice.

5:50 a.m. Two crashes at one location, so one state trooper handled them both, in front of the Park 'N' Ride lot on 17 Mile Road and US-131.

The rest of the morning was uneventful, though I don't guarantee I didn't miss an accident call on one of the six scanners I monitor each morning.

One new road construction site pops up today: I-96 at 28th Street.

I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today, March 24, 2011.


It's a spring break Video Shot ... when overweight guys drink to excess the adult beverages that contribute to the kind of stupidity that, naturally, makes the Internet. Say goodnight, Bubba.

Hefty Spring Breaker Falls Off Truck - Watch more Funny Videos

This Video Shot of surfing is not California or Hawaii, but Lake Superior.


Surveillance video usually reveals thieves who scramble to grab as much loot as they can. In this Video Shot (below) from Florida, this guy wanted cash, but when he couldn't get any, he went to the cooler and grabbed one 18-pack of cheap beer. The manager said he could take off with anything and sell it, but he was just--in her words--'an idiot.' Especially since he didn't do anything to hide his identity.


To the barnyard we go with Video Shots - for fighting rabbits! But very quickly the chicken police move in to 'break it up! Break it up!' seriously. Chickens giving the bunnies what for.


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The Drive 3/24

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Email notice went out early from Kalamazoo County that roads were click and drivers should driver slower. At that time, I-94 was reduced to one lane westbound east of the Galesburg exit around mile marker 89, and I-94 was down to one lane eastbound west of the 9th Street exit around mile marker 70. All this before FOX 17 Morning News got on the air at 5 a.m.

5:15 a.m. A car vs. pedestrian crash was reported on M-89 southeast of Allegan west of 26th Street. The first officer on the scene reported the victim was a 20's male and possibly dead. Allegan County dispatchers would not confirm that, which is standard operating procedure, but I had to ask anyway. We sent photojournalist Jason Hutton to the scene.

The highway was closed until shortly before 9 a.m. When Jason first arrived at the scene, he was unable to confirm the death; authorities were not talking at the time, as they were awaiting the arrival of a medical examiner.

Shortly after 8:30 a.m., he was able to confirm the story: a man had an argument with his girlfriend and jumped into traffic. Two cars avoided him, but he was hit by the third. He appeared to have been drinking. The death was ruled a suicide.

7:00 a.m Kalamazoo County dispatch said icy conditions still called for lower speeds, and the rollovers on US-131 at West Main Street and on M-96 east of Augusta was supporting testimony. In Allegan County, more crashes took place, on M-40 at 102nd Avenue and on 128th Avenue between Bradley and Hopkins (that one was a rollover).

7:45 a.m. Traffic backed up on eastbound I-196 from the Chicago Drive exit due to a crash. And there was another crash on M-45/Lake Michigan Drive at 42nd Avenue.

8:00 a.m. The focus of crashes shifted to city streets in Grand Rapids. One was located at Diamond Avenue and Michigan Street. While there were several others, I failed to note their locations.     

The Drive: Tuesday 3/22

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For the morning commute, most of the incidents were in Ottawa County.

6:10 a.m. In Holland, a semi blocked the intersection of 16th Avenue and I-196 for most of the morning due to a broken axle.

6:50 a.m. A crash caused damage but no injuries at US-31 and Lincoln Avenue in Holland.

7:30 a.m. A crash partially blocked the intersection of 96th Avenue and New Holland Street in the Holland area. Traffic on southbound US-131 slowed down drastically at West River Drive due to heavy traffic.

7:35 a.m. A call sent an Ionia County deputy to I-96 near the M-66 exit. It wasn't clear whether it was a crash or a motorist who needed help.

7:50 a.m. There was a crash on westbound I-196 near the 32nd Ave/Hudsonville exit.

8:00 a.m. Possibly caused by the slowdown, there was a minor crash in the left lane of southbound US-131. The cars got on the left shoulder, and there a state trooper helped out. Ironically, the slowdown cleared up at about that time, and the presence of the vehicles on the left shoulder didn't affect traffic.

8:10 a.m. A crash in the city of Grand Rapids caused some damage at Plymouth Avenue and Bradford Street.
I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today.

"Wish I'd Said That" Award to Jon Shaner: "That guy's really good at getting the best stuff out of vending machines."

I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today.


Guy Stands While Riding His Moped Down The Street - Watch more Funny Videos


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Vanity Shots: For The Fans - 3.21.11

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The Drive: Monday 3/21

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After overnight thunderstorms (and weren't they cool?), commuters woke up to wet pavement and light fog. The fog never became thick enough to affect driving visibility.

5:30 a.m. A crash at the intersection of 100th Street and Whitneyville Avenue in the Caledonia area damaged a power pole. After crews dealt with minor injuries, deputies had to remain to monitor the pole. At first, it had not been completely snapped off and was being supported by its wires. Later in the morning, the deputy on scene reported the pole had completely broken off. It was an intersection to avoid all morning.

5:40 a.m. A deer hit left a carcass in the traveling lane on I-196 around mile marker 5.

5:55 a.m. A three car crash fortunately only damaged the three vehicles at 104th Avenue and Riley Street in the Holland area.

Cheaper Gas This Week?

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3-55 gas.jpgAfter more than a week with gas prices spiking to $3.69 and settling at $3.65, this is what I saw and tweeted at the corner of Leonard Street and Fuller Avenue in Grand Rapids this afternoon.

One half mile north, the price was still $3.65.

Could gas prices be sliding a bit this week?

In a quick email exchange with Patrick DeHaan of, Patrick said that Speedway "seems cautious on raising all their prices at once. Speedway is acknowledged as the price leader in the area.

The Drive: Friday 3/18/11

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The Friday commute was pre-loaded with two crashes on the board before 5 a.m., neither of which was affecting what little traffic was out there. There was a crash north of Nunica on 112th Avenue at State Road and another north of Eastmanville on 68th Avenue.

5:30 a.m. A deputy was called to Kalamazoo Avenue and 108th Street, and what he found was a burned out car partially in a ditch. He told dispatch that the vehicle had apparently burned there and no one was around. He described that car as no longer having recognizable markings.

5:30 a.m. A deer hit on eastbound I-196 around mile marker 52 reminded me that we will probably see more of this kind of report as the weather gets warmer and deer begin to wander more.

6:05 a.m. A three-car crash blocked part of the Zeeland intersection of Riley Street and Centennial Street. The crash scene was not cleared until just before 7 a.m.

7:20 a.m. Two quick crashes in Ottawa County, but no injuries. One at 72nd Avenue at Fillmore Street and another on James Street near US-31.


Vanity Shots: Names & Numbers

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The Drive: Wednesday 3/16

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The unofficial start of the Michigan road construction season is April 1, but occasional closures are popping up enough that I have begun to post a Daily Road Construction Update, which is linked on the FOX 17 Traffic page.

The morning commute was uneventful for nearly two hours.

6:45 a.m. In Muskegon, a pedestrian was reported struck at the intersection of eastbound Seaway Drive and Green Street. Muskegon Heights police later confirmed a 30-year-old man died in that incident.

7:00 a.m. A crash at the Oshtemo intersection of West Main Street and 9th Street caused one vehicle to roll over. The officer who got there said there were no injuries. That last three crashes that I heard of at this intersection resulted in a rollover. A Google street view shows the intersection is nothing special, but with the speed limit of 50 mph at that location, I can understand the forces that come into play in a crash.

Oshtemo 9th W Main Google 

Videos: Drifting Trike, Offloading Car FAIL, Mercedes Desk

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I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today.

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I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today.

Driver Survives Rally Car Nosedive - Watch more Funny Videos

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Vanity Shots: Words - 3.14.11

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I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today.

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Public Meeting: M-66/Dexter Street Reconstruction

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M-66.jpgMDOT will hold a public meeting tonight (3/10) to give you a chance to see what's planned for the road work on M-66/Dexter Street between M-21 in downtown Ionia and the Grand River bridge.

The project begins April 18.

The meeting is planned for the council chambers of Ionia City Hall, 114 North Kidd Street, Ionia, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The project will include resurfacing after grinding off the existing pavement, concrete joint repairs, new sidewalk ramps, some drainage improvements, new water main and sewer, and new lighting.

The Drive: Thursday 3/10/11

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There was a special karma to the morning commute, and it wasn't the good kind. It was fiery. Early, at least.

Before a single incident involving a car, three vehicle fires broke out in an hour.

5:10 a.m. A semi caught fire on eastbound I-96 around mile marker 15, west of the Coopersville exit. It was 30 minutes before crews on scene, which had said the truck was "fully involved," reported the fire put down. The driver suffered minor burns to his hands, but that was all.

5:15 a.m. A garbage truck fire was reported on Alpine Avenue in front of Menards, which is south of Lamoreaux Drive.

5:50 a.m. Another garbage truck fire: Washington Avenue and Fairview Road in Zeeland.

See what I mean?

03-10-11 Ramp196-131.jpg6:40 a.m. Someone slipped off the ramp from eastbound I-196 to northbound US-131. A trooper was on the scene quickly. (You can just see his light in the center of the image at right.) The ramp had to be closed to allow a wrecker to pull the vehicle out.

Fun note: Dave Odette of the Grand Rapids Press found a better angle, and a great caption, too.

7:15 a.m. A crash in Muskegon on Apple Avenue at Sheridan Road, with injuries.

7:25 a.m. Just as I mentioned on the air that no slowdown had developed at the Ann Street bottleneck on southbound US-131, traffic at West River Drive slowed to almost a stop.

7:30 a.m. The crash on the ramp from eastbound I-196 to northbound US-131 was cleared.

7:40 a.m. Scanner traffic in Allegan County indicated that someone broke down on northbound US-131 near the Wayland exit and was trying to flag people down. Interesting that drivers were calling 911 instead of stopping to help. What would you do? I would probably do the same thing: pulling over without warning from 70 mph is not safe maneuver in the best of conditions.

Light snow fell during most of the morning, keeping the roads wet but with no accumulation.

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Videos: Self-Driving Car, Tron Lightcycle, Give 'Em a Brake In China

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I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today.
Warning: Some of these are original videos and are uncensored.

Video: Why "BADKIDS"?

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Videos: First Mustang Comm'l, Smashing Buildings, Falling Rock

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I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today:


Vanity Shots: About The Cars - 3.9.11

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The Drive: Wednesday 3/9/11

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The commute started quietly enough. Rain was slowly moving in, temperature 36. That could mean some locations could have freezing rain. We didn't get a concrete notion of where that would be until around 6:30 a.m., when people started sliding off US-31 north of Muskegon.

6:17 a.m. A fender bender in Holland blocked a lane on Washington Avenue just north of US-31.

6:40 a.m. Our first ice indicator: a rollover on northbound US-31 north of Russell Road. No injuries.

6:55 a.m. If you noticed fire units at the intersection of 32nd Avenue and Greenly Street south of Hudsonville, they were responding to a report of an electrical fire.

7:10 a.m. A four-vehicle crash occurred on northbound US-131 near Franklin Street, but everyone got onto the shoulder. It took a while for the state trooper to get everyone going again, but no backup developed, oddly enough, until after the trooper cleared the scene.

7:20 a.m. A crash east of Coopersville sent someone to the hospital. It was in the ditch on 8th Avenue north of Cleveland Street.

7:30 a.m. Another Muskegon County rollover, this one on northbound US-31 north of the M-120/Holton Road exit, in the median. Then, quickly, another crash was reported just south of Russell Road on northbound US-31, leaving one car in the median and one on the shoulder. Then another crash with a vehicle in the trees was reported on southbound US-31 north of White Lake Drive.

7:45 a.m. A car hit a tree near Kent City, on 18 Mile at Fruit Ridge Avenue.

There were several mishaps between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., but I was unable to track down their locations. None caused any backups.

New MDOT Report Posted On The State's Bridges

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If you are really really really detail oriented ... or you are really really really curious about a bridge you travel over every day ... the Michigan Department of Transportation has the report for you.

Current as of February 28, 2011, and applying to any bridge longer than 20 feet that carries road traffic, the report lists bridges by county or by route. Each bridge is rated on its condition on a scale from zero (for failed and out of service) to nine (excellent).

Of 4,402 bridges listed, there are 391 considered "structurally deficient" and 902 as "functionally obsolete." The state's most famous bridges are not listed: the Mackinac, International, and Blue Water bridges are managed by bridge authorities, and the Ambassador Bridge is privately owned and not listed in the report.
I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today:

Gas Price Prediction: $3.69

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Gas pumpThe Gas Game email newsletter landed in my In box today, and it wasn't good news.

These guys are good at predicting where gas prices will go and when, gas prices here in West Michigan.

In a post appropriately titled "Another Round of Ugliness This Week," their prediction is that we will see $3.69 a gallon for regular unleaded sometime this week.

Don't mutter "Libya." It's a combination of factors, including the shift to summer gas formulas and the weaker dollar.

The Drive: Monday 3/7/11

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When the worst you can do in the first 70 minutes of the morning commute is a breakdown  in Spring Lake on Savidge Street and Fruitport Road, you know it's going to be a quiet morning.

Shortly after 6 a.m., a state trooper was sent to a hit-and-run on southbound US-131 at West River Drive. Usually, this sort of case leaves the victim on the side of the road, steaming, waiting to make a police report. In this case, the victim was off the highway in the weeds; the vehicle was undamaged, but someone's day was ruined.

7:30 a.m. Another hit-and-run occurred under US-131 on Leonard Street in Grand Rapids. The vehicle suffered so much damage, the officer at the scene suggested that someone look for the other vehicle, because it couldn't have gotten very far. I never heard on the scanner whether the other driver was found.

7:45 a.m. A call went out for an "extraction" in Kalamazoo County, on VW Avenue hear 8th Street, west of Schoolcraft. Another call soon went out for more medical help, with serious injuries.

At about the same time, a call in Ottawa County went out on a report of a vehicle in the water at Quincy Street and 136th Avenue. I thought to myself that this one sounds like an abandoned vehicle. Sure enough, several minutes later, a medical crew that had gotten there before anyone else said the vehicle was empty.

There were a number of fender benders during the morning, but the drivers were able to pull into nearby parking lots and wait for police.

New Fuller Avenue Bridge Planned Over I-196

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At the end of the 2010 road construction season, the guys at MDOT told me the Fuller Avenue bridge over I-196 would be replaced in 2011. A public meeting will be held to inform the public on how that will be accomplished:

  • Wednesday, March 16, 3011
  • 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Kent Community Hospital
  • 750 Fuller Avenue NE
  • Grand Rapids

Work is scheduled to begin April 11. The final product will be wider, with two lanes to make the left turn from northbound Fuller Avenue to westbound I-196, two through lanes northbound and southbound, and one left turn lane from southbound Fuller Avenue to eastbound I-196.

That's a whopping seven lanes for your taxpayer dollars!

No doubt there will be lane closures on the freeway and on Fuller Avenue at times during the project. I'll keep you up to date on the FOX 17 Morning News and here on the traffic blog.

Vanity Shots: More From The Family - 3.7.11

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Videos: Epic BMX Ride, Turkey Traffic

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I used these videos on FOX 17 Morning News today:

Epic BMX Ride In Chili - Watch more Funny Videos


Vanity Shots: Word Puzzles - 3.4.11

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The Drive: Friday 3/4/11

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I heard about no incidents between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. I waiting to post a blog entry -- don't want to jinx the morning.

6:45 a.m. We started getting reports that road conditions east of Lansing were so icy that there were freeway closings. A quick check with MDOT confirmed this:
  • I-96 closed eastbound at Howell from mile marker 137 to mm143 due to a crash.
  • Chrysler Fwy closed northbound between Mack Ave and Warren Ave due to a crash.
  • M-10/Lodge Fwy closed southbound between Pallister St/Seward St and I-94 due to a crash.
  • I-94 eastbound closed between Rotunda Dr and US-12/Michigan Ave due to a crash.
  • M-39/Southfield Fwy southbound closed between Warren Ave and Ford Rd due to a crash.
  • M-39/Southfield Fwy closed between Rotunda Dr and Michigan Ave due to crash.
7:30 a.m. By this time, Ann Arbor was having problems, too:
  • US-23 southbound closed between Silver Lake Rd and 8 Mile Rd/Hamburg/Whitmore Lake due to crash
  • I-75 Northbound is I-75 northbound was closed between Square Lake Rd and M-59 due to icy conditions

VIDEO: Interview with Consumer Reports On Top Picks

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The Drive: Thursday 3/3/11

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Weather hasn't changed, and driving conditions haven't changed. That still meant that we started the morning commute with a rollover.

5:00 a.m. A rollover on the left on eastbound I-196 east of Fuller Avenue. Grand Rapids Fire Department units blocked the left lane until about 5:10 a.m. when a state trooper took over.

6:45 a.m. An officer was dispatched to the ramp from northbound US-131 to 28th Street on a report of a vehicle in the ditch off the ramp. The MDOT Operations Center swung the camera around and looked everywhere, but we didn't see anything.

8:00 a.m. A semi and a car had a fender-bender on the ramp from 68TH AV to westbound I-96.

Vanity Shots: By The Numbers - 3/2/11

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The Drive: Wednesday 3/3/11

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Quiet police scanners mean good driving conditions, and that is how things got started today.

The first hour had no incidents to be heard, though I can't guarantee I heard every police call.

6:45 a.m. Odd. Deja vu. A crash in Oshtemo at the intersection of West Main Street and 9th Street replicated the scene from either Monday or Tuesday -- same location, and in both cases one of the vehicles rolled on impact. Today, no injuries.

8:15 a.m. Everything happened all at once. Two cars blocked the left lane of US-131 at 32nd Street, and traffic backed up from there. At the same time, someone rolled over several times making the turn from Oakland Drive in Kalamazoo to I-94 eastbound. And there was a crash with some injuries at the intersection of Portage Road and Y Avenue southwest of Vicksburg.

The Drive: Tuesday 3/1/11

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I started the morning commute with this tweet (@FOX17traffic): "Dry pavement, no weather. Can we get through a morning commute without a crash? Rarely been done, but it can be done. Focus, West Michigan!"

Rah, rah, everybody.

6:15 a.m. Doh! The perfect record went down. A semi-vs-car collision occurred on US-31 north of Buchanan Street. The semi pulled over on the side of the road; the car ended up in the median.

7:40 a.m. A crash in Jenison on 20th Avenue at Mulberry Street. A fire unit was called in to take care of a fuel spill.

7:55 a.m. A crash on eastbound M-6 east of the Hanna Lake Avenue bridge. At the same time, Michigan State Police went to a crash on the ramp from Plainfield Avenue to westbound I-96.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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