Roundabout could improve safety at problem intersection

NILES, Mich. -- A number of accidents at the intersection of Gumwood and Redfield in Niles has prompted the Cass County Road Commission and Milton Township to consider constructing a roundabout.

“We’re always hearing screaming brakes and beeping horns. And people are flying down Redfield at 55 miles per hour and people trying to get on Redfield can’t see. So it’s a pretty dangerous situation,” said Paul Romanetz.

Romanetz lives next to the intersection.

It is a situation Milton Township said they are well aware of.

“We’ve heard a lot of complaints from residents about that intersection,” said Milton Township Supervisor Robert Benjamin.

Benjamin said anyone who has driven the route knows there are challenges.

“On the Southeast intersection of Redfield and Gumwood there’s a 45 degree angle which makes it hard for anyone to navigate throughout that intersection safely," said Benjamin.

The Cass County Road Commission says there have been 15 accidents at the intersection in the past five years.

Milton Township and the Cass County Road Commission hired an outside agency to come up with a solution.

Their recommendation was to add a roundabout to help traffic flow easier.

Romanetz agreed.

“I agree completely. It’s about safety and it’s about the throughput of traffic,” he said.

But not everyone wants to see the roundabout built because homeowners nearby could lose land.

Milton Township says they welcome any feedback from neighbors and drivers.

Even if approved, it could be another three to five years before a roundabout is built.

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