Drivers in Charlevoix Fed Up with Traffic Delays After Lane Changes

Traffic’s picking up in Charlevoix and drivers say it’s worse than ever.

They believe lane changes made last year are to blame.

“We had to stop and go stop and go,” said one Charlevoix driver. “It’s completely frustrating,” said another.

Drivers in Charlevoix are fed up with traffic. They believe changes made by MDOT last year are to blame.

“We converted the four lane sections north and south of the bridge to three lane sections, one lane through in each direction with the addition of a center left turn lane,” said MDOT spokesperson James Lake.

MDOT says the change was based on crash data. There were up to 80 crashes a year there, many that hurt pedestrians.

“Pedestrians’ safety was a top concern,” Lake said.

MDOT also added a new crosswalk. They say in a busy downtown like Charlevoix, pedestrians need plenty of opportunities to cross the street.

But nothing compares to when Charlevoix’s Bascule Bridge malfunctions.

“It’s a disaster” said Brian Freund, owner of “That French Place” and Brian’s Ice Cream Experience.

“It must be great for business, not the case at all,” Freund said. “There’s 20 people who are stuck in your business, but the other 150 that might be coming to your business are stuck.”

MDOT says they take those malfunctions seriously.

“Immediately we’re sending our staff out to diagnose the problem and get it repaired as quickly as possible,” Lake said. “It’s in everyone’s best interest that we keep that bridge in good working order and we’re working hard to do so.”

MDOT says these changes are new and they are still evaluating things.

“We are going to be measuring actual delay times and travel times through the city of Charlevoix to see if the three lane conversion is working as intended,” Lake said. “We’re also going to be making some adjustments to traffic signals to help traffic flow as smoothly as possible.”