Today's Lesson: Civic Engagement

Parents, students, staff and school officials at Clarkston High School in Clarkston, MI are using SeeClickFix to voice concerns about the hazardous traffic conditions that arise every day at first and last bell.

After seeing a SeeClickFix widget on The Oakland Press website, CHS Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) President Andrea Schroeder logged on and reported Issue #83483: Unsafe signal for left turn.

The left turn lane from westbound Clarkston Road onto Flemings Lake is dangerously long during the morning high school rush. Drivers are forced to make turns after the light has changed due to no left turn arrow. The traffic causes backups on Clarkston Road and unsafe conditions on a main through-way in the community. There have been several complaints this year.

Knowing many others in the Clarkston community were concerned about the intersection, Andrea printed out an email from SeeClickFix about her issue and distributed copies to parents at a recent PTSA meeting. On Monday she began an email chain, forwarding 20 or so people the notification that linked them to the issue. Shortly after pressing "send", recipients of Andreas email were adding their own comments, voting to fix the issue, and encouraging others in the community to do the same by spreading the word themselves.

Since Monday, the issue has been viewed over 800 times and received over 300 votes to fix the intersection once and for all. The response, mostly from concerned parents, is unanimous.

Guest user J.S. expressed concern about new drivers navigating the intersection on their way to and from school.

Many of the drivers attempting to negotiate this area during high traffic times are high school students. Their lack of experience could cause traffic back-ups and/or serious traffic accidents. A left-turn arrow would help alleviate the congestion and danger.

SeeClickFix user CHS Parent supports fixing the issue and notes that the intersection has long been in need of improvements.

This has been needed for many years. I have seen many drivers make risky and illegal left turns, as well as drivers who are turning right on to Flemings Lake Rd stop on a green signal to let someone turn left and almost get rear ended by the car behind them who weren't anticipating having to stop on a green light. Seems like a green arrow would be a small thing with a huge payoff!

User Suzanne Thompson voices her primary concern of ensuring school areas are safe.

Anything that makes school areas safer for children should be done. The addition of a left turn arrow at the light would make the area more secure. I'm all for it.

The community outcry over this issue has caught the attention of the Road Commission for Oakland County. Someone from the department viewed the issue on SeeClickFix and offered an explanation as to why the problem has yet to be addressed.

We track the top 50 intersections and road segments in the county each year in terms of traffic crashes (as documented by police reports). There is no way to track "near" accidents. Since there have been relatively few actual accidents at this intersection, it would not appear in our ranking.

Since sending out her SeeClickFix email blast on Monday, Andrea has personally been in contact with the Road Commission for Oakland County, who confirmed that the intersection in front of Clarkston High School is on their radar. However, until drivers are able to safely make a left turn, the PTSA President is committed to keeping the issue and the conversation open.

From the initial email chain, to their positive and constructive comments on our site, Andrea Schroeder and the entire Clarkston High School community are perfect examples of how citizens use SeeClickFix to come together and advocate for a resolution to their issues. We can't wait to feature a follow-up post about the intersection improvements that we hope result from their efforts!