A potential plan for new roads in downtown Hillsdale. City of Hillsdale | Courtesy


For years, Hillsdale drivers have expe­ri­enced the strange inter­sec­tions criss­crossing the City of Hillsdale.


Car­leton Road and Broad Street, Broad Street and North Street, Bacon Street and Carlton Road are just a few of these inter­secting roads.


In 2006, the Michigan Department of Trans­portation com­pleted a con­struction project on M-99. Their goal was to quickly direct traffic through small towns like Hillsdale by increasing speed limits and max­i­mizing the amount of lanes per street. This move, however, diverts traffic away from Hillsdale busi­nesses — the reason why the roads were built in the first place.


“As far as Bacon is con­cerned, it became a major cross because of the location of Stock’s Mill,” City Zoning Director Alan Beeker said. “Stock’s Mill has always been the big business downtown because Stock had control of the water source.”


Though Beeker has sketches of potential new plans for downtown, most funding for roads goes toward fixing pot­holes rather than recon­structing inter­sec­tions. The sketches, however, include increased green space and parking for the downtown area as well as more, safer cross­walks. For this space, MDOT would have to change its focus from increasing lanes to a “road diet,” which, according to Beeker, would include reducing the four downtown lanes to one north­bound and one south­bound lane.


Beeker said he does not yet have a date for the ground­breaking or com­pletion of these projects.


According to vol­un­teers at the Mitchell Resource Center Debra Reister and Lori Zeiler, North, South, West, Short, and Broad Streets ini­tially bound the devel­oping village of Hillsdale. Later roads, such as Bacon Road, Broad Street, and Carlton Road, were built in the 1830s and 1840s as more set­tlers and their busi­nesses moved to Hillsdale. These roads were built for the traffic pat­terns at the time. M-99, then called Railroad Street, con­nected Hillsdale to Allen and Jonesville Town­ships. Bacon Road con­nected downtown Hillsdale and Stock’s Mill.


These roads and their inter­sec­tions were built widely to fit horses and wagons — not cars.


  • Living­In­Hells­dale­County

    Wait, .… so Region II planning isn’t doing the road planning for the city? That’s ODD, since Stephen Duke (Region II Planning’s director) ran right down here to assist the hos­pital with getting an ILLEGAL loan from the gov­ernment a couple years ago, told me per­sonally they do the road planning here, but Beeker is not only com­mitting willful neglect of duty by not enforcing against “some” yet enforcing heavily against people who city councilman/judicial employee Tim Dixon feels “put out” by, but he has time to plan roadways? All by his little ol’ self? This area is just ridiculous. Maybe if Beeker was busy doing his job instead of drawing pretty little pic­tures for what HE wants for this area (instead of the common sense enforcement of the infra­structure, which had roadway mil­lions go to Gary and Mary Wolfram’s “eco­nomic devel­opment” and their friends they donated taxes to for years) maybe busi­nesses would see people shop here. Instead, most Hills­dalians won’t bother sup­porting the city busi­nesses because council and their appointees are so wasteful and dis­missive of cit­izens they deserve the money troubles of people shopping ELSEWHERE. These drawings remind me of that ridiculous multi million dollar airport project this teeny area had Jason Walters proposing, while he was vio­lating the law mod­i­fying his airport hanger, some­thing the city rewarded him about $20,000 for by buying it, and put the tax­payers on the hook for fixing his illegal mod­i­fi­ca­tions. Maybe if council wasn’t so busy paying off their buddies and were watching their appointees to make sure they’re doing their jobs, the city wouldn’t be failing to the point they’re hedging on bank­ruptcy by 2020.

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    the weird inter­sec­tions actually make things safer for the drivers and pedes­trians by slowing down the cars. With that being said, road diet is a good thing. I just hate to see large amounts of $ spent on adding “green space” that doesn’t get used.