Mission Street, CMU parking lots epicenters for car accidents

The road sign for South Mission Street on Nov. 11 located on the corner of Mission and Broomfield.

Mission Street – the long stretch of road that houses a large portion of Mount Pleasant's businesses – is considered a dangerous traffic area in the city. 

Another epicenter for accidents are Central Michigan University parking lots. 

A 2017 Michigan State Police report listed the intersection at Broomfield and Mission streets as the 31st most dangerous in the state with 79 crashes. 

The second most dangerous intersection in Isabella County, according to the report, was the intersection at High and Mission streets with 41 crashes in 2017. 

Mount Pleasant Police Department's Public Information Officer David VanDyke said the number of crashes at the Mission and Broomfield intersection is at 69 for 2018.

However, a number of these recorded incidents might not have taken place exactly at the intersection. When traffic incidents are reported they are assigned to the nearest intersection, VanDyke said. So, they could have taken place further up the road. 

"When we take an accident on Mission Street by the Chemical Bank, that would count as happening on that intersection," VanDyke said. "The stretch (on Mission Street) from Preston (Street) all the way to Broomfield (Street) is a confusing area."

There are several factors that increase the risk of accidents, VanDyke said. High amounts of traffic, drivers turning left onto Mission Street from parking lots and the pedestrian island on Mission all contribute to the high number of crashes, he said. 

Backups on Mission can also lead to good-intentioned drivers creating a gap in traffic and accidentally waving drivers turning left into traffic accidents, he said.

“I just can't stress enough that if you can avoid making a left turn, you should try to," VanDyke said. "Those are the most accidents I've come across."

Running parallel to Mission Street is CMU's campus and its more than 40 parking lots. 

Of the 127 accidents on CMU’s campus this year, 13 of them occurred on Broomfield Street. The other 114 occurred in parking lots, said CMU Police Department Lt. Cameron Wassman.

He said drivers who are in a hurry and aren't paying attention contribute to the high number of accidents in parking lots. 

Wassman said drivers can avoid accidents in campus parking lots by navigating carefully and paying attention.

West Bloomfield senior Jake Iatrou said he wasn't surprised that Mission Street is one of the most dangerous streets in the state. Iatrou lives in the Appian Way Apartments complex located near the Wendy's restaurant on Mission Street.

"It's really rough for me to get out of my apartment complex," he said. "There's never a gap in traffic for me."

When it comes to CMU parking lots, Iatrou said he believes blind spots and a general lack of awareness both contribute to the high number of accidents.

"Sometimes people just don't look before they back up and they can hit people," he said.

Even if damage is minimal or someone claims they are in a hurry, accidents should always be reported to police to ensure that contact information is exchanged correctly and easily, VanDyke said. MPPD will respond to accidents in private parking lots as well as those on city streets.

The license plate number and make, model and color of the other car are the most important details to take down if someone is a victim of a hit and run. While the license plate number is the most important, any other details about the car's appearance will be helpful, VanDyke said.

You can contact the MMPD office at (989) 779-5100 or the CMUPD office at (989) 774-3081.