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 At 12:30 p.m. May 15, Jerry Tranchmontagne said, he was home when a truck came down the service drive and tried to turn around in his neighborhood on Cross Street, resulting in damage to Tranchmontagne’s fence.

At 12:30 p.m. May 15, Jerry Tranchmontagne said, he was home when a truck came down the service drive and tried to turn around in his neighborhood on Cross Street, resulting in damage to Tranchmontagne’s fence.

Photo provided by Jerry Tranchmontagne

Semi-truck backs into Roseville resident’s fence

Resident wants answers from the state

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 22, 2018

ROSEVILLE — Jerry Tranchmontagne, a 28-year Roseville resident who has been advocating for safer roads along the Interstate 696 service drive since last year, said that on May 15, a semi-truck backed into his fence and drove off. 

At 12:30 p.m. May 15, Tranchmontagne said, he was home when the truck came down the service drive and tried to turn around in his neighborhood on Cross Street. 

“It sounded like an explosion went off, and he drove off,” he said. 

The Roseville resident got in his car and tried to catch the driver, but the driver turned down a side street and Tranchmontagne lost him. 

Tranchmontagne’s daughter called Roseville police, who were able to find the truck driver making a delivery. Tranchmontagne believes the Police Department issued the driver a ticket. Roseville Police Department Deputy Chief Donald Glandon was unable to be reached for comment by press time. 

Tranchmontagne said he has no issue with Roseville police, because they have done “everything in their power.” But he’s upset with the state. 

While the service drive is in Roseville, it’s a state road. Tranchmontagne has been in contact with the Michigan Department of Transportation and had received a letter from MDOT and had spoken with Deputy Metro Region Engineer Matt Chynoweth in 2017 about the crash stats. Tranchmontagne didn’t believe the stats matched what he had seen during the 27 years he had been living in his home. 

“The state fell way short and they are being called out about it. The city is doing everything they can, and we’ve been working on it. The state is to blame for this. This is just the beginning of what’s happening in this neighborhood if change doesn’t happen immediately,” he said. 

Tranchmontagne said there’s “never been any heavy truck traffic on the service drive,” recalling seeing one or two a day, but now there are many, he said.

He also mentioned that with the heavy traffic, trucks are “driving down the center lane trying not to mess up their trucks with the low tree branches.” Because of this, his concerns have remained the same — the safety of children in the neighborhood. 

“My real concern is the children during rush hour, and it’s downright scary. Everybody that is off this service drive is not happy, and they are frightened and concerned about this,” he said.

Tranchmontagne said he’s looking for more patrols by the Michigan State Police, since it is a state road, and for “MDOT to fix what they said they were going to do in writing and get Groveland (Street) under control.” 

Tranchmontagne wants a light added at Groveland, and he said the signs that the state put up in the area are confusing. 

“This fight will never stop until they put a light in at Groveland. We won’t sit back. This is wrong,” he said. “The state never fixed what they promised that they were going to fix. Now it’s magnified 10 times. I will continue to apply pressure on MDOT.” 

MDOT spokesperson Diane Cross stated in an email to the Eastsider May 17 that MDOT can’t force drivers to use the posted detours. 

“MDOT roads are those beginning with I, M and US. As long as a driver’s vehicle is legally allowed to be on the road, and obeys local laws, he/she can drive any road. MDOT plans its detour routes to be freeway to freeway to handle the large volume of traffic, and we sign for it, broadcast the detour, etc., but cannot force drivers to use (the) detour,” stated Cross. 

Roseville City Manager Scott Adkins said that this is the first incident involving a commercial vehicle that the city is aware of. 

“Our Police Department, since the construction, has increased patrols for speeding and other violations. They’ll continue to do monitoring, and we’ve put some mobile speed detection devices out there,” he said. 

“We’re trying to be as proactive as we can in light of the construction. The service drive, unfortunately, is not the only road we’re having issues with,” he added. 

Adkins said the mile roads have gotten an increase in traffic too. 

“We’re also reminding drivers to be cautious and slow down on their detour routes,” he said. 

A call for comment was not returned by Chynoweth by the Eastsider’s press time.