Is it a Roundabout or a Silly Circle? Coopersville, MI

Real Estate Agent with West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate

Is it a Roundabouts or a Silly Circle?

Road Closed Ahead Coopersville, MIYou know that moment. . . . you look down a road well traveled, a road you use all the time, and there it is . . . . road closed, construction ahead!  You bite your lip and take a deep breath and think, OK, I have to figure out a way around this . . . . I wonder how long the road will be closed . . . . .I wonder what they are doing . . . . .is it really closed or can sneak through all the heavy equipment?!!?  Hopefully my car won't bottom out too bad!!

That was my thought last year.  We live in between two small towns.  One is Allendale, MI (home of GVSU) and the other is Coopersville, MI.  Coopersville is even smaller than Allendale.  Coopersville is where I grew up, where I went to high school, where I had my first job, where I got fired from my first job (only job ever fired from I might add), where I drove my first car,where I smashed up my first car and where I met my first love (and married him).  It is a small little town with very little traffic.  When I saw the entire intersection ripped up, I wondered what in the heck they were doing--a small little town certainly doesn't need a big intersection like that.

Roundabout Sign Coopersville Michigan FreeFoto.comWhat I found out was that they were building something called a roundabout Roundabout!!!!  What the heck is that?!?!??  I found out it is an intersection where everyone drives around in a circle to get through to where they want to go.  Does this sound absolutely ludircous to anyone but me?!!  Now I will concede, this is a busy intersection because it is the main ramp that everyone from Hudsonville, Jenison, Standale and many other communities use to get on a major expressway.  In the summer, there are a million campers that go through there to head up north to to their camping destination.  But come on!!!  I know that in the summer campers can be lined up for a couple miles but it still seemed a little unnecessary.  I also learned that Coopersville was one of the first communities in West Michigan to put one in . . . . .great!!!  The guinea pig town. 

My second thought was, I drive a big flippin rig!!  It is a big Chevy Duramax diesel and we pull a 32 foot living quarters goose neck horse trailer!!  I'll never make it through there I thought.  I am paranoid enough when I have to drive that rig, now they are going to make an obstacle course for me!!  Goose Neck Horse TrailerTo make matters worse, the vet is just on the other side--as in you can see it from the intersection . . .but it's on the other side . . .I have to go through it.  This roundabout was the talk of the town and before it was done it had a nickname . . .The Silly Circle.

The day came and the Silly Circle was completed.  I got myself a cup of coffee at the java joint on the corner where the "Silly Circle" was newly opened.  It was absolutely comical--no one had a clue on what they were suppose to do.  In the two hours I sat there, we logged 15 near misses and one fender bender.  We all sat there talking about who the chump was that thought up this great plan.

Now here we are, almost a year later, and I have to tell  you that . . . .jeez I hate to even admit it . . . .I love the Silly Circle!!!  You never have to wait for a stop light, it is never backed up anymore and it is really fast to get through  . . . .even with a 40 some odd foot rig.  There are two lanes and the big rigs take up both, but it is really easy to navigate.  I have actually driven the rig through and not hit a curb (she says proudly to her husband who was sure SHE would be the first one to dent the rig).  Once you get used to it, it isn't that bad.  First rule, ALWAYS yield to those already in the Silly Circle.  Second rule, stay in the outside lane unless you're taking both lanes.  There is one thing I haven't figured out--if your on the inside circle and your are going to leave it, how can you go straight and not hit someone who is in the outside lane continuing around the circle?

Anyway, moral of the story is that sometimes you may think people are crazy for doing something that seems, shall we say, out there.  But in the end, they are probably just the adventurous ones daring enough to do something new.  And to the people sitting on the board at the Coopersville Chamber . . . . . I'm sorry I called you chumps!!

round about sign picture courtesy of

Comments (11)

Michael A. Caruso
Surterre Properties - Laguna Niguel, CA

Hi Tami,

What a funny post!  Glad to hear that the "silly circle" is now in your good graces.

Don't forget me if you learn of anyone moving to "The OC!"


(949) 753-7900

Oct 24, 2008 09:38 AM
Tami Vroma
West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate - Grand Haven, MI
Realtor, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Michael- Am glad you enjoed it.  Had I been an ARainer then, I would have taken video the first day!  Now that would have been funny!

Oct 25, 2008 01:00 AM
Tami Vroma
West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate - Grand Haven, MI
Realtor, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Deborah- I think a rotary would have outdone this country girl!!

Oct 25, 2008 01:01 AM
Mike Saunders
Retired - Athens, GA

Tami - when they are implemented corretly they are fantastic, they keep traffic moving and controlled much better than signals and stop signs. In Australia and New Zealand (along with driving on the other side of the road) they have mostly roundabouts (rotaries) and, once I got used to them, I loved them. Glad that you like yours and that you were able to admit you were a bit hasty in your judgement.

Oct 25, 2008 01:45 AM
Ron Tiller
Star Referral - Grand rapids MI - Grand Rapids, MI

Good morning Tammi,

I have a friend who has a silly circle in his neighborhood. Most of the residents, when turning left, ignore it and take the short way ( against the flow. It is, however, a low traffic area. )

On another note, miss you on the committee. Still playing with SE, most bugs are fixed so now it's time to start adding requested features. It has been an interesting couple of years.

Finally, how are things with you?

Oct 25, 2008 02:09 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Tami:  Roundabouts are all the rage in my community.  But they terrify my Mom.  I find that if I give directions telling people to make a left, intuitively, they know what to do.  But if I tell them ahead of time that they are going to encounter a traffic circle and they need to make the 3rd right, they are baffled.  You can almost hear their heart pounding harder in anticipation.  But they are wonderful creations to slow folks down.  Much rather roundabouts than speed bumps.

Oct 25, 2008 02:21 AM
Shirley Parks
Sands Realty 210-414-0966 - San Antonio, TX
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate

Hi Tami, very funny.  I love the "silly circle" name you gave the roundabout.  We only have a few here that I have seen. 

Oct 25, 2008 07:25 AM
Tami Vroma
West Michigan Real Estate Specialist-Five Star Real Estate - Grand Haven, MI
Realtor, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Mike - I will be the first to admit when I am wrong!!  LOL  I was wrong on this one!  You are right --it is a lot better than the traffic signal that used to be there!

Ron- Miss you too!!  I love the tech committee!!  I would love to come back!  I don't know how long I have to wait to serve again.  Things are pretty good with me!!  Trying to conquer this blogging thing!!

Chris - I was with your Mom at first!!  I'll take a silly circle over a speed bump any day!

Shirley- Truth be told, it was one of my best friends who came up with the silly circle name!

Oct 25, 2008 09:07 AM
Julie Dumaine-Russell
RE/MAX Alliance - Branford, CT

Tami - Your story is a hoot.  I would have loved to have been there the first time you tried to maneuver that 40 foot rig around the "circle"!  While we don't have any roundabouts in my immediate area, there are some other towns that do and I get a big kick out of watching people's immediate driving reactions when they reach them.  Thanks for a great laugh today!!

Oct 25, 2008 11:43 AM
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Hi Tami,thanks for sharing this funny post.Just dropping by to wish you the best and Continue being a great ,inspirational Grand Rapids Short Sale Agent.I wish you more success to come! Have a great day!

Jun 11, 2012 05:45 AM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

Great post, I'll help clean up this spam.

Too much on here.

Nov 01, 2012 04:39 PM