Thursday, July 12, 2007

Warning! Bear Crossing!

New road signs near Cadillac urge drivers to watch for bear crossings. Although this is Wexford County, it's not far away from the area covered by this site.
bear crossing sign
New road signs installed on state highways in the Cadillac area will urge motorists to use extra caution and be on the look out for black bears crossing the road. Similar to the familiar "deer crossing" signs seen frequently along Michigan roadways, the "bear crossing" signs have been erected in areas known for high incidences of bear-car traffic accidents, Department of Natural Resources wildlife officials said.

The signs have been placed on the northbound lane of M-115, just north of Division Street; and on the southbound lane, just south of 32 Road. Other signs have been placed at M-55 in the westbound lane just past the corner of the 35 Road and Pole Road intersection, as well as in the eastbound lane of M-55 at 21 Road. They are believed to be the first "bear crossing" signs posted in the state.

"These signs should help us reduce the amount of bear-car accidents that happen along these stretches of highway that cross through frequently used bear habitat," said William Moritz, chief of the Wildlife Division. "This should improve safety in this region. We hope motorists take note of the signs and exercise more caution when traveling in this area, which is a main corridor for bear movement because of the nutrient-rich wetlands along the two roadways. We would like to thank the Michigan Department of Transportation for their cooperation in making these signs and posting them quickly."

In the last five years, the DNR has recorded 11 bears hit and killed by cars along M-115 and M-55 west of Cadillac. Numerous other "close calls" have also been reported.

from the Michigan DNR
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