Successful business with 11 locations originated from a car trunk in Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Edwin G. Thirlby, founder of Thirlby Automotive in 1958, and a car trunk have evolved into 11 Thirlby Automotive locations in Northern Michigan that serve over 1,200 accounts and many additional daily walk-up customers. Edwin W. Thirlby (the present owner and Edwin. G. Thirlby’s son) explains, “In the late 1950s my father was working at a marina and a guy came along selling wax. He told him he was retiring.

Bicycles growing in popularity, says Old Town bike shop owner

By Zachary Swiecicki
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter

While traveling along Grand River Avenue in Old Town Lansing, you can see CATA buses, cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, or pedestrians walking around. Chad Cottom, owner of SPIN Bicycle Shop, has seen the change in transportation in the eight years his store has been open.  Cottom is passionate about bikes and is committed to providing his bikes to the residents of Old Town. “I would say cycling has become a little more popular,” Cottom said.  “I would hope to say that we’ve helped a little bit to adding to that by having a bicycle shop in Old Town.”

Are robot cars good for the environment?

By BROOKE KANSIER
Capital News Service
LANSING — Cars that drive themselves may be safer, smarter and more efficient than those driven by people. But will they be better for the environment? It’s a question with no definitive answer, said John DeCicco, a research professor at the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute and a board member of the university’s MCity – an entire city for the testing of the vehicles, complete with cutouts of pedestrians and stoplights. Some aspects of the vehicles could greatly reduce energy use and emissions, while other aspects could increase emissions, said DeCicco. Driving efficiency improves greatly with an autonomous infrastructure.

Michigan crosswalk safety rules unclear

By DARCIE MORAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — When a car and a pedestrian meet at a crosswalk, what’s supposed to happen? It’s a safety question that’s left some Michigan communities requesting more signs to remind drivers to yield for pedestrians. But some officials aren’t sure more yield signs will help, or what will. Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, said he’s seen an unusually high amount of requests for the signs in the last year — but he’s not so sure they’re a great idea. The signs could give pedestrians and others crossing the street a false sense of security that could lead to injury, he said.

It is the most wonderful time of the year… except for driving

By Danielle Turcotte
Meridian Times staff writer

The winter snowstorms happen every year and should not come as a surprise to Michigan residents. However, plenty of drivers act as if amnesia came over them and they have forgetten how to drive in such slippery conditions. Meridian Township Police Department Lt. Greg Frenger confirmed that, within the past few months, they have seen an increase in phone calls regarding accidents. “I’d have to look up my stats for the month of January, but at the end of last year we were up high,” Frenger said. The combination of slick pavement and cold temperatures turns roads into places fit for an ice skater, but definitely not a car.