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Traffic Study Done, Recommendations Presented & Accepted

Traffic Study Done, Recommendations Presented and Accepted

(Crystal A. Proxmire, 12/12/2011)

The City of Ferndale has been working with the Traffic Improvement Association (TIA) to study areas of the City where changes might be made.  Ferndale is a member of TIA and receives consulting as part of their annual membership dues.

An ongoing study at the corner of Allen and W. Troy has been researching the effects of making the intersection a 3-way stop.  Prior to Thanksgiving, a lane reduction experiment took place to evaluate the effects of sacrificing part of Troy Street to add additional sidewalk space alongside Rosie O’Grady’s.  (Read about those here – http://oaklandcounty115.com/2011/11/21/traffic-study-at-troy-and-allen/)

TIA presented the results of those studies, along with others for Nine and Woodward and also West Nine Mile, at the Dec. 12, 2011 City Council Meeting.  Based on TIA’s findings, the DDA is recommending the following:

 

Troy & Allen Area

• Continue the 90-day observation of the 3-way stop at Allen and Troy Streets;

• Remove right turn lane on westbound Troy at Allen;

• Add ADA appropriate ramps and bump-outs at the intersection on both north and south side of Troy at Allen;

• Add crosswalk across Allen south of Troy Street at stop sign and an ADA ramp on west side of Allen to connect to residential sidewalk.

• “Tapered lane concept” The tapered lane concept keeps left and right turn lanes open from Troy to 9 Mile, while still allowing for more sidewalk space.  The DDA has Troy and Allen improvements budgeted for this fiscal year.

 

West Nine Mile and Woodward Area

•Change eastbound thru lane at Woodward and Nine Mile to a right turn only lane.

 

West Nine Mile between Livernois to Pinecrest

•To support the concept for narrowing West Nine Mile to three lanes,

•Adding on-street parking, increasing sidewalk widths for pedestrian accessibility and safety

•Improving streetscape amenities and environment

•Realigning Livernois and Pinecrest intersection with the removal of the southbound Pinecrest right turn only lane in order to provide for better pedestrian accessibility and safety at the intersection.

The changes to W. Nine Mile coincide with a DPW grant for resurfacing.  According to a letter from Mayor Dave Coulter to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the streetscape improvement project will “coincide with a 3R project funded by the Federal Highway SAFETEA-LU bill that the City of Ferndale has for resurfacing this section of Nine Mile, as well as water and sewer improvements.”  The letter goes on to say “Embarking on a multi-faceted streetscape project such as this is no small endeavor, but will be more cohesive and cost effective by implementing it in unison with each other.”  The $400,000 grant, which is 80% Federally funded and 20% City funded, is set to be utilized in 2013.

Cristina Sheppard-Decius presented the information, stressing that streetscapes affect “economic growth, quality environment, consistency and connectivity, and complete streets adherence.”

In the West Nine Mile area there are several challenges Sheppard-Decius listed, including that it is not ADA accessible, pedestrian unfriendly and unsafe, no on street parking, uninviting environment, inadequate pedestrian crossings and ramps, lacks continuity with Downtown and amenities, traffic misaligned at Pinecrest, traffic signals and flow at Livernois lacking, too many curb cuts disrupting pedestrian flow, and poor sight lines at corners where residential streets intersect.

Dave Allen of TIA presented results of their studies, stating that adding parking on West Nine Mile will provide some reduction in efficiency for vehicle traffic.  There would be slowdowns to account for cars parking and increased congestion at peak times, but that the slowdowns would not lower the level of service ratings below a grade of C at peak times.  The parking project would require the City to acquire property from four existing commercial properties on W. Nine Mile.  The DDA is also considering the implications of acquiring property from Ferndale Foods and expanding Livernois to go all the way through.

A roundabout proposal was examined, which would allow one lane of traffic to go through on W. Nine Mile at Livernois, fixing the challenges to pedestrian flow on both the North and South sides of Nine Mile.  The roundabout is only one option for the space, which the DDA wanted TIA to investigate as they were already needed to study the intersection as a requirement of the SAFETEA-LU  grant.

“We don’t have something to compare this to,” said Mayor Dave Coulter, noting that the roundabout is just an initial concept that the DDA is looking at, and that as the City moves forward there will be other options to compare it to.

At Allen and Troy there were similar issues presented by the DDA, particularly lack of ADA accessibility and pedestrian crossings and access.  The recommendations would make the intersection a 3 way stop with a “tapered lane” on Allen approaching Nine Mile. Police Chief Timothy Collins agreed with the TIA and DDA recommendations. “We have nothing but positive responses with the 3 way stop.  Wed like to keep it out there through the holidays, but so far I agree with TIA that it seems to be working. …We’re very pleased with the outcomes.  Some of these things were compromises, like the tapered effect, but we believe this will work.”

The City discussed the recommendations and has voted 3-2 to approve the recommendations.  The original proposal included adding signage to 9 Mile Road approaching Woodward alerting drivers to yield to pedestrians. Councilperson Melanie Piana removed the recommendation, cautious of signage cluttering.  Mayor Dave Coulter and Councilperson Mike Lennon, who wanted the signage, voted no due to that recommendation’s removal.  Councilperson Piana, Councilperson Scott Galloway, and Councilperson Kate Baker approved the motion.

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