Royal Oak Officials to Discuss 12 Mile Road Speed Limit Increase

Royal Oak Officials to Discuss 12 Mile Road Speed Limit Increase

Royal Oak, MI – Should the speed limit on 12 Mile Road be raised?

This question will be discussed at Monday’s Royal Oak City Commission meeting.

According to the agenda packet, the City of Royal Oak and the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) made an agreement to swap jurisdiction of 11 Mile Road and 12 Mile Road, putting 12 Mile under County control.  Now RCOC wants to raise the speed limit and City staff is asking the Commission to oppose the proposed change.

RCOC staff is recommending that speed  limits  between  Woodward  Avenue and Rochester Road should be raised to 35 miles per hour; and between Rochester Road and Campbell Road speed limits should be raised to 40 miles per hour.

A memo from City Manager Don Johnson says “Engineering staff is concerned with raising the speed limits along 12 Mile Road. We believe that  the current 30 miles per hour  speed limit takes into account the uses, nature and configuration  of  the  corridor.  There  are  three  schools  along  the  corridor  and  numerous  driveways  and  side   streets  entering  and  exiting  12  Mile  Road… Engineering contends that the speed limit has been thoughtfully  established, is justifiable  and  has not been artificially lowered which is the reason for establishing and justifying reasonable speed limits.”

The Royal Oak Citizens Traffic Committee also reviewed the proposed change and concurs with the City Manager.

The RCOC  conducted a radar speed study on 12 Mile Road and found that the 85th percentile speeds were 37 MPH from Woodward to Crooks, 36 MPH from Crooks to Rochester and 39 MPH from Rochester to Campbell.  

The RCOC works with Michigan State Police to set speeds based on the 85th percentile.  Their plan, according to an email from RCOC Traffic Engineer Charles Keller, is to request that the speed be set at 35 MPH between Woodward and Rochester and 40 MPH between Rochester and Campbell.

A speed limit review conducted by the City of Royal Oak notes that the speed in Madison Heights is 40 MPH and the speed in Berkley is 35 MPH.  There are 23,000-25,000 vehicles per day with 7% commercial truck traffic.  Along 12 Mile there are three schools: Shrine, Northwood and Keller.  A five year accident history report shows 307 accidents along the roadway, with 37% caused by failure to stop.  Four accidents involved pedestrians and four involved bicycles.  None were fatal.

Another concern listed in the review is that sidewalks are within six feet of the roadway. “The area has sidewalks along both the north and south sides of the road. The city prides  itself  as  a  community  that  continually  focuses  on  pedestrian  safety  and  other  non- motorized facilities to create a network of “complete-streets”

Access to 12 Mile Road from side streets and driveways is also listed as a concern. “It is well documented that higher speeds can negatively impact access to the roadway from both  driveways  and  side  streets.  In  the  very  short  stretch  between  Vinsetta  Blvd.  and  Main  Street  there  are  approximately  84  vehicle  access  points  onto  12  Mile  Road  which  equates  to  58.4  access points per ½ mile. During peak hours, it may become more difficult for resident driveway  and side street access due to increased speeds,” the report states.

The decision will be made by the RCOC and the Michigan State Police, however the Commission is able to make a recommendation.

For the full report go to https://www.romi.gov/DocumentCenter/View/16416.

The Commission will discuss the proposal and potentially vote on a recommendation at the City Commission meeting of Dec. 19, 2016, which begins at 7:30pm at City Hall.

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