(Crystal A. Proxmire, 11/21/2011)
Allen is reduced to one northbound lane and one southbound lane between E. 9 Mile and W. Troy for a traffic study to determine if a 3-way stop, a wider sidewalk, and just two lanes of traffic on Allen would make the intersection more pedestrian-friendly and accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
Downtown Development Authority Director Cristina Sheppard-Decius announced the week-long study at the Nov. 14, 2011 city council meeting, saying they are considering narrowing the street and expanding the sidewalk next to Rosie O’Grady’s “for pedestrian purposes.” Currently the walk is just four feet wide.
The barricades force drivers to adjust to having just one lane, and a new temporary stop sign has been added to make it a three-way stop. The experiments will be about a week long, ending the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. “That’s a low cost option to see how the choice will affect patterns,” said Councilperson Melanie Piana.
Mayor Dave Coulter reiterated that the barricades are temporary. “Bear with it for one week. If you hate it let us know that, if you like it let us know that. We’re interested in your feedback of how that goes,” Coulter said.
The DDA is expected to return to council on Nov. 28 with the results of their experiment and other information collected from the TIA study. The TIA is a nonprofit consulting group that the City pays dues to be part of each year. One benefit is having access to resources such as these types of studies. According to their website, “The mission of the Traffic Improvement Association is to facilitate engineering, education, and enforcement programs that reduce human and economic losses caused by traffic crashes, and improve mobility in Michigan.” They are also using other methods to gather information, including looking at accident reports and traffic counts at the intersection.
For more information about Ferndale City Council meetings and how to contact City officials, go to the City of Ferndale website at http://www.ferndale-mi.com/.