Road Diet Citizen Q&A
How and why was HRC Involved?
HRC was contracted by the DDA to provide a design for the Road Diet. Spalding DeDecker is also a consultant on the project.
Where are you going to put the snow?
The snow will be plowed the same way that it is now.
Will the lights be timed better?
The timing of the lights will be optimized for the traffic flow.
Why not show the CONS of the road diet on the displays?
The only con, according to the TIA Traffic Analysis, is that travel times may be increased slightly.
Is there enough room for bike lanes on Coolidge?
There will be 5.5 feet for the bike lanes after the parking lane has been expanded from the current 7 to 7.5 feet to 8 feet.
Is there enough room between parking and bike lanes to prevent bikes from being hit by doors of parked cars?
Yes the parking lanes have been increased by ½ foot and the bike lanes are 5.5 feet wide.
What will be done to keep from increasing traffic down side streets?
Public safety will monitor the traffic on the side streets. We will also do periodic traffic counts in order to monitor any significant traffic diversion which is not expected according to the Traffic Analysis.
What will happen to the new crosswalks that were just installed?
They will become even more effective due to slower speeds, increased pedestrian safety zone areas, and decreased lane widths.
Will Oak Park and Huntington Woods add bike lanes?
We are in the middle of a multi-community planning process that will detail how and where bike lanes might work on 11 Mile between Woodward and Greenfield and Coolidge north of 9 Mile.
Will there be islands add to center lanes at crosswalks?
No, they would impede the flow of emergency vehicles.
How will buses navigate with road diet?
There will not be any changes for the buses.
Has the DDA done other things identified in the 2009 parking study to increase business foot traffic?
The 2009 parking study was created to determine a way to maximize parking in the District and did not directly address increasing pedestrian traffic in the business districts; it is being updated as part of the Downtown Master Plan.
If cars need to move into bike lane to allow emergency vehicles to get through where will the bikes go? Sidewalks?
They should slow down and stop just as cars are expected to do when an emergency vehicle comes through.
Is there any consideration of adding a left turn cycle to the traffic signals at Catalpa and possibly Harvard and Wiltshire?
The TIA traffic study did not justify left turn lights at these locations but those intersections can be monitored during the trial period to see if at some point they are justified.
What businesses will benefit from the road diet? What are the current hours of operation as well? If they close before six, will they change their hours?
The majority of the businesses will benefit from the road diet as it creates a more pedestrian and bike friendly environment. It will also add over 50 parking spaces along Coolidge. Hours of businesses have nothing to do with the Road Diet; that is a business owner’s prerogative.
Was adjusting the timing of the traffic lights ever considered? Making the red light longer to make sure people and cross the street safely.
The traffic lights will be optimized to ensure the best traffic flow.
Instead of the crosswalks on Coolidge was an additional traffic light considered near the library?
That has been discussed, but traffic counts done by both HRC and the TIA traffic study do not support the installation at the location.
How will the city handle the side street traffic if drivers decide to take the residential streets?
Traffic will be periodically monitored on the side streets as part of the Road Diet trial period.
Has the City of Berkley talked to Oakland County to see about doing a road diet on 12 Mile?
That was discussed years ago with Oakland County and they did not approve the Idea. It is something we’d like to revisit in the future.
What happens if the road diet fails?
The road will be returned to the current configuration after the trial period.
I’m curious what effect lane reductions would have on ambulances trying to get to and from the hospital? Have any other cities done this so close to a hospital? Are there studies on this? How will the city ensure emergency services aren’t compromised?
According to the Federal Highway Authority who has studied road diets for decades, multi-lane undivided roads can be problematic for emergency responders, as drivers may not be aware of protocols for allowing emergency vehicles to pass. Road Diets can significantly improve response times by allowing emergency vehicles to bypass traffic by using the center two-way left-turn lane. For examples of how Road Diets have positively affected emergency response times, check out FHWA’s flyer on Road Diets and Emergency Response: Friends, Not Foes.
If the intention is to just grind off the existing markings and re-stripe, will there be visible scaring to the road surface due to the prior micro-surface overlay on the existing asphalt?
Yes, there will be some scarring which will likely be visible for about one year.