City Council to Consider Resolution of Support for Revised 'Woodward Moves' Project
September 10, 2021
'Woodward Moves' project revisions led to a 13% reduction in Woodward Avenue road-narrowing and bicycling improvements
The revised budget remains the same, with project costs and shared funding agreements unchanged
The project focus remains on traffic calming efforts that will create a more inclusive, safe, and accessible experience in our downtown: the reduction of a travel lane on each side of Woodward, shorter pedestrian crossings, parking-protected bike lanes, improved visibility at intersections, and new ADA ramps
WOODWARD MOVES UPDATE
On Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, City Council will hear a presentation update about the 'Woodward Moves' traffic calming project—a planned narrowing of the road to make the thoroughfare safer and more accessible for all users.
The Cities of Ferndale and Pleasant Ridge have collaborated with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to complete requirements for a proposed reduction of one lane on each side of Woodward Avenue and the implementation of safety improvements during the State's 2022 resurfacing project. The proposed design focuses on traffic calming efforts that promote a more inclusive, safe, and accessible experience in Ferndale's downtown.
City Council approved a resolution of support for the proposed street-change project in February—an MDOT requirement as part of their "road diet checklist." Now, following several revisions made to the original proposed design approved by Council in February, MDOT is requesting an updated resolution. A traffic analysis performed by MDOT this summer found potential vehicular traffic delays at transition points at two intersections in Pleasant Ridge (near I-696 bridges) that could lead to delays at peak hours greater than standards allow. However, with minor design modifications, the project could go forward: These design changes resulted in a 13% reduction in the road narrowing design presented in February; most of this reduction is concentrated near the I-696 service drive in Pleasant Ridge.
A few key thing to know about the revised project:
The budget authorized by City Council during the April budget process remains the same; proposed project costs and shared funding agreements are unchanged.
The project focus remains on traffic calming efforts that will create a more inclusive, safe, and accessible experience in our downtown: the reduction of a travel lane on each side of Woodward, shortened pedestrian crossings (8-10 feet) at intersections, parking-protected bike lanes, improved visibility at intersections, new asphalt and ADA ramps. and spot improvements for transit stops and sidewalks.
The design modifications required by MDOT will result in a 13% reduction in the road diet design presented in February.
The Oakland County Executive's Office has submitted a letter of support for the project to the State of Michigan. Our project partner, the City of Pleasant Ridge, has also shared a supportive letter as part of Monday's City Council agenda.
According to MDOT's most recent traffic study, the revised concept design meets the State's standards for vehicle delay. According to MDOT, the increase for southbound traffic is 86.7 seconds and 22.8 seconds during the a.m. and p.m. peak hours, respectively. The increase for northbound traffic is essentially 0 seconds and 35.4 seconds during the a.m. and p.m. peak hours, respectively.
City staff will seek approval of the final project design from City Council, including a resolution of support, at their September 13 meeting. This will be an opportunity for the community to revisit the project, hear about goals and desired outcomes, and review the final design that MDOT would create construction documents from and bid if the project is approved by MDOT officials in Lansing.
MDOT’s local staff will provide the road diet resolution and final plan to MDOT Metro and State offices for approval.
City Council will be asked to approve the TAP award pending MDOT’s final decision (anticipated: late October).
MDOT’s design team will work with City staff to finalize construction documents and bid (anticipated December 2021/January 2022).
MDOT's construction and resurfacing project is slated to begin March 2022.