11 Mile Road doesn’t have it all — but it could

“A cooperative group of business friends in Royal Oak, Michigan” has begun a campaign highlighting 11 Mile Road through Royal Oak. They are hoping draw business and attention to this business strip.

“We don’t get any respect,” he said about himself and his fellow business owners along the portions of 11 Mile Road just west and east of downtown Royal Oak. “We are not glitzy, or glamorous or progressive. But it’s family friendly down here. Eleven Mile Road is where you go for everyday service.”

Their slogan and web site are “11 Mile Has It All.”

Anyone who’s ever thought about biking on 11 Mile knows better. 11 Mile is not a Complete Street. It doesn’t have it all. It’s a road design based on the old-school failed concept that maximum vehicle mobility is good for local business strips.

It’s the same failed concept that once removed parking on nearby Washingon Boulevard in order to add another travel lane. Thankfully the Royal Oak DDA put Washington Boulevard on a Road Diet — at least in the business district.

We’ve submitted these comments to this 11 Mile Road group some weeks ago, but have not yet received any response:

Greatest Challenge: 11 Mile Road is not a Complete Street nor designed to be a main street. The current road design is the biggest impediment to making 11 Mile a thriving business district and part of a livable community. Today, 11 Mile does not have it all — but it can be fixed.

Solution: Make 11 Mile Road a Complete Street, which would likely involve a Road Diet, bike lanes, and on-street parking where possible. This is not unlike what Ferndale did with 9 Mile to great success. The 11 Mile group should participate in Royal Oak’s non-motorized planning which is expected to start soon.

We checked and the motor vehicle traffic volumes on 11 Mile Road would allow a Road Diet without diverting traffic onto residential streets.

And Road Diets increase safety. MDOT studied eight Michigan road diets and found they reduced vehicular crashes by 26% and reduced pedestrian unjuries by 37%. They also reduce speeding, provide more safe transportations options, and increase local business.

A Road Diet would truly make 11 Mile Road more family friendly — something it isn’t today unless you’re in a car.

11 Mile Road could have it all.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply