Posts Tagged ‘Lyon Township’

MDOT seeks input on a Huron Valley Trail detour

Friday, October 8th, 2010

There is a bridge that carries I-96 traffic over the Huron Valley Trail just east of Milford Road. As part of a larger freeway construction project, MDOT wants to replace the bridge with a low maintenance box culvert. (The Huron Valley Trail currently passes under Kensington Road in a box culvert at Island Lake State Recreation Area.)

When MDOT initially asked the Huron Valley Trail committee about creating a detour, they declined. It appears some minds have changed.

MDOT is now hosting a public meeting to discuss having a trail detour.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is making improvements in your community. The Huron Valley Trail is expected to be closed under the railroad bridge in the Spring of 2011 & we need your help. On October 13, 2010, stop by anytime between 3pm-7pm to share your ideas and be a part of the planning process.

We’ll be at the Lyon Township Municipal Center, 58000 Grand River Ave about½ mile west of Milford Rd.

See you there!

For more information, call Sue Datta at (248) 483-5135.

It seems to us that this might be a good time to put bike lanes on Milford Road.

Also, if you want to stay on top of issues like this, there is a new Friends of the Huron Valley Trail email list.

“Thank the driver as you are crossing the roadway”

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Some fancy solar powered crosswalk signs (the “Enhancer”) with lights, flashing beacons, and a pleasant spoken instructions have recently been installed in Lyon Township where the Huron Valley Trail crosses both a newly constructed road as well as Grand River.

They’re expensive, obnoxious, and as far as we can tell, somewhat ineffective.

As for the obnoxiousness, here are the instructions.

“Hello. You’ve activated the crosswalk signal.

“Wait for traffic to stop before you cross.

“To show traffic you want to cross, place one foot near the curb line.

“And remember to thank the driver as you are crossing the roadway.”

Why are pedestrians and cyclists instructed to thank motorists just for following state and low crosswalk laws? Shouldn’t that be a basic expectation?

In this case, their ineffectiveness may stem from their poor location outside of the driver’s view. This is especially the case on Grand River. Once the trees leaf out, it’s uncertain how much of the sign will even be visible. With Grand River being rebuilt, Lyon Township and the Road Commission for Oakland County have an opportunity to make this crossing safe through bump outs, a refuge island, improved street lighting and zebra striping.

It should also be noted that these signs were installed on the wrong side of the trail. They should be on the right not the left. Their location is being changed.

If we’re not mistaken, these were installed in the fall. Already a driver has taken one out. It’s being replaced.

And finally, while testing them on Grand River, a van never slowed when the sign was activated and we were trying to cross. It appeared they were texting.

Maybe we should thank those drivers that aren’t driving while distracted, too.

Lyon Township Trail Update

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

There’s been a significant update since our report last week on Lyon Township’s plans for re-routing the Huron Valley Trail along a road with driveways.

As we noted, the DNR was not going to allow driveways across the trail and that killed the deal.

Very recently the Township met with the DNR to discuss a framework for a new, more trail-friendly proposal. And though that proposal has not yet been made, some of the ideas discussed include:

  • Keeping the trail on the original railroad right-of-way
  • Allowing the Township’s ring road to cross the trail with a redesigned crossing that emphasizes safety

And because trail users are conceding this new road crossing, some additional trail improvements are expected in return. Those may include:

  • Additional connections to local schools, parks, local businesses
  • Lighting
  • A trail head/staging area
  • Eliminating or consolidating driveways near the Grand River trail crossing which make it messy
  • Working with the DNR to have a trail bridge over Pontiac Trail

Overall, the theme of these possible benefits are safety and more connections — and protecting the public investment in this trail.

We should know more once Township comes back with an updated proposal, but it seems as though things are moving in a better direction for trail users.

Lyon Township: Still trying to ruin a good trail

Friday, April 10th, 2009

ringroadThe Huron Valley Trail provides a connection between South Lyon to Wixom. People use the trail because it’s away from cars, it’s green and just a great place to get away.

Lyon Township is trying to change that.

They want to re-route the rail-trail just south of I-96 and east of Milford Road. Rather than run straight through some greenspace, they want to increase their sprawl and build a big ring road.

Under the latest plan, the trail would be routed along this busy ring road. They also want to allow active driveways across the trail, which means it would no longer meet AASHTO guidelines — something that is required by township ordinance.

The DNR is saying “no”. They own the trail property. It was purchased and developed with taxpayer dollars as a recreational facility. They are defending this public investment and rightly so.

Another defender is Fred Dore, long time supporter and rider of this trail. He’s leading the grassroots effort to protect the trail from “being besieged by commercial development interests that may forever damage its utility, safety and natural beauty.”

He’s urging trail users to contact the DNR and Lyon Township officials to prevent this damaging trail reroute.

Link: Fred Dore’s letter to the DNR Director

The sad part about this is Lyon Township officials are claiming this is preventing growth. Southeast Michigan is not growing. Lyon Township is only getting larger because some other community is shrinking.

This is just another example of how the lack of regional planning hurts Metro Detroit’s long term economic health.

It’s just sprawl. And it’s certainly no justification for damaging our public investment in trails.