Posts Tagged ‘Milford’

Milford Twp: Non-motorized planning session this Saturday

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

From the Charter Township of Milford:

Public Open House – Non-Motorized Planning Session

Saturday, March 10th, 2012 from noon to 2pm

Milford Senior Center, 1050 Atlantic Street

Milford Township would like your input! The Township adopted a resolution supporting Complete Streets in February 2011. A “complete street” is safe, accessible and convenient for all users regardless of transportation mode, age, or physical ability. The Planning Commission is looking to document where you think improvements are needed to provide safe facilities for non-motorized users. Maps of the community will be available and staff will be on hand to talk about non-motorized issues and mark up maps with your ideas to pass along to the Planning Commission.

  • Where should sidewalks or paves shoulders be provided?
  • Should additional trails be built?
  • Are there areas that are unsafe for pedestrians or cyclists?
  • What non-motorized improvements should be a priority?

The session will be set up as an Open House, so no need to commit to the whole 2 hour time slot – just stay to give your input and mark up the maps. If you have ideas and suggestions, but can’t make it to the Open House, please email your comments to Don Green, Township Supervisor at or call 248.685.8731.

Milford Township and Complete Streets

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

It seems that Milford is the first township in Oakland County to have passed a Complete Streets resolution.

According to the Spinal Column:

Milford Township Planning Commission members are reviewing design features as part of the township’s “complete streets” policy to make streets more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists.

This comes after the commission passed a complete streets policy resolution in January, which was then adopted by the Milford Township Board of Trustees in February.

The policy allows the Planning Commission to review all street plans to ensure all public and private street projects, including reconstruction, are built to follow the guidelines of the federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials to accommodate all users of the rights-of-way or private road easements.

“This allows the township to be more involved in street improvements with help from the county and state planning process,” said Milford Township Building Official Timothy Brandt.

The Township is also looking to “adopt a non-motorized transportation network plan.”

What’s interesting about this development is Michigan townships generally aren’t in the road business. They don’t receive state or federal road funds. They typically rely on their county or county road commission for road design, construction, and maintenance.

And to date, the Road Commission for Oakland County does not support Complete Street designs. How this gets resolved given the Township’s resolution remains to be seen.

One interesting note: the newest Road Commissioner for Oakland County is from Milford. From what we hear, he gets Complete Streets and might help push the organization forward.

An unnecessary exception?

Below is the Milford Township Complete Streets resolution, which includes this interesting exception:

Where non-motorized network improvements are contrary to the community’s intent to preserve areas having or perceived to have a low density pattern of development, being generally void of man-made improvements such as paved roadways, and exhibiting open Fields, farmland or woodlands as common elements of the visual landscape; and,

To us, this looks like unnecessary. Complete Streets are context sensitive. There is no singular design. Low density communities have designs that make sense for that area. Complete Streets are not incompatible with low density development nor open space preservation.

Perhaps this was added to allay fears that it would lead to paving roads and removing roadside trees for sidewalks.

And the Village of Milford?

Milford Township and the Village share the same planner, who has offered to help the Village with a Complete Streets policy. Tow Village Planning Commissioners attended a Complete Streets introduction last fall and “found it to be very informative” but that’s all we know.


Milford DDA recommends sharrows

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

The Spinal Column is reporting on the possible use of sharrows in the Village of Milford:

The Milford Village Council at its Tuesday, Sept. 7 meeting received a presentation from the Milford Downtown Development Authority (DDA) regarding possible “sharrow” lanes for bicycles in the village.

A “sharrow” is a specific on-pavement lane marking that identifies that bicycles and cars share the same lane. They are currently in place in sections of the state, including Ann Arbor, South Haven and Flint.

The DDA is recommending installing sharrows on the major connectors in the DDA district, including along General Motors Road, Milford Road, Main Street and Commerce.

Sharrows are a great, low-cost solution in many cases, especially where there is no parking and widening a road for bike lanes is too expensive. Bike lanes and/or sharrows are a much better, safer alternative to the side paths that had been proposed earlier this year in Milford.

At a recent MDOT meeting, some staff were unaware of sharrows, but were willing to look into their possible implementation on a state trunkline in Detroit. In this case the sharrows would provide bike lane continuity on short sections of road where there is inadequate road width for bike lanes.

Metro Detroit Trail Updates for August 2010

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Clinton River Trail: Bridge Groundbreaking

MDOT and the city of Pontiac are hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the new trail bridge over Telegraph. The ceremony is August 12th at 10AM on the eastern edge of the bridge near Old Telegraph.

This bridge will connect two important pieces of the Clinton River Trail that are currently very difficult to connect using surface streets. A rendering of the bridge is shown on the right. This project is being funded primarily with ARRA (a.k.a. stimulus) money. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is also contributing.

This still leaves one major gap in the Clinton River Trail for Pontiac: from Bagley Street west of Downtown to the Auburn Hills border at Opdyke.

We are clearly ignoring the trail’s improper signed routing of the Clinton River Trail through Downtown Pontiac on sidewalks. Yes, a newly signed bicycle route on sidewalks.

We’re not sure how such obvious mistake could have been funded by MDOT given the AASHTO bicycle guidelines clear instructions against it — especially within a central business district. It’s unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians.

Macomb Orchard Trail: More Asphalt

The Detroit News is reporting that nine more miles of the Macomb Orchard Trail will be paved.

Officials recently authorized the county to seek a low-interest loan to pay for paving those parts of the trail.

“We’ve already submitted our application and it’s being reviewed,” said Bob Hoepfner, the county’s chief highway engineer. “Hopefully we’ll know if it’s approved in about a month. We’d like to get it paved this year if we can.”

There were many complaints about the existing pea gravel surface, so this is certainly good news for cyclists and pedestrians.

Milford Village: Seeking Sidepaths

Another Oakland County government with its DDA was looking to build a side paths for bicyclists (calling them “safety” paths) in spite of the AASHTO bicycle guidelines against it. This sidepath would include 18 intersections in less than one-third of a mile: 2 sidewalks, 3 roads, and 13 residential driveways.

“We asked how can we do this economically,” [Village Manager Arthur] Shufflebarger said. “The DDA went through the options, and said this one was the least expensive.”

They apparently didn’t go through the AASHTO bicycle design guidelines for options. The least expensive option would be an safe, on-road connection.

That said, the?sidepath project was stopped within the same month due to other reasons.

I-275 Metro Trail: Open House

MDOT is scheduling another 5.5 miles of trail reconstruction along I-275 for next spring. This includes rehabilitating “six bridges and two boardwalks, install a pedestrian signal at Ecorse Road and upgrade signs.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting an open house-style meeting to provide an overview on the 2011 construction work on the I-275 Metro Trail in Wayne County. The project includes reconstruction of the bike path between US-12 (Michigan Avenue) and I-94. Interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to learn details and provide feedback regarding this project.

The open house is August 10th, from 5pm until 7pm at the Fellows Creek Golf Club (2936 South Lotz Road in Canton.)

Artificially low speed limits on trails

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

The Spinal Column is reporting on new trail signs for the Milford Trail through the village of Milford. According to the article, these signs include a will “post a speed limit of 10 miles per hour.”

Apparently they are only follow the same rules set forth by the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority.

Whenever a usable and designated path has been provided near a roadway, cyclists, hikers, joggers, runners and in-line skaters shall use that path and shall not use the roadway. However, the speed limit on the hike-bike trails is 10 miles per hour, so cyclists riding at faster speeds shall use the roadway.

It’s doubtful many people will observe 10 MPH limit since it’s unreasonably low and many bicycles don’t have speedometers.

So what is the better answer?

It’s probably to not set a speed limit at all. The trail signs would require bicyclists to yield to pedestrians, stay to the right, and avoid recklessness. That should cover everything.

Besides, the trail should meet the AASHTO standards which calls for a minimum design speed of 20 MPH.

Shared use paths should be designed for a selected speed that is at least as high as the preferred speed of the faster bicyclists. In general, a minimum design speed of 20 MPH should be used. Although bicyclists can travel faster that this, to do so would be inappropriate in a mixed-use setting. Design and traffic controls can be used to deter excessive speed and faster cyclists can be encouraged to use the roadway system. Lower design speeds should not be selected to artificially lower user speeds. When a downgrade exceeds 4%, or where strong prevailing tailwinds exist, a design speed of 30 MPH or more is advisable.

If the trail is designed for safe travel at 20 MPH then it doesn’t make sense posting a speed limit at half that.