Concerned About Fast Drivers on Gravel Roads? There's a Meeting for That
Voice your opinion on Thursday night; it will be recorded and sent to lawmakers in Lansing.
Residents concerned about the unposted 55 mph speed limit on gravel roads in Rochester Hills are encouraged to attend a public meeting Thursday to voice their opinions.
Those opinions will be recorded and sent on to the state Legislature, which is considering two bills that would give cities control over their own gravel road speed limits.
The meeting is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday at Rochester Hills City Hall.
Rochester Hills City Councilmember Adam Kochenderfer is leading the charge in support of letting local governments have control over setting the speed limits in their towns.
"We really want to push this as hard as we can," Kochenderfer said. "The speed limit should not be a one-size-fits-all thing. When you travel 55 miles per hour and over on these roads, you're really taking your life into your own hands."
The meeting is specifically in support of House Bill 4037, which was offered up by Rep. Eileen Kowall of White Lake. The bill would re-establish speed limits on gravel roads.
Both bills have been referred to the House and Senate committees on Transportation.
Kochenderfer invited Kowall and Marleau, as well as Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, to attend the Thursday meeting.
He said he encourages anyone who is concerned about excessive speeding on Dutton Road, Washington Road or any of the city's gravel roads to attend the meeting.
In 2006, a state law increased the speed limit on both roads from 25 mph and 35 mph to 55 mph. After that, in Rochester Hills, the speed limit signs were removed.
The County Road Association of Michigan has taken a stance in opposition of both the Senate and House bills. In a report in The Oakland Press, a spokesman for the Road Commission for Oakland County has said the commission hasn't seen an increase in accidents since the lower speed limits were lifted in 2006.
The Road Commission has published an informational brochure on gravel roads here.
Opponents of the bills have said it would be costly to add speed limit signs to the gravel roads.
Kochenderfer said he supports adding a clause into the legislation that would require municipalities to pay for speed limit signs.
Linda Raschke lives on Dutton Road and has expressed her concern with the current gravel road speed limit law.
"As these school buses pass and you see childrens' faces, we as a community have a responsibility to provide a safe road and a safe speed at which people travel," she told councilmembers earlier this year.
Raschke has posted her own handmade signs near her home encouraging people to slow down. "When people come to my house I have to personally go out and slow people down so they can back out," she said.