There have been a lot of great conversation in the Rochester Patch regarding road improvements. The timing on these road and bridge improvements to say the least has been questionable but both our Rochester and our Rochester Hills governments have done an admirable job of seizing the moment.
When federal or state money become available take it because you may never see it again. The good news is all of these road improvements will be done by years' end.
Crooks, anticipated completion date: November 1, 2012.
Livernois Road Bridge Replacement anticipated completion date: open to traffic - November 1, 2012 project completion - November 15, 2012.
And Downtown Rochester, anticipated completion date: is also November 2012.
I personally want to thank our local Rochester government for all the "aesthetic improvements" they incorporated into their main street project. I also want to personally thank our local Rochester Hills government for all the "aesthetic improvements" they will incorporate into the bridge projects.The city of Rochester Hills has received a $207,000 grant to build pedestrian and bike pathways and make other aesthetic improvements at the intersection of Avon and Livernois roads.
Starting in 2013 Tienken Road, Livernois east to Sheldon Rd. construction engineer: Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) 877.858.4804, proposed start date: spring 2013, anticipated completion date: Fall 2013. This road improvement will permanently change the total character of northern Rochester Hills. I'm not in favor of what is proposed by the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC). In a nutshell their plan is all about big trucks, high speed cars and commuter traffic! Their plan is a 3 lane 50mph design speed, with occasional deceleration lanes which will widen the road to 4 and 5 lanes. Their plans also call for a massive unnecessary roundabout at the corner of Livernois Road and Tienken Road. Plus the expensive taking and destruction of homes and some business.
Is there a better plan?
Let's propose a new Tienken parkway... Livernois east to Sheldon Rd. -- Patch readers and bloggers I want this to be our idea!
Let's rebuild Tienken Rd. as a 2 lane 40mph design speed parkway with bike lanes and sidewalks (est. cost est. $8,158,400.00 million) roughly the same amount as (RCOC) 3 and 5 lane highway with its new massive unnecessary roundabout. Their new Tienken highway (est. $8,158,400.00 million) proposal ($3,944,400.00 in right-of-way purchases) ($4,214,000.00 construction cost). Let's rethink the cost and spend less on the expensive taking and destruction of homes to level land and design a road to drive big semi, tractor-trailer, trucks 50mph on, and more on the road itself.
If our goal is Birmingham, Northville, Michigan residential property values over the next 10 years then we need to rebuild rethink our mile roads upscale.
(RCOC) 50mph design speed 3 and 5 lane Tienken highway, NO trees, NO landscape plan, NO "aesthetic improvements" and 8' asphalt pathways is not upscale.
All over the country progressive thinking cities are turning old highways into parkways, they call them "Complete Streets." This design for Tienken parkway is not out of the box, but a reflection of what other cities and towns are doing! more information at http://www.completestreets.org
To understand this plan you must accept some civil engineering givens, you can not just -- green in -- the center median of a 3 lane highway. In an emergency you must allow room for cars and trucks to get out of the way and let the fire trucks by etc. This is why this 2 lane parkway design has 14' lanes and 8' bike lanes to allow room for you to get out of the way.
Starting at the west end -- Livernois and Tienken -- the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) wants to build a multi million roundabout, condemned and tear down the house on the northeast corner, also their plan has little room for pedestrian pathway on the southwest corner, and a whole new road on the southeast corner so you don't have to even drive into this new roundabout. There is no money in the budget for any kind of signalized lighting that would aid the handicapped or your children to walk or ride bikes through this new pedestrian dangerous roundabout. And the landscape plan for the center of the roundabout is grass seed. more safety information at http://www.activetrans.org/blog/dpersky/roundabouts-bike-and-ped-friendly
Let's save that house and rebuild a traditional intersection with Michigan left turns -- this is a better idea, this fits within the existing right-of-way and has a more small town upscale character, use of brick pavers other aesthetic improvements would bring even more home value to the area.
Traveling east the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) plan is to redo a 3 lane highway with a 3 lane highway up to the defunct 5 lane bridge.
Let's turn this old 3 lane highway into a beautiful 2 lane parkway and disguise the bridge with architectural elements to make it look like a charming two lane bridge. note: the natural forest on the north side should be left alone, the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) plan is 8' pathways both sides of the highway, that plan will destroy this natural forest!
Traveling east of the bridge the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) wants to condemned and tear down 5 homes and take away all parking and driveway turnarounds in the right-of-way in front of all homes. This new 3 to 5 lane highway as proposed will have a negative effect on all residential property values and if you take away the parking and front yard driveway turnarounds you will have even a bigger negative effect on their value. These homes are allready in jeopardy of becoming rundown rentals!
Why spend the money buying homes? Let's use this money to work with a landscape architect and redo the whole stretch around 28 homes with brick pavers, off the street parallel parking bays and upscale front yard driveway turnarounds. Let's all work together and make it chic to live on the new Tienken parkway.
All mile road improvements in Rochester Hills should improve abutting residential property values.
The north side of Tienken in this area is a strange mix of zoning in need of help. For now Let's propose two lanes to reduce rear end collisions, the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) wants to condemned and tear down two business. Why do we need to level this hill to the point where we have to accommodate big semi, tractor-trailer, trucks to drive 50mph.
Tienken and Rochester Rd. intersection. Let's designed a redo into the plan but understand the funding is not in any budget at this time. Let's propose we engineer the intersection to "shovel ready" note: the Bank and Gas Station on the southwest corner would have to be totally rebuilt. Let's rename this whole area the East Village District -- it has great potential with sensible sound urban planning. Currently this is a pedestrian/bike dangerous intersection. -- Let's hope someday funding will becomes available to redo this interchange with safety improvements for both cars, pedestrians and bike enthusiasts.
Traveling east of new City Walk Development to the existing roundabout at Sheldon Rd. the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) is planning extensive right-of-way purchases, a 50mph 3 lane highway, with no trees and a 8' asphalt pathways for both sides of the road. Some of the new 8' asphalt pathways will be only 5' from the curb... Is this the kind of unsafe pathway you want your children on? These residents don't have a clue what they are in for. The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) will clear cut all trees for a 50mph site distance and for the 8' asphalt pathways if they get this right-of-way. NO trees between the pathway and the curb. The city mandates a 3' to 4' no tree clearance on both sides of the pathway for bike safety. This is a total of about 22' of open space in their front yards! Also many of the driveway turnarounds will have to be torn out.
Let's propose we purchase far less right-of-way, save everything we can, again work with a landscape architect and thread a 5' concrete sidewalk through the area to preserve the historic sized trees. We need to design a 2 lane parkway that will create a small town feel to the area and will also slow down and calm traffic as it travels towards our historic district. A canopy tree lined street like 2 lane parkway West Lincoln Street, Birmingham MI between Cranbrook Rd and Southfield Rd. is a better design for this area.
• We pay more than our fair share in federal taxes and I feel we are deserving of the full federal grant of $10,500,000.00 to rebuild the road.
• The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) 50mph proposal will have a negative effect on residential property values, spends to much on right-of-way we don't need, and a roundabout we don't need and have never asked for.
• A two lane parkway, "Complete Streets" is not an out of the box idea but a reflection of what other progressive thinking cities are doing.
• We will need to convince the adjoining property owners to give up left hand turns from their driveways and make it chic to live on the new Tienken parkway.
• We need to lower the design speed to 40mph and allow bike lanes built along side of the road. note: the bike enthusiasts dislike the pathways in Rochester Hills -- Todd Scott http://www.m-bike.org also note: bike lanes are not for children that is why the Tienken parkway plan also has traditional 5' sidewalks.
• If our goal is Birmingham, Northville, Michigan residential property values over the next 10 years then we need to rebuild our mile roads upscale with aesthetic and safety improvements.
• Successful 19th century cities were all about the railroad.
• Successful 20th century cities were all about cars and trucks.
• Successful 21th century cities will be all about the people who live in them not about cars and trucks that drive through them.
• Rochester Hills with the right leadership could turn it's old highways into tree line pedestrian/bike friendly parkways. Tienken parkway is our first chance to do just that.
• These plans are scale and they are a design concept not final engineering. The Michigan left turns have to be designed wide to alow 18 wheel truck u-turn turnarounds. The road plans read from west to east.
• 50+ evening late hours redrawing Tienken Rd. by Scot Beaton
• Former Rochester Hills Council member
• Rochester Hills City Council (9 Years)
• President, Rochester Hills City Council (2 Years)
• V.P. Rochester Hills City Council (1Year)
• Planning Commission (2 Years)
• Zoning Board of Appeals
• Historic Districts Commission
• Rochester Area Youth Assistance Committee
• Liquor Committee
• Solid Waste Management Committee
• Advisory Traffic and Safety Board
• Road Committee
• Salary Committee
• Rochester/Rochester Hills Sister City Committee
• Pedestrian Pathway Committee
• Bike Path Committee
note: County Road Plans http://www.rochesterhills.org/index.aspx?NID=487 can be found in the Environmental Report