Amid traffic issues, Madison Heights and Royal Oak agree on policing border deal

By: Mike Koury | C&G Newspapers | Published June 20, 2023


ROYAL OAK/MADISON HEIGHTS — Road construction on Interstate 75 and its northbound service drive has led to more drivers cutting through the neighborhood north of Lincoln Avenue and south of 11 Mile Road, as they try to reach John R and 11 Mile roads. This has led to more traffic violations in the area, from speeding to running stop signs.

The Michigan Department of Transportation placed “no right turn” signs at each entry point to the subdivision, to try to mitigate the issue. But the signs are placed on the service drive’s east side, just prior to each entry point — and that area is within the city limits of Royal Oak, where police from Madison Heights have no jurisdiction.

Now, to address traffic laws at their border, the cities of Madison Heights and Royal Oak have reached an inter-local agreement, which will give Madison Heights police the authority to enforce traffic violations on the northbound I-75 service drive between Lincoln and Gardenia avenues.

“We have a border street, Stephenson Highway, where Madison Heights has been getting a lot of complaints due to the traffic and I-75 reconstruction,” Royal Oak Police Lt. Al Carter said.

“The agreement can be indefinite, or it can also be terminated at any notice when it’s no longer needed,” he continued. “It’s just merely assisting, from one police department to another … trying to work a way around the whole little bit of a hiccup with the I-75 construction.”

Corey Haines, the police chief of Madison Heights, said via email that the arrangement is focused on vehicles turning into the subdivision and then speeding past stop signs.

“All of the streets off the service drive are posted as no right turns,” Haines said. “The issue is that this portion of the service drive is within the jurisdiction of Royal Oak.”

Carter stated that Royal Oak hasn’t had the same problems that Madison Heights is having, so the department won’t have to worry about issuing tickets, but the biggest problem Royal Oak has run into is the shutdown on 12 Mile Road and the exit off Stephenson.

“It was opened up for a little while, and then they closed it back down to do some more of the reconstruction on 75,” he said. “I’m right over there as a resident as well. So you have to go down a street, which you either go to Gardenia or Lincoln to get across, like if you’re going to Home Depot and you’re going eastbound. …  I’m going down and following one of the half roads to get across versus side streets. I can work my way through side streets, but now I’m disrupting the residential area, which is what the city of Madison Heights is attempting to avoid for all the residents and their children playing outside.”

Carter asked that everyone just be patient for the time being while the construction is going on.

“Be respectful of all the neighbors in the jurisdictions,” he said. “It affects both Royal Oak and Madison Heights, but primarily Madison Heights right now.”

Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski contributed to this story.