Clawson Planning Commission addresses second part of survey results

By: Taylor Christensen | Royal Oak Review | Published March 8, 2024


CLAWSON — The Clawson Planning Commission heard the second part of a presentation on the city’s master plan survey that was conducted in the fall of 2023.

Results were read at the Feb. 27 Planning Commission meeting, addressing more thoughts and feelings about Clawson livability. The first part of the survey’s information was presented to the Planning Commission Jan. 23.

To begin the Feb. 27 presentation, Joe Tangari, principal planner of Giffels Webster Community Planning Co., showed the commission what types of public initiatives the people of Clawson would be willing to pay for, hypothetically.

Six hypothetical public initiatives were shown to the survey participants, and each person was given 1,000 points. With the 1,000 points, the participants were asked to distribute them into the initiatives they would be willing to pay for. In all, 403 votes were put into this question.

Stormwater management improvements were the highest-funded initiative of the six, with 97.8% of the points going toward it. Road maintenance and repair had the second-highest amount with 91.21% of points.

“On average people distributed money to 4.43 projects,” said Tangari. “Most people didn’t distribute money to all of them, but they had their favorites.”

Tangari said at the meeting that this ranking is “not necessarily surprising.”

“I think the flooding and the roads is something that everyone sees every day, or had a traumatic experience with,” he said. “I think it looms large in people’s minds, and it is something people want fixed, and that is the reason it is one of the modules for our master plan.”

Following that question, survey participants were asked on a map of Clawson to label poor road conditions, where people have experienced flooding, missing sidewalks, or places where the sidewalk needs repair.

Road conditions were the highest-reported problem on the map and spread over the whole city of Clawson.

The northern part of town had the highest concentration of poor road conditions, according to Tangari, particularly on School Street.

Biking and walking also were addressed. One of the survey questions asked participants to rank what they wish to see as types of barriers between moving vehicles and bicyclists.

“This talked about bike lanes and what would lead people to use them the most,” Tangari said. “The results that we got back showed that barrier-protected bike lanes are the things that people trust the most to keep them safe.”

Furthermore, a large number of people were open to a bit less protection, voting for lane striping and vertical posts that would have reflectors on them.

To pair with biking and walking, a Clawson map was presented where survey participants marked areas of safety concerns, bike parking, crosswalks and more.

“There is a concentration of safety concerns near where Washington (Avenue) comes into 14 Mile (Road), and there were comments associated with each of those basically saying, ‘People don’t know how to behave around the HAWK signal,’” Tangari said.

The HAWK signal takes its name from letters in the words “high-intensity activated crosswalk” and is used to help pedestrians safely cross busy streets, such as 14 Mile Road in Clawson.

Tangari said this lack of knowledge about the HAWK signal worries people about potential problems, according to the survey.

Tangari suggested to add signage to the areas of the HAWK signals to explain how they work.

“A lot of people aren’t familiar with that kind of signal,” he said.

There have not been any accidents since one person hit the pole of a HAWK signal, according to Tangari.

The next topic of discussion related to multifamily housing. Survey participants were asked to choose where in Clawson they believe would be most appropriate to build multifamily housing.

At the top of the list with 55.16% of the votes was “along major roads (Crooks, Maple, Rochester).”

Survey participants were then asked what amenities they would like to see provided in a multifamily unit, if they were to rent one.

The top-rated choice was a balcony or private patio space with 78.34% of votes; second was open or recreational outdoor space, with 53.46% of the votes. Storage unit space was ranked as the third highest, with 42.86% of votes.

Following the reading of the last few survey results, Tangari and the Planning Commission will be having a public forum to view the recommendations of the master plan and respond to them.

There was no date set as of Feb. 29, but Tangari said that a date will be decided and told to the commission a month before the planned date.

Prior to picking a date, Tangari said the Planning Commission needs to be comfortable with the draft before presenting it to the public for extra comment.

Tangari said that he would like to meet first with the Planning Commission in April, and then have the public meeting in the second half of May.