Pictured is a view looking east on 22 Mile Road, west of Mustang Drive. Residents say there’s been a great deal of concern about what was originally put in as a temporary access to Legacy Farms subdivision. The concern is that motorists are using the subdivision as a through-way to get from Fairchild to North Avenue, posing a safety risk.

Pictured is a view looking east on 22 Mile Road, west of Mustang Drive. Residents say there’s been a great deal of concern about what was originally put in as a temporary access to Legacy Farms subdivision. The concern is that motorists are using the subdivision as a through-way to get from Fairchild to North Avenue, posing a safety risk.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Commission recommends temporary access road to remain open in Macomb Twp.

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published April 23, 2019

 A view of Mustang Drive in Macomb Township. The Planning Commission recently met to discuss the removal of a temporary connection at 22 Mile Road to Mustang Drive, between North Avenue and Fairchild Road. It was decided the commission will send a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for the access to remain open until 22 Mile is extended.

A view of Mustang Drive in Macomb Township. The Planning Commission recently met to discuss the removal of a temporary connection at 22 Mile Road to Mustang Drive, between North Avenue and Fairchild Road. It was decided the commission will send a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for the access to remain open until 22 Mile is extended.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Township residents came out in full force at the latest Planning Commission meeting.

One issue at the April 16 meeting was the discussion of removal of a temporary connection at 22 Mile Road to Mustang Drive, a dead-end drive, between North Avenue and Fairchild Road.

After nearly two hours of discussion from residents and commissioners, it was decided that a recommendation will be sent to the Board of Trustees for the access to remain open until 22 Mile is extended between Card Road and Fairchild.

If approved by the board, the recommendation will be sent to the Macomb County Department of Roads, which has the final say on the status of, the temporary connection. Residents comments from the meeting will also be included as part of the recommendation.

Macomb Township Planning Director Patrick Meagher said the 22 Mile extension hasn’t been a high priority for the department.

“There’s been a great deal of concern shared with the township board as well as staff with regard to what was originally put in as a temporary access to Legacy Farms subdivision,” he said.

He said the concern is that motorists are using the subdivision as a through-way to get from Fairchild to North Avenue and vice versa, which poses a potential safety risk, traffic speeds and increased traffic issues.

Currently, 22 Mile ends at Card Road and picks up east of North Avenue before ending half a mile east at Mustang Drive. From there, a gap exists until 22 Mile resumes east of Fairchild.

The Macomb Township Fire Department provided a review to the commission, indicating the temporary access was designed until 22 Mile is connected, and that if the access point is removed, response times could increase from two minutes to eight minutes.

Meagher said at the time the temporary access was installed, it was anticipated for 22 Mile to go through but wasn’t immediately ready.

Steven Palsell, who lives on Appaloosa Drive, east of Mustang Drive, said, “The Fire Department is two minutes away on North Avenue. Two minutes to eight minutes is life or death. The answer is glaring: leave it where it is and when 22 is fixed, adjust it.”

Resident Greg Wenz argued that Fire Department access to the southwest corner of the neighborhood is critical.

“I think the township should stick with the plan of extending 22 before the cutoff occurs,” he said. “There is a lot of traffic volume. Push whatever political (influence) you can to get 22 through.”

Jim Gammicchia, who lives on Percheron Drive, which runs parallel to Mustang, said had it not been for two entrances to the subdivision, he wouldn’t have purchased a home in that area.

“I think safety concerns will be exacerbated, due to frustrated drivers who turn in and don’t have a way out,” he said. “They will turn around, get frustrated and lost.”

Jennifer Schalk, who lives on Galino Court, two streets east of Mustang, wants the temporary access to remain open. She shared an emotional story about her 3-year-old child who had a prolonged seizure, known as status epilepticus, in 2016.

“We called 911 and the Fire Department who responded first was from Station 3, less than a mile and a half from our subdivision, when using the 22 Mile entrance. It took them seven minutes to arrive.”

Station No. 3 is located at 47711 North Ave.

“We were transported out the 22 Mile entrance to McLaren Macomb in Mount Clemens. The quickest way is out 22 and down North Avenue. By the time we arrived, she was seizing for approximately 28 minutes,” Schalk said. “Brain damage starts at 30 minutes. If emergency response vehicles were slowed by even five minutes, her outcome could’ve been different.”

Emily Tocco lives at a home on Mustang, closest to 22 Mile.

“There’s a lot of speeding on 22 Mile from the North Avenue entrance,” she said. “In the summertime, it’s the worst. People think it’s a drag race. In the winter, people still take the turn fast and cars end up on our lawn.”

Also discussed at the meeting was a rezoning request and conceptual review plan for Walden Communities.

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