The village’s downtown, on Franklin Road, features historic homes and a retail district.

The village’s downtown, on Franklin Road, features historic homes and a retail district.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Franklin aims for safety with streetscape plan

By: Linda Shepard | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 15, 2019


FRANKLIN — Village officials are fine-tuning a concept plan to add sidewalks, lighting and landscaping to Franklin Road between 13 Mile and 14 Mile roads.

“Our hope and desire is to pull some of the traffic in the fall from the cider mill, to get them into the village to spend some money,” Franklin Village Council President Pamela Hansen said April 8 during a council discussion.

Safety is a key element of the plan.

“Children are being pushed in strollers about 2 feet from cars,” Hansen said.  “If I have a vision, it is that people can make their way on both sides of the street safely.”

The plan, created by Land Design Studio, identifies an overview. Future phases include refined design developments prior to engineering and construction documents.

“We want to maintain a beautiful village,” Hansen said. “The changes we make in the downtown will be there for a long time. This is a big decision. There are a number of meetings left with residents and business owners. The plans are not done.”

According to Franklin Village Manager James Creech, streetscape developments will be funded through a voter-approved bond process, and initial estimates range from $500,000 to $900,000.

“We are trying to provide normal improvements,” Creech said, “for the lighting and sidewalks that are in most downtowns. It is still up for discussion. The key is getting (pedestrians) to the downtown with sidewalks on both sides of the street and a connection to the cider mill.”     

The Franklin Cider Mill is located on the northwest corner of Franklin Road and 14 Mile Road.

Franklin Road is also scheduled for repaving this year, and a section of the road south of 13 Mile Road is scheduled to begin soon, Creech said, for a cost of approximately $500,000 paid for with budgeted local funds.  

The remaining portion of the road, from 13 Mile to 14 Mile, will be repaved following the southern portion, he said, for an additional cost of $500,000 in budgeted funds.  

Streetscape improvements may begin late this year or next year, depending on the final design, Creech said. For more information, the Franklin downtown plan overview can be viewed at