Lathrup Village to create complete streets policy

By: Jennie Miller | Southfield Sun | Published April 14, 2011

LATHRUP VILLAGE — With a vision of a bustling downtown district in mind, Lathrup Village city officials are working toward the creation of a “complete streets” program with a local transportation planning firm.

The program is designed to provide safe and efficient roadways for all uses — cars, trucks, transit, foot or bicycle.

The Lathrup Village City Council will need to approve a complete streets ordinance, amend the master plan and create a nonmotorized capital improvements program.

“Complete streets has cars, bikes, pedestrians and all of those uses (to) be considered when coming up with design and functionality of our roads,” said Allen Weaks, Lathrup Village city councilman.

The city has been looking at its roadways for quite some time — most notably, Southfield Road and the boulevard addition proposed by the Road Commission for Oakland County.

“We told the commission that no, we do not want that giant boulevard in our city,” said Lathrup Village City Administrator Jeff Mueller. “If I had my druthers, I’d have it 25 mph (on Southfield Road) with on-street parking … and I’m going to keep pushing for that, because that’s in the best interest of my community. Hopefully, there’s a happy medium, and we can do that. People being able to get from one side to the other is very important.”

The city worked with the Michigan Municipal League to obtain a grant to pay for the entire process of setting up the complete streets program. They brought on board Birchler Arroyo Associates, a local community and transportation planning firm in Lathrup Village.

“So we’re going back to the drawing board,” Mueller said. “Legislation says that if you have a complete streets program, everyone has to sit down with us and take into account pedestrians and bikers and walkers, and it needs to fit into the plan.”

A meeting has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 27 at Lathrup Village City Hall to get the public’s input on the plan.

“We have a series of steps that we’re doing to address the complete streets policy for the city,” explained Rod Arroyo of Birchler Arroyo Associates. “There is an online questionnaire that is available through a link on the city’s website that enables residents and business owners to answer questions that address how streets are being used today, and questions about walking and biking that are going to be helpful in terms of getting public input. An open house is going to be held, and people will have the opportunity to come in, hear a presentation about the program, and provide some input into the process as well.

“We are also going to be doing an evaluation of the road program in the city, taking a look at various facilities for nonmotorized transportation, including improvements that can be made,” Arroyo continued. “A draft will be presented to the Planning Commission, likely in either May or June. … It will be sent to surrounding communities and the county and other agencies for their input. While that input is received and they’re reviewing it, (we’ll) draft a complete streets ordinance … and outline what the city is going to do on an ongoing basis to address complete streets. The capital improvements plan and nonmotorized transportation plan (will) identify what types of improvements could be done over the next five years.”

The goal is to have everything completed by late September or early October.