The north entrance of the Royal Oak Public Library has been closed since 2006 because the stairs were in poor condition and the ramp was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. A new, ADA-compliant ramp, once completed, will be permanently open.

The north entrance of the Royal Oak Public Library has been closed since 2006 because the stairs were in poor condition and the ramp was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. A new, ADA-compliant ramp, once completed, will be permanently open.

Photo provided by Judy Davids


New north entrance, sidewalk coming to Royal Oak library

Drop box moved to Police Department parking lot

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published October 30, 2018

 Crews began work on the sidewalk to the north of the Royal Oak Public Library last week. Once completed in December, the decorative streetscape will include ornamental streetlights, trees with grates, and stamped concrete.

Crews began work on the sidewalk to the north of the Royal Oak Public Library last week. Once completed in December, the decorative streetscape will include ornamental streetlights, trees with grates, and stamped concrete.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik

 The library return drop box formerly located on 11 Mile Road has been temporarily moved to the parking lot behind the Police Department and City Hall, accessible from Troy Street.

The library return drop box formerly located on 11 Mile Road has been temporarily moved to the parking lot behind the Police Department and City Hall, accessible from Troy Street.

Photo provided by Judy Davids

ROYAL OAK — Construction equipment, cones and workers are normal sights around downtown Royal Oak these days.

Last week, as part of the new parking deck project included in the large-scale civic center project, crews demolished the north entrance to the Royal Oak Public Library that had been closed to the public since 2006, and the sidewalk in front of it.

When completed in December, the new sidewalk will match the sidewalk recently installed on East Fourth Street. The decorative streetscape will include ornamental streetlights, trees with grates and stamped concrete.

The former stairs and ramp, which had too high of an incline to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, will be replaced by a new ADA-compliant ramp.

During construction, the turn lane on 11 Mile Road, north of the library, will be closed; however, library hours and programs will not be affected by the exterior construction.

The drop box for library returns was moved from the curb on 11 Mile to the parking lot behind the Police Department and City Hall, accessible from Troy Street. The move is temporary, as the parking lot will be the future site of a new downtown park included in the civic center project.

In the spring, the library will receive all-new landscaping.

Judy Davids, Royal Oak community engagement specialist, said the city received a lot of complaints when it closed the north entrance almost a decade ago.

“The stairs were not in great shape and the ramp was not ADA-compliant, and they didn’t want to encourage people (to keep using them),” Davids said. “(The north entrance) got a lot of foot traffic from Barton Towers, the closest neighborhood to the library to the north. Instead of walking to the entrance, they had to walk around the block.”

She said resident feedback about the new location of the dropbox has been favorable, especially since drivers can now access the box directly from their vehicles instead of having to park on 11 Mile and walk to the box.

“They empty the books out of that thing four times a day,” Davids said. “It is super, super busy, especially over holidays and on weekends.”

She added that the library had record summer reading program attendance despite citywide construction, and it has seen an increase of mothers visiting the library with young ones in strollers.

Library Director Mary Karshner said the library created a “stroller parking” area.

“We are seeing a lot of new families coming too, with the sale of houses in Royal Oak and the new building where there are some empty lots,” Karshner said. “We have some excellent programs going on, and I think with the equation of fun programs and free, people will take their chances on parking.”

She said the library had been looking to redo the area for some time and that she was excited that it was finally coming to fruition. She said the library underwent a major renovation in 2005 and 2006 and changed the north entrance to an emergency exit only at that time.

“I think (the new entrance) will be a convenience to a number of our patrons,” Karshner said. “The sidewalk and the steps and whatnot were crumbling.”

For more information about the Royal Oak Public Library, call (248) 246-3700 or visit www.ropl.org.