Cyclists ride up the hill on Gallagher Road, which will soon receive a safety path.

Cyclists ride up the hill on Gallagher Road, which will soon receive a safety path.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

New safety path to connect Silverbell, Gallagher roads to Paint Creek Trail

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published September 22, 2020


OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Bicyclists, runners and walkers will no longer have to dodge cars along Gallagher Road as they walk to and from the Paint Creek Trail.

Oakland Township is in the process of designing a safe connection between the most populated areas of the township — the subdivisions along Silverbell and Adams roads — to the Paint Creek Trail.

Township officials said the path — which will begin near the entrance of the Goodison Place neighborhood, on Silverbell Road, and travel down Gallagher to the Paint Creek Trail — provides a long-planned connection between the existing pathway network along the south side of Silverbell Road to the trail.

Oakland Township Assistant Manager Jamie Moore said the project has been a long-time goal for the Safety Path and Trails Committee and will be “a huge benefit” for anyone trying to get to the Paint Creek Trail and Cider Mill.

“Right now, there is no safety path, so it can be a little dangerous for anyone traveling on the road,” she explained.

Jeff Smith, of PEA Group, who serves as the project manager, said Gallagher Road is curvy, hilly and dangerous for pedestrians.

“In the process of designing the safety path, we’ve noticed quite a few people walking up and down Gallagher Road, and it’s really not safe at all, so having this pathway connection is going to be a good safety improvement,” he said.

The Gallagher pathway also aims to bring travelers into the historical area of Goodison and to the Paint Creek Cider Mill and the Paint Creek Trail, with access to the township’s Bear Creek Park.  

The new safety path will start on Silverbell and will follow the north or west right of way of Gallagher Road until it reaches the Paint Creek Trail, providing a total of 1.09 miles of new pathway — 0.67 miles of 8-foot-wide paved multiuse pathway and 0.42 miles of sidewalk.

“The road right of way is relatively wide through there, so the pathway is going to be built 12 feet off the gravel,” Smith explained. “Half of it is going to be a 5-foot concrete sidewalk, and the other half, where we can, is going to be an 8-foot asphalt path.”

The design and engineering of the safety path are substantially complete, and Smith said the project is currently in the permitting process, with construction likely to begin next spring.

“I know it’s exciting for the township to complete a project that has been desired for a very long time,” he said.

The estimated cost of the project is around $850,000, paid for via safety paths and trails millage funds.

Twice since 2006, township voters have approved a safety paths and trails millage. The funds are used for the construction and maintenance of a network of safety paths, trails and boardwalks to provide healthy recreational opportunities and safe routes to schools, parks and neighborhoods in the township, as well as the acquisition of property and rights of way.

For more information, call Oakland Township at (248) 651-4440 or visit