Pleasant Ridge is implementing a traffic-calming manual and program for its city streets in an attempt to make them safer. Early streets to be targeted for changes include Woodward Heights Boulevard and Oakland Park Boulevard, while Ridge Road, seen here, had some safety measures already implemented.

Pleasant Ridge is implementing a traffic-calming manual and program for its city streets in an attempt to make them safer. Early streets to be targeted for changes include Woodward Heights Boulevard and Oakland Park Boulevard, while Ridge Road, seen here, had some safety measures already implemented.

File photo by Mike Koury


Pleasant Ridge plans traffic-calming manual, program

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published January 29, 2019

Advertisement

PLEASANT RIDGE — Pleasant Ridge is coming close to implementing a traffic-calming manual and program for its city streets.

The program was last discussed at the City Commission’s Jan. 15 meeting, where City Manager James Breuckman said traffic calming has been the most consistent issue that’s come up from residents.

“We hear it all over town from all streets, and it’s something that we’ve been working on proactively on a few streets in town,” he said at the meeting. “We’ve been collecting data, and we’ve been trying to put some rigor and method around this process to guide our efforts. 

“So in light of that, we have a traffic-calming manual, which establishes a formal traffic-calming process. (It) also sets forth what some of the techniques are that we can use and how we implement those on various streets. All the data collection we’ve done (says) Pleasant Ridge streets are safe — some more than others, but all of them are safe. Improvements can always be made.”

Commissioner Bret Scott told the Woodward Talk that what the city is attempting to do is provide alternatives for things that can be done on the roads to bring the speed of the streets down to levels that are better for the size of the community.

“Most of our streets are actually moving at a relatively slow speed, but we do have a few streets where, due to traffic patterns around us, we know that the amount of traffic is higher and the speed that people go is higher,” he said. “We wanted to present some options for things that we can do along those streets, and really any street, that would bring that down to what we see on most of our streets.”

Some of those options, Scott said, include installing corner bump-outs, center medians, reducing the width of the lanes on the road, changing the striping to make the road appear more narrow, and chicanes.

“These are things that are put in that essentially make a straight road curvy,” he said. “By adding some curves to the road, it requires people to pay a bit more attention, and people tend to slow down when they have to pay more attention.”

The three main roads being looked at by the city for traffic calming as of now are Ridge Road, Woodward Heights Boulevard and Oakland Park Boulevard. These roads were targeted, as the traffic volume for all three is higher than 2,500 vehicles per day, and the speed for Ridge Road and Oakland Park Boulevard is above 32 miles per hour.

While these three roads will be focused on to start, Scott said residents from any street can appeal to the city to have their road looked at for potential traffic-calming methods.

“Any street can apply for these changes, but we know that there are certain streets that the city itself will apply the changes because of the traffic count and the average street,” he said. “These three streets are those that fit that description where the speed and the traffic count are high enough that the city would do this without residents’ initiation.”

Scott said some testing with temporary measures that can be removed will be done with Woodward Heights Boulevard over the next year to see what changes would work. After Woodward Heights, Oakland Park and Oxford boulevards are next in line to be studied.

Ridge Road saw some work done last year to repave, restripe and install pedestrian signs on the street.

“We’ve seen a dramatic improvement from a calming perspective along Ridge Road, and there may be some other things that we do later on,” Scott said.

Recently, the city held a town hall involving residents to gather feedback and possibly update the manual before the commission approves it.

Breuckman said he doesn’t know if the manual will be updated, as most people at the town hall were interested in what is in it and how Pleasant Ridge plans to use it, but the plan is to bring it back to the commission at the Feb. 12 meeting, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 23925 Woodward Ave.

Advertisement