Trees line the rolling hills along the Adams Road corridor between Walton and Hamlin.

Trees line the rolling hills along the Adams Road corridor between Walton and Hamlin.

Photo by Mary Beth Almond

Public invited to share input on Adams Road corridor project

‘Friends Of Historic Adams Road’ group formed to support preservation

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published May 2, 2023


ROCHESTER HILLS — The second in a series of five public meetings designed to gather thoughts on Adams Road will be held May 9, and community members are invited to attend to share their input.

The city of Rochester Hills, the Road Commission for Oakland County and Oakland University have joined forces to conduct a study to determine the future of the Adams Road corridor, from Hamlin Road to Walton Boulevard.

The Adams Road corridor planning and environmental linkages study — which kicked off last September with the launch of a website and the first public input meeting — is expected to take up to five years to complete.

The next public meeting will be held 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, in the cafeteria of West Middle School, 500 Old Perch Road in Rochester Hills. The Road Commission’s Craig Bryson said a presentation will begin at 6 p.m., and there will be opportunities for feedback and viewing presentation boards.

“We’ll be reviewing the need and purpose for the study, which is looking at whether or not something needs to be done in that corridor. We’ll review the crash history of the corridor. We’ll review all of the feedback received after the first meeting, talk about what the process is going forward, and encourage people to, again, offer their input into the process,” Bryson said.

Those who can’t attend the meeting can visit the Visioning Adams Road website for an overview of the study process and a chance to provide input at The website includes an interactive map, an online survey and an “ideas wall.”

Sara Roediger, the planning and economic development director for the city of Rochester Hills, said this section of the road has always come up in past studies as “the one road with the worst congestion that needs to be improved.”

“It’s key for people to understand that Adams Road is in fact a county road — it runs through our community, but anything that happens on Adams Road is a county decision to make,” added Nathan Mueller, the senior adviser of strategy and communications for the city of Rochester Hills.

The corridor, Bryson said, has “been a challenge for literally decades.”

“There has been a lot of interest expressed over a number of years from some sectors of the community for doing something to relieve the congestion on that corridor. It’s obviously a two-lane road in a fairly densely populated community with a major university and lots of shopping and other facilities nearby. There have been some elements in the community that have wanted, for years, to have the road widened, and other elements in the community that would rather not see it widened, so we want to get a good feel for what the sentiment of the community really is for this corridor.”

Last summer, Rochester Hills residents’ Paula Rosenbusch and Leslie Schneider formed the Friends of Historic Adams Road, what they say is a Rochester Hills resident-based nonpartisan group to support the preservation of the historic Adams Road.

“When we decided to speak with fellow citizens, business owners and anyone who really travels along Adams Road or lives along Adams Road, we found that almost 97% were supportive of the preservation of the historic Adams Road for current and future generations,” Rosenbusch said. “Based on that, we decided to form a group to share information to let people know when meetings are scheduled so that they can attend and have their voices heard.”

The group’s mission is “to honor, preserve and protect the natural beauty and historical significance of Adams Road in Rochester Hills, and to work with the Road Commission for Oakland County, the city of Rochester Hills and Oakland University in positive way to find modern effective methods of reducing congestion and boosting safety for all who travel on it.”

During the first visioning meeting last September, the Friends of Historic Adams Road group helped bring well over 300 people to the meeting to share their perspectives on Adams Road.

“We are working very politely with the Road Commission from Oakland County, with the city of Rochester Hills and with Oakland University — they are the big three stakeholders,” said Schneider. “We recognize that we do need potentially to reduce congestion and boost safety along Adams Road, so we would like to be involved in that in a constructive way.”

The Friends group believes there are more effective modern ways to deal with congestion other than widening the roadway, which Schneider said would put the mature trees and historic properties along Adams in danger.

To help alleviate congestion, the group suggests that the Road Commission install traffic light sensors that allow for optimum traffic flow, utilize better-timed traffic lights during peak hours, add adequate dedicated left-turn lanes with traffic light signals or paved passing lanes in select areas, and/or build one to two roundabouts at pain points.

“I think it’s really important to note that there are no plans for the Adams Road corridor,” said Mueller. “This is strictly what we are trying to do, take that feedback from the community, listen, hear and keep moving this forward. This is a five-year study that we are doing, so it’s not going to be happening anytime soon, but the public engagement part is a key factor.”

Bryson said all public and stakeholder input throughout the study will help shape the future plans for the corridor, which he noted could include making improvements or doing nothing.

“This is the opportunity to tell us what you think about what needs to be done or doesn’t need to be done in that corridor,” Bryson added.

The study is funded by a $2 million federal Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development, or BUILD, grant that was awarded in 2020, with a study start date of 2022. The multiyear study will include a planning and environmental linkage study, and a subsequent environmental assessment of the corridor. The Road Commission and the city of Rochester Hills are splitting the required local match of $500,000 to complete the study.

Bryson said the whole process is governed by federal rules and regulations, and it ultimately has to be approved by the state and the federal government.

For more information on the project, visit