Residents are seeking a crosswalk at Long Lake Road and Normanwood Drive. The project was discussed in detail at the meeting as members of the Pine Lake Estates community voiced their concern on the safety of crossing the road.

Residents are seeking a crosswalk at Long Lake Road and Normanwood Drive. The project was discussed in detail at the meeting as members of the Pine Lake Estates community voiced their concern on the safety of crossing the road.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


WB postpones new crosswalk on Long Lake and Normanwood Drive

‘There is no visibility, and the cars are flying’

West Bloomfield Beacon | Published December 1, 2023

By Taylor Christensen

WEST BLOOMFIELD — A 5-2 vote left some Pine Lake Estates residents unfulfilled after the Board of Trustees’ decision to postpone approval of a new crosswalk Nov. 20.

The vote was regarding a new crosswalk at Long Lake Road and Normanwood Drive. The project was discussed in detail at the meeting as members of the Pine Lake Estates community voiced their concern on the safety of crossing the road.

“What we have always found lacking in West Bloomfield that we can find in other communities … is walkability and safety for that walkability,” Pine Lake Estates resident Tony Arcaro said as his wife and two kids stood by his side.

Pine Lake Estates has 280 homes with access to a private beach on Pine Lake. The homes are located on both sides of Long Lake Road, meaning that people on the south side of the subdivision must cross Long Lake Road to have access to the beach.

“There is no visibility, and the cars are flying,” Pine Lake Estates resident Christy Lusch said. “Walking across it is an accident waiting to happen.”

Following public comment, the board discussed options. The price listed for this crosswalk to become a reality is $200,000, according to Township Supervisor Steven Kaplan. Although the board seemed to be sympathetic that residents feel unsafe, the vote resulted in postponement.

As Pine Lake Estates residents began to walk back to their seats from the podium, Trustee Diane Rosenfeld-Swimmer said, “It doesn’t mean that we are not seriously looking into this. It just means we want to look at it with the full review.”

Kaplan said he is passionate about this project, noting that around five years ago there were inquiries about a crosswalk being installed. “Those morphed into a more formal request by the homeowner’s association. … I tried to spearhead the production and creation of the crosswalk,” Kaplan said.

Throughout his efforts, Kaplan and the secretary of the Pine Lake Estates board of directors Rochelle Kaplan (no relation) attended a Road Commission for Oakland County meeting a few months ago to voice their opinions on this topic.

According to Kaplan, following the meeting, Road Commission Managing Director Dennis Kolar called Kaplan and explained that the commission could pay for the $20,000 engineering of the crosswalk, but not the entire project.

Although the Road Commission would take care of $20,000, Clerk Debbie Binder does not believe the installment of a crosswalk would be worth it.

“I have a hard time with this. I understand the concern and appreciate the concern. I also feel like we have a lot of other areas that have requested a crosswalk or probably would like to, and I’m not inclined to support that kind of expenditure on something that doesn’t benefit more people,” Binder said at the meeting.

Kaplan responded to that comment with an analogy: “There are three patients that need to be treated with one surgeon, and that surgeon is going to treat one of those three. He is not going to pick among them. I believe we have a hazardous, perilous area here, and we owe it to the public to maintain safety.”

Kaplan said that while he is not critical of his colleagues on the board, he “did not think they made credible arguments.”

“The fact is we do have money in our general account, and we could afford $180,000 for the crosswalk,” he said.

Kaplan said he is not sure that the project will get approved or finished. Because of high demand for road improvements, it is difficult to get any of them approved. He emphasized the fact that his colleagues agree the crosswalk is needed.

Kaplan said the board will seek funding sources for the project, which will be revisited in a year.

Rochelle Kaplan, who was not in attendance at the meeting, has been working since 2016 to make this crosswalk happen, and having it postponed leaves her wondering why.

“It feels to me like they are not doing their job, and at this point they want us to go away,” she said. “That is unacceptable.”