Citizen’s Opinion on Walton Blvd. Rochester Hills Adams East to Livernois

The (RCOC) Road Commission of Oakland County, with funding help from the City of Rochester Hills, plans to spend millions rebuilding Walton as a five lanes wide asphalt highway. There is no argument that Walton needs to be rebuilt, but if we’re going to spend the money would it not be better spent rebuilding Walton as a residential boulevard instead? Would it not be a better idea to improve the residential property values that face this road? Would it not be a better idea to permanently remove this eyesore once and for all from Rochester Hills? If Arden Hills, MN can do it, Rochester Hills, MI can do it too!

Scot Beaton 655 Bolinger St. Rochester Hills MI 48307 �
Rochester Hills City Council 1989-1997


February 18, 2009

Designing for All Modes of Travel

I attended the North Central Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers section meeting this morning. It was a panel discussion on “Complete Streets.” The general idea is to balance service to private vehicles, transit users, bicycles, and pedestrians through the design of our transportation systems. Traditionally, vehicles have been the focus of our design with the other three modes treated as after thoughts. FHWA has a website and the Institute of Transportation Engineers has a report on the topic. 

The most important tidbit I took away relates to the speed we are designing a road for. Engineers typically design for a specific speed. Often that is treated as a minimum. So we’ll design a 30 mph street that can actually be used safely at 45 mph. The Complete Street method has us target the real design at 30 mph instead of overdesigning it. That makes it more accessible for all users.

A good example of this concept in the Twin Cities is Excelsior Boulevard in St. Louis Park, MN. It has on street parking bays, median islands, bus stops, and narrower than standard traffic lanes.

I worked with Bill Weber at MFRA on a Guiding Plan for the B-2 District in Arden Hills, MN this past fall.  This is the area of the suburban city that would be considered downtown. County Road E runs through the area and would be considered “Main Street.” County Road E is currently five lanes wide of black asphalt.  It isn’t exactly pedestrian or bicycle friendly. Bill and I worked on the re-design below for the County Road E corridor (which was adopted by the City). I guess we were designing a “Complete Street” without using the jargon.

Mike on Traffic Views From a Licensed Engineer

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  1. Laurie Puscas says

    I would have to agree with Scot Beaton’s remarks regarding 5 lanes vs 4 lane boulevards. I know the RCOC doesn’t like building boulevards because it costs slightly more more money. However,it is short sighted when it comes to the communities they are working in. Money saved today can cost the county and homeowners in the future with decreased property values.

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