Coolidge Road Diet Pilot Program Set to be Reviewed at the November City Council Meeting
Media contacts: Matthew Baumgarten, City of Berkley; 248-659-3350; email@example.com
Torri Mathes, City of Berkley; 248-658-3333; firstname.lastname@example.org
Berkley, MI – November 16, 2022 – The Coolidge Oversight Taskforce has finalized its recommendations for the Coolidge Road Complete Streets Project.
The Coolidge Hwy. Complete Streets initiative involved a 2-year evaluation period (due to the pandemic) to determine if re-striping Coolidge Highway between 11 Mile Rd. and 12 Mile Rd. from four lanes to three would improve traffic flow and make the road safer and friendlier for pedestrians and bicyclists. Coolidge Hwy. was restriped in the early summer of 2019 in order to improve many aspects of its function for all its users of the road with a primary focus on safety and functionality.
Other aspects were to increase parking downtown and walkability. Over the course of two years, the task force and administration analyzed the road design changes made over the one-mile stretch. The group would meet to review the collected data provided by the Transportation Improvement Association (TIA).
The committee met last month to discuss the final statistics and to formalize their report recommendation to keep the road diet on Coolidge with minor modifications.
City Council will review the Coolidge Oversight Taskforce’s recommendation at their next meeting on Monday, November 21 at 7 PM and decide on whether to approve or deny it.
The taskforce report offers an overview of the project, a summary of the data collected, and recommendations for the next steps regarding the project corridor. The taskforce does not recommend returning Coolidge to a four-lane highway with an intermittent turn lane and shallow parking bays. Instead, the report details four recommendations on the project elements that can be retained or improved upon:
- Keep the continuous turn lane due to its benefits to the flow of traffic and public safety vehicle movements. Likewise, the two travel lanes move efficiently and the corridor is able to handle the average daily traffic.
- Add perpendicular stripping and bump-outs to the parking lanes as protection to pedestrians and vehicles. The increased depth of these lanes was an improvement over the previous, shallow bays and adds greater comfort to parking in the central business district.
- Recognize that the design of the intersection at 11 Mile Rd and Coolidge was safer and more functional than the design used at the 12 Mile Rd intersection. As such, the taskforce requests that the City redesign the Twelve Mile intersection with a dedicated right turn lane and merge southbound traffic prior to the traffic signal. This can avoid near-miss accidents and the frustration of drivers who are asked to quickly merge between 12 Mile Rd and Beverly Blvd.
- The fourth and final recommendation relates to the addition of a bike lane on Coolidge. Long term, the taskforce recommends that the City consider incorporating these lanes with pedestrian areas based on European and Scandinavian designs. In the near term, while Berkley and adjoining communities continue to build out their bike network, the lanes do serve the dual purpose of serving cyclists and creating a comfortable buffer between those exiting parked vehicles and the flow of traffic.
Why Did We Make the Changes on Coolidge Road?
Prior to the study, baseline measurements were taken by TIA along Coolidge, as well as, neighborhood streets including; Kipling, Kenmore, Beverly, and Berkley to collect average daily traffic, peak hour traffic, the speed of the vehicles traveling along these streets, and reviewed any crash data from the corridor.