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City looks to make M-15 walker friendly

Cory Johnston, left, and Joe Luginski are members of a committee working on ideas to improve Main Street. Photo by Trevor Keiser (click for larger version)
July 14, 2010 - Bike lanes added to both sides of Main Street between Waldon and the northern city limit.

Moving speed-limit signs further north on M-15.

Lowering the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph, especially through downtown.

These are some of the ideas proposed by the "Complete Streets" subcommittee appointed by Clarkston City Council to address concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety on Main Street.

"Not all the ideas made the list, but I would say probably 90 percent of them did," said Joe Luginski, committee member along with Craig McLeod, Councilmen Jim Brueck and Steve Hargis, and former Councilman Cory Johnston.

"Everybody had good ideas, a lot of back and forth pros and cons to the whole thing. We had the Michigan Department of Transportation people come in and talk with us," Luginski said.

Johnston agreed.

"We were pretty much in agreement something needed to be done and what we had to do, but we also realized there was no money," he said. "There is currently pending legislation that a lot of this will be mandatory for pedestrian's access, sidewalks, and bicycle issues. Slowing down traffic is just the nature of community."

The group organized ideas into three phases. Phase I ideas include speed limit adjustment and bike lanes, as well as permanent flashing speed limit signs on Main Street and looking for grants to support "Safe Routes to School" programs.

Lunginski said striping, way finding signs, and moving speed limit signs north are all doable. Flashing speed limit signs would depend upon money.

"(We'd like them) sooner than later but not necessarily immediately because we understand the cost issues," he said. "Phase II and Phase III conceptual ideas of what we are looking for longer term and what kind of tone we want to set for the village."

Phase II ideas include participating in the Oakland County Pathway Concept Project, adding a crosswalk at Main Street and Depot Road and some points between Washington and Miller, adding a structure over the road and place for community advertising, extend sidewalk in front of Tower's home to reach Brioni's Café, and reconfigure Depot to be a two-way up to Rudy's Alley.

"Changing Depot Road from one way to two-say and way finding signs are a big deal," Luginski said. "That way people don't pull out of the parking lot off of Depot and end up on Holcomb turn left, then end up on Dixie."

Phase III ideas included adding texture to Main Street, adding of a structure at North and South ends of town with a priority on the North End, considerations for a Round-About at Main and Clarkston, Main and Waldon, Holcomb and Miller, and Holcomb and Washington, ownership of Main Street by the Village, and consider adding curb and gutter on Miller Road along the North side of the Mill Pond.

Luginski said the group was a "good collaborative effort."

The groups mission statement was "To enhance the City of the Village of Clarkston's overall safety, livability and historic character by working closely within the neighborhoods and businesses to develop and implement prove and effective pedestrian accessibility and traffic control solutions that reflect and preserve the unique character of the city."

They hope council will look to approve some of phase one ideas at the July 26 council meeting.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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