Residents frequently express their concerns to the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) regarding traffic control issues in residential neighborhoods. Typically, these concerns result in a request for stop signs, speed bumps, road closures, children at play signs, or other traffic control measures. Experience has shown that traditional responses and unwarranted signs or signals do not work. Often, the only option available to WCRC is to recommend increased law enforcement in the area. With the limited number of law enforcement officers in most communities, this solution is short-term at best and many times unavailable. To be more responsive, WCRC has developed a Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP) which creates a partnership between residents, WCRC and law enforcement.
The purpose of the NTMP is to increase WCRC’s ability to respond to the concerns of residents and provide long-term solutions to residential traffic issues. The NTMP contains educational and enforcement elements as well as engineering measures. WCRC staff works with residents to find solutions which are appropriate and acceptable to WCRC and the community.
The goals of the NTMP are:
- To provide traffic control measures in residential areas which are acceptable to both the Road Commission and the local community.
- To consider requests for residential traffic control measures in an equitable and consistent manner.
- To periodically review the effectiveness of such traffic control measures.
The NTMP only applies to residential subdivision streets which have a prima facie speed limit of 25 mph. The eligibility for the traffic calming is defined based on speed, cut-through traffic, Average Daily Traffic (ADT), crash history, the proximity of schools and pedestrian generators, and absence of sidewalks.
To qualify for the NTMP, a minimum of seven (7) residents from different households must petition the Road Commission for a preliminary traffic engineering investigation. In addition, prior to the installation of any physical traffic control devices, a minimum of 75 percent of the property owners affected by the traffic control devices must concur with the installation of the recommended devices by way of a signed petition.
Funding for physical traffic control devices will be provided through an agreement with the township in which the road is located. The township may require that the affected neighborhood pay part or all of the cost of the improvements. At the township’s discretion, the Road Commission may provide matching funds from WCRC’s Local Road Program. Local road matching funds may be used for up to to 50 percent of the cost of each device.