Traffic Calming Initiatives
Since 2014, Pittsfield Township has set aside $100,000/year in its General Fund budget to address the long-standing and widespread concerns about cut through and speeding traffic in residential neighborhoods. This initiative has been successful with about twelve projects having been completed over the past five years. These projects require a request for a traffic study by the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) and their approval of the need to install traffic control devices. As such, the Township's ability to pay for traffic calming measures was and remains contingent on WCRC approval.
Overview of the Road Commission's Neighborhood Traffic Management Program
The Washtenaw County Road Commission's (WCRC) Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP) only applies to residential subdivision streets with a posted speed limit of 25 mph. Eligibility for traffic calming is defined based on speed, cut-through traffic, Average Daily Traffic, crash history, the proximity of schools and pedestrian generators, and absence of sidewalks.
To qualify for the NTMP, a minimum of seven residents from different households must petition the WCRC for a preliminary traffic study. In addition, prior to the installation of any physical traffic calming devices, a minimum of 75% of the property owners affected by the traffic control devices must agree with the installation of the recommended devices by signing a petition.
Process used by the Road Commission to address neighborhood traffic concerns:
- A resident notifies the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) about a traffic concern in their neighborhood.
- The WCRC provides the resident copies of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP) and procedures, and provides instruction to the resident regarding the qualifying petition. A minimum of seven residents from different households must sign a petition requesting the WCRC to conduct a preliminary traffic study.
- Upon receiving a signed petition, the WCRC conducts a preliminary traffic study. The WCRC may schedule a neighborhood meeting to identify the concerns and issues.
- If the area qualifies for the NTMP, the WCRC, with assistance from residents, may conduct an education and enforcement campaign to inform residents and other drivers of the traffic concerns in the area. After the education and enforcement campaign, the WCRC will measure the effectiveness of this campaign and re-evaluate the location.
- If the education and enforcement measures prove ineffective, the WCRC, with assistance from residents, may evaluate physical traffic control devices and recommend a plan for implementation. Devices may include but are not limited to speed humps, traffic circles, slow points, chokers or signing.
- Prior to the installation of any physical devices, the neighborhood residents must demonstrate support for the recommended traffic control measures. A minimum of 75% of the property owners affected by the traffic control devices must agree with the installation of the recommended devices by signing a petition.
- If the recommended traffic control devices are supported by the required percentage of residents, the project will be submitted to the Washtenaw County Board of County Road Commissioners for approval.
- If approved, an agreement will be prepared with the township for funding of the recommended traffic control measures. Upon receipt of a funding commitment from the township, the WCRC will design and install the traffic control devices.
- After the appropriate length of time, the WCRC may conduct follow-up studies to determine the effectiveness of the traffic control measures. If, after evaluation, the WCRC determines that the traffic control devices should be removed for safety or maintenance reasons, WCRC staff will submit a recommendation for removal to the Washtenaw County Board of County Road Commissioners for approval.