Bloomfield Township trustees unanimously passed the 2018 safety path master plan update at their meeting on Monday, October 8.
Olivia Olsztyn-Budry, township engineering and environmental services director, said the safety path millage renewal successfully passed in August, so the next step for the department was to update the master plan, which had last been done in 2008. Since that time, additional safety path routes have been requested by residents, either verbally, or by email or letter. She said safety path routes are also considered based on staff observations, as well as proximity to existing safety paths, schools, points of interest and commercial areas.
Bloomfield Township's safety path program has been in place since 1998, with over 70 miles of existing paths. Following the millage renewal, approximately 5.8 miles of safety paths on the current master plan remain to be constructed, at an estimated cost of $6.2 million.
Upcoming recommended paths to be included in the updated 2018 safety path master plan are Club Drive from Square Lake to Franklin, estimated to cost $3.6 million; the north side of Maple Road, from W. Surrey to Inkster, for $2.2 million; south side of Big Beaver, from Brookdale to Woodward, $380,000; east side of Woodward Avenue from Manor to city of Birmingham, $220,000; Square Lake Road, on the north side, Woodward Avenue to Telegraph Road, $1.7 million; the west side of Telegraph Road from Long Lake Road to Hickory Grove, $900,000; and the east side of Telegraph Road from Quarton to Long Lake roads, $1.7 million.
In addition, there are several high traffic intersections that do not have pedestrian crossings, Olsztyn-Budry said. Four are proposed, and will be evaluated. They are: Telegraph and Quarton roads; Square Lake and Telegraph roads; Square Lake and Opdyke; and Woodward and Big Beaver.
In addition, she said, long-term maintenance of the existing safety paths include an asset inventory database. “It helps us to determine the contracted repairs, where the ADA-compliant repairs are needed, and other needs are,” she said.
At present, there is $3 million in the reserve fund, which should provide 15 to 20 years of maintenance at current estimates.
She recommended that as land continues to be developed, that the township consider working with land developers, to require including safety paths in their site plans for approvals for future developments.
“We've also been working with MDOT and the Road Commission (of Oakland County) as they do work, we're considering the establishment of future routes to include in the work,” Olsztyn-Budry said.