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Updated streetscaping offers new traffic elements

By Grace Lovins

Residents of Birmingham are to see an updated streetscape on N. Old Woodward and Oakland avenues after city commissioners unanimously approved an updated design during their Monday, January 8, meeting.

The city’s previous commission voted in September of 2019 to approve temporary elements recommended by the city's multi-modal transportation board (MMTB). Improvements include changes to the traffic signal at the N. Old Woodward and Willits Street/Oakland Avenue intersection as well as painted bumpouts and a designated bus lane.

According to a memorandum included in the meeting packet, the city considered making the temporary elements permanent with an updated streetscape while Oakland Avenue is being resurfaced.

Funding was set aside in the city’s capital improvements fund in order for the construction of the streetscape to take place this year, said city engineer Melissa Coatta. At the beginning of November last year, the MMTB reviewed a proposed design that would make the 2019 temporary fixes concrete, ultimately voting unanimously to recommend approval.

A rendering of the design provided by the city’s traffic consulting firm MKSK shows an extended bump out on the corner of N. Old Woodward and Willits Street, a concrete buffer island separating the bus loading area from the rest of N. Old Woodward, and an expanded pocket park area.

Benefits to the new design listed in the meeting packet state that the greenspace will be expanded by roughly 1,600 square feet and the crossing distance across N. Old Woodward will decrease by roughly eight feet.

Commissioners voted 7-0 to approve the design of the intersection recommended by the MMTB.


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