WLAA: Ann Arbor City Council debates road reconfiguration plans

Members of Ann Arbor’s City Council debated two plans to resurface two roads and redesign their layout at Larcom City Hall on Monday, Aug. 19.

Green Road and Traverwood Drive were among the discussion as council members planned the future of the two roads. Both roads were already voted on in a previous meeting, but the council members revisited those votes after learning additional information about the road’s layout.

Green Road from Burbank to Plymouth Road

The original plan that was presented to council members on Aug. 5 was voted down due to the potential benefits and risks being “a bit more balanced.” The original plan being presented could have been amended to better ensure the roadway would be safe, but members of the council felt they didn’t have enough proper information to make that decision.

The city council withdrew reconsidering the previous vote that defeated the Green Road renovations. Councilmember Jane Lumm spoke against postponing the resolution due to the messy procedural process that would follow.

“It just doesn’t make sense to reconsider and keep alive a specific proposal when the purpose is to replace it with something else,” said Lumm. “In my view, postponing this item will just waste addition staff resources on what I view as a fundamentally flawed proposal.

“There are just some roads and sections where road diets are not appropriate, and this section of Green Road is one of them.”

“I don’t really care what the process is for how we get to looking at a new proposal,” said Councilmember Zachary Ackerman. “I just think it’s important that we discuss that publically.”

Meetings were held before this discussion to reconsider the original plan for Green Road.

Traverwood Drive from Huron Parkway to Plymouth Road

The city council voted to change the original plan of Traverwood Drive to include two bike lanes on each side of the road and remove the previously planned parking along each side. The feature of a bike lane or street parking is a design feature that won’t have an effect on safety, according to Transportation Manager Raymond Hess 

The original plan included parking along the side of the road, although city council members have become in favor of two bike lanes. Councilmember Jane Lumm expressed concern for the Ann Arbor Public Library and Islamic Center’s previous request for additional parking along the road. Including bike lanes would eliminate that original request.

“Before we go forward . . . to get that feedback from them. Just to confirm that this won’t negatively impact their operations.

The council members voted to postpone the final vote on this action until their next meeting.