AAA Michigan, the City of Detroit, Wayne County and Michigan Department of Transportation will share the costs of a joint road improvement project that is designed to bring badly needed safety enhancements to two of Detroit’s most congested corridors.
The AAA Road Improvement Demonstration Program, a public/private partnership, was developed as an innovative roadway improvement strategy where public and private dollars, engineering expertise and multi-jurisdictional cooperation all contribute toward traffic safety enhancements at targeted high-crash locations in the City of Detroit.
As part of a multi-year project begun in 1996, AAA Michigan has donated $250,000 in seed money for the latest in a series of urban safety improvements, targeting six intersections on Greenfield Road (from McNichols to West Chicago), six intersections on Seven Mile Road and the intersection of Wyoming and Plymouth.
The total project cost of $850,000 will pay for safety enhancements such as re-timed traffic signals, larger signal heads, dedicated left-turn lanes and all-red intervals. Costs will be shared by program partners. Engineering design is provided by Wayne County and Wade-Trim Inc. The estimated completion date is June 2003.
Traffic engineering data has shown that sound investments in road improvements at selected sites can reduce crashes and injuries, resulting in substantial societal benefits.
Since this first-of-its-kind demonstration program was launched in 1996, project partners have completed safety enhancements to 131 locations in Detroit and 31 in Grand Rapids. AAA Michigan has allocated $2 million for this multi-year project, which has already reduced crashes 26 percent and injury crashes by 46 percent at 60 evaluated high-risk intersections within
each of these cities.
Estimated annual societal savings of $2.3 million in medical care, emergency services, property damage and productivity losses.
The following intersections are targeted by the program:
— Greenfield Corridor — six intersections (McNichols to West Chicago). This corridor experiences approximately 210 crashes a year, 40 percent of which result in injury. All six of these intersections are under Wayne County jurisdiction.
— Seven Mile Corridor — six intersections (Lahser to Dequindre). This corridor experiences approximately 170 crashes a year, 28 percent of which result in injury. Seven Mile at Lahser, Meyers and Hubbell are under Wayne County jurisdiction. Seven Mile at Charleston, I-75 and Dequindre are under the City of Detroit’s jurisdiction.
— According to the Detroit Police Department, the intersection of Greenfield and Plymouth has been averaging 48 crashes per year. At this intersection, the most common type of crash occurs when making left turns. The addition of protected left-turn phasing should help reduce these crashes.
— According to a safety audit completed by G.D. Hamilton Associates, 30 percent of all crashes occurring at Seven Mile and Dequindre are caused by red light running. The addition of larger traffic signal heads and all-red intervals should help reduce this type of crash.
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