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File #: 19-0913    Version: Name: 8/5/19 - Earhart Road Reconfiguration
Type: Resolution Status: Defeated
File created: 6/17/2019 In control: City Council
On agenda: 8/5/2019 Final action: 8/5/2019
Enactment date: 8/5/2019 Enactment #:
Title: Resolution to Proceed with a Road Reconfiguration and Safety Enhancement Project for Earhart Road, from US-23 to South Waldenwood Drive and Appropriate $34,500.00 and $40,500.00 Respectively from the General Fund and Alternative Transportation Fund Balances (8 Votes Required)
Attachments: 1. Attachment A_Earhart_Project Overview_05-15-19.pdf, 2. Attachment B_Earhart Road Diet_Memo_20190513.pdf, 3. Attachment C_Earhart Public Survey Summary.pdf, 4. Attachment D_Lane Conversion Memo Response_20190723.pdf, 5. Attachment E_Transportation Commission Road Reconfiguration Additional Statement.pdf


Resolution to Proceed with a Road Reconfiguration and Safety Enhancement Project for Earhart Road, from US-23 to South Waldenwood Drive and Appropriate $34,500.00 and $40,500.00 Respectively from the General Fund and Alternative Transportation Fund Balances (8 Votes Required)


This is a resolution to approve a test road reconfiguration and safety enhancement project for Earhart Road from US-23 to South Waldenwood Dr. as called for in the City’s Non-Motorized Plan.  This is considered a test reconfiguration because the suggested changes would be made in 2019 with paint and removable devices such as plastic delineators.  If approved, the test period would extend through 2021 at which time this section of roadway is proposed to be resurfaced.  If the test is determined to have achieved the desired results, the changes could be made permanent (e.g. adding or moving curb lines).


The road reconfiguration is illustrated in the attachment (Attachment A) and would entail the following elements:

                     Reduce the number of vehicular travel lanes from four to two - analysis shows that one lane in each direction can support the amount of traffic on this section of roadway based on traffic volumes. This change is expected to reduce speeds along the corridor and reduce certain crash types.

                     Add roundabouts at the intersections of Earhart and Glazier as well as Earhart and Waldenwood/Greenhills - roundabouts can fit within the existing intersections at Earhart Rd. and Glazier Way and Earhart Rd. and Waldenwood Dr./Greenhills Dr. given the configuration and width.  These changes are expected to clarify the movement of motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians at these intersections and reduce the severity of crashes.

                     Improve non-motorized transportation options - the removal of the vehicular travel lane in each direction allows for space to be reallocated for a buffered bicycle lane along Earhart Rd.  Additionally, enhancements such as new crosswalk pavement markings and crosswalk lighting would be included in the project.


The attached report (Attachment B) provides more detailed information about the existing conditions and anticipated impact of the project.  The road currently has an average daily traffic volume of 7,246 vehicles with a peak hour volume of 1,046 vehicles.  The posted speed limit is 35mph but the 85th percentile is 38mph northbound and 42mph southbound.  The proposed design is expected to have a minimal impact to vehicular level of service or volume to capacity ratios while improving the user experience for bicyclists and pedestrian.


These concepts were taken through a series of public engagement processes to garner feedback.  The project was discussed with the Transportation Commission on February 20, 2019 and May 15, 2019, and received a favorable recommendation.  City Council referred the matter back to the Transportation Commission which gave a positive recommendation on July 17, 2019 after contemplating additional information provided by staff (Attachment D).  Additionally, the Transportation Commission provided an additional statement clarifying their position (Attachment E). 


Staff created a website which was used to share information about the project ( <>).  A public workshop was held at Greenhills High School on April 11th and an online survey was available between April 12th and April 29th.  Lastly, at the request of Glacier Hills, an additional presentation was given to their residents on April 23rd.  The responses received from these public engagement efforts can be found in the attached report (Attachment C) and are summarized as follows:

                     The majority of respondents placed importance on driver and passenger safety improvements: 76% Important/Very Important;

                     The majority placed importance on pedestrian and bicyclist safety improvements: 75% Important/Very Important;

                     The majority support testing the lane conversion and bike lanes: 63% Support/Highly Support;

                     The majority support testing the roundabout at Glazier Way: 63% Support/Highly Support; and

                     The majority support testing the roundabout at Greenhills Drive: 56% Support/Highly Support.



Budget/Fiscal Impact: The total project cost is estimated to be $100,000.00.  The breakdown of the cost and the suggested funding sources are as follows:


Roundabout Pavement Markings and Delineators = $34,500.00 - General Fund

Bikelane Pavement Markings and Delineators = $40,500.00 - Alternative Transportation

Streetlight installation = $25,000.00 - Approved FY 20 General Capital Fund


Prepared by: Raymond Hess, Transportation Manager

Reviewed by: Craig Hupy, Public Services Area Administrator

Approved by: Howard S. Lazarus, City Administrator


Whereas, In March 2011, Council adopted Resolution R-11-088 which asserted the City’s commitment to Complete Streets and how the transportation network should serve all users of the corridor;


Whereas, In November 2013, Council adopted Resolution R-13-369 as an update to the Non-motorized Transportation Plan, reflecting a continued interest in pursuing a variety of policies that encourage non-motorized travel, including lane conversions/”road diets”;


Whereas, In 2018, via the National Citizen Survey, when Ann Arbor residents were asked about tradeoffs between drive times and safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists, residents responded with an overwhelming preference for increasing drive times to reduce crashes, injuries and deaths;


Whereas, Earhart Rd is scheduled to be resurfaced in 2021 and this provides an opportunity to test a road reconfiguration and evaluate its effectiveness;


Whereas, Earhart Road, from US-23 to South Waldenwood Drive, is currently configured as two northbound vehicle lanes and two southbound vehicle lanes with intermittent left turn lanes and extremely large intersections;


Whereas, Analysis was performed by City staff to determine feasibility for a road diet on this segment, based on guidance from FHWA Road Diet Information Guide and MDOT Road Diet Checklist;


Whereas, Based on the analysis performed by City staff, Earhart Road, from US-23 to South Waldenwood Drive, is proposed to be configured as one northbound vehicle lane, one southbound vehicle lane and protected bicycle lanes in both directions;


Whereas, City staff presented the above plans to the Transportation Commission on February 20, 2019 and May 15, 2019 at which time they recommended approval of the resolution and again on July 17, 2019 at which time they recommended approval of the resolution; and


Whereas, Public input was received on the project at a public meeting April 11, 2019 and a presentation on April 23, 2019 as well as an online survey which was available for completion from April 12-29, 2019;


RESOLVED, That City Council hereby adopts the proposed road reconfiguration and safety enhancements for Earhart Road, from US-23 to South Waldenwood Drive;


RESOLVED, That the General Capital Projects Fund expenditure and revenue budget be increased by $75,000.00 with the sources of funding being the Appropriation of $34,500.00 from the General Fund, Fund Balance and $40,500.00 from the Alternative Transportation Fund, Fund Balance; and


RESOLVED, That the City Administrator be authorized to take the necessary administrative actions to implement this resolution.