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Maple Road narrowing to 3 lanes

Re-striping trial period lasting until next summer

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BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – City officials want to rework the very busy section of West Maple Road in Birmingham between Cranbrook and Southfield Roads.

They believe traffic congestion can be improved, speed can be lowered and accidents reduced if West Maple becomes one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, rather than four lanes as it is now with no turn lanes.

The 3-lane re-striping begins Saturday. It's something some residents say is a great idea.

Stu Wolff lives in the area and supports the 3-lane change.

"I'm excited about trying it out, because I live right off of Maple Road, and it's dangerous when I'm trying to get onto Maple Road or turning off to get into my cul-de-sac area," said Wolff. "I'm always nervous turning left, and I feel like a car is going to plow right into me."

Others who live in the area aren't so sure. Some are more fearful of what the change will do to the neighborhoods when drivers take side streets, such as Oak or Lincoln, to bypass the bottleneck.

Jim Mirro is the representative for the Birmingham Neighborhood Organization.

"I live on one of the side streets, and most of the people who live in the neighborhood organizations do, too. We're concerned we're going to get a lot of the diverted traffic onto the side streets as people get tired of standing in line behind trash trucks, busses and just the volume of traffic," said Mirro.

The trial project will continue through next summer, when the road is planned to be resurfaced.

Following the trial period, a decision will be made on how the road will be striped after the resurfacing.


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