I-96 closure pushes more traffic onto quiet Livonia neighborhood streets

Residents in Old Rosedale Gardens want stop signs back as traffic increases during interstate shutdown

By Steve Garagiola - Reporter/Anchor , Dave Bartkowiak Jr.

LIVONIA, Mich. - There is no question traffic on surface streets in Livonia -- including Plymouth and Merriman roads -- has gotten thicker since the Interstate 96 reconstruction project began over the weekend.

More: I-96 closure: Everything you need to know

The traffic influx on the main roads has drivers looking for alternatives, such as a quick cut down Elmira Street in the Old Rosedale Gardens neighborhood.

"It used to be if a car was two blocks away I could back out and get moving. Since the stop signs came down, if the car is four blocks away I can't back out because they're going too fast," said Al Wakenhut, of Livonia.

Five years ago, the city of Livonia removed the stop signs from Elmira after they were deemed unnecessary because of a lack of traffic volume. During this I-96 closure, traffic volume could increase dramatically on streets like Elmira. Residents want the stop signs back.

"We kind of said slow down, it's a neighborhood, and they were not very polite in their response," said Sue Rooke, president of the Rosedale Gardens Association.

The city will study the situation, but having stop signs go back up for six months during construction might be unlikely.

"I-96 is supposed to be shut down for 6 months. We're not gonna have people be trained to go back to a subdivision and concerned with putting a stop sign there and then take it down again," said Livonia city engineer Todd Zilincik.

Residents are hoping for some help from Livonia police.

"Hopefully we'll get some more police cars out here on the corners and get some tickets and maybe that will spread the news not to cut through Old Rosedale Gardens," said one resident.

Livonia City Council will review the topic at its next meeting which is Monday night.

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