Rochester Road 3-Lane Conversion

Traffic Study by Fleis & Vandenbrink

The city hired engineering firm Fleis & Vandenbrink to perform a traffic study on the corridor to evaluate the impact of a road diet. Below is a summary of the key points:

  1. Rochester Road is a major road and is signed for 35 mph.  2019 traffic counts (pre-COVID) show an average daily traffic ranging from 15,000 to 20,000 vehicles per day.
  2. Traffic counts were taken at the six primary intersections along the corridor to evaluate how each intersection is currently operating and how it is predicted to operate with a road diet in place.  Intersection traffic volumes were increased to account for pre-COVID traffic volumes.Picture of report cover for Rochester Road Traffic Study Opens in new window
  3. Traffic studies evaluate the “level of service” (LOS) at intersections. Generally, LOS of A to C is considered great, D is acceptable, E is poor and F is failing.
    • With a 3-lane road diet in place, all intersections will operate at LOS D or better, with a few areas with LOS E.   These areas are expected to be improved by optimizing the traffic signal timings along Rochester Road.
    • With a 3-lane road diet in place, the 20-year forecast indicates similar operations with minor additional delays due to modeled traffic growth (though traffic is actually expected to decrease slightly).
  4. There were 374 accidents over a 5-year period (2016-2020), and 77 of these crashes had associated injuries (no fatalities).   40% of the crashes were rear-end crashes, which is common on roads without a center turn lane.  A road diet is expected to result in a 17% reduction in crashes per year along the corridor and will significantly reduce rear-end crashes.

Click the image of the cover page to the right to view the complete traffic study.

Review and Approval Process

This decision went through the Royal Oak Traffic Committee and City Commission for review, recommendations and ultimate approval. The Traffic Committee met on January 25, 2022, and the committee's final recommendation was to not install a 3-lane road diet on Rochester Road from N. Main Street to 14 Mile Road. This recommendation went before the City Commission at the February 14, 2022 regular meeting. The commission's resolution was to approve a road diet on Rochester Road from N. Main Street to 13 Mile Road and also to add more green space in lieu of bike lanes.

Road diet before and after (no bike lanes shown)

Before: 4 lane roadway - Double yellow centerline with two travel lanes for northbound traffic and two travel lanes for southbound traffic.

After: 3 lane roadway - Installation of center turn lane with one lane of travel for northbound traffic and one lane of travel for southbound traffic. Dedicated Right-turn lanes would also be installed at each mile road to prevent traffic backups.

Final Design and Features

For construction the work will include:

  • Milling and resurfacing of Rochester Road
  • Installation of new water main from Dewey Street to 12 Mile Road
  • Replacement of curbing, driveway approaches and sidewalk ramps
  • Installation of pedestrian crossing islands near Wagner Park and La Salle Avenue
  • Rain gardens on the west side of the road near Dewey Street, Wagner Park and Linden Avenue
  • Installation of on-street parking stalls  adjacent to Wagner Park
  • Striping the roadway as a 3-lane road (one lane in each direction with a center turn lane

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