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Posted: 02/19/14

Village mulls over idea of
decorative traffic signal

Observer Staff Writer
      Sprucing up new a traffic signal from the county may be a village-only venture.
       At its Feb. 10 meeting, the Village Board of Trustees discussed the possibilities of decorating traffic signals that Macomb County is slated to install later this year to modify the intersection of 32 Mile Road and Van Dyke.
       The Department of Roads is investing roughly $125,000 to modernize the signal at St. Clair Street and Main Street to include illuminated street signs, three-level signals, crossing signals and cameras to control the traffic signals.
       To hold the equipment, mast arms like those seen at Van Dyke intersections like 25 Mile and 26 Mile roads will be installed. The design, however, has caused trustees to investigate options that go with the historic nature of the village.
       Village President Mike Lee said upon investigation the county doesn't vary from its pole styles, but the village's engineering firm did present the option of purchasing and maintaining decorative bases at $2,000 to $2,500 each.
       "We'll need four to probably stockpile one or two of them," Lee said. "They're not a change in functionality, it's just the look of downtown."
       He said the village would be responsible for the bases, not the county. Lee said if the village were to change out the poles for its own selection, it would be liable for maintaining and replacing them.
       Trustee Bob Hart said the village should exhaust its options before the county installs the new signal. He said county might provide another option since Romeo is a historic village.
       "I think those things are just monstrosities that are going to be put in there," he said.
       The county considered changing the lane configuration of the intersection as well, but Lee said the current lane structure will remain. However, he said he still has concerns about the stop bar on E. St Clair Street being closer to the signal, especially after a vehicle recently knocked over the pedestrian crossing signal.
       "That is causing eastbound traffic, such as 18-wheelers or any other rigs, having to cut closer," he said.
       He said the county has yet to turn over its traffic study on the intersection, which may change the stop bar location.
       Lee said when information is received from the county, a committee of village representatives will reconvene and discuss the signal further.

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