Traffic Control Dominates Topic Discussion at Dexter Town Hall Meeting
Residents in Orchard River Hills and other village subdivisions say speed is a consistent problem in local neighborhoods.
Transportation and traffic control were on the minds of Dexter Village residents on Tuesday during the village's annual town hall meeting.
Village Council members met with the public during an open forum at the Dexter District Library to gather input as the new fiscal year gets underway.
"We thought it would be helpful to take questions or comments from residents on issues that we're doing well, or not doing so well," village president Shawn Keough said.
Dexter Library Director Paul McCann opened the forum by thanking the village's Department of Public Works staff for keeping roads clear of snow and ice this winter.
"The village crews have done a great job," McCann said. "They've made it a lot easier to get around town this winter."
Todd Austin, president of the Orchard River Hills Subdivision Association, asked the council for an update on public transportation through the village.
The Ann Arbor Transit Authority's plans for a countywide transit system were curtailed at the end of 2012 after all of the municipalities in western Washtenaw County voted to opt out.
Trustee Jim Carson, who serves as board president for the Western-Washtenaw Area Value Express (WAVE) bus service, said the nonprofit is working with AATA to expand services in Dexter.
"WAVE is committed to doubling the frequency of our community connector route in Dexter," Carson said.
Currently the community connector route includes bus service through the village every two hours, seven days a week. Carson said by doubling service, a bus will run through the village every 50 minutes to an hour. In addition, WAVE is working with AATA to move its No. 9 bus stop from Wagner and Jackson roads to the Meijer shopping center on Zeeb Road in Scio Township.
The No. 9 bus connects with the WAVE, allowing residents living in the western portions of Washtenaw County to commute to areas in downtown Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
"I foresee a lot of college kids using the WAVE service in the future," Carson said.
Plans to double the service could come as early as October, Carson said.
Calming traffic in subdivisions
Austin told council members that speed is another factor that should be addressed, particularly in village subdivisions.
Austin said drivers often speed in excess of 25 mph down subdivision streets, and residents fear for the safety of pets and children.
Trustee Ray Tell said he didn't believe the village should use taxpayer dollars for traffic studies or traffic calming signage.
"I can put a stop sign in every yard and it would be ignored. I can't mandate the basic human trait of common courtesy," he said. "If you are driving through a residential neighborhood and you don't have the common courtesy to drive at a safe speed, you deserve whatever it is that might happen to you.
"I would hope that the peer pressure of the entire neighborhood would come down on anyone who is caught speeding."
Austin said he was concerned that some residents were taking matters into their own hands and acting as vigilantes by posting speeders' license plates on private Facebook pages.
"There's a cost to us too in our sense of safety," Austin said. "Quite frankly I think the posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour is too fast. These cars zip down side streets in all directions."
President Shawn Keough said village staff can ask the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office to increase patrols in the subdivisions for the next few weeks to monitor motorists. In addition, the village is gathering data from an LED speed management system to look at areas for increased traffic enforcement around the village.
The sign was placed on Ryan Drive on Jan. 31 and will next move to Fifth Street in the coming weeks.