Farmington officials change yield signs to slow Grace, Cass traffic

If you use Grace or Cass to cut through from Grand River to Shiawassee in Farmington, city officials have a message for you: Slow down.

In response to complaints from residents and business owners, council members on Monday voted to change the direction of yield signs on Adams Street. Currently, Adams traffic yields to cars on Cass and Grace; signs will be turned so cars on Cass and Grace yield.

Mayor pro tem Steven Schneemann, who recently purchased a building at Grace and Adams, applauded the effort, but wondered whether it will work.

“Do we really think just turning the yield signs will make that much of a difference?” he asked. “Wouldn’t stop signs or no-cut-through signs make a bigger difference?”

Public Safety Director Frank Demers said the move is proposed as a trial, and Grand River construction in 2017 may result in more cut through traffic. He added that area has seen no vehicle or pedestrian accidents in recent history.

Safer crossing at State

Officials also approved the purchase of rapid flashing beacons to improve pedestrian safety for a crosswalk at Farmington Road and State Street (south of Grand River). Oakland County tri-party road funds will cover two-thirds of the $39,500 project; the Farmington Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will make up the balance.

“The DDA seemed to be on board with this and excited about it,” said Mayor Bill Galvin, who also sits on the DDA board.

Demers called the beacon a “secondary safety device.” Pedestrians have the right-of-way at the crosswalk; motorists are required to stop as soon as walkers step onto the roadway. The beacon gives pedestrians an opportunity to warn traffic before crossing.

“I’m stoked that this is going in,” Schneemann said. “It’s actually pretty dangerous to cross there right now.”