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					                 CITYOF RICHMOND
   C O U N TI E S O F M AC O M B A N D S T. CL A I R
               STATE OF MICHIGAN

      P O U N D ROA D
  R E C O N F I G U R AT I O N
    C U R S O RY S T U DY
          R E P O RT

                 COMMITTEE MEMBERS:


                    DECEMBER 15, 2003

               AS REVISED ON:    12/16/2003

                               I N T RO D U C T I O N A N D P U R P O S E

    The Pound Road Study Committee is an administrative committee established by the city
manager in response to the direction of the Richmond city council. City Council Resolution No.
2003-21 adopted on September 15, 2003, directed city administration to conduct a study and prepare
a report of findings and recommendations for council consideration on the necessity and feasibility
of reconfiguring Pound Road within the city from a through-street to a cul-de-sac dead end street.
The resolution requires the report and recommendations to be submitted to the city council not later
than its second regular meeting in December 2003. The city council was clear in its direction that
administration was not to expend public funds at this time for engineering studies to assist in the
completion of this report.

    The Pound Road study was commissioned as a result of concerns of the city council regarding
development proposals within Richmond township that would substantially increase traffic volumes
on Pound Road within the city, Pound Road’s ability to accommodate burgeoning traffic volumes
given its current conditions, and the city’s legitimate government interest in protecting the public
health, safety, and welfare of city residents by minimizing traffic congestion, preventing motor
vehicle and pedestrian accidents, minimizing noise and other pollution, preserving property values,
and promoting the quiet enjoyment of properties by city residents.

          R E V I E W O F E X I S T I N G ROA D WA Y C O N D I T I O N S O N P O U N D ROA D

    A review of the existing conditions of Pound Road indicate the following findings:

SECTION: Pound Road from Main Street east              SHOULDER WIDTH: 1 to 3 feet
to East City Limits

R.O.W. WIDTH: 66 feet                                  SHOULDER TYPE: Grass

SURFACE WIDTH: 24 feet                                 ROADWAY LENGTH: 3,015 feet (0.57 mile)

SURFACE TYPE: Asphalt (non-curbed)                     ACT 51 CLASSIFICATION: Local Street

SURFACE CONDITION: Fair to Poor                        SERVICE TYPE: Adjacent property

ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION: Unknown                         DRAINAGE OUTLET: Storm sewer to
                                                       Gillette Drain and catch basins at Main Street

LAST RECONSTRUCTION: 1986                              DRAINAGE STATUS: Adequate

TRAFFIC VOLUME: 1,180 vehicles daily                   DRAINAGE TYPE: Combination open
(August 2000) (Source: SEMCOG, 2003)                   ditch/enclosed ditch/front yard

Pound Road is a city street with an east-west directional orientation located in the northeast quadrant
of the City. It is mainly utilized by the adjacent property owners. However, it is also utilized by
nearby properties in Richmond and Columbus Townships as access to M19/Main Street. An
unknown number of delivery trucks, east bound from Main Street, also utilize this roadway for
deliveries to businesses in Richmond and/or Columbus Township. Theuts Flower Barn also utilizes
the road as a truck shipment route for shipping its products, although the use for through truck
traffic within the city is prohibited.

The roadway was reconstructed in 1986, utilizing the old Local Street specifications: 2¼” of
bituminous on 6” of gravel aggregate. The street was not constructed for high volume traffic. In
many areas, the street surface is striated with cracks and the street edges are starting to break off.
Additionally, since the 1986 reconstruction, the street has been excavated and patched in 28 locations
as a result of water service taps, sewer service taps or water main leak repairs. Some of the patches
have settled and will need to be addressed in the FY04/05 budget.

The drainage for the street is predominantly open ditch, but a substantial portion is surface drained
into the front yards and/or down the edge of the pavement to catch basins at Main Street. There is a
small number of properties for which the owners enclosed portions of the ditch with culvert pipe.
For the areas where drainage is provided by open ditch, there is very little shoulder area. This is
especially true for the area on the western 1/3 of the street on the south side of the street. In this
area, the ditch is quite deep. The shoulder and ditch back are basically the same area with no room
to safely pull off of the driving area of the roadway.

Sidewalks do not exist on Pound Road at this time. Due to the location of the ditches and the low
areas along Pound Road where surface run off for drainage occurs, sidewalks cannot be installed
until the street is reconstructed with curb and gutter. Under the current street improvement
schedule, Pound Road will not be reconstructed until FY2017/18.

The intersection of Pound at Main Street is cause for concern. The sight distance vision to the north
along Main Street, from Pound Road, is poor due to foliage growing along M19/Main Street in the
Gillett Drain easement. The bridge rails of the viaduct crossing on Main Street also contribute to the
poor sight distance vision. The sight distance to the south along Main Street is also limited due to a
hill. The intersection is not configured for left-turn lanes, nor is the intersection currently equipped
with traffic control signalization. Vehicles making a left turn from Pound onto Main Street need to
exercise a great deal of caution.

                                    D E V E L O P M E N T I M PA C T

The level of eastbound traffic on Pound Road from Main Street to Weeks Road has increased
steadily from 467 vehicles per day in May 1994 to 616 vehicles per day in August 2000 (SEMCOG,
2003). Meanwhile, the level of westbound traffic from Weeks Road to Main has remained consistent
in 1994 and 2000 at about 600 vehicles per day. In the mid-1990s, the Hidden Meadows subdivision,
an upscale single family residential development, was completed on Weeks Road just north of Pound
Road in Richmond Township.

In April 2002, Richmond Township updated its community master plan, which proposes the Hebel
Road/Weeks Road/Pound Road area of the township for “urban residential” development in its
future land use plan (Richmond Township, 2002, p. 117). The “urban residential” land use
classification is intended to be the township’s highest density residential use. A manufactured home

development is proposed to be constructed in Richmond Township on property adjacent to the east
corporate limits of the city and fronting on Pound Road. While the developers estimate an increase
in traffic of approximately 1,870 vehicles per day as a result of the development, a review by the
Richmond Township planning consultants estimates 4,646 vehicles per day based on International
Transportation Engineers (ITE) trip generation calculations for single family homes (Tripi &
Marson, 2000). The developers argue that mobile home developments generate substantially less
traffic than single family residences under ITE standards. However, based upon the developer’s own
statements, “[t]he proposed development will have the look and ‘feel’ of a traditional neighborhood”
with garages, porches, and other amenities, floor areas of 1,100 to 1,600+ square feet, and housing
base prices of up to the low $100,000 price range (“Application for Rezoning”, 2000, pp. 1-2).
Therefore, this committee is convinced that the township’s planning consultants properly used a
single family residential designation when determining the trip generation for the proposed
development. With the township’s designation of the entire area for future urban residential
development, and considering current and proposed development and the city’s financial inability to
upgrade Pound Road until FY2017-18, the present condition of Pound Road is seriously inadequate
to handle the anticipated increase over the next few years.

                                    P RO P O S E D S O L U T I O N S

In an effort to protect the City’s interests by restricting traffic on Pound Road, some discussion took
place at the September 15, 2003 city council meeting in regards to constructing a curb and gutter cul-
de-sac at the east end of Pound Road, in the corporate limits, to curtail vehicle entries from the east
by creating a dead end. Administration was also requested to look into the possibility of installing
“No Left Turn” signs at Karen Street and Main Street for west bound traffic. Another suggestion
was that, in lieu of a cul-de-sac, Pound Road could be made a one-way street for eastbound traffic
only. These suggestions, as well as other considerations, were reviewed by the Committee.

First, the Committee reviewed the suggestion that left-turns be prohibited at Karen Street and at
Main Street on Pound Road for traffic traveling west. The result of such action would be to funnel
enormous amounts of vehicular traffic through Canterbury Subdivision or requiring vehicles to turn
right onto Main Street and then turn around to head south on Main Street. Meanwhile, this proposal
does not address at all the problem of traffic volumes on Pound Road.

Second, the Committee reviewed the suggestion of establishing Pound Road as a one-way street
heading east. While it would stop traffic entering the city from the east, this option presents its own
set of problems. Pound residents within the city between Main and Canterbury Drive would be
forced to travel down Karen Street or Canterbury Drive. Residents east of Canterbury Drive would
be forced to go east into Richmond Township to find their best choice of routing to get them where
they want to go.

The Committee considered the option of creating a cul-de-sac dead end street on Pound Road at the
east city limits. This option presents several issues: (1) emergency services vehicles could not use
Pound Road to access properties in Richmond or Columbus townships, thereby potentially
increasing emergency response times; (2) if the portion of Pound Road to be reconfigured and
vacated is part of a platted subdivision, the city attorney advises that the city would have to seek
approval of the vacation from the circuit court; (3) whether there is adequate public right-of-way to
be able to construct a cul-de-sac that meets the city’s minimum engineering standards for residential
cul-de-sac streets; (4) what plans, if any, the Macomb County Road Commission may have for
upgrading Pound Road within the townships; and (5) what the mood of the property owners along
Pound Road might be toward creating a cul-de-sac dead end street.

The ability of emergency service vehicles to timely respond to emergencies inside the city as well as
to areas within the townships is of utmost concern to the Committee. To address this issue, the
Committee contacted all local emergency service providers and asked the following questions: (1)
Does your emergency service organization utilize the city’s portion (paved section) of Pound Road to
provide services to Richmond or Columbus townships? (2) How many emergency runs do you
average per year on Pound Road? (3) If the city were to reconfigure Pound Road as a cul-de-sac
street within the city, what alternative route would you use to service residents in Richmond and
Columbus townships? (4) Under your alternative route, how much response time would be added to
emergency runs to properties on Pound Road in the townships?

    •   Fire Chief Joseph Hoffman of the Richmond Volunteer Fire Department indicated in a
        memorandum dated November 3, 2003, that the Fire Department does utilize Pound Road,
        responds to less than ten calls annually on Pound Road, would utilize Hebel Road east to
        Weeks Road south to Pound Road as an alternate route, and that the response time to
        Hidden Meadows would be unchanged and additional response time to Kronner and Pound
        by way of Division Road and Gratiot Avenue would be one minute and five seconds based
        upon driving tests performed on November by Chief Hoffman obeying posted speed limits
        and following all traffic signs. It should be noted that the Richmond Fire Department would
        only respond to the Hebel Road/Weeks Road/Pound Road/Kronner Road areas within the
        townships under a mutual aid request since those areas are subject to Lenox Township Fire
        Department service response under the townships’ Public Act 425 agreement.
    •   Executive Director Jeffery White, in a memorandum dated November 4, 2003, indicated that
        Richmond-Lenox EMS does utilize the city’s portion of Pound Road to provide service to
        the townships. They average 21 runs annually, of which 6 are in the townships, 12 in the
        city, and 3 non-emergencies. Their average response time was 5.2 minutes. They would use
        M-19 south from Station #2 to Hebel Road east to Weeks Road south to Pound Road or
        Division Road east from Station #1 to Gratiot Avenue north to Pound Road as alternate
        routes, and the minimum additional response time to Weeks Road (based upon simulation
        driving tests conducted on November 4, 2003, obeying all traffic signals, speed limits, and
        without using emergency lights or sirens) would add 1 minute and 30 seconds (1:30) to the
        response time to Weeks Road using the alternate route.
    •   Mark Oermann of the Macomb County Sheriff indicated in an e-mail message dated
        November 17, 2003, that the Macomb County Sheriff Department does utilize Pound Road;
        that it responds to approximately 30 calls on Pound Road annually; that it would use Hebel
        Road east to Weeks Road south to Pound Road as an alternate route with an estimated
        additional response time of four to five minutes, depending on weather conditions. Mr.
        Oermann did not indicate whether the estimate of additional response time was based upon
        any simulated driving test.
    •   Craig Nyeholt of the Michigan State Police indicated that they do not feel that closing off
        Pound Road would adversely affect their ability to respond to emergency situations since
        there are a number of alternatives available for them to access areas both east and west. Mr.
        Nyeholt’s e-mail message dated November 4, 2003, did not indicate that any type of
        response time test was undertaken by the State Police to determine any impact on response
        times as a result of reconfiguring Pound Road.

The Committee reviewed the subdivision plats to determine if approval from the circuit court would
be necessary to vacate the east end of Pound Road and construct a cul-de-sac. Appendix #1 to this
report is a map showing the Pound Road platted subdivisions, and it is clear that no platted
subdivision exists for the area in question. Therefore, the city is not required to seek approval from
the circuit court.

The Committee reviewed the city’s subdivision regulations to determine the necessary minimum
diameter required for a cul-de-sac on a residential street. The regulations require a minimum 45-foot
diameter cul-de-sac. The Committee also reviewed the existing road right-of-way width to determine
if the right-of-way would provide the room necessary for a cul-de-sac, and it was determined that the
road would accommodate a 56-foot diameter cul-de-sac (please refer to Appendix #2 for a map
showing the Pound Road terminus with a cul-de-sac). The Committee marked the cul-de-sac
configuration and met with the property owner at 36491 Pound Road to determine if they had any
concerns with the fact that the cul-de-sac would extend into an area that they have been using as part
of their front yard. They indicated that they supported the cul-de-sac concept but requested that the
evergreen tree in their front yard be preserved and transplanted at the end of the cul-de-sac, if
possible, and that their decorative fencing be removed and preserved if possible.

The Committee contacted Dan McInerney of the Road Commission of Macomb Comission of
Macomb County to determine if the commission had any plans for improvements to Pound Road in
Richmond Township, and Mr. McInerney indicated that the commission has no plans for

Finally, to gauge the mood of the Pound Road property owners regarding a possible cul-de-sac, the
Committee distributed a simple survey asking property owners whether they support the idea of a
cul-de-sac (Appendix #3 is a copy of the survey form). Of the approximately 54 surveys mailed out,
the city received 37 responses. A total of 34 (92%) of the respondents indicated that they supported
the concept of making Pound Road a cul-de-sac dead end street. Copies of the survey responses and
comments by property owners is available on file in the Office of the City Manager for inspection.

The Committee also considered two additional options regarding the Pound Road development
impact issue. First, the city could consider any proposals which may be presented by Richmond
Township, the Road Commission of Macomb County, or the developer to make necessary
improvements to Pound Road to provide adequate road infrastructure and traffic control devices to
handle traffic generated from township development. Second, the city could take no action at all.

                           F I N D I N G S A N D R E C O M M E N DA T I O N S

The Pound Road Study Committee finds that the most feasible alternative for addressing the
concerns of the city regarding development impact on Pound Road, absent a proposal from the
township or developers to make upgrades to the road, is to construct and landscape a 56-foot
diameter cul-de-sac on Pound Road in front of 36491 and 36494 Pound Road and vacate the easterly
42 feet of road right-of-way for division between those two properties. While not essential to the
concept of a cul-de-sac, the Committee also recommends acquiring 60 feet of right-of-way to extend
Crystal Drive (Madison Meadows Subdivision) to Pound Road for enhanced traffic flow on Pound
Road and incorporate into the city’s street improvement plan the paving of that unimproved portion
with curb and gutter, storm sewers, and upgraded utilities to the properties at no cost to the property
owners in exchange for granting the city the right-of-way. Currently, the private drive referred to by
many as “Pound-and-a-Half Road” is a 50-foot wide boulevard, so property owners on each side
would only need to grant to the city an additional five feet. Finally, the city attorney and the
Committee recommend that the city council hold at least one public hearing and providing proper
advance notice to property owners on Pound Road both in the city and the township, as well as to
the Macomb and St. Clair county road commissions, prior to making a final decision on any
reconfiguration to Pound Road in an effort to provide due process to those persons or organizations.


Application for Rezoning #REZ2000-001 by American Communities, Inc.. (2000, March 14).
Richmond Township, Macomb County, Michigan.

Richmond, Township of. (2002). Richmond township master plan 2002. Shelby Township, MI:
Community Planning & Management, P.C.

SEMCOG. (2003).       Traffic counts.    Retrieved on September 22, 2003, from

Tripi, E. J., & Marson, J. A. (2000, June 1). Correspondence to Tom Lacey of American Community
Developers, Inc., regarding trip generation comparison – charter township of Richmond. Detroit: Authors.