Thursday, November 2, 2023

City of Northville downtown streets set to reopen

Streets in downtown Northville were scheduled to reopen this week.

Northville City Manager George Lahanas and
Mayor Brian Turnbull inspect the new bollards
installed in downtown streets.
The closing of the streets has been controversial in the community prompting criticism from nearby residents as traffic has been rerouted through some neighborhoods. Last week, with the installation of specially designed traffic bollards, officials said the downtown streets would reopen this week and remain passable until sometime next spring.   

The bollards were installed throughout the downtown area on Main, Hutton, Center and Dunlap streets. The large circular barriers will be lowered into the ground to allow the return to previous traffic patterns in the downtown area. The 3-foot-high black devices have reflective bands near the top so they are visible at night. When the streets are closed, they will be upright to prevent vehicles from entering the streets. They can also be lowered in emergencies by first responders who will have keys, officials said. 

The cost of the bollards was estimated at $200,500 and includes the concept plan, engineering, the bollard purchase and installation of the devices. The cost was split evenly between the city and the Downtown Development Authority, according to a city spokesman.      

To acclimate drivers and pedestrians to the change in traffic patterns, signs will be posted on the streets leading to the downtown traffic lights, officials said. Mayor Brian Turnbull said the bollards “look outstanding” and they will give the city “greater flexibility” when opening and closing downtown streets to traffic. 

“We are excited to have the bollards installed, as they greatly enhance the look of our downtown when the streets are closed,” said City Manager George Lahanas. “The biggest benefit is enhanced safety for pedestrians while being easy for staff to operate.”  

The bollards also add a new security measure that will benefit event-goers and pedestrians when streets are closed to traffic, officials said. Gone are the water barricades and older police cars that formerly provided a barricade for vehicles as well as a safety measure for people using the closed streets. The new bollards permanently replace those items. 

Officials said they hope the appearance of the bollards will become another distinctive feature in downtown Northville.