Saline Manager O'Toole Spells Out 3 Options for South Ann Arbor Truck Traffic


There's a stretch of South Ann Arbor Street where trucks are not allowed. (See the green line on the map above)

It's the only stretch of road in a Washtenaw County city that bans trucks. And it bans all trucks over 10,000 pounds - which would include school buses.

Recently, the issue has came to the fore again, especially as a company named Gotts Transit Mix, located on Platt Road south of Redman Road, has been using Ann Arbor Street to transport gravel.

At the request of Councillor Dean Girbach, a South Ann Arbor Street resident, Police Chief Marlene Radzik looked into the matter and issued findings at the May 6 meeting.

The truck ban control order was issued in 1999. Trucks over 10,000 pounds are prohibited between Henry Street and the city limits. Radzik was unable to locate the investigation that led to the control order.

"My question is, should this order be limited to 10,000 pounds because if you look at the normal school bus, that can be 10,000-15,000, gross vehicle weight, and they are on our secondary roads quite often," Radzik said.

In 2015, the York Township supervisor asked for a meeting with Saline City Council to discuss the truck route.

Radzik also found a memo from former Chief Paul Bunten to city council about a new traffic order banning trucks on Willis Road from Saline-Milan Road to the city limits. That order was based on truck noise and damage to the roads.

Radzik said she wanted to know if the existing truck ban was based on damage to the roads or noise.

"My question is, why would we restrict this to South Ann Arbor and not North Ann Arbor?" Radzik said. "If it's the noise, why wouldn't we have it throughout the entire city? What makes this two-block stretch of Ann Arbor any different than North Ann Arbor or anywhere else in the city?"

There's a map the county provides truck drivers that shows where trucks are prohibited. Radzik said she wondered how South Ann Arbor Street was put on the map.

Girbach said a 2015 study of traffic said the frequency of the truck traffic was a problem. 

He said school buses run a couple of times a day while gravel trucks run every 15 minutes.

City Manager Colleen O'Toole said the city has three options.

  1. Remove restrictions and allow trucks.
  2. Retrain existing restrictions with better signage.
  3. Perform a study to determine what weight the road can handle, recommend placement of signage and an alternate route for vehicles in excess of any limit.

"City staff advises a pursuit of a plan that is clear, reasonable and fully enforceable," O'Toole wrote to council in a memo. She said the city should also engage the road commission.

In the Saline Posts Facebook group, residents offered many opinions.

Councillor Girbach said that although the city has had restrictions in place for nearly 25 years and were renewed in 2015, they have not been enforced.

Mike Snook, the retired police officer who was trained in truck weighing, said South Ann Arbor Street was a Class A road built to handle 164,500 pounds.

"The real reason for the restrictions is because a few of your prominent residents who live on that road have used their influence to enact such restrictions," Snook said. "Remember, this road serves the community, not just the City of Saline or who lives on that road."

Former South Ann Arbor Street resident Diana Watches said before the restrictions, she was awakened at 5:30 every morning by gravel haulers.

"Not only were they loud, they were speeding by. Once the restrictions went into place, the neighborhood became peaceful and safe without the constant traffic. Lifting this restriction will change the dynamic of this neighborhood," Watches said.

Greg Gross said that making trucks take longer routes just puts more stress on the roads.

The city council will take up the issue Monday.

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no action needs to be taken. This is a private company trying to impose their money making ambitions on the citizens. Leave us alone 

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