By Jessica Mathews /

A speed study is planned for a section of Blaine Road in Hartland Township.

The township requested a traffic control order from the Livingston County Road Commission on behalf of residents in Hartland Shores Estates. A section of Blaine Road is currently posted at 25mph and lacks a traffic control order, which a letter says results in unenforceable speed limits.

A 35mph limit is being requested on Blaine Road between Lake Pines Drive and 10401 Blaine Road. Around 70% of that portion of Blaine Road is within the subdivision, with the remaining 30% in Pleasant Valley Golf and Country Club Estates. Residents have voiced safety concerns and say people drive too fast with children around but tickets can’t be issued. A letter from the Hartland Shores HOA states that "This section of street was previously posted at 25 with slower speeds at both entrances due to the curves. While following the law outlined in house bill 4423 we average 45.8 access points per 1/2 mile which determines a 35 MPH posted speed limit. We would like to be granted a 35 MPH enforceable speed limit based on the law and no further action taken. Since cautionary signs are not enforceable and only considered a warning we ask that those remain in place."

The Road Commission discussed the issue at a recent meeting and said a variety of options were explored. There are 25mph speed limit signs posted along the stretch that totals roughly three-quarters of a mile but they’re not enforceable due to changes in state law. It was stated that legislation from 2017 put a dent in a lot of things that have been posted over the years and puts a lot of local roads in question. Since it is not enforceable, residents wanted it bumped to 35mph based on a formula.

Traffic & Safety Engineer Mike Goryl felt the best option would be to leave the 25mph signs in place until a speed study can be scheduled with Michigan State Police. He commented that the data they’ve collected was very consistent with a 25mph zone and cautioned that a future change might not have the desired outcome. Goryl said sometimes perception is different than what speeds actually are and changing the limit to what’s enforceable could actually raise speeds. Further, he said if the limit did get raised to 35mph, enforcement would likely be very minimal as police agencies have limited resources and likely wouldn’t be out there that often.

Even though the 25mph signs are not enforceable, it was stated that people still obey them. Staff felt the logical and science based approach would be to do the speed study and see where the limit falls. Commissioners agreed that was the best solution at this point.

Detailed information about the history of the speed limit on Blaine Road and the Road Commission’s speed policy is available in the meeting packet. That link is provided.