with poll: Pittsfield Township officials: Carpenter Road McDonald's entrance a safety concern
Courtney Sacco I AnnArbor.com
Pittsfield Township officials have suggested the McDonald's restaurant located on Carpenter Road consider removing its main road entrance due to safety concerns.
Officials have said the present site plan submitted by the owners for its planned remodeling project does not address the township’s safety concerns regarding the traffic entering and exiting the restaurant from Carpenter Road.
Township Engineer Damien Wetzel is recommending the removal of the Carpenter Road entrance and exit.
Craig Lyon, utilities director, said the township wants to ensure that it eliminates any possible congestion.
"The issue at hand right now is that you have a right in and right out coming into the McDonald's and what happens is people are headed southbound and they want to make a left into a right only," Lyon said. "It causes a bit of congestion. You get that person trying to make a left hand turn and they’re just sitting in traffic."
Courtesy Pittsfield Planning Commission
In a letter to the planning commission, Wetzel said public safety officials observed the following instances of drivers not using the entrance and exit as intended or designed:
- Public safety officials observed 55 percent of the traffic entering the restaurant was south bound on Carpenter Road— this turning movement is not allowed.
- About 27 percent of the south bound traffic entering the restaurant entered through the exit drive.
- Ten percent of the traffic entering the restaurant immediately turned around and exited.
- Ten percent of the traffic exiting came from outside of the McDonalds site just to enter Carpenter Road.
- Cars driving over the curb to exit and enter Red Robin located at 3797 Carpenter Road.
In addition to these concerns, officials said they have observed drivers cutting over the curb to access the adjacent Red Robin restaurant parking lot. In the past, the owner noted he was willing to landscape the area to prevent the curb cutting, but township officials said previous landscaping has not helped or alleviated the problem.
The planning commission was set to discuss the site plan at its Wednesday meeting at 6:30 p.m., but Lyon said McDonald's asked to be removed from the agenda in order to revise its plan to address the safety concerns.
The original site plan submitted by the owner requested approval to modify its existing drive-thru. The restaurant, located at 3811 Carpenter Rd., currently has one drive thru but the proposed change would create a second drive thru. Other site changes would include a new sidewalk along the south end of the site, new site and building signage and corporate facade alterations.
As a result, the parking area on the north side will be removed to make space for the second drive-thru lane. This would cause a reduction in overall site parking from 39 to 36 spaces.
In its site plan, McDonald's explained that two drive-thru lanes allows it to expedite its service and allows them to serve more customers.
The increase in customers due to the second drive-thru concerns the township because of the current issues it has regarding site access due to the curb cut on Carpenter Road.
Officials have previously discussed the concept of removing the curb cut because other than the McDonald's and the Meijer gas station, no other site along this particular stretch has direct access off Carpenter Road.