By DREW HOWARD
The City of Rochester Hills has accepted nearly half-a-million dollars in funding to develop the Auburn Road Streetscape, a $10 million project that aims to transform a stretch of Auburn Road into a more walkable and pedestrian-friendly area similar to Main Street.
The SEMCOG Transportation Alternatives Program awarded the City of Rochester Hills with $481,318 in funding for the project late last week. Developers plan to upgrade the two-mile stretch between Culbertson and Dequindre with wide sidewalks, benches, bike racks and street lighting, among other things.
Such improvements were inspired by feedback from residents in the area, according to a Rochester Hills press release, and are tied in with a multi-phase goal to enhance the identity, history and brand of the Brooklands neighborhood.
“Our residents have provided a blueprint for a walkable, people-oriented area,” Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said in a press release.
“We look forward to creating a space where people can dine, shop, and gather with friends in public spaces, and we thank SEMCOG for investing in our community.”
The city also hopes to strengthen the area’s commercial development with new restaurants, boutiques and entertainment venues, though details on such plans have yet to be provided.
Other goals stated in the draft include, but are not limited to: creating clear transitions and borders between residential neighborhood and the commercial corridor; providing safe pedestrian crossings; bring- ing in more green elements, landscaping, public open spaces and plazas; and providing additional parking supply.
Discussions around the Auburn Road Streetscape project have gone back as early as 2016. On May 7, the
Rochester Hills City Council voted to acquire jurisdiction of the two-mile stretch of road which Mayor Barnett has described as a “dangerous place for vehicles and pedestrians.”
The city will continue to seek public feedback on the revitalization project. On Thursday, August 16 from 4 – 7 p.m., residents are invited to join the city at the northwest corner of
Auburn & Emmons to receive updates on the project and share thoughts on the proposed streetscape features with city leaders.
The public forum is being designed with Brooklands neighborhood residents and businesses in mind. For more details on the Auburn Road Streetscape, visit rochesterhills.org.