- Indian & Buttles Road Study
- Buttles & Indian Corridor Improvements
- Ashman & Rodd Corridor Conversion
Ashman & Rodd Corridor Conversion
Latest Updates: Open Houses Draw Attendees; Input Topic Open Online; Word on the Street(s) Talks Conversion
Open Houses Share Info, Collect Input from Corridor Users
The City of Midland hosted a series of five public open houses April 18 - 20 at locations in Downtown Midland and Center City to share information and collect feedback on the future of Ashman and Rodd Streets. Approximately 100 residents attended the drop-in style events to view sample project designs, discuss concerns with staff, and ask questions about the potential conversion.
Word on the Street(s) Talks Conversion
In Season 3 Episode 1 of the City's "Word on the Street(s)" podcast, City staff discuss the Ashman and Rodd conversion, provide insight into the "why" behind the project, share what they heard from open house attendees, and detail what's next for this potential project. Click the video above to watch.
Input Topic Open Now Through May 10
As a complement to the 5 in-person open houses, an online option is available to share feedback on the potential conversion for those who were unable to attend. The blog-style input topic breaks the project down into easy-to-consume functional areas with the opportunity for corridor users to learn more about the project and provide comments and feedback on these areas. The topic will be open for input until Wednesday, May 10 at 7 a.m. Click here to participate!
A Little Bit of Background
When first designed, Ashman and Rodd Streets were both two-way streets - which they functioned as until the late 1960s. At that time, many communities went to one-way streets as the best way to move traffic as quickly as possible from one place (usually, into or out of the city's downtown or major center) to another. Now, though, we realize the potential issues associated with this approach: Fewer economic development opportunities, higher vehicle speeds, reduced navigability, and lower safety ratings for pedestrians.
The City has been discussing the potential conversion of Ashman and Rodd Streets for nearly two decades, with the earliest recommendation/consideration for potential conversion being included in the City's Master Plan in 2006. Click the links below to view guiding documents that have discussed this conversion to this point.
- City of Midland Master Plan - Chapter 6: Transportation (PDF)
- City Modern Master Plan Update - Transportation Resources
- City of Midland Complete Streets Policy - 2010 (PDF)
- Midland Downtown Development Authority - Support of One-Way to Two-way Conversion (Video, 2:50 mark)
- Midland Downtown Development Authority - Phase 2 Redevelopment Plan (2018, PDF)
- Midland Downtown Development Authority - Phase 1 Redevelopment Plan (2016, PDF)
- Center City Redevelopment Plan - 2019 (PDF)
In February 2022, City staff asked the Midland City Council for its blessing to hire a consultant to address the potential conversion of Ashman and Rodd from one-way to two-way vehicle traffic. Local civil engineering firm OHM Advisors was selected to complete this study, which determined that two-way conversion is possible for both of these streets. Please note: No final decision has been made about the conversion by the Midland City Council at this time.
Graphic: Comparison of Considerations - One-Way vs. Two-Way Traffic on Ashman & Rodd
Click here to read the full study (PDF)
Graphic: Comparison of Traffic Counts - Ashman & Rodd vs. Other Major Streets
A comparison of the traffic counts from 2022 on Ashman and Rodd Streets has been made to other similar streets with the City of Midland. This assists in the visualization of how the number of cars utilizing Ashman and Rodd Streets compares to other major streets with two-way traffic and similar context, including Swede Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, and Waldo Avenue. Traffic counts on Ashman and Rodd Streets are very similar to these other two-way streets at key intersections, and even in many places see less vehicle traffic.
(Click the image above for a PDF version of this graph)
City Council Actions on Ashman & Rodd (Video)
- Council Approves Staff to Submit RFP for Potential Conversion Study (February 28, 2022 - 1:54:00 mark)
- Planning Commission - Update on Potential Conversion (March 8, 2022 - 40:00 mark)
- Council Approves Contractor for OHM Advisors to Study Potential Conversion (May 23, 2022 - 2:04:00 mark)
- Council Receives Study Results, Requests Additional Public Input (December 19, 2022 - 1:15:00 mark)
We're in a unique position to analyze this area of our street network at this time because of two separate projects occuring in our community. The first, the Buttles Street Corridor Improvement Project, is a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) project that will begin reconstruction of Buttles Street from Jerome to State in the 2025 construction year. To provide final design considerations, MDOT needs to know from the City if its designers should design the intersections of Ashman and Rodd with Buttles for one-way or two-way traffic. Other upcoming projects impacted by these streets are Phase II of the Saginaw Road Streetscape Redevelopment Project as part of the Center City Redevelopment Plan and Phase II of the Downtown Streetscape Renovation in Downtown Midland.
Watch: Word on the Street(s) Talks One Ways
Season 3, Episode 1: A Two-Way Conversation - April 2023
Season 2, Episode 1: More Than One Way (to Design a Street) - January 2022
The City's Buttles and Indian Corridor Improvement Project podcast, Word on the Street(s), has discussed the topic of Ashman and Rodd conversion several times. Check out the episodes below, which includes some background information on the history of Ashman and Rodd, why they're one-way streets now, and why the time is right for us to take a look at their function in our community for future generations.
To learn more about Word on the Street(s) and to access episode extras and additional information, click here.
What would Ashman and Rodd look like as two-way streets?
As no decision has been made about the two-way conversion at this time, full design of these corridors hasn't been completed yet. However, we've created a series of renderings at key intersections for both Ashman and Rodd Streets to give residents an idea what they could look like with two-way traffic. Check out the slideshow below or click here to view a PDF of all renderings.
Ashman Street at Nickels Street
Ashman Street at Pine Street
Ashman Street at Main Street
Rodd Street at Reardon Street
Rodd Street at Buttles Street
Case Studies & Thought Leadership
The truth is, we're not the only community to consider and/or transition streets from one-way to two-way traffic. Check out the links below for some of the topic points discussed in the episode, as well as examples of previous one-way to two-way conversions:
- "Kalamazoo is Ditching Most of Its One Ways" (MLive, 2023)
- Convert Kalamazoo Avenue - A Streets for All Project (Imagine Kalamazoo, 2023)
- One-Way to Two-Way Street Conversion (City of Lansing, MI - 2022) (PDF)
- "Start with the Streets: How Anyone Can Make Their City Safer & Wealthier, One Block at a Time" (Strong Towns, 2021) (PDF)
- "Cities Benefit from Restoring Two-Way Traffic" (Congress for New Urbanism, 2019) (PDF)
- "The Small Indiana City That's Embracing Livable Streets" (Streetsblog USA, 2014)
- Chinatown One-Way Street Conversion Study (City of Oakland, CA - 2009) (PDF)
- Conversion of One-Way Street Pairs to Two-Way Operations (City of Birmingham, AL 2008) (PDF)