Madison Heights, Royal Oak police to begin ticketing drivers who cut through neighborhoods to avoid traffic

Posted at 6:14 AM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 06:14:34-04

MADISON HEIGHTS, MI (WXYZ) — Madison Heights and Royal Oak police departments are joining forces to stop drivers from cutting through neighborhood streets to avoid the I-75 construction.

Police say since the construction began, they've seen an increase in calls for incidents along Stephenson Highway between Lincoln and Gardenia avenues. The departments say going forward, they will be ticketing anyone who illegally cuts through these neighborhoods to avoid the construction.

"Here comes another one. He's not speeding yet but some of them do. They tear off down the roads," Michael Lehr, who lives on Hampden Street said.

Streets like Hampden and others off of Stephenson Highway are becoming a favorite for drivers trying to avoid the frustration of the reconstruction traffic. But now, Royal Oak and Madison Heights officers will be on standby waiting to catch those drivers trying to save a few extra minutes.

"Madison Heights contacted our police chief and said, is there a way we can enter into an agreement because of this peculiar boundary situation," Royal Oak City Manager Paul Brake said.

The neighborhoods along Stephenson Highway between Lincoln and Gardenia Avenues sit on a mile stretch that technically sits within Royal Oak City limits. This meant Madison Heights Police couldn't ticket drivers cutting through those specific areas. Now, with the interlocal government agreement approved by the state, they can. But this agreement does not go into effect until about two weeks.

Nonetheless, the enforcement begins and residents like Michael Lare are remaining cautious. Especially with children.

"I can't let him. I don't want someone to lose control and come up here and hit him. I am scared to go out here and play," he said.

The interlocal government agreement is good for a short time, but either city can terminate it with a 30 days notice.