Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Backyards facing roads Previous Next
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Fareastsider
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Username: Fareastsider

Post Number: 189
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 12:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When they build developments along main or more specificly semi main roads like the not so busy Mile Rds they usually build the houses rears along the thoroughfare. What are other people's opinions of this regarding aesthetics, function, and safety. I prefer the look of homes along a road myself. It seems to have been around the 50's when this trend became very common. Even when the primary road has light traffic they often build the backyards along the road instead of puting up homes along the other road that was already there. Almost all areas of Detroit have homes along the main roads. Basicly I wonder what people think of this type of design where homes and neighborhoods are designed away from the roads they are built upon. Some roads in the suburbs can go for miles with mostly back yards facing the street.
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Bearinabox
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Username: Bearinabox

Post Number: 112
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 1:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wouldn't want to live in one myself, but then I'm not really the type to move into a brand-new subdivision in outer suburbia anyway. A few roads in Detroit that were significantly widened after the neighborhoods around them were built have the same effect (the east side of Mound, the I-75 service drive north of about 7 Mile, just about the whole expressway section of the Davison) where in many cases the garage doors face the main road and there's an overgrown ghost of an alley just off the curb. Fascinating to look at, but again I wouldn't want to live there.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 647
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 4:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The road commissions that control the right-of-way along these major roads have a statutory responsibility to review and approve all subdivision plats and site plans that contact their ROW.

From a traffic safety standpoint, they can and do limit the number of driveway and parking lot curb cuts as well as the placement of side street intersections along the ROW. The result is what you see, new subs with perimeter lots facing the interior of the sub. To my way of thinking, this kind of low density land use, while not necessarily aesthetically pleasing, is still better than allowing linear commercial development along the entire length of these major roads.
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Ray1936
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Username: Ray1936

Post Number: 1176
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 4:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Anyone who buys a home adjacent to a primary or secondary roadway better like noise. Noise at all hours of the day and night. Boomboxes that you can hear for ten minutes until it fades in the distance, only to be replaced by another one approaching. Horns, tires squealing, and an occasional BANG will keep your ears occupied. These things are particularly wonderful around 3 a.m. when you have to get up in two hours.

Me? I'm so far in the boonies all I ever hear is an occasional coyote.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 4928
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 4:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Southfield Expressway in Detroit looks like this after they took down a block and widened the ROW. jjaba thinks it is not at all pretty.

However, the remaining commercial frontages look even worse in light of urban disinvestment in Detroit.

jjaba, Westsider.
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 344
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 5:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've seen this increasingly up in the flint area where i'm at. personally, i don't get it, and don't really like it. i wouldn't want a house with a backyard overlooking a major road, and i think it's a poor use of road frontage, and in turn, ultimately increasing the amount of acreage covered by asphalt. it would have been more effective to use that road frontage as more residential or light commercial, or at least leave it vacant for future development.
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2090
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 5:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I like the idea of creating a residential road between the busy thoroughfare and the houses that face that road. There are examples in various parts of metro Detroit. Along the north side of 1-94 east of John R, there are homes that face the freeway but have a local or inner road that's away from the service drive. Also, in Livonia along either Six Mile or Seven Mile there are homes that face the main street but have a local or inner road between them and that main street.

I prefer an inner road over having the backyard face the main street. Go out to Canton along either Cherry Hill Road or Ford Rd and you'll see all of those large homes facing the busy thoroughfare. When people want to sell their homes you'll see them put the For Sale sign in the backyard. Now, that's crazy.

On another note, Oak Park homes along the south side of I-696 have there backyards facing the freeway but you can't see them because of the tall brick wall that was built. The wall is a good solution to keeping out some of the noise from the freeway away from home owners, but, as a homeowner, I would like to see beyond my backyard fence, in this case a backyard wall. If the wall keeps out the freeway noise, then I'd just have to live with the wall and no view.
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2091
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 5:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jjaba talked about the building of the Southfield Freeway which forced certain stretches of the freeway to have the backyards of houses facing the freeway. Does anyone have any pictures looking down Southfield Road before it became Southfield Freeway?
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Patrick
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Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4117
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 5:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The first 5 years of my life I lived in a house with a backyard facing 8 Mile Road. It was on Stricker Street in East Detroit near Gratiot. Sure enough some guy crashed his car through our fence and ended up halfway into the yard. The garage itself backed into 8 Mile Road.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 648
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 6:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

I like the idea of creating a residential road between the busy thoroughfare and the houses that face that road.



That approach does limit the number of curb cuts and positions the houses farther from the major road, but with the added cost of more pavement, water runoff, fewer lots per acre, etc.

However, compared to lots that back up to the major road, the houses are not necessarily any farther from the center line of the major road since front yard setbacks are typically less than rear yard setbacks. Also lots that back up to the ROW can be given a continuous berm and greenbelt along the rear lot lines, unlike a berm on a front yard lot line that must be broken for each lot's driveway.
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Ordinary
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Username: Ordinary

Post Number: 149
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Monday, March 05, 2007 - 11:30 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Check out Barham Street between E. Warren and Mack. It's all backs of garages on one side, strange looking.
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2107
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 6:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, Barham is among a handful of alley streets in Detroit. Others that come to mine: Shipperd (btw Kercheval and Lafayette), Belden( btw McNichols and Santa Clara), Maxwell( behind Indian Village - Mack to Kercheval).
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Busterwmu
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Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 364
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 1:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How about a good portion of Outer Drive through Dearborn both north of Cherry Hill and south of Michigan Ave?
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Bearinabox
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Username: Bearinabox

Post Number: 119
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 1:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Or Glynn Ct. between Woodward and Hamilton, where the south side of the street is the alley for W. Boston.

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