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Posted on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Ann Arbor officials rethinking pedestrian safety ordinance as concerns abound

By Ryan J. Stanton

Ann Arbor officials are sounding less and less sure a new ordinance designed to get motorists to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks is working out as planned.

Multiple Ann Arbor City Council members raised concerns about the ordinance during a special council meeting Monday night and indicated they'd like to see changes to it soon.

Council Member Stephen Rapundalo, D-2nd Ward, said he wants the council to take a closer look at the use of the word "approaching" in the ordinance.

"Many people seem to be confused about what exactly that means," he said. "Is that somebody with one foot in the air that's ready to take that first step into the crosswalk? Or is that somebody who's two or three feet away, walking and truly approaching the crosswalk?"


A sign marks the crosswalk at Seventh and Washington where at least one motorist has been ticketed for not stopping for a pedestrian.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Under state law, motorists are required to stop for pedestrians within crosswalks. The city's ordinance goes one step further to make it the obligation of motorists to yield to pedestrians approaching crosswalks — even if the pedestrian hasn't yet entered the crosswalk.

The penalty for not stopping is a $100 fine and two points on a driver's license. The Ann Arbor Police Department began enforcing the ordinance last month but officers have written few tickets so far.

Rapundalo, who is in the middle of a heated re-election campaign against an opponent who's critical of the new ordinance, said Monday night he also thinks it's confusing that new signs placed at crosswalks inform motorists it's "local law" to stop for pedestrians "within" crosswalks when they actually have to stop for those approaching, too.

"This is where some of the confusion is coming in people's minds as well," he said. "Their understanding of the local ordinance is that we want people to stop for pedestrians who are approaching, and yet the signs say something different, even though it is state law."

Mayor John Hieftje said a discussion of that can be had when the city's staff reports back to council on recommendations for more pedestrian safety improvements on Dec. 12.

"We can learn more about that then," Hieftje said. "And I've been wondering myself about signs for pedestrians to tell them that even though this is the law, that car may not stop."

The City Council voted unanimously Monday night to direct staff to explore pedestrian crossing improvements — including the option of more pedestrian-activated signals — at crosswalks throughout the city. The resolution sponsored by Hieftje places special emphasis on Washtenaw Avenue near Tappan Middle School and Plymouth Road near Beal Avenue.

Council Member Stephen Kunselman, D-3rd Ward, said he hopes the city's staff also can look into potential improvements for crosswalks along Packard.

The directive from council gives staff a rough deadline of Dec. 12 for presenting its findings and recommendations, and Hieftje stressed he wants to move quickly.

"I'd like to see us move forward on this because my hope was to get this going as quickly as possible, and they're going to report back to us in December with a complete plan," he said in response to a request Monday night to postpone consideration of the resolution.

Hieftje said tweaks to the pedestrian safety ordinance — which multiple council members are asking for now — could be taken up under a separate resolution next month.

Council Member Christopher Taylor, D-3rd Ward, wrote in a mass e-mail to residents on Sunday that he's thinking the issue through and he's growing increasingly sympathetic to the view that the "approaching" standard may not be workable.

"My inbox has been lit up pretty well with folks writing to me on the issue," he acknowledged at Monday's meeting. "I think there is a good deal of concern about the burden that places on the driver, understanding the burden that the other standard places upon the pedestrian."


Tire marks are visible near a crosswalk on West Stadium Boulevard where a resident says an SUV jumped the curb after swerving to avoid rear-ending him when he stopped for a pedestrian.

Image courtesy of David Burgess

Council Member Sabra Briere, D-1st Ward, is another council member asking for changes to the ordinance. She said the issue of anticipating when a pedestrian intends to cross is particularly problematic in areas where there are bus stops near crosswalks. She said motorists are having a hard time distinguishing whether someone is waiting to cross or waiting for a bus.

"I really think we ought to consider looking at the language we have used that says 'approaching' and how we want to deal with that," she said. "I really think that we've all learned that language is too vague for people to feel comfortable about what to do."

Briere said as far as she's been able to determine, there's been only one rear-end accident so far that's resulted from a motorist stopping for a pedestrian at a crosswalk. She called that "not too bad" considering neither driver was from Ann Arbor.

Many motorists seem to have difficulty adjusting to being constantly on the lookout for pedestrians at crosswalks on streets where they never noticed them in the past, Briere said.

Council Member Carsten Hohnke, D-5th Ward, was one of the original sponsors of the pedestrian safety ordinance last year, along with Hieftje. He and Hieftje continued to defend the ordinance Monday night, but agreed it might be in need of some tweaks.

"The slight change that you all voted for, which I appreciate — it really didn't change very much at all," Hieftje told council members, suggesting the new approaching standard isn't that big of a change. "It's the basic state law that I think folks are having a problem with."

Hieftje offered a brief history of how it came to be that the City Council unanimously approved the pedestrian safety ordinance last year. He said the issue goes back many years.

"One of the things that happened a while back, though, was some residents of the city made a film of a person — in some cases with a white cane — trying to cross the street under the state law that was existing at that time, and having to leap back onto the curb to save their life," he said. "And so one of the reasons that other places have used the 'approaching' law is that the pedestrian can have some idea if the car is going to stop before they place themselves in danger. That was the puzzle that we were trying to figure out."

Hieftje said the goal was to provide assurance to pedestrians that drivers would stop without them having to risk life and limb and enter a crosswalk, the requirement under state law.

"Had the city decided to enforce the old state law, we would have the same issues," he said. "The existing state law was being violated widely across the city and still is."

Hieftje said he thinks the real problem is at larger, four- and five-lane roadways, which he said have the ability to divide a community and act as obstacles for pedestrians.

"I think we've all been in cities where that's happened, where they become like a wall — particularly so if people don't have a crosswalk at an intersection with a light nearby, they'll cross anyway," he said. "And then you create an even more dangerous situation."

Council Member Marcia Higgins, D-4th Ward, said getting motorists to stop for pedestrians also is a problem on smaller streets.

She recalled watching a group of school students trying to cross at Crest and Liberty on the city's west side. She said motorists stopped on one side of the street and almost got hit from behind, and other motorists were honking their horns and shooting out around them.

"They were standing on the road and they weren't going to move," she said of the students trying to cross. "When the one motorist stopped and he motioned them across, they said no because they could see the traffic coming the other way, having no intention of stopping. So it's not just on our four- and five-lane roads. We're seeing it right in neighborhoods."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.


Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:22 p.m.

Just remember folks, if you don't like this ordinance and you are an Ann Arbor resident, you have the power to change things. Write to your council member and if they don't change it before the next election, vote them out. Seriously.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

What this entire fiasco underscores is that the City will PASS laws when it cannot enforce them. The "white cane" requires immediate Stop by all vehicles. Ditto pedestrians IN CROSSWALKS, and that is STATE law. What Flint is to personal violence and robbery etc, Ann Arbor is to vehicles and "road sharing": Not LAWLESS but enforcement-less. And we ALL know it.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 8:01 a.m.

It seems what helped to inspire this law was a video of a blind person frantically trying to cross the street. Are people that easily swayed into making decisions? Certainly blind people deserve rights and dignity; but to make a law from being emotionally charged by one example demonstrates ignorance. They have technology for the blind and others protected under the ADA.

Stuart Berry

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:17 a.m.

The Council's heart is in the right place with this ordinance. I want to make it easier to walk in Ann Arbor too, but a little common sense is needed. Just because we feel that something is good does not make it so. This ordinance actually makes it less safe for pedestrians. We are trying to reinvent the wheel here. We have close to 100 years of experience that has said that cars have the right of way in the roadway. The main reason for this is because cars are big and will do great harm to a pedestrian. Experience has taught us that. This ordinance encourages people to walk in the streets while traffic is present. This has always been a bad thing. Everyone's mother told them so. Wait for traffic to clear before you cross I was told. I still wait patiently for traffic to clear. Even in the days when the only distraction was a radio in the car it was a bad idea to walk in traffic. Now, with almost every driver talking on the phone, texting and surfing the net--at the same time, while driving 10-15 MPH over the speed limit, it is even less of good idea to jump into traffic. Pedestrians are going to be maimed and killed by this ordinance. Drivers are going to be scarred for life after striking a pedestrian. This ordinance does not promote public safety. When the enforcement is stepped up and visitors to Ann Arbor get tickets and points the word will spread quickly that Ann Arbor is a place to be avoided. Discretionary dollars will go elsewhere. This ordinance does not promote economic development. Stuart Berry Candidate for City Council Ward 5 Vote on Tuesday, November 8

Pixie Belle

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1:32 a.m.

As a pedestrian I can tell you that hardly anyone stops. I was in the median of the crosswalk on E. Huron River Dr. Near the medical campus and was not able to get anyone to stop for me and the friend I was with. The other thing I have seen happen is the car closet to you will stop but not the ones in the lanes next to them. This could be a seriously dangerous thing for someone attempting to cross a four or five lane road.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 12:17 a.m.

I've read several comments stating that no injuries have occurred "yet" due to this law. Are we sure about this? I often wonder if they are not being reported on, considering observations of ambulances treating people at known troublesome crossings.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

Oh come on, if there are rear-end collisions it's the drivers fault - rating, they should have been more attentive and seen the brake lights. So many (not all) drivers of several ton automobiles are so arrogant. This is an important and necessary law that should not be changed and should be enforced.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

What a mess. I can only hope that when the crosswalks are redesigned, the budget includes a few hundred thousand so that the city can add radiant heat.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

Yeah, the word "approaching" seems to be the most vague, potentially dangerous, and probably unenforceable portion of the ordinance. Just the other day I had to stop on Plymouth because the car in front of me slammed on the brakes in a panic because someone was walking along the path- and technically "approaching" a crosswalk- and then proceeded to walk right past it. It seems to me that, if we're going to have this ordinance, a clearer, more sensible standard would be that a pedestrian would need to be completely stopped at the edge of the crosswalk so we don't have cars rear-ending each other as each driver tries to interpret an "approaching" pedestrian's intent. Or better yet, stop adding crosswalks on roads with 40mph speed limits without accompanying them with button-actuated traffic signals! I'm guessing this could have been accomplished for little more than what's already been spent on those overhead lighted "crosswalk" signs...

Bob Cratchet

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

It is my experience as a driver that the pedestrians in Ann Arbor randomly jump in front of cars far from cross walks. When I first read about the ordinance in this article, I was surprised. It seems the city wants drivers not only to dodge irresponsible pedestrians in the middle of the road but also read their mind long before they follow the law and enter a cross walk. The law can't require mind reading, that's impossible. Rather than further burden drivers, the city should make stricter laws requiring pedestrians to actually use cross walks--perhaps the $100 fine would be better for jay walking to protect the safety of people who have trouble using cross walks and the reputation of drivers who try very hard not to hit these people jumping randomly into the road off of busy sidewalks--where it is hard to see whose intention it is to jump into the road next.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 7:14 p.m.

Here's my solution for the City Council so desperately trying to mimic Boulder -- move there. I'm so sick of hearing about Boulder. This plan would be so much easier than voting you out of office. However, to be safe, I encourage everyone to vote no to incumbents on the Council to restore some sanity and balance to the city leadership. Be engaged for Ann Arbor this time and vote !!!


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

Forget about crossing the street! What about crossing a parking lot! I was at the Krogers on Carpenter and almost got run over going in and coming out! What the heck people? There is a stop sign. USE IT. Both times the people didn't even look, they just went on their marry way. I could have hit their cars with my foot if I'd wanted to.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

More signs? It's not like Ann Arbor has an overabundance of repetitive and wasteful signage covering pointless minutiae to begin with! But if they REALLY want to, here's an idea: "Look both ways before crossing the street!" Yup, what they taught you in kindergarten is still relevant today. I sure am glad that I live in Ypsilanti and therefore don't have to pay taxes to the ignorant A2 city government.

Mumbambu, Esq.

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

Yet you are "A2James".

B. Jean

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

"needs some tweeking" Ya think? Why not address the other issue that has been commented on several times? What about those folks like my husband that are stopping and almost getting rear-ended in the process? Without question Ann Arbor is a destination community which means there are always going to be visitors. And get this, they drive. So even if you could get the locals to stop, the visitors are likely to rear-end the one who stops and possibly kill a pedestrian in the process. So you "sponsors" of this ludicris law need to man-up and set your egos aside before someone gets injured while you are "fiddling" with a law that is NOT WORKING!


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:45 p.m.

"Had the city decided to enforce the old state law, we would have the same issues," he said. So, there you have it in black and white. Mayor Leftie not only can read minds, but can tell the future. The arrogance that man shows is beyond anything I have ever seen. I guess if you vote the same clown in year after year, they feel they own the circus.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:32 p.m.

Hieftje & Hohnke: You screwed up. This ordinance is a mess. Motorists who have been ticketed will contest the ordinace and the stiff two point penatly. The out of town drivers who had the crash may well also go to court agaianst the city for an assinine law on our books. Thankfully no one has been injured - yet. Admit you messed up and find a real fix for the crosswalk issue. Bad ploy for vote garnering boys. Fire your consultants.

Mumbambu, Esq.

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:28 p.m.

The PROBLEM is distracted driving. "Tire marks are visible near a crosswalk on West Stadium Boulevard where a resident says an SUV jumped the curb after swerving to avoid rear-ending him when he stopped for a pedestrian." This is the FAULT of the SUV, not the pedestrian and not a law.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:22 p.m. late dollar short mentality...

Mumbambu, Esq.

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

Wow, a little common sense would go a long way. This law is not that complicated folks. Pedestrians, don't think you're invincible and drivers don't slam on your brakes just because you can see someone walking on a sidewalk. Why is this so hard? Just be aware of your surroundings. I never have problems getting cars to stop for me in the crosswalk, and if they disregard me I whack the back of the car as they pass. And as a driver I'm aware of crosswalks - just as we all should be for other traffic control devices. This is not that hard.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:54 p.m.

With pedestrain laws and "white cane laws each on the "books"; why not just enforce them. Just because the laws are not enforced, doesn't make them bad laws, or doesn't make them un-enforceable. Seems to me the existing laws do EXACTLY what the City Council is appempting to do. Just what we need; Bigger Government.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

What exactly does the mayor & council do besides collect our tax dollars & spend it the way they want to? They think with their head you know where!!!!!


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:02 p.m.

Leave it to Ann Arbor to take a simple concept in place as state safety law for years and make it overly complex, confusing, completely unmanageable, and unenforceable, all while decreasing the safety of more citizens. Such incompetence should not go unrewarded.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

Since we are not the first community to deal with this issue, it might help to examine how other places have used pedestrian crosswalks safely. In Toronto, for example, pedestrians approach a crosswalk and signal by putting out their hand and pointing that they intent to cross. They also pause and make sure that approaching traffic comes to a stop before they walk into the street. Humans can learn. The way it's always been isn't the only way to do something.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:57 p.m.

but then again, there are those that feel if they want to be in a crosswalk, any crosswalk, even at a busy intersection, they [the pedestrians] will step in front of moving traffic to make the point that they are pedestrians therefore have the right of way...If I see a pedestrian waiting to use a crosswalk, I stop because it's the law. If a pedestrian steps into a crosswalk and I don't have time to all means step on out and see who wins that contest.

Peter Baker

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

I've tried that, making it VERY clear that I'm trying to cross the street. Drivers still won't stop.

Joe Minock

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

The single most important factor here is notice of intent. At current, it's impossible for a pedestrian to make oncoming traffic aware that they intend to cross the road without just walking into the road. Take Plymouth road for example, two of the major crosswalks between Murfin and Beal also have Bus Stops integrated into them (as do many others in town). So, if someone is standing there... do they intend to cross, or wait for the bus? A very simple and SAFE solution to this would be blinking lights (example: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> that provide the ability for pedestrians to notify traffic of their intent to cross. While, yes, these lights cost money, they are a much safer alternative to the current scenario. Every time I stop for someone on Plymouth, I grit my teeth waiting to either get rear ended or have someone blow through the crosswalk next to me, nearly clipping the person crossing the road... Both of which have almost happened on more than one occasion. The general population, by nature is good at performing tasks when they are educated and informed. While there has been an effort to -educate- everyone that you need to stop for someone &quot;approaching&quot; a crosswalk, there is nothing in place to -inform- the general population that someone intends to cross the road.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:42 p.m.

I've been against this law since it came out, and have spoken my opinion on it before in previous articles. But I'm glad they're reconsidering it. I'm always nervous when I see a cop near a crosswalk, and someone within 5-10 feet of a crosswalk. But, am I supposed to stop? Even if they aren't going to cross? Because technically aren't they still &quot;approaching&quot;?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

Yet another issue: Driving at night. Many of these intersections are poorly lit, making it nearly impossible to see a pedestrian &quot;about to enter&quot; unless they are wearing reflective gear. I've resorted to flashing my high beams when approaching these crosswalks to make sure they're clear. I have a feeling that if more people start doing this, the property value of homes near crosswalks are going to plummet. ANOTHER issue: Bicyclists on the sidewalk. Bicyclists are supposed to ride on the road / in the bike lane. I really have no problem with someone riding their bike on the sidewalk as long as they are courteous to pedestrians, but this law becomes EXTREMELY dangerous when someone is on their bike and suddenly changes directions to cross an intersection. Now I slow down or stop if a sidewalk bicyclist is anywhere near a crosswalk -- the needed reaction time for a fast moving bike suddenly crossing is impossibly quick. This law was not thought out. This law is clearly not being enforced in any meaningful way (go drive around and see for yourself). Maybe as a first step we should have started enforcing the state law?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

A good example of driving at night is on Stadium where the photo above was taken. A lot of people crossing there wear dark clothes, and it could really help if there was a crosswalk like shinning down on them like in some areas. (Plymoth Rd, AADL on Oak Valley Dr.) Also, I've been really upset with the bikers the past few years. In a lot of areas, I'd rather have them on the sidewalks, but I have noticed a lot of them do not follow they same rules as cars if they are in the bike lane, or riding in the motorist lanes. A lot of them blow through traffic signs. If they have the same rules applying as cars as they claim, then they need to stop, especially at a crosswalk.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:32 p.m.

As a driver, it can be confusing when crosswalks are located at an AATA bus stop. People waiting for the bus are NOT waiting to cross. How can a driver know? Perhaps AATA can move signs 20 feet or more away? (Plymouth Rd has an example.)

Phillip Farber

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

In related news, 60% of Michigan residents are overweight and fully 33% are obese. When we substitute cars for legs there are several consequences. One is an epidemic of preventable disease. Another is a feeling of entitlement to unrestricted use of the roadway on the part of drivers, clearly on exhibit in this comment forum.

Angela Todd

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

What I notice is that some people stop and others not only don't stop...they continue talking on their cellphones; continue turning in the crosswalks in front of a pedestrian; continue turning in front of people on bicycles; etc. I also want to know why so many people...on sidewalks...walk or ride...on the left side? If you give people the entire sidewalk, they will, many times, choose to walk IN THE STREET, rather than to walk on the right side. Also, what is it with groups of people who take up the entire sidewalk, so that no one can pass them? Back to the street...I have seen people who are respectful and others who do anything, including running red lights, but, having once lived in Westland, Ann Arbor, generally speaking, abides by far more safety rules than Westland. Enough said. Angela Todd, Ann Arbor resident.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

I do wish City Council had taken time to sit back and try to envision how this ordinance affects the thinking of both pedestrians and motorists. It's unwise to put either one in a guessing game situation. In fact, most laws which force people to guess on the spur of the moment are just plain bad ideas - with serious consequences. This &quot;incident&quot; tends to reinforce the perception that our city government is failing to take even their own experience into account before passing such ordinances. Honestly, what's that about? Well - we can &quot;guess&quot; at that too: most likely, the ordinance was passed in response to a special interest group's prodding. Thank Heaven there haven't been any accidents caused by this ordinance (so far). I don't think it's wise to just let this lie for another month. Once the flaw in it is seen, any city government should make public safety a priority (new one, created by them) and change this ordinance.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

we need little bubbles above the heads of pedestrians that let us read their minds as they walk down the sidewalk toward any intersection, but look out... some of them may be thinking about the city council's ineptness and planning heavens know what...


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

I tend to think quite simply. But if the state law requires you to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk, would it be prudent to extend the crosswalk lines (and cross hatches) 18-24 inches onto the sidewalk? If a pedestrian is standing on the painted area, they would be within the crosswalk and there would not be a question of their intent. I drive Seventh St twice each day, and frequently yield to pedestrians, but the bicyclists that decide to cut up to the sidewalk to become &quot;pedaling pedestrians&quot; are a large hazard, because they are moving too quickly to determine if they are making a turn or cheating the stop sign, (as bicyclist are required to follow traffic signs and signals). I understand some bicyclists prefer the sidewalk in some situations, however when they come to a crossing they should either be walking the bike through the crosswalk, or observing the rules of the road while riding.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

State law defining a &quot;crosswalk&quot; might have to be modified to do so. Presently it appears to define a crosswalk as the area between curbs, or between the edges of a roadway with no curbs, which excludes the off-street area you propose: (<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> However, maybe the city could do so, since they already modified the wording of the existing law. I still think the wording &quot;at or within a crosswalk&quot;, along with use of pedestrian signals on hi-volume multi-lane roads, would be preferred, although expensive for sure.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

When is the City of Ann Arbor going to start enforcing the law and ticketing the pedestrians ie the students that cross illegally all over Ann Arbor? They dart out from between cars and in just about every possible and dangerous way one can imagine. Problem is that one doesn't have to imagine, it happens all day, everyday and every night in motorist unfriendly Ann Arbor! I'm sure if you started ticketing these youngsters they would be reminded by their parents, in most cases, that they were actually taught how to cross a street in a safe and legal manner... Right? As the poll suggests... They would probably &quot;catch on&quot; and a new crop of revenue safety course candidates would and will arrive every semester... Right? It can't be that the Mayor's (and others) conflict of interest with all matters U of M would stop this? It's been this way since the motorists and their pesky desire to drive in and around downtown, uptown and the campus arrived on the scene... What? 90 years... 100 years ago... Ill bet those young adults darted in front of horses too. Well maybe not. Just think of the endless $$$$$$$$$$$ this would generate! Just imagine the progressive yet, obvious to the general citizen, horrid buildings the city could build and commission over priced cra... art for!


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

I like the idea behind the ordinance. It does, however, need some tweaking. The biggest problems that I've seen are at the crosswalks along Plymouth Rd and other 4 lane, higher speed roads. I drive a fairly large vehicle for work, and after I've stopped (with my 4 way flashers on to avoid being rear ended), the pedestrian has a hard time seeing around my truck to watch for traffic in the next lane. I have no problem with helping them along by waving when it's safe to cross, however some impatient drivers have pulled into the other lane to whip past me at the last minute. Drivers ignoring the rules are creating a pretty dangerous situation on the busier roads. More crossing lights (HAWKS) would help the problem, but of course there is the concern of their cost. There is also confusion over people waiting for the bus / waiting to cross, and occasionally I've seen people standing at a street corner texting or talking on the phone, causing drivers in both directions to wonder when and if they plan to step out into traffic. Hopefully more time to get used to the ordinance will help with these problems, but with so many out of towners passing through, there will always be some who are unaware of unwilling to obey the rules.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

They are &quot;re&quot;thinking it? That would imply that there was some thought the first time around.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

I live in the 2nd Ward and my guess is that Rapundalo is finally trying to listen to voters who have a legitimate choice in voting him out in November. I talked to three people over the weekend (so am guessing there must have been many more) who talked to Rapundalo when he was going door to door, and all three said they told him about how much they disagreed with the crosswalk ordinance. What an example of our progressive City Council sitting in their ivory tower sending decrees down to their minions so that their egos believe they are turning Ann Arbor into Boulder, rather than listening to voters and representing the people. We are lucky we have a real election in the 2nd Ward. Just the fear of a competetive election has gotten Rapundalo to at least pretend he cares what people think.

Jon Saalberg

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:56 p.m.

If anything, the lighted crosswalk at Huron, by the Y, needs to be re-done, and soon. I have witnessed two accidents at the light, one serious, as some people notice the signal is red and those behind them do not. I'm usually on a bike, and just wait for cross traffic to clear, then make my way across the intersection. I understand the need for the light, given that I often see parents with small children and older adults trying to get across this intersection, but the light that &quot;suddenly&quot; turns red is not working as intended.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:48 p.m.

They can't. There are state rules about the number of traffic lights on a trunk line and they can't add another stoplight. I've found the HAWK signal effective and safe (both as a driver on Huron) and as a cyclist or pedestrian trying to go from Chapin to Third (or vica versa). That said, another approach would be to rethink the rules on state trunklines and give the cities more control. I believe (but could be wrong) that's why the city has so little control over North Man (north of Depot) as well.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

I use it too, every day. The light blinks yellow, then goes red. Some people stop, others do not. People are just not paying attention to this light. Maybe they need to make it look like other traffic lights?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.

Is this a change in the way it operates, or has it always been like this?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

I don't know why they thought they could enforce this new rule when we don't enforce the existing traffic laws. If they want drivers to stop for pedestrians they need to put in signals like they have on Huron at 3rd Street. In general, when the light turns red people stop and the pedestrians can safely cross. We do have a bigger problem that many of the basic traffic laws are not enforced. People seem to routinely run stop signs and red lights, cross the double yellow line to pass slower traffic or just to cut a turn, in many areas speed limits are a joke. Unfortunately we have reduced our police force so much they don't have the time to enforce the existing traffic laws.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

Unfortunately, police departments in Michigan didn't do any better a job when they were much larger. As long as the majority of people in Michigan think that driving is a God-given right (by law, it's a revokable privilege - walking, on the other hand, *is* a God-given right!), it's going to be that way. Really, the reason they enforce these laws better in other states is that those other states don't have as many auto-related jobs and don't have so many people who can't imagine other forms of transportation. One silver lining to the Michigan Depression and the end of cheap oil is that people are slowly realizing that there are other, much cheaper, forms of transportation.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

Before the reductions in the number of police, I often heard complaints from the citizenry that the city was misallocating police resources to catch traffic violators instead of concentrating on catching the &quot;real criminals.&quot;

Go Blue

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

Council remedy - put up yet more signs. We don't have enough funding for police, fire, etc., but we apparently do for signs, signs and more signs. Our city streets are beginning to look worse than the Vegas strip with sign after sign after sign. The only thing lacking is the neon. Driving down many streets the view is distracting and ugly from all the signage at each and every crosswalk. Where is the billboard bandit of years ago? Please come back and rid us of all the signs. Visual pollution is rampant.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

It's time for a change!


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

Can the city council work on a jay walking law? A student climbed over the barricade at North University to cross to the bus area and was ready to run in front of my car probably thinking I was supposed to stop. Would they also put up a sign for the crossing from the parking lot to the Gandy Dancer. The drivers along that road do not stop for any one.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:17 p.m.

Wasn't Hohnke the same guy who responded, after ONE complaint about idling vehicles, with an idling ordinance proposal? Yet hundreds of complaints about this law produce no action from Mr. Hohnke. Funny how he can be so responsive to something he favors and so resistant to something he does not. Seems Mr. Hohnke and Mayor Hieftje feels their roles are to do what they wish, not what their constituents wish. I was taught that the number one rule of a driver was to keep your eyes on the road. Yet this law wants us to take our eyes from the road and scan the sidewalks for possible people who might, maybe, want to cross the street - while we miss the sudden brakelights on the car in front of us. This law need more than tweaking. It needs elimination.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

OK, KJMClark, I forgive you.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 3:40 p.m.

DBH, that was directed at Jack and Snapshot, sorry. Clearly, we agree - you got your comment in between the time I started writing and submitted it. It takes time to look up wording from What Every Driver Must Know, and it gets a little too easy to botch the attributions.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 7:51 p.m.

KJMClark, are you implying that I don't &quot;...know this stuff...&quot;? These behaviors are precisely what I have been advocating!


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:53 p.m.

Michigan &quot;What Every Driver Must Know&quot;, p 91: &quot;As a driver, watch out and always yield the right-of-way to people walking, jogging, biking, crossing a street in the middle of a block, or darting from between parked vehicles. Watch for them when entering a street from a driveway or alley, at stop signs, traffic signals, crosswalks, and intersections.&quot; Also, p 74: &quot;Watch for vehicles coming from alleys or parking places when driving in a business district.&quot; Finally, if you think that it's too hard to keep track of the road ahead of you as well as the sides of the road, then this section applies, p 76: &quot;Michigan's Basic Speed Law means you must drive at a "careful and prudent" speed in all driving conditions. You must drive at a speed that always allows you to stop within the clear distance ahead. This speed is never faster than the posted speed limit. Depending on conditions, it may be slower than the posted speed limit. Anticipate trouble ahead. Be ready to stop safely.&quot; Competent drivers are supposed to know this stuff, Jack and DBH.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

And it's not called sight seeing. It's called responsible driving. Try it sometime.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

@snapshot, if you are not looking for potential dangers darting into the street (children, for example) as you drive, YOU are the one who should be taking the bus. If I should see someone on the lawn or sidewalk, I don't KNOW what their next move will be. I, however (unlike you, apparently, who has no knowledge of the existence of anything or anyone at any time not in the street), will know that there is someone or something there and I can drive accordingly, ready to stop if (for example) a child should dart out into the street.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

Oh, and one other thing DBH, when you see someone on the sidewalk or on the lawn, what are they thinking? What's their next move?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:06 p.m.

DBH, I disagree with you and agree with Jack. You are not a safe driver if you are looking at the sidewalks and lawn should take a bus if you want to sight see.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

While I am not happy with the law the way it is written, I disagree with your primary objection to it. Regardless of this law, as we drive all drivers should be surveying the sidewalks and lawn areas adjacent to the road ahead of them in order to ascertain if there might be potential problems ahead (e.g., playing children that might run into the street, pets or other animals). This can be done without taking your eyes off the road ahead of you by looking far enough ahead so your field of view encompasses these adjacent areas. If you wait too long to check these areas, you will not have time to safely stop for anyone or anything (child, pet, someone crossing legally) until it is too late, even at 30 MPH.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

Another reason not to come to A2 - if I stop and get rear-ended because I did so you can bet that there will be a lawsuit against the city for such a porrly defined &quot;law&quot;!


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

&quot;poorly&quot; sorry about that!


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

Is courtesy so hard to come by in this town? Some of the comments here are outrageous. Especially with colder weather coming upon us, step outside of your own closed-minded opinions and consider the pedestrians for a moment. For whatever reason, be it conservation of fossil fuels or funds, we are traveling by foot instead of the heated comfort of an automobile. If you see us standing idle in a crosswalk, have some courtesy--allow us to cross so we can resume our heat-producing activity. Cross walks are not the only issue here either. I was nearly hit yesterday by a car making a turn on red while I had a signaled right-of-way. Pay attention out there!

Anne R.

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:03 p.m.

My daughter in Boulder says they had to modify their ped. law when one car after another got rear-ended and when pedestrians got hit by cars that swooped around the stopped vehicles and hit the pedestrians in the crosswalk. But some parts of the law were retained and are loved by pedestrians and now understood and respected by most motorists. The scary and silly part of our law, I think, is putting it into place on Plymouth and in other places where traffic moves fast and where people can get badly hurt when rear-ended. Add more flashing lights, other signals, buttons for pedestrians to push----electronic means of help.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 8:50 p.m.

@KJMClark - also notice that your &quot;fairly painful flashing lights&quot;, as you describe them elsewhere, &quot;pointed at oncoming traffic&quot; are an ineffective strategy.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

And notice that the ordinance in Boulder reads: &quot;A driver shall yield the right-of-way to every pedestrian on a sidewalk or approaching or within a crosswalk.&quot;


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

Here are some links to information about Boulder's pedestrian cross situation: <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;task=view&amp;id=9632&amp;Itemid=2973</a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

The speed limit on Plymouth near three out of four of the mid-block crosswalks is 35mph. That's fast? There's only one in the area that's 45mph. The problem with the signals are that *real* signals have to meet warrants, which make it nearly impossible to get signals (though the city should look into adding signals under the progression warrant). The other signals are only there to remind motorists that the pedestrian has right of way in marked crosswalks. Why do SE Michigan motorists need a million dollars in lights to understand their responsibilities?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2 p.m.

Why is city council wasting time, and money, on this matter? Are there a disproportionate number of vehicle/pedestrian accidents in A2? I doubt it as we never hear about them. So, the bottom line must be this - some one on the council must profit from this activity - perhaps they have an interest in a sign painting company or the like...


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

Actually, most of this started a few years ago when two young women were killed trying to cross Plymouth Road. That led council to take a serious look at our pedestrian environment. They found that we had outdated design for pedestrian crossings, pedestrian crossings much farther apart than modern recommendations, and outdated ordinances. The nonmotorized plan recommended a number of improvements, which the city is implementing over time.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

I cross at 3rd and Huron every day and more than half the time, I have to wait until the walk signal is almost done because people routinely run the blinking yellow or red. Today, as I waited to make sure all the cars had stopped, a driver who had stopped, accelerated through the red and continued on, probably because I had not entered the street yet. Unless the Police start to give tickets, people will not respect crosswalks.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:45 p.m.

I drive through there regularly and EVERY TIME the light has been red, traffic has been stopped in both directions.

Haran Rashes

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

I was almost rear ended last night when I stopped for a possible pedestrian on Plymouth road. The guy didn't want to cross the road, he was waiting for the bus. In addition to all the other problems with this ordinance, the fact that AATA bus stops are sometimes located at crosswalks makes it impossible for drivers to ascertain the intent of the pedestrian, something this ordinance clearly requires us to do.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:11 p.m.

At crosswalks is a pain and I keep stopping for the bus people but a bus stop just past the crosswalk makes the bus stop across the crosswalk, and a bus stop just before the crosswalk makes it far to dangerous for pedestrians because cars do not know why the bus is stopped, loading unloading or for pedestrians?

Ron Granger

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:55 p.m.

If I ever get another ticket, I need to try this new excuse I keep reading. Do you think it will work? &quot;But your Honor, I couldn't stop! I would have been rear-ended!&quot; &quot;But your Honor, I couldn't slow down! I would have been rear-ended!&quot; &quot;But your Honor, I couldn't drive the speed limit! People behind me all wanted to drive faster and they kept getting too close! I was lucky I was even able to turn off into my driveway!&quot;


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

&quot;But your Honor, I couldn't walk another 100 ft to cross. My legs would have given out because I am 20 lbs overweight and have been described as obese! &quot;But your Honor, I couldn't walk 100 ft to the crosswalk, I was out partying and got up late and would have been late for class &quot;But your Honor, I thought we as pedestrians were always right.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

I have two issues with the new ordinance. First, there are so many different signs that it is quite confusing to figure out when a vehicle should stop for a pedestrian. i live near Plymouth Road and in that area, I face a yield sign that says stop, a crosswalk with an overhead sign, a crosswalk with both an overhead and side sign, a crosswalk with a side sign with a picture of a child, a non-marked crosswalk...... As a daily walker I never cross until the traffic stops, because it's hit and miss (no pun intended!) trying to figure out what the motorist will do. Second, there are some places on busy Plymouth Road where there are multiple crosswalks within a couple of blocks of one another. This makes no sense to me -- can't people walk an extra block or two to get to one marked crosswalk in an area? Overall I think it's overkill and really needs some revamping. At LEAST develop conformity with all of the various signs.

say it plain

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:32 a.m.

@KJMClark, I *do* walk that corridor, though not often with groceries. I am also aware of the tragic events that happened there, and appreciate the need for crosswalks. It is surely an area that should be considered for a HAWK signal, I'd think. I still think the crosswalk markings are inconsistent there, and while I haven't paced out the distances from one speedlimit/no-parking sign to the next, it feels from my driver's perspective very visually 'busy' on that stretch of road.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

I have noticed the approaching signs both regular and school, then the crosswalk signs with 2 horizontal lines on the bottom, now I see the approaching signs being used at the crosswalks with arrows pointing down, or, like at Tappan on Washtenaw Westbound there is no sign.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:33 p.m.

Plain, again, walk the Plymouth corridor, and you'll probably discover that those crosswalks are much farther apart that typical city blocks. Also, state law requires us to put up most of those signs, including no parking signs every few hundred feet. (Reminder, &quot;couple yards&quot; is six feet. There are no signs in the city repeated every six feet.)


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:29 p.m.

Suki, have you tried walking that route? Be sure to try it with a bag of groceries in each arm and a backpack on. Those &quot;blocks&quot; are *much* longer than standard city blocks. One of those crossings was put in because two young women were killed attempting to cross Plymouth in that spot. Two of the others were put in because there were large numbers of pedestrians attempting to cross without any marked crosswalks, and they had all decided that walking all the way to Murfin to get to North Campus or all the way to Nixon to get to Kroger didn't make any sense. So the pedestrians were being put in danger and they were causing traffic conflicts. Note that under our ordinances, they were allowed to cross where ever they wanted as long as they didn't interfere with traffic, which they mostly weren't but it was still causing traffic problems and putting the pedestrians in danger.

say it plain

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

I agree about that stretch of Plymouth! So many crosswalks so close to each other, with different signage/markings... *plus* there are just too many signs altogether there; they distract the driver and take away from his/her ability to attend to the important ones. Do we really need &quot;no parking on Plymouth Road&quot; signs every couple yards?! Speed limit signs every couple yards?! And the mayor thinks we need to add more signs warning pedestrians that cars are big and heavy and may not stop?! Argh! And the new LED lights seem to cast light very narrowly...these dark mornings and early evenings are getting scary with the light from these street lamps illuminating merely the square yard right beneath them, and the individual bulbs distractingly glaring through the windshield. Add the terrible state of so many roads and it's as though this city is developing torture tests for drivers. Now winter is coming and if they continue their track record, we can add poorly salted and unplowed streets to the list... I can't wait to see this mayor out of office, he's truly beyond ridiculous.

Ron Granger

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:38 p.m.

Jack the fine to $500. Then put signs at each major city entry point: &quot;Stop for pedestrian approaching crosswalk or pay $500 fine&quot;


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

No, as I noted above (reply to my earlier comment), it's a civil infraction in Ann Arbor to cross anywhere other than at a crosswalk in most of the downtown (in business districts), or where adjacent intersections are signal controlled. When council adopted Michigan Uniform Traffic Code by reference, those are some of the ordinances that went into effect.

Ron Granger

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

Yeah, I hate the pedestrians stepping out in front of traffic outside of crosswalks - they should be cited. If I make the mistake of driving through State and S. University at lunch time, then I am perfectly willing to accept that I may wait many minutes due to pedestrian traffic crossing at the intersection.. But once clear of the intersection, pedestrians impeding traffic and crossing unsafely should be cited. Pedestrians in A2 can cross anywhere, so long as it is safe and they aren't coming out in front of vehicles.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:13 p.m.

I'll support that IF you will support the following Signs on Main St and on campus saying &quot;Pedestrians cross at crosswalk or pay $100 fine&quot; The city would make more money off the pedestrians!


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:32 p.m.

Without a clear and unambiguous signal (for example, a red light) somebody is going to get run over. If drivers are expected to stop, there needs to be a button for the pedestrian to push and a light to turn red. Out of town or out of state drivers won't know this odd law, and while it would technically be their fault if they hit somebody, I think we'd rather all just avoid that entirely by making it obvious what they're supposed to do.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

No one on City Council, as far as I know, has attempted to clearly define what Council meant when they added &quot;approaching&quot; to the ordinance. As far as it being the same as two vehicles &quot;approaching&quot; a yield sign, it isn't. Vehicles are generally the same size and generally quite visible to other drivers, even against a cluttered background. Pedestrians are not always that visible, especially when walking or standing on the side of a road against a backdrop that has many features about the same scale they are (the basis for camouflage, by the way). As both a driver and a pedestrian (just not at the same time), I'm sympathetic to both sides. As I understand it, Council was attempting to create language that would allow pedestrians to NOT have to step off the curb into the roadway in order for vehicles to be legally required to stop. They want vehicles to stop when and if a pedestrian is at a crosswalk but still on the sidewalk side of the curb. Frankly, the word &quot;approaching&quot; as used in this ordinance is so vague that a good lawyer could probably make a defensible case that a pedestrian standing (not moving) adjacent to the curb edge of a crosswalk (and presumably) waiting to cross is no longer &quot;approaching&quot; the crosswalk, since they're already at (but not within) the crosswalk. It all depends on interpretation, and that's the gist of the problem with the vague new ordinance language. I wonder if the same end-result could have been obtained by saying &quot; or within&quot; a crosswalk, which, I think, would be more easily interpreted? Ah-h...but then there's the problem of the new signs. While I acknowledge their good intentions, I'm glad City Council appears to see the need to clean up the mess they made on this one.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:22 p.m.

Sorry, I missed your attempt at addressing the issue. However, people aren't complaining about not being able to see a pedestrian approaching the crosswalk. You're the first to say that. The complaints are about not being able to discern the intent of the pedestrian. Even if the pedestrian is purposefully walking directly toward the crosswalk, people seem to think it's unreasonable to glean that the pedestrian intends to cross the street in the crosswalk. You're basically arguing that &quot;approaching&quot; only works for large, car-like objects, which was why I used the example of a person on a scooter in my comment above. A person on a scooter is in most respects smaller and harder to see than a person walking - scooter operator is no bigger than a pedestrian at eye level, while usually being a little shorter on the scooter, though with a larger &quot;bottom&quot;. Yet I think most people would agree that when they are driving up to a yield sign, and see someone approaching on a scooter on the street they have to yield to, they have little problem understanding what approaching means and yielding. Yet essentially the same language makes no sense to them when it applies to a pedestrian walking toward a marked crosswalk. This strikes me as a either a lack of thought, or just people being disingenuous.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

@KJM: I understand your argument, but it's apples and oranges, and, as I pointed out, a matter of scale and visibility.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

Yet the state law for yield signs also says &quot;approaching&quot; and no one seems to have any trouble misunderstanding what it means there.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

Even tho it is state law, no one ever stops. That is the real issue, people don't want to be forced to stop there.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

A typical successful stop? I was driving on Huron Parkway when the car ahead of me slowed because of a waiting pedestrian at the Huron High School crossing. I slowed down as well. A car in the left lane, however, continued toward the crosswalk, screeching to a halt as the advancing pedestrian wisely retreated. Meanwhile, a car behind me, impatient or perplexed at the slowdown, whipped around and abruptly screeched to a halt behind the first screecher. The kid then crossed safely, and no cars were smashed. God bless our wise and all-knowing city council.

Peter Baker

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:55 a.m.

It doesn't matter why they're stopping. Stop safely behind them.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

No it has to do with being able to see. A vehicle is much bigger than a pedestrian so if you are driving behind someone, there is no easy way to tell why they are stopping. SUVs in front of cars are real common, but so are having buses in front of you stopping so you cannot see the pedestrians or signage.

Peter Baker

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:10 p.m.

Sounds more like a problem with the drivers and their impatience.

Ron Granger

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

The scenario you describe has nothing to do with the new law. Same thing under the very old state law.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:19 p.m.

The pedestrian crossing signs on Fuller Road, as you approach U of M Hospital, are nothing like the one shown in the photo of this article. The signs in that area can't be any larger than 8-1/2&quot; x 11&quot; and you can barely see them! There are no warning or &quot;approaching crosswalk area&quot; signs on Fuller to advise drivers of what's ahead. Most people going to the hospital are from out of town and not familiar with the area, they are trying to figure out where they are going, and they are definitely NOT paying attention to the small crosswalk signs. I barely escaped being hit by the car behind me one day. Nothing like the sound of squealing tires and waiting for the impact to make you want to lose your lunch. Does the city of Ann Arbor plan on paying my medical bills and replacing my car if I get slammed into because of this idiotic, poorly planned idea? At least I'll be close to the hospital when/if it does happen. My sister recently came from South Carolina and I warned her about the crosswalks on Fuller Rd. She said she could barely see the signs because they were TOO SMALL, and if I hadn't told her about them, she wouldn't have paid any attention to them. And to top it off, pedestrians were running across the street in areas where there were no crosswalks, just charging out into traffic on a 5 lane road. Where was a cop at to ticket them for jay-walking? Jeez, just one more hair-brained, waste of money, ill-planned idea by the city council. Congratulations folks!

Rosie Lemons

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:17 p.m.

One of the biggest problems with this ordinance is when you are driving on campus. If you had to stop and wait every time a person approached a cross walk, you would NEVER be able to proceed. It's a steady stream of pedestrians on campus and if you don't slowly nose out, you would never be able to drive across some of those intersections. Students certainly don't stop to allow cars to drive through.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

So agree with Alan Goldsmith. More signs was the first thing I thought of when reading that Hieftje said. &quot;And I've been wondering myself about signs for pedestrians to tell them that even though this is the law, that car may not stop.&quot; There should be a sign for pedestrians telling them they are approaching a cross walk, then another one a bit closer, then a warning that cars might not stop, then a sign urging caution when using the cross walk ..... The UM students are still going to cross the street wherever they want without even looking at cars, much less signs.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

I agree that posting such warning signs for pedestrians at crosswalks already marked for vehicles to stop makes no sense whatsoever and would be contradictory. I recall that Charlevoix has signs posted at some crosswalks (without traffic signals) on H'way 31 (the stretch just south of the bridge) warning that vehicles do not stop for pedestrians. HOWEVER, at those crosswalks there are no signs telling drivers they must stop for pedestrian within the crosswalk, so I'm not sure if Charlevoix overrode state law or has just chosen to ignore it.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

Hey, it's not about council nor about the mayor it's about motorists and pedestrians. It's America folks the land of the 'do anything that fits me' people. Pedestrians start &amp; stop and so do motorists making it un-clear because something else is on their minds. This law places the burden on the driver AND on the drivers following AND on the drivers going in the opposite direction AND on the police for a judgement call when the pedestrians is at or near the crosswalk. Can't have a law for everything. There shold be more then enough laws on the books that allow a police officer to give a ticket, assign blame at traffic accident, and require drivers AND pedestrians to be reasonable in their actions. Nitty, picky laws about behavior just don't work &amp; we continue to pass them. Their expensive they interfer with police activities, prosecutors, and courts. We would prefer people didn't kill each other; so we punish the end result. We would prefer people not drink; so we punish when their judgemnent is impaired. We don't want people to smoke; so we punish by taxation or a ban on particular ingrediants in the item being smoked. Expensive &amp; in-affective are bans prior to an act; so all we do is punish the results of excess or impaired judgement resulting from the actr. Whats the point? The people enforcing our bans must use judgement. It's just another form of Mommy / Daddy parenting those that are considered to be adults. Silly. Can't even imagine how much money we could / would have saved in the court system with 'weed' laws. prohibition. and anticipation of what possibely we could do.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

Where did this ordinance come from???? The Mayor and Council! I rest my case.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

The one thing I've noticed that could be an issue is that the AATA bus stops are often right near crosswalks (which makes sense, really) - but it does make me unsure if someone is just wating for a bus or waiting to cross.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 9:56 p.m.

I have stopped three times now for people clearly on the walk going into the cross walk. after awhile they waive me on and I see the bus stop sign either there or near by on the grass. When they waive me by do police know they are waiving me by? Do I need to get written permission from them to proceed? I stopped on Washtenaw by the Murray Building but all the other care passing both ways, after oh, 3 minutes (judging by the two cycles of the traffic light down the road) the people waiting waived me on because it was impossible for them to cross.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

&quot;We can learn more about that then,&quot; Hieftje said. &quot;And I've been wondering myself about signs for pedestrians to tell them that even though this is the law, that car may not stop.&quot; This city has been bombarded with &quot;signs&quot; that we need NEW leadership at city hall. Actually any leadership would be better that what we haven't had!

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:52 p.m.

I would never trust a motorist to stop for me at a crosswalk. That is just silly.

Homeland Conspiracy

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

I need to keep my eyes on the road &amp; that's hard to do watching &amp; worrying if someone MIGHT use a cross walk.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:59 p.m.

This! What if the driver in front of me is driving erratically? I need to keep a close eye on him. I'm going to be watching that driver and not check to see if there are pedestrians. You can only divide your attention so many times. Doesn't matter if you are going five miles an hour of 50. If that's bad driving, so be it. I guess we should all just go at a snail's pace.

Ron Granger

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

Then you need to slow down so events happen at a pace you can process. It isn't a race.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

Briere thinks &quot;only one rear accident that I'm aware of&quot;&quot; isn't too bad&quot;? That whiplash, closed head injury, increased insurance premiums, and inconvenience &quot;isn't too bad?&quot; And because neither driver was from Ann Arbor, that makes it better? Someone may be out of touch here. Accidents are always bad for someone.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

First the City should pay a consultant from Delaware oh....$500,000 to study the issue.... over.... lets say 6 months before making a decision.I don't live in Ann Arbor, can I run for city counsel now ? ( I'll say I'm Democrat )


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

Cart before the horse, as usual. Approaching is part of the problem. Since this ordinance has been put in place, I've witnessed the confusion drivers experience (and experience it myself) about whether they should stop or not for someone more than 10 feet from the crosswalk. As a runner and pedestrian living near Huron Parkway, I won't even use the crosswalks and it's not because I'm worried drivers won't stop. I'd rather not make them stop. I can figure out how to cross to the median, check out the other side and then complete the crossing.

Anthony Clark

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 12:43 a.m.

Exactly! People are smart enough to figure out how to cross a street without stepping into the path of oncoming traffic.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:28 p.m.

Ann Arbor should be following the State law. We are not an island, nor do we want to be. If the City thinks the State law needs to be changed, they should lobby the State for a change - not create their own laws. What's next - city-specific drivers tests at the Secretary of State?

Peter Baker

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

The city probably wouldn't have even felt the need to enact this law if everyone already followed the state law.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:23 p.m.

What was the Council and mayor thinking in the first place. Common sense should have told them that this ordinance was a disaster waiting to happen. Fortunately the people of Ann Arbor communicated the problems before accidents happened. I'm glad to see the Council and mayor swallow their pride and reconsider the ordinance.

Jimmy McNulty

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:20 p.m.

Of course the City Council is going to rethink this ridiculous ordinance. They need to reallocate the police resources to the new Graffiti Task Force.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

It should be pretty obvious that the state law specifying &quot;in&quot; the crosswalk is clear enough. Am I &quot;approaching&quot; a sidewalk in Ann Arbor when I leave my house in Ypsilanti? What part of &quot;in&quot; is not clear? Does AA City Council really have so little to do that they have to waste time on these kinds of non-issues?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:16 p.m.

I like the idea. Saline has a similar ordinance, and most universities have a convention that you stop for peeps in the sidewalk. I think on busier streets better markings are needed and it should always be walker beware. It will take more than six weeks for drivers to become more familiar, especially in a city with hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. We must give it time, and allow education to happen over time. I admit I too forget, but that does not mean I don't like it. Change takes time, and we need to setup the system to that the change can be successful and walkers and drivers can be safe.

Basic Bob

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:14 a.m.

Well, let's not get carried away about the Saline model. There are maybe 3 pedestrians an hour compared to 3000 on State St. If you don't menace some jaywalkers, you might be there until after 2 am. And ticketing out-of-town visitors is a bad idea. Who will tell their friends to come to Ann Arbor, it's worth the fine?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

The fact is that motorists are not going to feel compelled to stop at a crosswalk unless they are also stopping for a stop sign or traffic light. It is actually unsafe for them to do so (witness picture and story above, fear of being rear-ended by cars that don't see why the car in front of them has suddenly stopped in the middle of the road). Pedestrians who fear for their lives don't waltz across the road in busy traffic anyway so what is the point of this ordinance? Please, try to make this safe for everyone involved and ONLY place crosswalks at stop signs or traffic lights.

Peter Baker

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

&quot;Please, try to make this safe for everyone involved and ONLY place crosswalks at stop signs or traffic lights.&quot; Well, that's going to involve a LOT more stop signs then, which I'm sure everyone will love.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

Just about every day I get proof that the &quot;approaching&quot; language isn't the problem. People just don't want to stop for pedestrians. Just ten minutes ago, I came back from dropping my son off from the school bus pickup. I had my bright, flashing bike lights pointed up and down Pontiac Trail as I headed toward the marked crosswalk. Sure enough, coming south on Pontiac Trail, a silver minivan, with plenty of time to stop. She didn't even slow down - she swerved into the bike lane to avoid having to stop or slow down - even though she saw me and my wife coming toward the crosswalk way back by Skydale, and we were *in* the crosswalk. Plenty of time to stop. She could have stopped a semi in the distance she saw us approaching the crosswalk, and could have stopped a dump truck in the room she had *while* we were in the crosswalk. But &quot;yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk&quot; is the ordinance or law just about everywhere. How can people pretend that they didn't know they were supposed to stop for a pedestrian *in* the crosswalk? They don't pretend, they just say &quot;I'm in the big dangerous vehicle, and pedestrians should stop for me, even *in* the crosswalks.&quot; That's the real problem here.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 8:37 p.m.

Maybe using a &quot;fairly painful flashing signal&quot; is not the best strategy. Neither is running in front of oncoming traffic. Nor making obscene gestures toward the driver of a car.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

Deb, I was walking. These bike lights are connected together so that one flashes one way and the other flashes the other. When I'm crossing this intersection, I hold them out in front of me, about 4' off the ground, and two feet in front of me, so that the brighter of the two is pointed directly to the left (toward the first lane I have to cross), and the other is pointed directly to the right. (One is a new light with a fairly painful flashing signal, the other is a typical 4-led flashing amber.) I hold them so that they're pointed more or less directly toward the on-coming traffic. But they're routinely ignored, by about half the oncoming motorists - when I'm *in* the crosswalk.

Blanch DuBois

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

&quot;People just don't want to stop for pedestrians.&quot; People don't want to stop their vehicles for ANYTHING.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

just to clarify, were you riding your bike, or wearing your bike lights?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

Different guidelines are needed for different roads. On Geddes, cars race by kids who are clearly waiting to cross to get to school, even when the crossing guard is there -- it's nuts. On South U, on the other hand, a thousand kids stream across the road non-stop when classes change over, and if you wait until no one was approaching, you'd sit there in your car for 20 minutes and traffic would back up miles. There's no one rule that's going to work everywhere.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:22 p.m.

Areas like South U and State are bad traffic engineering, plain and simple. And they exacerbate this problem – there needs to be a traffic light there, if only to control the volume of pedestrian traffic.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:50 a.m.

The crossing ordinance is a natural outcome of the political philosophy of liberals. The more rules the better. I know this is a hard concept to grasp, but you get the government you vote for. Didn't Mayor John Hieftje just cruse to reelection in 2010. Lets face it D's think more government will make things better. Maybe you should think about your choices in 2012 lection.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

Only this council - I wouldn't generalize. In general government can make things better, hence we Have things like roads, bridges, bus systems, universities, school systems, airports, safe medications, safe foods, national defense, etc, etc.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:50 a.m.

The silliest thing they did was put an AATA bus stop directly adjacent to many crosswalks. Is that person standing waiting for the bus or are they wanting to cross the street? They should have separated them by 10 feet so you don't have to guess as you are driving and possibly slam on your brakes.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:21 a.m.

Rethinking? More like thinking for the first time.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:02 a.m.

If you stop at the crosswalk, you're subject to arrest, conviction, and immediate deportation to North Korea for maliciously idling your car.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:01 a.m.

&quot;And I've been wondering myself about signs for pedestrians to tell them that even though this is the law, that car may not stop.&quot; When I see comments like this from the Mayor, I am glad I live in Superior Township. Who ordered signs with wording that did not match the ordinance? Fire them. I suggest a sign at every traffic light &quot;cars may not stop for a red light, so you need to be careful.&quot; Also on every sidewalk as you transition from house to house &quot;although it is the law, this homeowner may not have shoveled the walk, may have done a poor job, or snow may have drifted back onto it, so please be careful&quot;. They could add call boxes at each sign to report the walkway or video cameras. Only in Ann Arbor...


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11 a.m.

the crossing at liberty and crest is covered with tree limbs when you are approaching from the east and you can't see it until your on top of it. council really needs to think about this issue!!!! bus stops included


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:56 a.m.

Briere said as far as she's been able to determine, there's been only one rear-end accident so far that's resulted from a motorist stopping for a pedestrian at a crosswalk. She called that &quot;not too bad&quot; considering neither driver was from Ann Arbor. gee this should be a sign of something. does not matter if they are from ann arbor or not. still something from the crosswalk. it does not take a rocket science to figure it out. how to solve it is simple. PUT HAWK'S UP. a person push a button. cars stop. person walks accross the street. cars go. how darn hard is this for grown people to figure it out. why wait until december. the answer is in your face right now. what it is going to do is cost money!

Jeff Gaynor

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:18 p.m.

Yes, a lot of money - which seems to be in short supply these days; as is common decency among drivers, it appears.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

@Ron, you say drivers need to obey laws. And then you suggest creating *another* law. I'm not for cell phone use for drivers but I think you were right at the beginning of your statement. Enforce the laws we have and I'd bet we have fewer problems. If we can't do that, why create more laws!?

Ron Granger

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

The answer is drivers obeying the law. That requires that they pay attention. Michigan needs to ban cellphone use in cars, as many states have.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

I agree HAWKs are a helpful tool, but come at a significant cost.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:48 a.m.

Nice photo of what happens when a SUV follows too close for the speed they are traveling at. Other states have rules like this, without issue. And they work. Including the &quot;approaching&quot; rule. Michigan has some of the worst driving behavior of anyplace I have lived or worked. I would rather drive in Boston or Mexico City than 275 in rush hour. Seriously I've observed more near misses there than in either of the other places I mention. The &quot;this is my road&quot; attitude here is state-wide. A rule like this isn't a bad idea, but should only be applied state-wide, it is to confusing for one locality to try be different as the risks to the public are significant.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

Totally agree. After moving back to Michigan from California, I would say that the traffic behavior was the biggest area of culture shock. Self-serving, entitled, and dangerous drivers. And the ordinance in question has almost the exact same language as the CA law ... and somehow 37 million people don't have a problem with it: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

I've driven in Phoenix, Ontario, Florida and Mexico and those are just some of the places FAR worse than SE Michigan.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

I disagree. I truly think the &quot;this is my road&quot; applies more to bicyclists and walkers when I really think about it. I don't like driving, but I find it much more pleasant here than in Detroit where I lived before.

Jeff Gaynor

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:44 a.m.

Ironically, the controversy may be doing more to raise awareness of pedestrian rights to cross at a crosswalk (what a concept!) than the ticketing did. The year the ordinance was on the books before enforcement began - by design, so drivers could be educated - had little effect. I was taught to drive defensively, not that since I had a ton of metal around me, I could barrel down any road as I pleased. I sense that concern about what 'approaching' means is not the real issue. By the way, while I have seen hundreds of cars speed by pedestrians trying to cross the street, I have not seen one pedestrian approach and continue walking across the street in front of speeding cars. Yes, common sense is in order, including where we set our priorities. But wait, I forget: &quot;Our car is our castle.&quot;


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:41 a.m.

As a pedestrian, I will always yield to an automobile. It is much larger than I am, and would definitely hurt should we collide. I truly don't understand what the issue is-- folks walking and crossing the street need to be responsible and drivers the same. This law needs to be repealed. What I am seeing while driving is individuals not paying attention talking on their phones, texting or listening to ipods seeming to be totally oblivious to their surrounding. Not good for many reasons.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:46 p.m.

Peter, you are also right -- so It is my hopes that all individuals pedestrians and drivers decide to be responsible and paying attention to their surroundings.

Peter Baker

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:03 p.m.

&quot;What I am seeing while driving is individuals not paying attention talking on their phones, texting or listening to ipods seeming to be totally oblivious to their surrounding. Not good for many reasons.&quot; What I am seeing is DRIVERS not paying attention, talking on their phones and texting, seeming to be totally oblivious to their surroundings. By far more dangerous than pedestrians doing the same thing.

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:38 a.m.

&quot;We can learn more about that then,&quot; Hieftje said. &quot;And I've been wondering myself about signs for pedestrians to tell them that even though this is the law, that car may not stop.&quot; Good lord! ANOTHER sign?? Why doesn't the Mayor step down and open a bicycle shop and leave these political decisions to someone with a clue?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

I noticed the other day, while riding the #2 bus, the large number of signs in this city. When I travel elsewhere I see a small fraction of the number of signs compared to Ann Arbor. The amount of signage on the round- about on Nixon alone is incredible. Now I see why!


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:59 a.m.

i thought we were a tree city not a sign city. u r correct no clue

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:36 a.m.

&quot;Rapundalo, who is in the middle of a heated re-election campaign against an opponent who's critical of the new ordinance...&quot; Lol.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

Of course, he's trying to "look like I'm engaged'' (HIS own words, in that misdirected email) No surprise that some of the incumbents would change their tune now. November 8th is 2 weeks away!

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:35 a.m.

Bingo: &quot;Under state law, motorists are required to stop for pedestrians within crosswalks. The city's ordinance goes one step further to make it the obligation of motorists to yield to pedestrians approaching crosswalks — even if the pedestrian hasn't yet entered the crosswalk.&quot; The Mayor and his political supported BRAGGED about this when the law was passed--how Ann Arbor was taking the lead on mind reading. Just like we're supposed to read minds of people standing at bus stop signs NEXT to crosswalks. I'm hoping since the Mayor is so into mind reading, maybe he can read the minds of Ann Arbor taxpayers on this topic now--something he was clueless about the first time around the block.

Alan Goldsmith

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:32 a.m.

All of these issues were brought up as the Council and the Mayor stampeded into passing this poorly thought out and written law. I'm guessing this sudden awaking came about as Stephen Rapundalo heard comments from voters as he was campaigning door-to-door. This Council and this Mayor are all about fixing screw ups after the fact and never getting it right the first time. Now maybe we can look at no bid contracts to political friends, giving away parkland for parking structures (oh, forgive me LEASING parkland...), cleaning the employee threatening mold from the basement of City Hall and other real issues the Mayor and his political buddies on Council missed being so busy with 'other' issues.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:29 a.m.

Let's remember that crosswalks are a compromise. The put the crosswalks in to give pedestrians a place to cross the street, but then say the pedestrians can't cross where ever they please. Yes, Ann Arbor *does* have a jaywalking ordinance; it's Uniform Traffic Code rule 706: &quot;(1) Every pedestrian who crosses a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway.&quot; In return, for those pedestrians who go out of their way to cross in the marked crosswalk, we expect motorists to yield to them. It's also an ordinance violation to pass someone who's stopped for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. That's rule 703: &quot;(1) When any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.&quot; As noted before, the state law for yield signs also says &quot;approaching&quot;, and motorists have figured that out for sixty-odd years. Basically, motorists have &quot;learned&quot; (despite official education efforts) that motorists always have right of way. For all the people who think this ordinance is a problem, if you were approaching an intersection with a yield sign, and there was a scooter &quot;approaching&quot; the intersection on the superior road, wouldn't you slow or stop for them?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

I've noticed that you keep bringing up this yield sign point as if you think it actually is a good one. But there are important differences between motor vehicles and pedestrians. One of the main ones is that motor vehicles are easier to see than pedestrians, especially at night when the motor vehicles are required to have lights. The other is that it is much easier for pedestrians to stop quickly than it is for a motor vehicle to stop quickly. So yes, people have figured out how to yield to other vehicles. But it just isn't the same thing as yielding to a pedestrian because pedestrians are less visible and also because the intentions of a motor vehicle are more clear. At a yield sign, for example, you don't have to wonder if the car approaching the intersection is going to go forward or turn (because they are required to signal) or if they are just standing there waiting for a bus.

David Paris

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:22 p.m.

Thanks for the briefing on the laws KJMC! And I know you didn't bring it up, but to compare the law of jaywalking to the law of drivers respecting the pedestrians right of way, while the driver is in control of a deadly vehicle is utterly ridiculous, but hey, if law enforcement has the manpower to enforce it...


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

scooters are vehicles, they need to have working signals and be registered with the secretary of state to be road legal. Which imo gives them more of a right to use the road then even regular bikes


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:42 a.m.

Two other jaywalking rules under Michigan Uniform Traffic Code - 709 says that where the adjacent intersections are signal-controlled, pedestrians have to go to the light - no definition of &quot;adjacent&quot;. Rule 710 says it's illegal for a pedestrian to cross anywhere except a crosswalk in a business district. Since someone is bound to bring it up, yes, the police should also enforce the jaywalking ordinances. Yes, they should ticket pedestrians for jaywalking, and motorists and cyclists for not yielding to crosswalks. The police should be writing *lots* more tickets, not to mention those for tailgating, cutting people off, and speeding that they largely don't write in Michigan.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:27 a.m.

I work in Kerrytown and know that the real problem is that you can stand next the road - or approach it multiple times - but until you are in the road motorists are not stopping. It is a scary act of faith to walk out in front of oncoming cars and hope that they don't call your bluff. The only way this law will stick and make sense is for major enforcement to begin: tickets, lots and lots of tickets.

Anthony Clark

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1:15 a.m.

Gee, I was always taught to look both ways before crossing. Don't ever step into the path of oncoming traffic. You wait until there is a break in traffic. If there is too much traffic, you walk to a light.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 7:14 p.m.

Another option would be to look both ways before you cross the street, and to not step in front of oncoming traffic. But i guess we could just put up another sign and use our understaffed, and overworked, police force as glorified crossing guards instead.

David Paris

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

I agree Floyd, it's all about Driver Education. There's nothing wrong with attempting to make this city as safe as possible for everyone; drivers, walkers, wheelchairs, bicycles, motorcycles, blind, and deaf... we all belong. Since the drivers are controlling the deadliest mode of transportation, then responsibility should start there, but all should be aware of all.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

Hey Floyd! Any chance you would support &quot;tickets, lots and lots of tickets.&quot; For jaywalking?

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1 p.m.

Act of faith or suicide?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:27 a.m.

&quot;Mayor John Hieftje said a discussion of that can be had when the city's staff reports back to council on recommendations for more pedestrian safety improvements on Dec. 12.&quot; The same mayor who was quite comfortable with cutbacks to police before AA became nationally known for its serial rapist. I'm not comfortable with further dithering on this issue. It's clear this is unsafe for both pedestrians and motorists, and the situation needs to be fixed ASAP. City Council made a mistake and needs to fix it now, not wait for some committee to fine tune recommendations. I hope no one injured or killed while City Council fiddles. This will only get worse as it gets darker outside and visibility outside of the road (i.e., on the sidewalks) worsens, and our frequently un-cleaned city roads get more and more slippery. I did see two positive items in the article. 1) City Council seems to have come to the realization that the new signs are wrong on two points. It's state law to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk, AND &quot;within&quot; actually means within, where our &quot;local law&quot; means within and outside of. Shouldn't they immediately remove signs that actually give wrong instructions to drivers? 2) The students waiting until it was safe to cross exercised a lot more common safety sense than our City Council. Apparently they realize that it's a bad idea to step out in front of moving traffic. Maybe these students would like a job in city government? I've noticed a lot more pedestrians waving motorists through the intersection, which is what I do. I feel no need to &quot;prove&quot; I can make 20 other people wait while I cross the street. That said, more pedestrian cross signals, especially in school zones, is a positive step.

Stan Hyne

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 9:06 p.m.

The only thing clear about this ordinance is the 100 dollar fine.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:23 a.m.

I think the few tickets written by the police speaks for itself. Either is not a problem that needs to be addressed. Or it's an issue the police don't see as necessary to enforce.