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Posted on Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

Drivers, you're being warned: Ann Arbor is spreading word on pedestrian right-of-way crackdown

By Ben Freed


Courtesy of Aaron Kiley

The City of Ann Arbor is continuing the rollout of the pedestrian safety ordinance passed in 2010. The city announced this week that it is starting to distribute yard signs and other materials throughout the city to increase driver awareness of the ordinance.

Since passage of the ordinance, Ann Arbor drivers have been slow to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks as mandated.

Now Ann Arbor Police will begin targeted enforcement of the ordinance next month. They will hand out warnings in September, and tickets in October to drivers who do not stop for pedestrians waiting to cross the street.

The yard sign campaign is intended to ramp up awareness and prevent drivers from receiving tickets, which can carry a $100 fine and put two points on a driver’s license.

The city is also currently working on crosswalk definition guidelines. If you’re wondering what the exact definition of a crosswalk is (it’s not simple), this website can help.

Also, check here for an report on the best and worst crossings in Ann Arbor. The video below is from that report, and was shot in 2009.

Ben Freed is a summer intern at You can reach him by email at or by phone at (734)-623-4674. Follow him on Twitter @BFreedInA2.



Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:41 a.m.

This needs to be posted. In Colorado it is State law and it works. It is posted at all the relevant crosswalks. At the very least Ann Arbor has to post it enough so that drivers become aware of it. Otherwise it is unfair to drivers.


Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 4:22 p.m.

Since this idiotic law came into force I have had the exact experience these commenters are describing on several occasions. I stop, the pedestrian also stops and we remain standing while the traffic behind me catches up and the pedestrian then has to wait for all of them. If I had kept going they could have crossed behind me with no problem. Also, I have stopped and invited the pedestrian to go ahead of me and cars going in the opposite direction have nearly struck them. I'm not going to be waving any more pedestrians into the street. No sensible pedestrian will walk out in front of cars no matter what the ordinances say. Driving in the campus area has become a continuous "Alphonse and Gaston routine." I've also had the experience of yielding (on Observatory) for a group on the sidewalk who are having an animated conversation with no intention of crossing the street. I can imagine a person waiting for a bus creating a major traffic jam. If we succeed in teaching pedestrians to assert their "right-of-way" we will be exposing them to unreasonable danger. This is an idiotic law.


Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 2:28 p.m.

As a child I was taught to raise my arm and point across a car busy cross walk to take possession of the walk before stepping out. I also saw this done quite often when I lived in Europe. Of course this means paying attention to what's going on around you. Not reading or texting while walking as I see downtown on campus all to often. Why is it Ann Arbor needs to make your own law to supersede a state law that has existed forever giving pedestrians the right of way?

Haran Rashes

Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

Just put up today on Green Road, at the intersection of Burbank, an official City of Ann Arbor sign that says "Local Law - Stop for Pedestrians in Crosswalk" or something like that. It is very clear and easy to spot.


Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

They have these in Brighton, right in the middle if Main St. I thought they were great. I'll try to get a picture next week to post here.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 11:29 p.m.

This law is another liberal way to stop you from driving a car within the city limits of A2!!


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 6:53 p.m.

Great news, I can be slaughtered on my bicycle waiting for a pedestrian too! Sorry, I'm a bit cynical about this idiotic law. What's wrong with old school walk/don't walk lights at corners (at least in downtown/campus)? Save one of those tombstones for me!


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:22 p.m.

There are a number of people here commenting that it is time for pedestrians and cyclists to receive more consideration. Please understand, as quoted from the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition, that bikes (and I don't believe that means just motorcycles) are to observe the traffic laws for drivers, not pedestrians. Unless a cyclist is walking their bike across the street (and there are signs at some intersections downtown that this needs to be the case) bicyclists in Ann Arbor are at a much great risk than pedestrians for thinking walking rules apply to them. "Ann Arbor's Law (Chapter 126:10:148a, Pedestrians crossing streets): When traffic-control signals are not in place or are not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to every pedestrian approaching or within a crosswalk. What it means: If you're driving a vehicle (car, bus, truck, delivery van, bike) and you see someone trying to cross the street at a crosswalk or already crossing the street, STOP. Wait until they're across the street and proceed."


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:46 p.m.

I think the biggest issue here is the fact that we have crosswalks about every tenth of a mile on some roads. If there were fewer of them, it would certainly make it easier for drivers. I am actualy nervous about driving around my own home now. I live near Plymouth Road and Fuller Road and a trip downtown would mean that I could potentially stop a dozen time. Pay attention to this: I have no problem with the expectation that I should stop, but what if I'm concentrating on a driver ahead driving erratically and miss seeing a pedestrian that just approached a crosswalk? The city needs to get their act together before they start handing out tickets. Make use of fewer crosswalks, clearly mark them with more than lines on the roads and then provide clear guidelines.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

Too bad AA doesn't have a television station and very few local radio stations. But wait, this law affects people in all communities who find themselves driving in AA. How about our near-bankrupt municipality deploys a multi-million dollar media buy in SE Mich or better yet, all over the state and those contiguous? Brilliant! Problem solved!


Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

Still needs to reach the out of state drivers. Maybe, we need a super bowl ad.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:59 p.m.

All that video showed is how horrible this new law will be. Cars slamming on breaks, pedestrians still run the risk of being hit. The ONLY way to get this new law heard by everyone...mail out a noticed to EVERYONE. Run adds on tv and radio stations. Put pamphlets in high traffic areas....bus stops, the mall, downtown, grocery stores, etc. Word of mouth will take to long.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:58 p.m.

I talked to someone in the city transportation planning office recently and they said the city plans to put LED display signs (like construction notice signs) at all the highway entrances to city alerting people of the new law. Given all the attention and dialogue that news articles like this generate, I think most people will know. Hopefully. If you are driving cautiously and looking ahead down the road, you shouldn't need to slam on your brakes.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

Too bad AA doesn't have a television station and very few local radio stations. But wait, this law affects people in all communities who find themselves driving in AA. How about our near-bankrupt municipality deploys a multi-million dollar media buy in SE Mich or better yet, all over the state and those contiguous? Brilliant! Problem solved!


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

This should be great by the diag where there are always pedestrians around often standing and talking with no intent to cross. Reminds me of the cell phone band while driving that the city attempted to draft which based on some of the language may have made it illegal for the driver to talk to a passenger in their vehicle.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

Ann Arbor drivers do not stop for school buses on Packard or any where else where there is a huge passing of cars that feel they do not need to stop unless on a small rural street. So, with that in mind, what makes you think Ann Arbor divers are going to stop for pedestrians? After they hit them? Sorry, but Ann Arbor drivers are in their little world and could care less about anyone else but themselves. Good luck getting this under control. My one question to the police is this. Now that you are enforcing pedestrian law are you also going to enforce cars running school bus run red lights law too? Good luck Ann Arbor I don't see this happening any time soon.

Atticus F.

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

Ok, when we have a pedestrian killed, we can simply write "I had the right of way" on their tombstone. That will make everything better.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:29 p.m.

Are there any State laws that might trump this, like the speed limits Ann Arbor choose to lower? I, like thousands of others, don't live in Ann Arbor what yard sign will inform me of this? So, if I'm rear ended because I suddenly stop for a ped, I will have dished out more money than by not stopping and getting a ticket. By the time I file a claim with my insurance company that 5mph bumper (though most cars are designed for only 2.5mph) will have cost more than $2500 worth of damage, finding other ways to work due to my car being in the shop for at least 4wks., having the chance of my insurance premiums increase for simply having the gall of filing a claim. And all for what? This silly council who perceives that there is a problem without any actual stats or facts supported by accident rates for a particular intersection? Some will say why wait until there's an accident. That ranks right up there with man having the capability to kill, so lets just jailed him just in case. Stupid. I'll take my chance with a ticket.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

People don't pay attention to the car in front of them, and most people never use a turn signal and yes, tailgatting is a HUGE problem. I was in the car with a friend the other day and she almost rear ended THREE cars. Her excuse? Oh, I didn't expect him to turn there. He was moving to the right and didn't put his turn signal on! It was very disconcerting.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

I was thinking the same thing. I am always tail gated once inside Ann Arbor. People do not stop and think when you know you need to stop for pedestrians. Take the ticket, fight it in court and save yourself the time of having to go without a car for a month.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

Does anyone else think that Ann Arbor is 5-10 years from banishing motorized vehicles from our streets? First downtown, then within the city limits? Wasn't stopping for peds actually in the crosswalk enough like the rest of the state? We are to stop if a ped is standing on the curb, near the crosswalk, contemplating crossing. Compounding it is placing these idiotic crosswalks on streets with a speed limit of 45mph (e.g. Oak Valley Drive). Who will pay to have my car repaired when I obey the law and get rear-ended? Foolish!


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

What is the purpose of these islands anyway? I grew up walking and riding my bike around town. You cross at intersections where there is a light. You take your chances if you cross where there is no light... cars have the right of way then. I think these islands are problematic for both pedestrians and vehicles, especially on roadways where there the speed limit is 35-40 and traffic flows (ie. Packard @ Easy Street). Furthermore, if police are overseeing these who is fighting the real crimes in town as we comtinue to cut police positions? Also, my tax dollars are being spent on fixing these rediculous islands over and over because people are not paying attention... dont we have better things to spend city dollars on then fixing something we didnt need in the first place?


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

"The city announced this week that it is starting to distribute yard signs and other materials throughout the city to increase driver awareness of the ordinance….Now Ann Arbor Police will begin targeted enforcement of the ordinance next month. They will hand out warnings in September, and tickets in October to drivers who do not stop for pedestrians waiting to cross the street." So we have budget issues, have fewer police and a serial rapist on the loose and this is where we are spending money and police hours?? This is the crazy stuff (and the high taxes that are spent on this stuff) that makes me want to sell my house in AA! "The city is also currently working on crosswalk definition guidelines" Also how do you pass a law about crosswalks without knowing what a crosswalk is?

Somewhat Concerned

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

Supposedly we don't have enough police on the street, and the ones we have can't protect women against rapists or any of us against muggers, but they have the staffing and skills to do this. If they think this is going to improve our safety our increase public support of the police, they need a strong dose of reality.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

I will always stop for a pedestrian who clearly intends to cross the street. My problem with this ordinance is the expectation that motorists will stop for a pedestrian "approaching" a crosswalk. If I see someone walking toward the corner, how do I know if he or she plans to cross the street parallel or perpendicular to my moving vehicle?


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 1:20 p.m.

Need to add a "ducks, geese, squirrels and chickens" provision to the pedestrian "right of way" ordinance.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

Ann Arbor would be better served with closing off some streets if it has come to this. Pay and display surface parking at the perimeter and people then can walk freely thru some designated [closed to traffic] areas. People are just milling around-that's okay-but don't make drivers out to be demons. Driving around"town" has become an activity to avoid.The slant seems to be toward students living West of State St now-businesses all catering to this phenomena and less of a "real" atmosphere for Ann Arbor residents anyway.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

@Ross- I think you've missed the point of the frustration. As you said, the law and common sense already require a motorist to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. This law would require much more and endanger both motorist and pedestrian. If someone is driving on a multi-lane road at 45 and a pedestrian "approaches" the motorist is supposed to stop? It won't work. Yes, I walk almost everywhere, but I don't step into traffic expecting motorists to stop just because I have the right of way. I cross at a light or wait for traffic to clear.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:56 p.m.

I would have to agree with you. I grew up walking the streets of Manhattan in NYC. I walked to school in the heart of the city by myself when I was 10 years old. I was taught to assume no one see you or will stop for you. You wait for a break, then jog across the road, no problem. However there is not always a break... and in towns like ours, there are not always crosswalks with stop lights, either. but I think people are making assumptions here that the police will ticket people for failing to stop if anyone is within 20 feet of a crosswalk... I think we can all agree that is fairly unreasonable. There are hundreds of instances every single day where people blast down streets with people and children waiting patiently and OBVIOUSLY to cross. They are typically given no respect, and I hope this law and campaign change that.

Ron Granger

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

If you want to go fast, hit the highway. Ann Arbor is different, and we like it that way. That's why we live here. Ann Arbor has long had an agenda of discouraging vehicle use downtown, and protecting and encouraging walking and cycling. Ann Arbor is a small town, that is trying to contain sprawl and provide sidewalks and bike lanes. It's easy to walk... As long as cars stop at crosswalks and not *on* crosswalks, or roll through stop signs. Biking is another great option... So long as cars share the road. Dearborn, home of Ford, does not have many sidewalks. It is perfect for the car fixated who do not wish to stop for anything. Or for those who feel enraged at pedestrians or cyclists. In Detroit, you don't even need to stop for stop signs.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

Ok ENOUGH! Most of the comments here are so full of nonsense it makes your head hurt. Comparisons to prioritizing catching a rapist - completely unfounded. Do y'all remember how all the rapes happen at night time? Any crosswalk ordinance such as this will almost surely be enforced during the DAY TIME. And does any one actually think that if the police got a fresh lead on the rapist that they would ignore it to sit by a cross walk? Ridiculous to even compare the two things. Second, for all you lazy drivers complaining about having to slow down your 2 ton hunk of steel while you sit in your comfy air conditioned fuel seat, watch the video above. Is that how you would want to see your own kids having to attempt a street crossing? Scary stuff! If you get rear ended while stopped in the road - guess what - you are not liable and the other person's insurance is going to pay your repair and health bills (if there are any... doubtful). Automobiles MUST yield to pedestrians in ANY cross walk in ANY town in Michigan. This is not a unique or special law, we are only trying to enforce it more diligently. Suggestions to put in an expensive stop light system at every cross walk are also ridiculous. If you look at other articles about millages and taxes, it is clear none of us want to pay for anything further ever again. We don't have the money for an expensive push-button crosswalk stop light at every location in town - there are hundreds of crosswalks! The answer is quite simple, just freakin follow the law and yield to pedestrians. They have the right of way. If this is too much for you, try getting out of your car once in a while. Challenge yourself to walk to the grocery store. But I CANNOT WAIT for $10/gallon gasoline to help us solve some of these issues more organically.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

Wow! Y'all are angry. I fully understand that expensive gas disproportionately affects the poor. However this is an acceptable sacrifice that will eventually be made whether we want it to or not. It can happen sooner or later, but either way almost no one is preparing for it now when we need it most. The end result will still be less cars on the road, and I can't wait. It's fairly easy to ride a bike 10 or even 15 miles each way to get to work. If your job is further away than that, look for another one. Yes, I know it snows in Michigan in the winter time. Deal with it, petroleum is not infinite. amlive, I drive through downtown all the time. When you are on a street busy with pedestrians, it is your moral obligation to drive SLOWLY and be prepared and cautious for emerging pedestrians. No problem. City streets are not race tracks, it doesn't have to be a scary experience. And grimmk, what percentage of people in Ann Arbor drive without insurance? 2 or 3 % max? Pretty safe odds, don't you think? Why is someone going to hit you at 45 mph? This implies they are speeding recklessly and not paying attention to the road in front of them whatsoever. Also a fairly rare occurrence, thankfully. Safer to get hit in your air-bag equipped vehicle than a sorry pedestrian to who gets KILLED! This just in, pedestrian struck and killed last night. Awful. <a href=""></a>


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

I hate that you assume that the person who rear-ended you HAS insurance. Sure, I'll just kick back and not worry about any foreseeable accidents that this new law will ensue. Being rear-ended at 45 miles an hour will cost me $$$ and I will be without a car for a week or more. How will I get to work? I don't live near a bus stop and nor does my work in Saline. So can I come to you to barrow your car and get some $$?


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

I'm more often a pedestrian, and I seem to be arguing the inverse about impatient walkers complaining about having to wait 15 seconds for traffic to clear before crossing. Go downtown this afternoon, mosey on up to the corner of Kingsley and Ashley and try crossing Kingsley a few times (make sure to pack a clean pair of underwear). Let us know how it works out for you.

L. C. Burgundy

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

&gt; But I CANNOT WAIT for $10/gallon gasoline to help us solve some of these issues more organically. This is such a typical short-sighted Ann Arborite comment. You do realize gas prices are an extremely regressive cost that disproportionately affects the poor and less well off, right? I regret to inform you that oversized SUVs will still be zipping around in Ann Arbor even at $10/gallon. Someone making a lower wage probably won't be able to get to their job any more, if they're lucky enough to have one given the economic shock it will cause.

Jimmy McNulty

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:42 p.m.

@amlive, I agree with you 100%. @ the City of Ann Arbor; So this is the most pressing issue you face and is the one area you wish to pool your limited police resources? Aren't the 10 cops you have left busy chasing a rapist? Yeah, but the pedestrians.....they have priority.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

I like this law and hope it takes on in other communities as well. Clarity is needed as well as a change in attitude. The attitude adjustment is the hardest part. For all of my life cars have had some kind of primacy in the roadways. Well, it's time for cars to SLOW DOWN and give way. Places for people to walk are now more rare and less cared for than the places for cars to drive. We share the roads among all kinds of traffic no matter how poorly they are designed. It's time the foot and bike traffic get more consideration and right of way.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:01 p.m.

Perhaps this point has been made, but the explanation of crosswalks, as referenced in the article, states that this &quot;law&quot; applies to crosswalks where there is no pedestrian traffic signal or where the signals are not operating. HOW are we supposed to know? It also states that where there are no crosswalk markings, but sidewalks on either side of the street lead to the street and continue on the opposite side, the crosswalk is presumed to be there. Why require signage at a railroad crossing? If the city council's theory applies that a driver needs to understand where the unmarked crosswalks without properly operating pedestrian traffic signals are, and stop because we see someone approaching the crossing where the intersection has sidewalks on opposite sides leading to the street but there are no markings in the street, then it should suffice that railroad crossings, with approaching trains (much bigger and louder than a pedestrian) should not need to be marked. Save the taxpayers $$ -- no signs, gates or need for maintenance for malfunctioning gates. Before anyone comments on the difference between hitting a person and a train...please &quot;get&quot; that the train image is intended to be as idiotic and short-sighted as the city council's ordinance for pedestrians. If there is truly a problem with pedestrian crossing at some Ann Arbor intersections put up operating pedestrian traffic signals at those intersections. Can you imagine being on a four-lane road and a truck on the outside lane sees someone approaching the &quot;crosswalk&quot; and knows it's a &quot;crosswalk&quot; because there is sidewalk leading to the street so they stop...but a car...perhaps a little Prius...on the inside lane cannot see the pedestrian approaching, cannot see the sidewalk leading to the street and continues through the &quot;implied&quot; crosswalk on the road? This is what happens when knee-jerk policy is made based on an incident rather than logic!

Trevor Staples

Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 3:25 a.m.

All you have to do is pay attention. May, 2008: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> February, 2009: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> August, 2009: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> July, 2010: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> July, 2010: <a href=""></a> September, 2010: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:10 p.m.

Trevor Staples, you are correct - a policy that has been implemented after as much time and coverage as you say there has been is definitely not knee-jerk. However, I've lived in Ann Arbor for four years, and a month ago was the first I've heard of this issue, despite it having been on the books for a year. (I lived in CT for only two years and was aware within my first week of their pedestrian-approaching-crossings policy.) I would be appreciative if you would site some references to the history of this policy-making. Somehow, I'm guessing it began as a knee-jerk reaction to a single episode, or problem with an intersection, but I'd love for you to prove me wrong. Having said that, it has taken less than 24 hours for many from the Ann Arbor community to site some true concerns with this policy the way it stands and the way it is being implemented. If this law has gone through years of planning, discussion, media coverage and community input, why weren't some of these issues dealt with before now?


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

&quot;This is what happens when knee-jerk policy is made based on an incident rather than logic!&quot; That's a fantastic line right there - sums it up quite nicely.

Trevor Staples

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 1:32 p.m.

Knee-jerk policy according to &quot;kdadnick&quot;: A law that goes through years of planning, discussion, media coverage, and community input before being passed by council. Said law is then slowly introduced over time to the city via multiple materials and venues before being fully implemented.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : noon

I can't stop at the crosswalk on Plymouth Road without the fear of being rear-ended. And half the pedestrians are just standing there waiting for a bus or something else. Plus visitors to Ann Arbor (and there are plenty of them) follow Michigan traffic laws, how are they supposed to know about our crosswalk law?


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:17 p.m.

I should edcuate myself before ranting in this forum (sorry about that ): From the American Safety Council: &quot;The concept of the right of way is important to understand since the law never really grants the right of way. The law simply states when the right of way must be yielded. Right of way can be used when the law permits its use by requiring that others yield the right of way to you. Failure to yield the right of way leads to crashes in all states. There are some ways for you to reduce this probability when you are driving however. Right of way must be yielded to other drivers in the following instances: At a yield sign; To pedestrians in a crosswalk; To persons using a seeing eye guide dog; To persons using a white cane with or without a red tip; At uncontrolled intersections where vehicles are already in the intersection; At "T" intersections where you must yield to vehicles on the through road; When turning left in which case you must yield to oncoming pedestrians, cars, etc.; When driving on an unpaved road that intersections with a paved road; and When returning to the roadway after the car is parked. Pedestrians always have the right of way at intersections and crosswalks. Bicycles, since they are considered "vehicles," are subject to the same rules as other drivers; they are not always granted the right of way. When turning left at an intersection, you must yield to oncoming traffic. When merging into traffic, do not attempt to merge if the driver behind you must slow down to let you in. You must, of course, yield the right of way to emergency vehicles and construction vehicles and workers, as well as to school buses during the instances we have already discussed.&quot; <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> This is the way I drive (or try to), but that crosswalk on Plymouth should be approached with caution by BOTH drivers and pedestrians.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

Maybe we shouldn't expect visitors to the city to follow more of our laws. Why stop with this? We should let them block our driveways on football Saturdays, urinate in the streets, and walk (but NEVER in a street!) where they want with sloshing cups of beer in hand.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

The disproportionate amount of venomous comments is shocking. I don't see anyone freaking out over Dexter and Brighton putting cross walk awareness signs in their downtowns. I find it helpful as a driver and pedestrian when there are education pieces clearly posted. Furthermore, you'd think a community that, justly so, condemns guys running over ducks and geese would be a little more thoughtful about the welfare of PEOPLE being struck and killed by cars.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:27 p.m.

@kdadnick, I don't see why it's hard for drivers to see pedestrians and stop for them. This is the culture of courtesy at Westgate mall and several other places I shop. That is exactly what Ann Arbor is trying to build here, isn't it? A culture of courtesy that won't gun it and honk at pedestrians trying to use a crosswalk (which is exactly what has happens to me when I use the crosswalk from Community to Kerry Town). So, is it difficult? No. Does it require thought? Yes. I don't think that is too much to ask.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

My guess is the comments that appear venomous are the result of frustration. I don't think there is ONE person commenting here that advocates running people over that are in a crosswalk. The issue to me is less a slowing for people and more for the explanation of a crosswalk. If you read the policy this &quot;law&quot; applies to crosswalks where there are no pedestrian signals or where the signals aren't properly working. (How is a driver supposed to know?) In addition a crosswalk does not have to be identified by markings in the street, but can be presumed if there are sidewalks on either side of the street leading to the street. The issue is that this is a short-sighted policy. OF COURSE we need to be courteous to pedestrians and aware of their presence but the city can't just take an idea and say it's policy with nothing to back it up. I will add that this &quot;law&quot; IS law in Connecticut....BUT for every crossing that it is applicable (those without pedestrian signals) there is signage saying drivers must stop for approaching pedestrians...and there are hash marks identifying the crossing areas. This applies not only to intersections, but the parking lot areas outside of store fronts. In turn, pedestrians are also ticketed for jay-walking when crossing roads at unmarked areas. There is just more to making new policy than looking at only a piece of the issue.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 11:51 a.m.

Okay, yeah. Morotists can &quot;wait.&quot; Motorists DO wait. For construction, for traffic LIGHTS, for pedestrians, for bikers. Sometimes for minutes, and sometimes for a lot longer. City-wide Power outage? No traffic signals? It can take up to an HOUR or more to get across town. It blows my mind that it doesn't seem to cross anybody's mind that a pedestrian can WAIT, too. My God, your urgency to CROSS and CROSS NOW, has somehow gone from an inflated sense of entitlement to an overblown &quot;safety&quot; issue. So, instead of improving communication between pedestrians &amp; drivers (i.e. stop lights, crossing signals---things that drivers know to look for), based on actual and IMPARTIAL studies, the wedge between the two gets driven further with politics and campaigns. Money that could be more effectively spent towards an actual &quot;resolution&quot; to this fabricated safety issue. But really, that's not what is wanted. It's better to create a vague law that is open to multiple interpretations, and enforce it at your discretion. Better yet, target the working population that has to drive in because they likely can't afford to live in A2. And it's a good bet they're not policymakers, either. So, no worries there. There's some good revenue to be made for the city, I would say, in these tickets. Not bad. Not ethical, but really, you can't say that the people at the top of the food chain got there because they were &quot;nice,&quot; or even transparent. But I'm glad to see that there is still a population that has time and money to wander aimlessly around town and in the streets...or wherever they darn well feel like wandering, at their discretion.

Sean Eldon

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 11:47 a.m.

As a city resident who loves walking through Ann Arbor, I think this new ordinance is long overdue and appreciate enforcement efforts by the city. This is a safety issue, plain and simple. Commenters suggesting that the police have better things to do seem unwilling to appreciate the danger of pedestrian-automobile collisions. There are numerous pedestrian-automobile collisions in Ann Arbor every year, and more than a few have resulted in fatalities. Preventing unnecessary deaths and injuries in our community should be priority number one for our police force.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 11:35 a.m.

This should be second nature to any driver, see a pedestrian at a cross walk waiting to cross? STOP! Doesn't matter who is behind you. Be polite to your fellow citizens and if you're from out of town, learn our customs. Thanks.

Steve Pepple

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 11:26 a.m.

A comment posted earlier that contained name-calling has been removed.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 10:50 a.m.

Wow add this to all the bicycles, which are technically moving vehicles, acting as pedestrians and it's a;most impossible to drive in Ann Arbor! Just another example of Ann Arbor - ten square miles surrounded by reality.

Ron Granger

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:58 p.m.

You find Ann Arbor's low speed limits and simple layout almost impossible? Time to give up the car and walk or bus. In the Netherlands 48% of trips are taken by bike or walking.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:26 a.m.

Hmmmm....the police have not been informed of this &quot;crackdown&quot; and besides that there is a rapist to catch. Good luck with this little agenda of yours Mayor Hijackie!


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:17 a.m.

One thing that needs to be addressed is bus stops at cross walks. A few times now I have stopped a bus stops only to have potential riders wave me on. We need to have some way to let drivers know the intention of people waiting at a spot that is both a crosswalk and a bus stop.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:32 a.m.

I havent had a problem with the law. It's usually easy to tell if someone intends to cross the street or not especially if one is looking ahead. If intentions are not apparent then I stop, check, and then go if it's's takes like 5 seconds.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:29 a.m.

The whole issue is the intent and spirit of this law. The question is what is the definition of intent of the pedestrian. I am for making it safe for pedestrians , but you have to do it in an intelligent way that doesn't make things worse. Why do we have crosswalk signs at street lights? To establish clear intent and right-of-way. There is no clear indication of what approaching actually is. Now I can see enforcement if this law is enforced at HAWK signs. It clearly establishes intent of the walker and makes the crossing safe for BOTH pedestrians and cars . For those who don't know, &quot;A HAWK beacon (High-Intensity Activated crossWalK beacon) is a traffic signal used to stop road traffic and allow pedestrians to cross safely. It is officially known as a &quot;pedestrian hybrid beacon&quot;. The purpose of a HAWK beacon is to allow protected pedestrian crossings, stopping road traffic only as needed.&quot; This is a poorly thought out law. If I ever got ticketed, I would definitely challenge it. It makes the issue worse than the original problem. Just throw up HAWK beacons at high pedestrian crossings. Problem solved. I mean at least from a logical standpoint. I mean signs and signals are only as good as the people who obey them.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:18 a.m.

Seems as though it wouldn't be a difficult ticket to challenge. All you would have to be able to do is to convince the judge that the pedestrian showed no clear indication of intent to cross. Whether they may have been waiting for a bus, or a ride, or their dog to take a dump, or their friend/child to catch up with them, if they were standing at a crosswalk without moving or signaling (as pedestrians do in some places by holding out their hand to indicate intent to cross), then it seems reasonable to argue that the pedestrian either showed no sign of intent to cross, or voluntarily rescinded their right of way. I guess the challenges to these tickets may prove to be interesting test cases.

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:17 a.m.

One seriously dangerous aspect to this is when a person is about to cross a street with two traffic lanes that go in the same direction. I have seen accidents where a car in the curb lane stops, but an approaching car in the next lane does not. Sometimes a pedestrian will not focus on the other lane assuming that traffic will stop too but it does create a very dangerous situation. In regard to local traffic ordinances this is just about the stupidest one I have ever heard of, mostly for the reason noted by amlive. No matter how many lawn signs that are put up, this will not be known to out of town drivers. If they want this they need to come up with stop lights like the one on W. Huron St. so that a pedestrian can push a button and get a red light. I have been in the A2 area for over 35 years, I have crossed all these intersections and never had to wait long to cross a street. The best and safest way is for a pedestrian to wait for traffic to clear. I wish the police officer's union would take a stand and come out against this.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4 a.m.

Perhaps at the same time they are educating us about crosswalks, the city can distribute instructions for drivers on the proper way to enter our lovely new traffic circles. I had no idea that so many people think &quot;Yield&quot; means &quot;Stop&quot;. I have been driving a long time under the assumption that &quot;Yield&quot; meant to give another driver the right of way, and stop if necessary. Guess I need to go back to driving school.

Brian M.

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

This is just going to make people angry. Pedestrians will quadruple check to make sure the driver actually stopped and this will just lead to very slow crossings. Instead, pedestrians could just cross the street in a break in traffic like human beings. I'm glad I'm moving. This would jack the ol' blood pressure.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:30 a.m.

Yes, another reason to nix this law - it wastes gas. Why don't we think up a few more ways to impede the flow of traffic and raise our collective carbon footprint.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:19 a.m.

Can't wait 10 seconds while you sit comfortably, burning gasoline and listening to the radio? You won't be missed

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:20 a.m.

Disappointing use of taxpayer money and effort on the part of the police. Looks like they're trying their hardest to prove we haven't laid off enough of them. Can't even be troubled to catch a serial rapist, but they want to focus on a law that actually endangers more than it aids.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:43 a.m.

I'm not clear if by &quot;they&quot; you were referring to the police force or city council, but I highly doubt that the police are too thrilled about this. It wasn't the police's decision to put this law in place, but the city council. I'm guessing most cops aren't too happy about having to devote much time to this, but rather that they probably see this as just a new white elephant they'd rather not be burdened with when they are already stretched so thin.

Cable Chef

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:40 a.m.

It would be cheaper and more logical to teach pedestrians not to walk into traffic. It's how I was raised. Cross at crosswalks and only when there isn't any oncoming traffic. Oh and look both ways before you cross :)

Cable Chef

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 7:30 a.m.

No, I didn't miss the point. I just don't happen to agree with a law that is nothing more than a money grab by the local government. It has absolutely ZERO to do with public safety. But that's ok, when I get my $100 ticket and possible 2 points, I'll fight it and win based on the grounds that I do NOT live within city limits and that you cannot punish me for not knowing YOUR laws.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:22 a.m.

You miss the point of crosswalks. If there if a crosswalk with no lights for the driver, then the pedestrian has the right of way no matter the level of vehicle traffic. Go back and read the law.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:35 a.m.

You'd think that stopping for a pedestrian would be the most painful thing anyone had ever done! Really, I've been to other towns where cars stop for people in crosswalks. Once you see someone else doing it, you catch on quickly. I'm sure that people visiting Ann Arbor will catch on quickly too. Every time I stand at a crosswalk and watch cars go by, I wonder what the point of a crosswalk is if nobody stops? That being said, streets like Plymouth might not be an ideal place for a crosswalk alone, and a HAWK light would be best.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 11:06 a.m.

Actually, the ordinance says, &quot;When traffic-control signals are not in place or are not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop and yield the right-of-way to every pedestrian approaching or within a crosswalk.&quot; So, traffic does not have to stop if you have a green light and a pedestrian is waiting to cross. While we're at it, the town also needs an education on the fact that if you are turning right or left at a green light, and a pedestrian is trying to cross the street you are turning onto, the pedestrian has the right of way. I don't know how many times I've had to wait while I had a &quot;walk&quot; sign because cars are turning onto the road I'm trying to cross.

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:20 a.m.

That is not the point. Traffic is supposed to flow properly for safety and to keep traffic from backing up. It appears traffic may have to stop even if you have a green light if there is a pedestrian waiting to cross. And I believe you also can get a ticket for not stopping for a pedestrian who is approaching a crosswalk.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:09 a.m.

That video slash diatribe was the funniest thing I have seen all day. Reminded me of <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:52 p.m.

I totally saw his visceral sense of fear before he got hit by the turtle.

Trevor Staples

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:09 a.m.

This is the best thing to happen to Ann Arbor in a long, long time. Even at well-marked crosswalks (like the one at Liberty &amp; Crest), drivers do not stop for those trying to cross, even when the pedestrians are half way across the street. Cities like Traverse City seem to have no problem with the local laws saying traffic must yield to pedestrians. Looks like most commenters here feel that Ann Arbor drivers are not capable of understanding simple traffic ordinances. I look forward to rude and/or inattentive drivers getting tickets for breaking this law. There is absolutely no rationale for thinking this is a bad idea. The myth that crowds of people will be lining the sides of the roads confusing drivers who then cause terrible accidents from slamming on their breaks is ridiculous. However, if you think that this law is unjust, I suggest you take the time to let your council members know. You could go before city council and tell them how you feel about the law, just like many people in our community (me included) did to let them know that we support laws like this. Complaining on a blog isn't going to sway any council votes. Get off your duff and make a difference for your community, or let the people who actually care enough to act make the decisions for you.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

Thank you, Trevor, for being a voice of reason in a sea of crazy.

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:23 a.m.

Another good point by amlive. Michigan state law already covers this, traffic must yield to a pedestrian crossing the street. Not waiting to cross the street. Local law should not conflict with state law.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:02 a.m.

It's not that I think Ann Arbor drivers are incapable of learning or that the law is unjust, but that it is dangerously optimistic and poorly planned. Even if a driver clearly sees a pedestrian, there are many visual intuitive clues that informally guide traffic. The pedestrian is not going to enter the crosswalk if a car is approaching. If a driver sees a person standing but not walking, and there is no clear signage to indicate the driver should stop, this intuitively signals to the driver that the pedestrian is yielding right of way to them. Chicken or the egg, Larry Moe and Curly. Pedestrian won't walk unless the driver stops, driver won't stop unless the pedestrian walks. But let's say that we can train all the Ann Arbor drivers, and just as importantly train the pedestrians. How many drivers do you think drive around this town every day who are not from here though, and unless they read will have no idea of this law. The University, the hospital, theaters, festivals, shopping and dining, sporting events - Are you going to walk in to the street with full confidence that every driver approaching is fully familiar with this law? Probably not, therefore you stop, therefore the driver sees you stopping and yielding, therefore they go. Quite simply, pedestrians have to be cautious, and will always yield to a moving vehicle whether they have legal obligation to do so or not. Combine this with low visibility crosswalks near hills or curves, pedestrians who's intentions or direction may be unclear, and out of town drivers who may not be trained to our rules, and you end up with a lot of room for confusion. I'm a pedestrian far more than I am a driver. For me, I will not try enter a crosswalk unless the traffic has clear and universally understandable command to stop. If the road I'm walking along has a stop sign and the cross road doesn't, then I will not expect cross traffic to yield and I will wait for a clearing before crossing, just as a driver would.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:51 a.m.

&quot;I lobbied my city council for pedestrian safety, and all I got was this lousy yard sign.&quot; The law is not &quot;unjust&quot;. The law is an excuse to avoid having to actually do something that would improve pedestrian crossing safety. It allows the council to say &quot;Mission Accomplished&quot;, and walk away from the issue without spending any money or effort.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:10 a.m.

If you can't cross safely on your own at Liberty and Crest, you should have your shoes taken away. Seriously. There are far better examples of streets dangerous to cross than that.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 1:08 a.m.

Just another reason to not go downtown and spend my money outside the city! Avoid anywhere near the diag. Traffic is bad enough already and if you have to yield to every pedestrian in the fall, you will never be able to move.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

You're right! You should go to Dexter and Brighton where there are clear signs prompting drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Doh! Perhaps you can begin a quest to find a town that accepts drivers that can't be bothered to consider the needs of puny pedestrians?

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:56 a.m.

I see a lot of rear end crashes ahead!


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:49 a.m.

&quot;The city is currently working on crosswalk definition guidelines&quot; Then the city put the cart before the horse on this one, by passing an ordinance and &quot;cracking down&quot; on enforcement before they defined the terms. I want to do the right thing, and believe that most drivers do, but it's impossible to know what the right thing is, without some info and education. Is this just the zebra striped crosswalks, and those with posted signs? Are pedestrians to give some sort of indication or signal that they are going to cross (vs waiting for the bus?) That would be reasonable. If there isn't traffic behind you and the pedestrian can cross right after you go by, should you still stop? That seems kind of stupid, but, is that the law? In my neighborhood, there are multiple crosswalks (official?) across Madison in a two block stretch. Some have signs and zebras, some are single lines marking an area. I'm stopping for people who angrily wave me on because they are waiting for the bus. Note: A person who is looking down the road for the bus looks a lot like a person who is looking for a clear space in traffic to cross. I'm stopping while other drivers are honking and flipping me off. They say Ignorance of the law is no excuse. I'm just wondering if there is anybody, including the lawmakers, who truly knows this law. If so, please publish some guidelines. Ditto for the new bike lanes between parking and car lanes. Catherine has so many layers of markings painted and overpainted, who knows what's going on there. Somebody is going to die while they experiment with lane lines. If only there were a widely read printed news, the city could put in a supplement with some diagrams.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:36 a.m.

Oh my. Never in all the places I've traveled have I witnessed such dumb and dangerous pedestrian and driving behaviors and that are tolerated in Ann Arbor. People jaywalk everywhere around campus- thoughtlessly expecting a moving car to be able to stop in the middle of the street (between crosswalks) when they blindly step off a curb into the road without so much as a glance up at moving traffic! Really, why bother with crosswalks when you can just pop out mid-street from between parked cars ? WHY is this allowed here? Drivers all over Ann Arbor during rush hour block entire intersections creating solid gridlock and road rage for those other drivers who legally have a green light; WHY this is allowed here? Ann Arbor, if you want to generate lots of easy money, raise the penalty fine, make and post a few 'DO NOT BLOCK INTERSECTION' signs (start with Main st at William and Liberty, and also State st from Liberty to Hill st), and don't lay off our fine officers in blue (who I believe do not deserve what you're doing to them), but instead place a few on foot AT these gas and time -wasting gridlocked intersections to cite those intersection blockers on the spot -one right after the other.... $cha ching$. Also, except for football Saturdays, cite the jaywalkers all around campus -Jaywalking IS still a law, isn't it? And the city owns the streets, doesn't it?.....$ cha ching cha ching cha ching$ Really Ann Arbor, money for this city is waiting right in front of you &amp; you still do NOTHING.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:15 a.m.

Pedestrians can cross anywhere, anytime here in Ann Arbor, so long as they are not impeding traffic. Actually seems reasonable to me, as if there are no cars coming and I am between distant crosswalks, I think it's ridiculous that I could be ticketed for making a choice to cross a street with no traffic. Only problem is, they don't ticket people when they DO impede traffic by crossing right in front of cars or when there is traffic present. I truly wish they would sometimes.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:16 a.m.

Actually, jaywalking in Ann Arbor is not an offense. Though it surely ought to be.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:16 a.m.

This is so confusing. Contributing to the problem are the many &quot;view blocking SUV's&quot; driven in Ann Arbor that block out crosswalks and pedestrians alike. The approach aspect is really baffling with cross walks in the middle of busy streets where the pedistrian can make a quick left or right into a crosswalk as well as continue straight. Are we drivers supposed to be mind readers? Isn't that why vehicles are required to &quot;signal&quot; a right or left turn, and only consumate the turn when safe to do so? Can we expect the same from a pedestrian approaching a mutiple choice direction as they approach a crosswalk? I'm confused. Others are confused. Out of towners going to the U of M for treatment will be completely unaware. This is a bad law. Bad laws do no good. This law endangers both drivers and pedestrians and needs to be revoked. How can citizens revoke a bad law? Let's get this done and go back to the preferred state law.

Elle Weathers

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:11 a.m.

Dear Readers, The Government is just trying to find different ways to squeeze us. Did anyone even watch the video? I was told growing up that you had to look both ways before you crossed the street any way. Now as far as the blind lady goes, that was a little cold blooded... If they are going to start handing out $100 tickets and putting points on our licenses, then insurance costs more. You may have to pay a driver's responsibility fees. Maybe have to take a class on safe driving for crosswalks and you will have to pay for it. I had no idea I was supposed to stop at a crosswalk. Call me uneducated, ignorant, whatever. I didn't know and I am sure I am not the only one. I didn't even take driver's ed. I got my license when I was 18 paid 15 bucks, took a written test, missed 4 out of 20, they drove me around the block and I passes. Granted this was in Georgia, but when you turn 18 you can just pay $15 dollars cruise through the written exam and now you have people who don't know nit picky laws out driving innocently. Everything is about money. Everything.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:28 a.m.

I think that's the point Elle. You don't have to stop at a crosswalk, you have to yield to a pedestrian already in the crosswalk. That's what makes this so absurd.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:06 a.m.

&quot;Now Ann Arbor Police will begin targeted enforcement of the ordinance next month. They will hand out warnings in September, and tickets in October to drivers who do not stop for pedestrians waiting to cross the street.&quot; This is what the AAPD is going to be focusing on in September and November? Priorities, priorities. Isn't there a serial rapist on the loose in Ann Arbor? I mean, I ride a bike and walk around the city a lot, but I really don't think a stupid law about crosswalks will make A2 safer. Catching a serial rapist, on the other hand... that WILL make A2 safer.

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:28 a.m.

And for a city that is so intent on being &quot;green&quot; this ordinance, which will cause more slowing, stopping and resuming will burn up more carbon producing gas.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:11 a.m.

Additionally, putting crosswalks across busy roads where the speed limit is 35+ mph is crazy. If the city really cared about saving lives (instead of handing out tickets), they would install pedestrian footbridges over or under the roads. This may not be possible for every road, but it's ridiculous that Plymouth Road does not have footbridges.

Josh Skodack

Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 11:55 p.m.

What we need is an IQ test as a requirement for a license. Too many barely conscious idiots have licenses to drive. As I was running yesterday I stopped at the corner Stone School and Eisenhower and waited for the pedestrian sign to change to walk. While I was running through the intersection when I had the right of way, a moron in a black BMW SUV blows through the red light going at least 45-50 mph and almost hits me. Next time I am carrying a rock to throw at the next moron who either blows through the red or tries to run me off the road when I am running in the bike lane.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:34 p.m.

It's the Ann Arbor way! Pedestrians are not afraid of cars and cars are not afraid to run over pedestrians. I will write out your license plate number in my blood as I lie there. Glad they missed you! Even as a driver I am appalled and terrified by the actions of my fellow motorists. It's scary to drive let alone walk across a road.

Robot Charles

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:14 p.m.

This happens to me also. But the car is too far way by the time I can throw the rock.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

Sorry to hear this, Josh! I'm glad you're OK.

Josh Skodack

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:37 a.m.

I know alan. I just like to complain about moronic drivers.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:07 a.m.

But you're talking about a completely different issue. You had a signal.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 11:55 p.m.

Ok, wait a minute....isn't there a SERIAL RAPIST on the loose in Ann Arbor? \


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

Don't even THINK of posting these yard signs in the Old West Side Historic District, which would be non-conforming and cost you a $500 fine.

Sandy Quinn

Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 11:28 p.m.

I have been watching more closely for pedestrians crossing since I heard about this regulation. But I have discovered that it is almost impossible to detect crosswalks that aren't marked by the yellow sign, if I'm going more than 35 MPH. I am already watching for bikes and people walking on the road. Cross walks on higher-speed roads like Stadium don't make sense.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

How about bikers that drive down busy / fast roads and take up an entire lane of traffic ? When will THEY be ticketed ?


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

Good replies. The answer is that bikers will never be ticketed for this. Perhaps you will be ticketed someday for following too close to them, however. BIKES AND PEDESTRIANS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 1:30 a.m.

Snapshot - by Michigan law &quot;A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable&quot;. Given the poor condition of many of our roads, and the terrible cracks and potholes often heaviest toward the right shoulder, there are many roads where &quot;as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable&quot; can indeed be near the center of the lane. I'm sure there is the occasional cyclist who does hog the middle of the lane, which they are indeed not supposed to do. I find this quite rare however, and the vast majority of times when I see a cyclist near the middle of a lane, it is simply because poor road conditions leave them little other option.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:21 a.m.

A bicycle has the &quot;right&quot; to ride in the middle of a road lane? That's new to me. Is that a &quot;local&quot; law also?


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 11:37 p.m.

They actually have the right to that lane by law.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 11:23 p.m.

Let me try to understand this, the City of Ann Arbor lays off police officers and now expects the ones that are left to enforce an ordinance that is by it's very nature unsafe. So what do the woman in this town have to do to feel safe, oh I know, stay near a pedestrian crossing so even if you are attacked there will be a cop nearby to take the report, maybe.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:23 a.m.

Perhaps they will catch the rapist if he uses a car to get close to his prey, and prevents her from using a crosswalk.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 10:59 p.m.

I don't have a big problem stopping if I am sure that someone is indeed wanting to cross. But when I get hit in the back end at 35 + MPH and get whiplash and have to deal with all the aggravations of having my truck fixed, my next move will be to sic Jeffery Fieger on the Mayor, council, and the entire city of Ann Arbor. I'll even tell Jeff he can keep all he gets, just get them to stop protecting everyone from everything.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:13 a.m.

Right on.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 10:55 p.m.

&quot;Now Ann Arbor Police will begin targeted enforcement of the ordinance next month. They will hand out warnings in September, and tickets in October to drivers who do not stop for pedestrians waiting to cross the street.&quot; Ben: The ordinance is actually if someone approaches the crosswalk. Will the police be gving tickets based on people approaching a crosswalk or, as you wrote, if the pedestrian is actually waiting to cross? Did the police say how long the pedestrian would need to be waiting? Will the police check with the pedestrian to make sure they actually wanted to cross the street?


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

This rule strikes me as an attempt by City Council to try to do something that appears to support pedestrians, without any concern for its efficacy or an increase in pedestrian safety. If this is truly a safety concern, an effective way to safeguard pedestrian crossing would be to install a crosswalk signal (surprise!). Drivers from anywhere know what to do when they see a red light - they stop (surprise again!). If and where they are truly required for safety (e.g., a school), any responsible city would install them. Apparently, City Council believes that city funds are better spent for other &quot;investments&quot;. For AA's pedestrians, City Council is willing find the spare change to put up some temporary yard signs, a foot off the ground. No motorist who doesn't already know about AA's ordinance would think these are actual traffic signs or bother to read them. It is clear the City Council's priorities do not include safe crossing for pedestrians. The net effect of this law is to make crossing more dangerous for pedestrians, more dangerous for motorists (who are going to get rear ended), and to redirect money that (apparently) should be used for pedestrian safety for other priorities the City Council majority feels are more pressing. Hopefully pedestrian, motorist, and cyclist voters are taking notice.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

I fear for the lives of pedestrians at the Washtenaw &quot;crosswalk&quot; near the rec center. The speed limit there is 45 mph and the lane of traffic further from the pedestrian has no idea why the near lane is stopping. Drivers in the far lane just keep on going. At 45 mph it's often hard for the person behind the car which has stopped to realize he/she needs to stop, since there is no reason for him/her to suspect that there is a pedestrian crossing there. Madness!


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

That is simply an insane place for an uncontrolled (no lights) crosswalk. It's wishful thinking that will get a pedestrian run over, a motorist rear-ended, or both. It's one step short of putting a crosswalk across I-94.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

A good place to start the ticketing would be with the city buses. I've seen motorists stop at crosswalks for pedestrians (admittedly, not many). On the other hand, I've NEVER seen a city bus stop for a pedestrian. The other day I actually saw a bus slow down because he (or she) thought the pedestrian was waiting to board the bus. As soon as the bus driver realizes that its only a pedestrian waiting to cross, he guns the engine &amp; accelerates through the cross walk. If its too complex to teach and expect people who drive all day long for a living to follow this rule, its too complex to teach the average motorist (many of whom are not residents of Ann Arbor and have no insight into quirky local ordinances).

Tom Joad

Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 10:13 p.m.

Ticket into submission. Right now it's a rare car who will stop while waiting at a clearly marked crosswalk.

Cathy Knox

Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 10:10 p.m.

The pedestrian crossing signs such as the ones on the newly paved portion of Stadium Blvd. are obvious . They should be placed at all pedestrian crosswalks where vehicles are expected to stop for pedestrians


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

So am I supposed to stop and ask every pedestrian if they are actually waiting to cross the street as opposed to waiting for a bus, chatting on the phone, talking to a friend, deciding which way they might go, or maybe just stepping onto the public sidewalk for a smoke? I really don't think that this one will stand up to a court challenge. State law and common sense both say that you must yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, not make a judgment about whether they might like to step into it.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

Please note that there are similar laws in states around the nation, from CA to CO to CT (and probably some that don't start with &quot;c&quot;) and motorists there manage to do what you describe just fine for the most part. When in doubt, erring on the side of safety probably has a lot to do with it.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:52 p.m.

Is it possible to challenge this idiocy in court, and have it overturned?! Any lawyers out there?!


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

Pedestrians should have to activate a traffic signal. Those traffic signals can be installed at all the crosswalks. If someone is severely injured or killed will it really matter if the driver is at fault? There will not be an outcry because, afterall, it's not like people are ducks.

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:31 a.m.

Oh, but that would cost the city money.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:45 p.m.

The enforcement of idiotic laws like this one are the only reason I would ever consider leaving Ann Arbor completely. It's already insanely difficult to drive in the city because of pedestrians and bikers, and now you want to ticket us $100.00 and give us 2 points on our license if we don't stop when a pedestrian APPROACHES a crosswalk? Ridiculous! Get real Ann Arbor. Laws like this make a city that is already very difficult to drive in nearly impossible. If you enforce this law you are truly out of touch with reality.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:42 p.m.

Whatever happened to crossing at a cross walk? Are Americans too overweight to walk to a crosswalk anymore. Forcing drivers to stop and interrupt traffic flow seems like a waste of time. It is a good strategy to increase revenue since the parking revenue doesn't seem to be keeping up with spending.

Robot Charles

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

One of the points of the article is for pedestrians and car drivers to know what a designated crosswalk is.

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:34 a.m.

I have walked across Plymouth Rd several times. There is no need to force traffic to stop. And you do not have to wait an unreasonable time to do so. Next time I have to cross Plymouth Rd, if I am not near a corner I am not going to walk to a cross walk either.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

On Plymouth Rd, there are long stretches between full intersection but there exists a need to cross in an area where there were no crosswalks. Thankfully, the city has installed crosswalks between these intersections. If appropriate signage was installed to inform drivers of the pedestrian's right of way, drives would begin to yield at these crosswalks.

Ron Granger

Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:35 p.m.

Excellent! Too many pedestrians are needlessly killed by motorists with an inflated sense of entitlement, in a hurry to stuff some fast food in their face, buy a lottery ticket, or some similarly absurd &quot;reason&quot;. Roads were built for pedestrians and horses. Then there were bicycles. Cars came along much later.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

If I take what you are saying with sarcasm, I get it! SIDEWALKS are for pedestrians. We do have to &quot;share&quot; the road with bikes, but sometimes I even wonder if the cyclist even KNOW how to use a road. Too many times I have them running out in front of me, not signaling if they are turning left or right. I think they should go back using the sidewalk. I also think you need to remember what century this is. 21st not 19th. Roads have evolved to fit different purposes. I think it's time you did too. Good grief.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

Well guess what, its the cars that pay for the roads through registration fees and gas taxes. Pedestrians, horses and bicycles are just freeloaders of the road system.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:27 a.m.

My neighborhood was built 50 years after the invention of a certain machine. Therefor all laws should serve to benefit said machine. All bow before the mighty aforementioned machine.

L. C. Burgundy

Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

Uh, hmm, I live in a subdivision area that was built in the 60's. I'm pretty sure the roads were built primarily for cars... I'm really excited to see how many rear-ending accidents occur on streets with crosswalks where the speed is signed 45.

Rob Skrobola

Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:42 p.m.

I'm sorry, but did you just imply that there is really no good reason for anyone to be driving a car? Thank you for clearing up the question of &quot;Who in the world thinks this is a good idea, and what is their thinking&quot;. It's people like you, who have decided they get to judge the motivation of other people in driving their own vehicle, and reflect that judgment in public policy. Rob


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:40 p.m.

Cars rule the roads - many more of them than there will ever be bikeys or stupid peds!


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:35 p.m.

How do you fix this? Well, first you could lobby to have it made a state law, giving at least a bit more chance that more people will know about it. Second, make the signage more intuitive. I'm still not sure entirely how it's supposed to work myself. Am I supposed to yield to pedestrians anywhere there are straight white lines showing a pedestrian lane, or only if it has the dashed wide lines and/or pedestrian crossing signs. How about this - does anyone working with the city know what sign shapes are supposed to stand for??? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Last I knew, the diamond signs used at most pedestrian crossings are CAUTION or warning signs. This is not the same as the all familiar inverted triangle which most every driver clearly understands to mean YIELD. If you want people to yield, use a freaking yield sign. A yield triangle, with the pedestrian image, and the word &quot;YIELD&quot; printed clearly on it. The diamond sign is what's used for deer crossing areas, construction zones or fallen rock areas, which means proceed cautiously and be prepared to yield when necessary, which does not carry quite the same meaning as the familiar triangle yield shape. And of course where there is significant traffic, the pushbutton electric signals should be installed such as the one at Huron and Third. Really, there's nothing wrong with giving pedestrians the right of way. There is something wrong with the way the rules are executed if it is not made clear and intuitive to ALL drivers, regardless of where they come from. If you want to make this a rule to Ann Arbor, fine. Just don't expect to put it on the books, educate the residents, and expect everyone who drives through this town to follow it. That's just plain foolish, and arguably negligent in that it may encourage a false confidence in pedestrians to cross when there will inevitably be strong chance that some drivers will not always stop.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

The law as it is currently written seems to me, as a pedestrian, to be more dangerous than the state law and it will become even more dangerous if enough local people begin to comply with it. I've already seen people nearly get hit on a four lane road when one car stops in the right lane for the pedestrian but blocks the view of said pedestrian from anyone in the left lane. The pedestrian just assumes it is safe and crosses the road but the driver in the left lane can't see them and in the case of a crosswalk not clearly marked, has no idea why the car in the right lane is stopped. The stopped car also blocks the view of the pedestrian of the left lane. It is a recipe for disaster. This kind of law could work but not with they way we currently define crosswalks.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

Steve - that jab was a bit dense. Sorry I didn't spell it out in more detail beyond my already long-winded posts, but I assumed most would read this with the context of the local ordinance in mind, specifically in how it differs from state law. Let me phrase it differently - in a residential neighborhood of all stop signs and no special pedestrian signs or signals, are driver supposed to yield any time a pedestrian approaches a corner regardless of which direction of traffic normally has right of way, or does is this ordinance supposed to apply only to specially and clearly marked crossings? If we're talking about a clearly marked crossing with signs indicating to yield, that's one thing. If I'm walking across Summit, or Forest, or Madison, or any other well travelled side street which does not have stop or yield signs, I'm not going to be expecting drivers to stop when I walk up to the corner. How often do you stop in cases like this when there is someone like myself is standing at the corner waiting for traffic to clear before we cross? As I said, I've lived in Michigan 35 years, crossed a lot of streets in that time, and can't recall many (if any) times I've seen drivers stop to yield to the pedestrian going in the direction that has a stop sign. And I really don't get the &quot;just stop and slow down, relax man, enjoy life&quot; (read in Tommy Chong's voice) comments that I've read. This isn't about being in a hurry - it's about safety, and making sure traffic regulations are either intuitive, clearly marked, or universally trained among all drivers. I'm arguing more as a pedestrian than a driver here - I am the one saying I should wait when crossing traffic normally has right of way, and cross only when clear. I'm certainly not the one in any hurry here, just one with some common sense about safety and about how the driver/pedestrian relationship typically works.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:10 a.m.

&quot;Am I supposed to yield to pedestrians anywhere there are straight white lines showing a pedestrian lane...&quot; YES. Where did you get your driver's license? Good Lord. Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege. It's a luxury. Think of it that way and maybe you'll be more relaxed.

Joe Kidd

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:35 a.m.

I would prefer lobbying for a state law that prevents local units of government from passing laws that conflict with state law.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:33 p.m.

It's too bad more pedestrians aren't smart enough to cross a street without traffic completing stopping and waiting for them. It's really not this difficult and this enforcement goes against the logic behind the law. You can't outlaw dangerous driving/crossing because people are scared for a person to make a judgement call, but me going down state street by Angell Hall while someone is still on the sidewalk, it's absurd for me to stop. The person wouldn't be able to dive in front of my car and make it in time.....


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 9:21 a.m.

i feel the same as a pedestrian, the pedestrian can shift better and with less gas consumed total....


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:24 a.m.

Typical entitled driver. If there is a crosswalk with no alternating signage, the pedestrian has the right of way. You just sit there, change the station and relax.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

First off - making traffic laws peculiar to a local community SIMPLY WILL NOT WORK, or will not work reliably or effectively anyhow. Do you think that as a pedestrian I will ever assume that every driver is educated on this local inside-the-Ann-Arbor-bubble traffic law? Do you think I'm going to teach my daughter that she has the right of way, that she should execute it with confidence, and just go because drivers will always stop? No, of course not. That would be stupid, negligent as a parent, and suicidal for myself. If it's a local law, there will always be people who don't know, regardless of how much you want to educate or enforce the law. So what happens now? Well, any pedestrian with the desire to live is going to stop when they should theoretically have right of way. What happens when a motorist sees a pedestrian yielding? Well, they are going to assume they are being granted right of way, or that the pedestrian is waiting for a bus, and keep on driving through. At best, this is going to create endless scenarios of the 3 stooges at a 4-way stop. &quot;You go&quot;, &quot;no you go&quot;, etc. At worst, it could result in some very dangerous situations for both pedestrians and drivers. And of course with a four lane road this could result in some very long and awkward moments of some stopping, other not stopping, therefore the pedestrian not crossing, therefore the drivers being waved on by pedestrians, or going through because the pedestrian isn't crossing even if they do stop. It's a ridiculous, and potentially dangerous traffic law.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:52 a.m.

You may have misjudged me Steve. I walk far more miles than I drive in this city. I have lived in Michigan for 35 years, and feel I am simply being pragmatic. The idea is good, but the execution of it is not. I assert myself quite well in most situations, but when that situation involves me against 2 tons of steel, survival instincts bring pause to priority over ideals and rights. Fact is, this pause of mine serves as a very natural human communication to the operator of the steel weapon to say &quot;no, you go first&quot;. It is in this natural pause that the flaw in the idealistic ordinance lies. It is here where ambiguity and confusion is naturally introduced, which in my opinion is a perfect recipe for danger. As a driver who is aware of these rules, I will certainly continue to comply by them (which has already provided for some awkward moments where both pedestrians and other drivers seem confused). As a pedestrian however, I will continue to abide by the same rules as drivers when at an intersection with a stop sign in one direction, and right of way in the other. If my direction has a stop sign where the other doesn't, I will yield to crossing traffic. It just seems common and safe sense to me. In places where the city proceeds to place proper yield signage for pedestrian crossings then I may be a bit more confident in my crossings, but until then I will err on the side of personal safety (which will no doubt lead to further confusion and congestion).


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:05 a.m.

Peculiar? Where did you get you license? Pedestrians always have the right of way in every State I've been to. It may be due to my height but when I want to cross Plymouth I just walk out, raise my hand to the on-coming driver and carry on. Drivers don't want to hit me just as much (if not more) than I don't wan to be hit. I assert myself in every situation, not just crossing the road. If you are confident people see you and respond accordingly. Would I send a child across alone? No, of Course not. Do I encourage adults to exercise their legal rights and follow the law? Yes. Here is a rule of thumb: if you are moving while doing one of the following: 1) sitting 2) running the AC 3) burning Dino juice You can afford a few seconds for the people who power their own locomotion. Everyone needs to relax, slow down and enjoy life.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:28 p.m.

Yard signs - are you kidding me? I am sure there are better ways to spend tax dollar money. What about the distraction of reading yard signs instead of paying attention to the road? So, handing out a warning first - seems like the city could use the money and just hand out tickets. Will I get a warning next time I am stopped for speeding??? The impression is that people need to be 'eased in' to the idea of stopping for pedestrians - surely the city can't imagine we drivers are that 'slow' to learn.


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:45 p.m.

Are you really sure there are better ways to spend tax dollars. Politicians know best what is good for us and how to spend OUR money. Keep writing you checks and watch for your yard sign


Thu, Aug 4, 2011 : 9:24 p.m.

Typical Ann Arbor attitude, having the police ticket, while more pressing things are happening, i.e. the recent attacks....maybe the city council will have the police mow the green belt too....make it look so beautiful for.............................nothing......

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:25 a.m.

This is what happens when you don't have competitive elections for city council. You get representatives who are completely out of touch with the community.