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Posted on Thu, May 2, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

New pedestrian crossing aims to improve safety on Huron Street in Ann Arbor

By Amy Biolchini

Editor's note: A sentence was edited for redundancy at 9:40 a.m.

The City of Ann Arbor is beginning construction this week on a pedestrian refuge island aimed at improving safety in a high-traffic area of East Huron Street where people frequently dart across the road on foot.

The refuge island will be installed on East Huron Street between Thayer and Ingalls . It's an area where pedestrians frequently cross from the University of Michigan’s campus on the south side of the street to the neighborhood on the north side of the street.

“It’s a safety improvement,” said Kari Arend, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation. “We determined the location (of the pedestrian island) based on a pedestrian count.”

Two lanes of East Huron Street between Glen Avenue and State Street will be closed from Wednesday until May 16 for the work.

The city had initially sought to install a pedestrian island in the area in 2008 after one pedestrian died and another was injured when struck by a car at Fletcher and Huron streets Dec. 11, 2007. The project didn't go forward because of funding issues, but a traffic signal is in place at that intersection now.

Concerns about pedestrian safety in the area as well as the opening of U-M's North Quad at the corner of State and Huron streets prompted the city to go ahead with the island project now, said Pat Cawley, project manager for the City of Ann Arbor.

“The hope is it will provide a small additional margin of safety to have a refuge island in the middle of the block should an individual find traffic to be too heavy as they’re crossing,” said Jim Kosteva, director of community relations for U-M.

The refuge island will align with a walkway on U-M’s campus to help direct pedestrians to the island, Cawley said.

“We were trying to match up with what’s on campus to have that system direct them to where the island is,” Cawley said, though he acknowledged it may not work if people ignore it. “I don’t think we’re going to get 100 percent of the students crossing there.”

Pedestrians typically cross Huron Street at Thayer, midway between Thayer and Ingalls or at Ingalls, Cawley said.

“The goal is to try to encourage folks to cross at the island,” Cawley said. “This has been a long time in development.”

The $6,400 construction project will be mostly funded through the Michigan Department of Transportation using federal dollars, as Huron Street is a state-owned route. About $600 of local match dollars will be required for the project.

050113_Huron-street-crossing.jpg

A pedestrian walks across East Huron Street at Thayer Street Wednesday in Ann Arbor through construction barrels set up for the work. Many pedestrians cross the busy street at that spot, though there is no crosswalk. A pedestrian island will be installed there this month.

Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com

Beginning Wednesday, one lane of East Huron Street in each direction will be closed until May 16. The outside lanes will be closed first and then the interior lanes will be closed later in the project.

East Huron Street will have to be widened about 3 or 4 feet on each side to allow traffic to flow around the pedestrian refuge island, Cawley said.

A pedestrian crosswalk in place at Ingalls and Huron streets will be removed after the new island is installed.

The new pedestrian crossing will be marked with static signs, Cawley said. Additional notification messages for drivers could be considered in the future, Cawley said.

The installation project for the island is on a set schedule and needs to be completed by May 16, Cawley said.

That means the project will be going on during U-M commencement activities this weekend.

“We’re fortunate that during the weekend we will have reduced traffic to begin with,” Kosteva said.

Traffic on graduation weekend typically flows from north to south and not east to west, Kosteva said. The lane restriction may mean that drivers on Huron Street will be sitting through one to two additional traffic light cycles as they travel from east to west, Kosteva said.

“I don’t think it will be that detrimental of an effect,” Kosteva said.

There is a possibility that the closed eastbound lane could be opened for graduation weekend, Kosteva said. That determination will be made later in the week based on the progress of the construction, Kosteva said.


View Pedestrian island construction in a larger map

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at (734) 623-2552, amybiolchini@annarbor.com or on Twitter.

Comments

Joe Hood

Fri, May 3, 2013 : 11:23 p.m.

Seems like the pedestrian traffic level is too high for a four lane road there. Wouldn't that be a good place for a road diet?

Ignatz

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 7:02 p.m.

Good luck with encouraging folks to cross at the island. I routinely see people cross Fuller during rush hour not 50' from the vaunted official crossings. Way too many people are way to lazy to use what's there for them for safety's sake.

Scott Reed

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 6:55 p.m.

This is great work. But Huron is still way too wide in the downtown area; it should be reduced to three or two lanes. Car people will be enraged by this, but I think it would be even better to have stop signs or speed bumps - anything to make driving through the downtown slower and more painful will benefit pedestrians and the people who actually live near downtown. People who commute in from the asteroid belt and beyond are a lesser concern; in fact they are really a burden because they force city services to be distributed over a wider geographical area. Taxes should be much higher for houses in low-density sprawl areas.

CynicA2

Fri, May 3, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Communist! Move to North Korea.

jcj

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 10:31 p.m.

@Scott While I am sure it is a major burden for you to walk 1/2 block to cross the street, most any 10 year old can handle it. And when we are talking about downtown it is NEVER more than 1/2 block to the next traffic signal with a cross walk. So there is no need to narrow the road unless you insist on crossing in the middle of the block.

Tex Treeder

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 5:31 p.m.

People are going to make poor decisions about where to cross the road regardless of how many extra crosswalks are built. I commute via Plymouth Road, and I see people crossing Plymouth 40 or 50 feet from the super-duper-flashing-warning-light crosswalks all the time, especially near the mall with Kroger and across from some church or something just down the road.

HeimerBoodle

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

The existing crosswalk is the one place I ever attempted to make use of the city's crosswalk law, and was almost run down by an AAPD car for my trouble.

Basic Bob

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 7:14 p.m.

Sounds like a misunderstanding of the law. I'm glad you were able to dive back uninjured if not a bit intimidated.

Tom Joad

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

Pedestrians need all the engineering and infrastructure safeguards they can get. They are at a decided disadvantage in small geographic city where streets crisscross nearly the entire expanse. If you only drive through Ann Arbor you have an entirely different perspective, but once you take on the role of a pedestrian your self-interest and safety demands constant vigilance of cars and bicycles. Drivers are the ones who are constantly in a hurry and become extremely impatient at both cyclists and pedestrians, and even other drivers. How many times have you witnessed someone whale on their horn for a fellow driver who is trying to make a turn or attempt to parallel park? Drivers are already at an advantage in speed and efficiency in getting places. Perhaps better planning and time management will help to allay your frustration on the road. Even though ostensibly and legally the pedestrian has the right-of-way (and indeed if you read the Sec of State driver manual it says quite clearly you are legally responsible as a driver to make every attempt at not hitting a pedestrian even if they are crossing mid-street) a pedestrian still must exercise the greater level of caution because they are much more vulnerable to death and severe injury. It's incumbent upon drivers to take a more careful and prudent approach to navigating city streets. It's the right thing to do.

Hmm

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 4:23 p.m.

They do need to do something about that intersection, it's pretty hard to cross in the afternoons.

Frank Lee

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

The automobile is the lowest priority means of transportation in Ann Arbor. Take a bus, ride a bike, or walk. Don't be a fool and assume all these means of transportation are to only intersect at an intersection engineered and signaled to control the flow of all. They can intersect and share the roadway at any point, where automobiles will be given the lowest priority. Ann Arbor thumbs its nose at traffic flow, thus increasing emissions. Impeding the flow of traffic is a ticketable offense but perfectly acceptable in Ann Arbor. Everyone likes to say "people drive like they're in such a hurry". Everyone IS in a hurry after following a cyclist doing 20 MPH under the speed limit, stopping at numerous cross walks, waiting for buses to load/unload, and stopping for people who have decided to make an impromptu parking space in an active lane of travel by merely turning their hazard lights on. Open up the sidewalks for automobiles to drive on when they encounter these inconveniences and maybe we'll warm up to sharing the roadway with everyone else. It's only fair right? This is about convenience correct?

CynicA2

Fri, May 3, 2013 : 2:20 p.m.

I would settle for keeping the cars in the streets and the bikes and peds on the sidewalks, where they belong - change the state law to ban the pedal pushers from the streets - probably lower our liability insurance rates, too. Bikes will never obey traffic laws, and not enough money in the police budget to fund enforcement, so get rid of them.

Frank Lee

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 6:03 p.m.

I should have said State and Fletcher, but you get the idea.

Frank Lee

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

No, it's about convenience, not safety. There are already signaled pedestrian crossings at State and Glen where it's perfectly safe to cross Maybe you should expect to have to use these crossings and leave 10 minutes earlier. You do realize the logic can work both ways.

foobar417

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

No, it's about safety, not convenience. Maybe you should expect to share the roadway with non-cars and leave 10 minutes earlier. You do realize it's a state law that roads are not just for cars, right? Because to act otherwise, would be breaking the law ...

Rick Stevens

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 3:49 p.m.

How about Ann Arbor - Saline Road? That's a critical one and needs something ASAP.

Townspeak

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

We need pedestrian bridges as this area has some really heavy traffic. Bridges would not stop cars, or be dangerous and U Of M should be paying for it, as it is all U of M people. Lights need to be adjusted here too, as back ups are frequent.

foobar417

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 5:01 p.m.

Pedestrian bridges need to be ADA compliant. It is unlikely there is physical room or tax dollars to pay for pedestrian bridges.

edredneck

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

How about using the money to repair Jackson/Huron St. starting near Weber's and going on into town. I haven't lived here for 30 years and I think Jackson/Huron have never been repaired, or if repaired done so badly that it soon broke up. Maybe they could use the money that they intend to pay artists to decorate a bridge and repair the roads...........

Hot Sam

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 11:48 p.m.

About 11 or 12 years ago, the whole thing was rebuilt all the way down to the foundation... about a month later, they came in and cut a bunch of wholes for utility repairs...it has been resurfaced since...

Jeff Gaynor

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 9:08 p.m.

Jackson IS in line for repaving, from Stadium to the fork at Dexter Rd. It's a state trunk line so the process is longer, but there were public hearings last year.

foobar417

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 5 p.m.

As many articles over the past year have discussed, the state (which is responsible for that road) is planning to do exactly that. They were going to do it this summer, but it got postponed til next summer so that Miller and Huron are not torn up at the same time.

Tom Teague

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

We aren't unique. Do a quick web search using the term "student jaywalking" and add the name of a college town - Madison, WI; Athens, GA; Berkeley, CA - and you'll find the same or similar complaints. College students jaywalk just about everywhere and the local residents hate it.

Radlib2

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

Because it cannot be overstated how important it is for pedestrians to feel safe. The city planners know this and plan in accordance. In most of the country, the car is is the unriavled king. These towns are usually marked by their stripmalls and lack of a vibrant downtown. Since most of the country is like this, except the few world class college towns/cities, drivers grow to feel privelaged and impatient. They believe it is their right to drive anywhere unhindered. They feel that NO money be spent on pedestrian/cyclist transportation infastructure, thus complain about the habits of pedestrians while they forget that is they who opperate a heavy, deadly machine. They forget that it is they who have the responsibility to drive at reasonable speeds around downtown.

Radlib2

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

It up to drivers to control their 4000 pound machines. Pedestrains always have the right of way and shouldn't be forced to wait until there are no cars comming. It's too busy at a place like Huron. Driving is a privelage, walking isn't.

Basic Bob

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

Pedestrians who ignore traffic signals lose that right.

jcj

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

Radlib WHAT? Try to keep it real not ridiculous.

Brad

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

Driving is a "privelage", walking isn't. Where did you come up with that gem of absurdity?

demistify

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:51 p.m.

Pedestrians have the right of way when they are crossing with the light. They do not have the right of way when jay-walking, whether against the light or mid-block.

Brad

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

Why don't the UM Police enforce the pedestrian laws there, since it sounds like it is primarilly their customers who are the offenders?

Basic Bob

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 7:10 p.m.

I would put up mid-block barriers on the sidewalks. Have you ever seen what Chicago police do when a drunk pedestrian tries to climb over one? They put them in the back of the car and write them a ticket!

ionic

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

Long blocks with inviting midblock paved walks invite crossing directly, instead of going around to a safer option. The Varsity will have a narrow sidewalk along the east side for no apparent purpose, except to encourage residents from the north side of Huron to cross midblock to continue south to campus. If 413 E. Huron is also built, this problem will be compounded by the additional 513 residents from that building. We tried to convince the developer to move the building entrance to the corner for just that reason, but they refused to consider this option on its safety merits, saying that their residents will walk from midblock to the corners at either Division or State Streets to cross with a light. That won't happen!

Amy Biolchini

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

I walked down Huron Street from State towards Thayer Tuesday about 1 p.m. In a matter of 15 minutes, about 20 people walked across Huron from Thayer to campus, and from campus to Thayer. Traffic on Huron was lighter than usual that day because of a lane restriction on the next block. The pedestrians I observed were completely comfortable walking across Huron Street; some had their headphones in or were talking on their phones. Though I didn't conduct a scientific poll, most appeared to be students and headed directly to U-M's campus.

CynicA2

Fri, May 3, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

"The pedestrians I observed were completely comfortable walking across Huron Street; some had their headphones in or were talking on their phones." ... And therein lies part of the problem - it should be ILLEGAL to cross the street with headphones or while YACKING on that damnable phone - FOCUS on the task at hand. It is YOUR responsibility and it may ensure you live BEYOND your undergraduate years.

Major

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

These crosswalks are death traps. The worst by far are the pedestrian activated, four lane with island. Seems a very small percentage actually hit the button to activate the warning lights and arrogantly waltz on through..some don't even look! I've lost count on how many times I've see one lane stop, blocking the view of the other lane, with cars cruising through, narrowly missing a pedestrian! The bigger problem is very few seem to use designated crosswalks in the first place and bolt out anywhere they like. I've even witnessed some crossing mere feet away from the designated crosswalks....totally useless, very dangerous!! Something does need to be done though...what, is anyone's guess. The worst place in my area of travels is on Stadium, just west of the old Lamp Post Plaza...out of control jaywalking going on there in the evening...look out!!!

EyeHeartA2

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

I go out of my way to use the activated cross walk. I wait to begin my crossing when BOTH lanes are stopped. Sometimes, I have to wait quite a while.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

The police need to conduct more enforcement campaigns to target unsafe drivers who ignore crosswalks, speed, ignore pedestrians trying to cross, stop in crosswalks, etc.

HeimerBoodle

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 5:24 p.m.

The police need to actually abide by the city's laws before trying to enforce them.

WalkingJoe

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

Actually Nicholas what I'm saying is it goes both ways. If you run out into traffic expectantly how do you expect someone operating a 4000+ to react?

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:39 p.m.

Those people are not operating 4000+ vehicles. Do you see the distinction? No?

EyeHeartA2

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:14 p.m.

....and write up J walkers as well. Then, sure.

WalkingJoe

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:55 p.m.

The police need to conduct more enforcement campaigns to target unsafe pedestrians who ignore crosswalks only a few feet away and walk out into traffic expecting everyone to stop. For cyclists who ignore all traffic laws which they are supposed to obey just like motorists.

alan

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

There are lights at State, Fletcher, and Glen, plus a walking bridge a block further down. The most anyone has to walk is a short block and a half. These mid block crossings may be well intended but they are difficult to see and confusing to drivers. They also appear to encourage people to just walk out into the street without looking.

foobar417

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

Not trying to be rude, I meant it to be a a generic "you". That said, there is always the driver's ed example of the chance of a small child dashing out between two parked cars after a ball. And, if you are truly prepared for that situation everywhere you drive, you should also be prepared for a college student blithely crossing the road with his head in a book, his earphones on, and far from any signalized crossing. So yes, any driver who finds mid-block crossings difficult to see and confusing, is certainly not driving in a fashion that suggests they can handle other people, be they drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians, making mistakes or being stupid. I think about it this way. To expect other people not to make mistakes or to not act recklessly is to deny the fact that some fraction of humans always act like self-entitled idiots, be they drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians. And it is both hypocritical and dangerous for drivers who overwhelmingly break traffic laws, such as speeding, failing to yield, failing to signal, etc. to expect perfect behavior from every other user of the roadway. Just like drivers take shortcuts like dashing down a side street to avoid a light or rolling a stop sign, pedestrians take shortcuts like not walking 2 blocks out of their way. Expect it. Drive defensively.

alan

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

That was pretty rude, I never said I. The city makes up pedestrian traffic laws that don't comply with state law, like stopping if you see a pedestrian approaching a crosswalk. The problem is that you frequently don't see them but they assume that you'll just stop if they step into the road. The worst is on State by the union. You can't see people waiting to cross because of all the SUV's and large vehicles parked but pedestrians just step out from behind cars into the road. Either put a stop sign or a light if you want people to stop but don't expect them to slam on the brakes every time someone steps out in front of them. By the way, I walk most of the time, but I know better than to walk out in front of moving vehicles. I was taught to look both ways before crossing the street.

foobar417

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.

If you find a pedestrian island confusing or difficult to see, you shouldn't be operating heavy machinery, like an automobile.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

They installed an island on Platt road near Huron Parkway. The sign designating the island frequently gets flattened by unsafe drivers who are completely obvivious to what is around them. It was flattened once each week for the longest time.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

So are you suggesting the 7 foot high street sign and concrete curbing are suddenly jumping in front of drivers? The left turn lane is not for driving, it is for turning.

CynicA2

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:49 p.m.

If it wasn't there,, it wouldn't get flattened - and since it is unnecessary to begin with, just like all these other stupid impediments to traffic, it should be removed. Only cross the street when safe to do so, as when there is NO oncoming traffic. A tried and true rule.

jcj

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

Maybe a required class for all incoming students should be Safety Town where you learn how to cross the street and how to rise your tricycle safely!

hepcat

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

As a legally blind tax paying senior who walks over 15 miles a week, I would like to thank our city government for their efforts to make this city safer for pedestrians.

Brad

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

Again annarbor.com tries to help make the case by photographing people in the act of being too lazy to care about their own safety. Those people are "darting" because they won't make the short walk to a crosswalk.

Amy Biolchini

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

Brad: Tries to help make the case? The photos and video in this article are a small piece of what commonly happens on Huron between Thayer and Ingalls. There were a number of pedestrians who chose to use the marked crosswalk at Ingalls and Huron as well.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

Many dart even at crosswalks because so many drivers will not stop, and those drivers are already exceeding the speed limit.

UM Rocks

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:39 p.m.

Redundant: "The city had initially sought to install a pedestrian island in the area in 2008 after one pedestrian died and another was injured when struck by a car at Fletcher and Huron streets Dec. 11, 2007, in which one person died and another was injured"

Amy Biolchini

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

Thank you for the notification. That error has been corrected.

justgeoff

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

Is there any city that even comes close to Ann Arbor in terms of the palpable hostility between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians?

aabikes

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

Wow, with all the anecdata being thrown around here, it's like a real live scientific discussion. smh...

deb

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

I had a friend, who since moved to Seattle, who biked around town. He never stopped at signals or signs, and routinely told me "I don't care if I get hit the driver that hits me will have to live with it, they better stop." He also had a group of friends that biked with him, so I know of specific examples of this type of behavior around town.

jcj

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:55 p.m.

northA2 Funny I thought that the pedestrians and bikers were the ones with a " death wish " !

seldon

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

People here walk and bike like they have a death wish too.

northA2

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

I don't know why anyone is surprised by this when drivers on this side of the state are hostile and aggressive in pretty much any situation. People here drive like they have a death wish.

Brad

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:41 p.m.

Largely fueled by the city leaders and their open hostility toward all things automotive.

Corwin

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

"The city had initially sought to install a pedestrian island in the area in 2008 after one pedestrian died and another was injured when struck by a car at Fletcher and Huron streets Dec. 11, 2007, in which one person died and another was injured." There's a bit of redundancy here.

Amy Biolchini

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:39 p.m.

That was an edit of a sentence gone awry. It's been fixed.

Julius

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

My favorite scenario is when you stop -- not just at one of these contrived arbitrary light things, but in a parking lot or something, and the guy behind you decides to pull out and drive past you. Why bother, right? I don't drive in Ann Arbor. I make it a point not to. It's kind of a free for all when it comes to bikes and pedestrians. I love the "I'll ride my bike on this super busy road and ignore all the signals the drivers have to follow, demanding money be spent on my behalf all while not paying any kind of license fee and then complain about how dangerous it is".

snark12

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:40 p.m.

How many drivers have been injured or killed by cyclists lately?

Dirty Mouth

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

That is the worst location for a crosswalk. Just an FYI.

Dirty Mouth

Fri, May 3, 2013 : 12:04 p.m.

I will never use it because I don't have a death wish.

Barb's Mom

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:07 p.m.

Why are they bothering to put in another one of these. Most pedestrians don't bother to use them. We drive down Carpenter rd where they added this and people still cross where ever they want, even 10 feet away. I hope they start ticketing these people.

RunsWithScissors

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 5:48 p.m.

I agree. More than once I've had to slam on my brakes 'cuz someone is darting across Carpenter - within a few feet of a well-marked crosswalk.

teeters

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

I walk this area everyday to work. There are two traffic signals less than 1/2-mile appart (State and Fletcher). USE THE LIGHTS! This is only adding to the laziness of our society, and the recklessness of pedestrians in AA.

C.C. Ingersoll

Fri, May 3, 2013 : 5:16 a.m.

Actually -- it's FOUR blocks -- mostly because you have to walk to State St. and then BACK again two blocks to enter central campus. Four blocks out of your way on foot instead of just crossing the street doesn't sound 'lazy' to me...

Brad

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

@Nicholas - on another article this morning you said walking a mile was nothing. Which is it?

Brad

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:48 p.m.

Two blocks. So who is lazy again?

Amy Biolchini

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

The distance from where most pedestrians cross Huron at Thayer to the light at State Street is not half a mile. It's two short blocks down the street. For most pedestrians I observed, jaywalking across Huron from Thayer to campus, or vice-versa, is a matter of convenience for them.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

So your excuse for not wanting to perform the tremendous burdon of pressing the brake on your 4000 lbs automobile is that *other people* are *too lazy* to walk a half mile to a traffic signal? Repeat - you're driving a car and the person walking is the lazy one? Being in a car does not make you anymore important than anyone else.

David Frye

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 11:13 a.m.

Umm... "pedestrians frequently cross from the University of Michigan's campus on the north side of the street to the neighborhood on the south side of the street." Somebody's turned around here.

alan

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

I knew someone would catch that before I commented about it.

Tom Joad

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 10:53 a.m.

About time, even the current pedestrian crosswalk near that location is routinely ignored by drivers as students/pedestrians obviously wait patiently to cross. A timed RED light is needed at the new crossing, and not some flashing yellow warning light as is installed on 7th and W. Washington, for example.

Silly Sally

Fri, May 3, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

" they think they can just walk into traffic and drivers will stop" with the setting sun in a driver's eyes or at night when it is foggy or raining.

alan

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

The article states that it will be marked by static signs. There will be no light. Someone's going to get seriously injured because they think they can just walk into traffic and drivers will stop.

jcj

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 12:41 p.m.

This new solution will be ignored by 90 % of the students. Never a word about pedestrian responsibility for their own safety! Just run down (figuratively) the drivers.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 10:49 a.m.

"The refuge island will be installed on East Huron Street between Thayer and Ingalls. A pedestrian crosswalk in place at Ingalls and Huron streets will be removed after the new island is installed." I travel by bicycle or car through that area daily. It is a dangerous spot. My wife, who is a nurse, a few years ago assisted a pedestrian we saw get hit there by a car ahead of us and seriously injured. A safety improvement is needed, but in my opinion what was needed was to add a crosswalk at Thayer and Huron, not a mid-block crosswalk. I doubt the students who cross Huron from the North will change their behavior, and will continue to take the shortest path, which is to cross Huron at either Thayer or Huron.

PWJT8D

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 10:41 a.m.

What happened to the times when you looked both ways before crossing a street. Crosswalks at intersections are not broken. I still do not see the need for these. They are terrifying as a driver as you approach them with uncertainty. Will I need to stop, do I go, what do I do, am I going to get rear ended by this person behind me who is not expecting me to stop in the middle of a major road?

C.C. Ingersoll

Fri, May 3, 2013 : 5:13 a.m.

There are only two lights 'nearby' to cross at -- State Street, which is two blocks away or Glenn Ave. which is three blocks away and down a very steep hill. A crossing is needed here because the traffic on this stretch of Huron runs about 45mph. As the article states, one person has died already and it's a major funnel for students traveling to central campus from the nearby neighborhood which is mostly student rentals. You can "look before crossing the street' all you want but the pedestrians that cross there refuse (and rightly so) to travel 4-6 blocks out of their way to cross into campus.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, May 2, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

People get killed by cars even when they look and cross in crosswalks at intersections. Drivers whip around corners without signaling and without looking. It happens all too frequently. If those routine and common driving events seem overwhelming to you while driving, perhaps you need to drive more slowly and not be in such a rush to get to your important destination. Or maybe operating a piece of heavy machinery safely is beyond your ability. If you are "terrified" by "uncertainty" while driving, it probably is too much.