Lack of standardized signs part of pedestrian crossing problems
I have been following the Plymouth Road pedestrian crossing activities during the past few weeks and think that some of the actions are missing the mark.
I have not seen any proposed action against the motorists who seem blind when it comes to the pedestrian warnings. I suggest that they be sent back to driver's education, where it should be pointed out to them what the stopping distances are at various speeds. All of the motorists’ complaints simply involve drivers following too closely. Why haven't they learned how far it takes to stop at various speeds?
The desire of Eli Cooper, city transportation manager, to "educate the community" should be "educate the drivers who have no comprehension of the consequences of following too closely."
Personally, I do not have any problem with accommodating pedestrians, nor do I think that the ordinance is problematic.
However, I think that the real problem lies with the traffic and transportation organization represented by Patrick Cawley, city engineer, and Mr. Cooper.
There is no standard signage for pedestrian crossings in the city. This is obvious when driving in various locations. Look around at the signs while driving.
For example, look at the pedestrian crossing sign in front of the hospital near the ambulance entrance. The sign is clear, visible, and cannot be missed.
Next, take a jaunt along Stadium Boulevard. There are several pedestrian crossings with islands in the middle of Stadium. The only reference to "pedestrians" is a hardly visible round circular sign on the island about 8" in diameter.
Continue on Stadium, and the crossing signs vary as you near Pioneer High School. Travel down Oakwood and the signs are different.
If the Traffic Department has any pedestrian crossing signs standards, it is not evident. The problem that this creates is that drivers do not see any pedestrian crossing signage consistency, and more accidents are bound to happen.
Of course there are occasional configurations of roadway where additional measures such as the overhead warnings on Plymouth would be required.
("No turn on red" signs also need standardizing. Many intersections have "no turn on red" only on signposts, while others have the sign where it is the most obvious and the most needed: adjacent to the lights. Some are in both locations. This haphazard situation is as annoying as the pedestrian crossing situation.)
Good luck on your "tweaking" activities.
Arno C. Buhrer, Ann Arbor