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Posted on Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

To the Ann Arbor City Council: Don't repeal the pedestrian safety ordinance

By Letters to the Editor

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Ann Arbor’s mayor and City Council.

I am writing to add my support to your efforts to improve pedestrian safety in Ann Arbor. I know that you have received many messages regarding the issue, in particular since September 2011 enforcement of the council resolution that was passed last year.

My experience, observations and requests are:

• I feel safer crossing streets at crosswalks marked with white lines. That includes both signaled and non-signaled crosswalks. Cars, trucks, and buses have waited for me to cross the walkway, rather than attempt to move in my path. I believe that the process of enforcement of the resolution with respect to pedestrian safety did increase the awareness of drivers, when they approach crosswalks.

• Consider adding signals in areas that are known for problems, for example, the often-cited crosswalks at State and South University streets. A traffic signal at that location would support both pedestrian and motorized vehicle movement.

• Use pedestrian-activated signals at difficult crossing areas, in particular for multi-lane roadways, for example, Plymouth Road, Huron Street, Washtenaw Avenue and Stadium Boulevard.

• Contact the states and communities that have pedestrian laws and ordinances, and learn from their implementation experience. Surely we can make contact to do more than just copy the wording of legislation, and delve into the process of implementation to support safety.

The goals of the pedestrian safety resolution are good and valid. I ask that you DO NOT repeal the resolution in its entirety. To do so would result in community confusion at this point, and perhaps more injuries and accidents. Of greatest help to motorized and non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians is consistency of approach, enforcement, signage, and general education.

Modification of the resolution in the way proposed by Council Member Briere will be helpful. I suggest that you engage in serious discussion, and that you consider a period of additional study of traffic and pedestrian activity, with focus on the areas known to cause difficulty first. Then modify, inform the community, work with the advice of our police, and develop a resolution that will help the safety of citizens of Ann Arbor, regardless of the mode of transportation that they choose.

Rita Mitchell
Ann Arbor


Ming Bucibei

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 7:32 p.m.

Repeal this idiotic law and repeal the council and mayor Ming Bucibei

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

Ignore the ordinance and drive slowly and carefully.


Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 5:04 a.m.

Just what the world needs more of, more laws that never go away.


Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 4:48 a.m.

Repeal it now or face your own demise council.

John Q

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 4:36 a.m.

"Many serious car accidents have occurred and injuries have resulted, as a result of this poorly thought out plan being put into place." Many? Care to back that up with some statistics? Many more than happen every day between cars that have nothing to do with pedestrians or the ordinance?

John Q

Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 3:44 a.m.

I've kept up with the news and no one has reported any statistics as you claim.


Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

The police department has provided the statistics to the Council --- have you failed to keep up with the news?

Terry Brennan

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 4:25 a.m.

What problem were we trying to solve with this extremely dangerous ordinance?


Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

The problem of a whiny minority?


Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 4:08 a.m.

Based on polling here, while possibly slightly flawed, approximately 80% want this ordinance repealed. Whether the number is exact or not, the significance of it is clear. Even the police chief has indicated the ordinance is disfunctional. Many serious car accidents have occurred and injuries have resulted, as a result of this poorly thought out plan being put into place. Given that the City Council has a pattern of not listening to or being interested in citizen feedback, I suspect that nothing will be done. We have only to see the art fund still in existence to confirm this hypothesis as well as numerous other actions the Council has taken against the will of the community.


Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 8:10 p.m.

Here's two words: "Lumm wins"

Phillip Farber

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

The problem with your conclusion that 80% want this ordinance repealed is revealed in your opening words: "Based on polling here ..." No poll conducted in this self-select forum will ever reflect the broad opinion of Ann Arbor's citizenry.

G. Orwell

Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 3:15 a.m.

There are so many things wrong with this ordinance. Please repeal it before you kill someone.


Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 3:15 a.m.

This law has done nothing but embolden already careless pedestrians, especially on central campus. Pedestrians have always had the right of way when they are in a cross walk. This law does nothing but add unnecessary language that confuses people.


Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 12:21 a.m.

"Pedestrian safety ordinance" ---- I think it would be safer to cross a busy street at a light or when traffic clears.

Anthony Clark

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 10:44 p.m.

I feel safer crossing streets when I have looked both ways and verified that no cars are coming. If there is too much traffic to do that, then I go to the next intersection that has a traffic light. That is what I was taught as a child and it has kept me alive for 41 years. I would never step into traffic and expect drivers to stop, law or not. That is just plain stupid.


Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

@Mick52, I don't suppose you have any sort of disability, such as being in a wheelchair, painful arthritis, significantly compromised lung or cardiac function?


Sun, Nov 20, 2011 : 1:33 a.m.

Works too. I have been crossing all these supposed "busy streets" for years and have never felt I had to wait long at all to cross.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 11:58 p.m.

Perhaps too simple.

Homeland Conspiracy

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 11:02 p.m.

Simple isn't it.

Dr. Rockso

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

Blah! Blah! I vote to get rid of it. I'm not stupid enough to walk in front of a car!

Urban Sombrero

Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

At this point, regardless of how I personally feel about this ordinance, I kind of hope they do keep it. I'm so used to stopping now that if they change things, I'll be the lone moron on the road stopping all willy-nilly for people.


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

I would add separating crosswalk entry points from bus stops, and altering the wording of the ordinance so "approaching" is replaced by "at" (or some such equivalent).