To the Ann Arbor City Council: Don't repeal the pedestrian safety ordinance
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:
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ 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.