You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, May 20, 2013 : 5:49 p.m.

Police conducting targeted enforcement at 14 crosswalks in Ann Arbor for Walk to Work Week

By Ryan J. Stanton

Ann Arbor's crosswalks are once again the focus of a targeted enforcement campaign to increase awareness of pedestrian and motorist safety.

In conjunction with the city's transportation program and Safe Streets and Sidewalks Task Force, Ann Arbor police are conducting targeted enforcement at 14 crosswalks this week.


A pedestrian-activated and solar-powered flashing beacon alerts drivers to stop at the crosswalk at Seventh and Washington streets in Ann Arbor

Ryan J. Stanton | file photo

The campaign started Monday and ends Saturday, coinciding with the Commuter Challenge's Walk to Work Week. The challenge is administered by the getDowntown program.

Over the campaign's six-day span, police officers will keep a watchful eye for drivers not stopping for pedestrians crossing the street at crosswalks.

Under the city's pedestrian safety ordinance approved by the City Council in 2010 and amended in 2011, motorists are required to stop for pedestrians at the curb or within the crosswalk.

The fine for violating the ordinance is $100 plus $30 in court costs.

Shortly after enforcement of the ordinance began in 2011, there were a number of reports of traffic accidents in which motorists were rear-ended after stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks.

At particularly problematic crosswalks, including along Plymouth Road, the city eventually installed strobing lights that can be activated by pedestrians to help make sure cars stop.

City officials said safe driving is not the sole emphasis of the campaign, as pedestrians have responsibilities, too.

The city's ordinance also makes it unlawful for pedestrians to suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into a path of a vehicle that is so close it is unsafe for a driver to yield.

The locations that will be in rotation for targeted enforcement include:

  • 500 block of South State Street
  • Fifth Avenue and Detroit Street
  • Fourth Avenue and Catherine Street
  • Washtenaw Avenue and East Stadium Boulevard
  • 600 block of Huron Parkway
  • Fuller Road by the Veterans Affairs Hospital
  • West Stadium Boulevard and Clock Tower Entrance
  • Newport Road and Red Oak Street
  • South Seventh Street and Greenview Street
  • 2200 block of Delaware Drive
  • South Seventh Street and West Washington Street
  • 2200 Block of Platt Road
  • Green Road and Gettysburg
  • Green Road and Burbank

City officials said the 14 locations, which differ from the locations chosen for a targeted enforcement campaign in January, were selected based on recent pedestrian street usage counts and traffic complaint locations. Many of the selected locations also coincide with routes used by students to walk to school.

City officials said ensuring pedestrian safety is especially important in Ann Arbor with more than 17 percent of residents walking to work, more than six times the national average.

Ann Arbor has been recognized by Prevention Magazine and the American Podiatric Medical Association as the third most walkable city in the nation.

Additional information on safe walking, bicycling and driving in Ann Arbor can be found at and

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Tue, May 28, 2013 : 3:12 a.m.

Driving home the other afternoon, multiple people crossed the street on my green light. Why would I get ticketed for not stopping for them when in the crosswalk but they do not get ticketed for crossing on my green light. I treat cross walks that say do not walk like I would if it was a red light for my car. If I ran the red light I would be ticketed. So why not a pedestrian. Just my thoughts

Kyle Mattson

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

For reference here are the results of the poll of 1,400 total submissions: Q1: When approaching a red flashing "HAWK" signal what are drivers required to do? A-Come to complete stop at crossing and proceed when clear-66% B-Come to complete stop and wait for light to change to yellow then proceed-32% C-Continue through crossing a posted speed-2% Q2: Ann Arbor's crosswalk ordinance requires drivers to stop for pedestrians even if a crosswalk is not present True-41% False-59% Q3: When a traffic signal is not functioning due to a power outage: A-Vehicles must yield to all pedestrians-91% B-Pedestrians must yield to all vehicles-9% Answers: Q1- A Q2- False Q3- A


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:30 p.m.

The groups pushing for this ordinance want it so that all the responsibility goes to the driver but none to the pedestrian. A perfect example is the advertisement for the ordinance put put by one of the groups(I can't remember which one) that shows people going across the crosswalk and the cars having to wait. They have a person in a wheelchair, jogger and walker. No problem there but they also show someone doing cartwheels across the crosswalk. No responsible pedestrian should be doing cartwheels in a crosswalk. This is showing that the pedestrian has no responsibility to use the crosswalk wisely which to me is giving the wrong signal and just strengthening the pedestrians view that they have no responsibility in crossing the road safely.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

People on both sides assert that it is the responsibility of everyone (pedistrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, 4-wheeled vehicle drivers, etc) to maintain usable, safe roadways, so why is that not what has been implemented by the city? The great invention of traffic lights is a perfect example of individual sacrifice in convenience for the benefit of the common good. One road has to stop such that the other can pass more efficiently, then vice versa. We could, of course, put a four way stop at every intersection which would be fair and inconvenience everyone equally, but I don't think that is what we want. The concept of the flashing pedestrian crosswalk should follow the same theory it would seem. There are plenty of opportunities to cross the street safely without hindering the flow of traffic, why not encourage pedestrians to make use of breaks in traffic to cross? At the flashing pedestrian cross walks, what if a button press did not immediately activate the flashing lights, but initiated a timer that allowed for the button to be pressed again in 30 seconds which would initiate the flashing lights? This means that if the traffic clears and the pedestrian can cross without stopping traffic, they don't have to wait 30 seconds, and can cross without the flashing lights. If traffic doesn't clear, they get a flashing crosswalk after 30 seconds (and a second button press).


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

And for those interested in who has the right of way and when, there is a good article on MLive called "Traffic Talk: When do pedestrians have the right of way?"


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:16 p.m.

Currently we give all consideration to the pedestrians and none to those on the road. The solution I propose would still be leaps better than waiting for a traditional traffic light to turn with a pedestrian crossing, while still giving preference to pedestrians (which I think is a worthwhile effort). I'm just trying to avoid the situation frequently encountered on Plymouth of students crossing one after the next, each pressing the crosswalk button such that traffic builds up and it becomes unclear when a pedestrian has finished crossing or when another has started if stopped traffic is blocking the view of the intersection. For the record I bike to work on nice days, drive a car or scooter on other days, and walk downtown at least twice a week. I agree that motorists must bear more responsibility given the seriousness of the consequences if they are careless, but we have to be smart about the way we treat everone in the city. Can't we all just get along?


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:08 a.m.



Tue, May 21, 2013 : 6:20 p.m.

Any chance we could see the overall results of the quiz afterward? It may even make a good article...


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.

The strobes keep going long after the pedestrians have crossed, so cars drive through them at that point. Will they get a ticket?

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

depends on wind direction.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 6:05 p.m.

This law has been a fiasco from the get-go, failing to account for the myriad of types crosswalks and roads across the city. The crosswalk at Washtenaw near the rec center, for example. Are four lanes (+ one turn lane of traffic) supposed to stop all at once to allow pedestrians to cross? What if one lane stops but the others drive through? I tried crossing here the other day, and just gave up and moved down the street to jaywalk when all traffic was clear. Additonally, this silly "HAWK" system is some kind of hopelessly Byzantine semaphore that drivers must now learn


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

Why are there two cross walks within ten feet of each other crossing Catherine at Fourth?

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

more ticket $

Dirty Mouth

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.

Question two: Should be "even." Not eve.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.

One more reason to keep my monetary activities in the townships and Ypsilanti.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

Didn't the police chief just say a month ago that he didn't have enough staff to do "proactive policing?" Just seems like he has plenty of staff if this is what they are working on. I also heard that police go on EVERY single medical call along with an ambulance and a firetruck. I get the argument for the fire truck but why do we need to send a police car to grandpa having chest pains?


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 6:11 p.m.

Lake Trout, then why not call the police if they are needed, not send them on all medical calls, needed or not.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 6:11 p.m.

I would have to believe that it doesn't happen all that often. "Let me cause trouble for the people here to save my grandpa's life" When it does I am pretty sure they can call on their radios and step out of the house till the PoPo get there. You want to cause trouble then we will wait outside and grandpa doesn't get help. But my point is that this all seems like a big ol waste of time and tax payers money.

Lake Trout

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.

You wouldn't believe how many times family/friends/by-standers end up causing trouble for EMT's responding to grandpas chest pain run. FF's and EMT's don't have the ability to do anything about the civil disruptions so therefore, law enforcement is needed...


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 3:46 p.m.

when does the ticket campain for impeding traffic start and just how many of these tickets have been issued?


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

This is the most ridiculous and stupid thing Ann Arbor has done in my lifetime. talk about making the roads more dangerous. Today i slammed on my brakes for the new stop sign one that they put up at the stadium bridge. Glad no one was behind me! Bike paths everywhere are the second worst thing Ann arbor has done. Let all of the out of town drivers that don't live her and don't know our town rear end us. I have lived here since 1970, and it is the most difficult thing I have seen in Ann Arbor, and if its hard for me, I sure it a lot more difficult for first timers or out of towers. I wish we we could get better candidates for local office, we could replace the mayor, But i cant remember the last time there where any that were and other candidates worth considering.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

This presents a wonderful opportunity for roving bands of sullen, maladjusted youth, now the city's sent some strong messages to teenage graffiiti scrawlers. These juvenile outliers need a new outlet. Lurking in packs near pedestrian crosswalks may give a new meaning to the game of chicken.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 5 a.m.

Not Chicken.. Frogger..


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:07 a.m.

This would help solve the graffiti issue, at least.

Lake Trout

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 4:23 p.m.

Thanks for planting that idea in the little darlings heads...


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

There are some tricky spots, where a bus stop is next to a crosswalk. Are they waiting to cross, or waiting for the bus? Even harder o tell with a phone glued to their ear.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

I almost got blasted carrying my 22 month old son across Main street between William and Liberty by someone gunning it through the left lane to get ti the light. All the other traffic was stopped for us. People just don't think. I see it all the time when one car in the right lane of a five lane road stops to let somebody pull out to the left, then somebody in the left lane speeding by almost crushes the car turning. You may be trying to be kind, but you are putting others, and yourself, at risk. People just need to be conscientious and pay attention to what is going on around them.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

The problem with the flashing strobes on Plymouth is that it gives no time for drivers to react such as with a yellow light before it turns red. As such, I've seen numerous occasions where people panic and slam on their brakes when the light is activated.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 6:14 p.m.

The problem is also that in addition to no warning, some cars don't stop and rear end collisions are inevitable. The flashing strobes also keep flashing long after the pedestrian crosses and cars zoom through at that point if no one is in the crosswalk. Are they risking a ticket?

Dog Guy

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

By raising driver awareness of pedestrians in or near crosswalks, this targeted enforcement has increased the fun of Crosswalk Feint. Monday afternoon I scored five tire screeches in four minutes without setting a foot in the street. Thanks for the list of official crosswalks, but I was unable to find one with an scoring officer in attendance.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

Yup. Was near several crosswalks listed this morning, no cops. Must have been on a coffee break.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Just witness this morning. A bus stopped for a person waiting to cross at Island Drive across Maiden Lane. ( not a marked cross walk with warning signs, markings) A driver behind the bus got in the center lane to go around the bus because a bus shelter was directly across the street, and apparently thought the driver was stopping to pick up passengers. As the women ran across the street in front of the bus, the bus driver frantically honked his horn to alert the pedestrian who almost got hit. Very scary.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

Want to bet that the number of "jay walking" tickets is almost zero? Pedestrian safety is more an issue of the pedestrians acting in a safe manner than having autos watch out for them. Anyone who drives in Ann Arbor recognizes that pedestrians jay walk in an incredibly dangerous manner everywhere. They are plugged into their music or phones or just oblivious of the world around them. If you want to really make an impact then you need to pass out tons of jay walking tickets.

An Arborigine

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:16 p.m.

Luckily City Council didn't increase the budget for police to facilitate this kind of harassment


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

Where the heck is "West Stadium Boulevard and Clock Tower Entrance?"


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

Exactly my question! Thanks!

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

pi hi


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

Since they didn't get the three extra police officers at the recent budget meeting, does that mean there will be 3 cross walks without full time police observation.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:26 p.m.

Many people drive the same roads daily, to school, and/ or to work. If you don't know where there are crosswalks, or schools that might have kids crossing at certain times EVERY weekday, you're living in a cloud. I just don't get these people who blow past kids in crosswalks- what are they, late for their lobotomy appointment?


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

Red Hawk should be removed and replaced with the crossing lights being used on Plymouth Rd . Most people are utterly confused how to use the "Red Hawk"


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

Red Hawk? I could really go for a burger....and those amazing fries. Seriously, though, I love the flashing lights on Plymouth. Such a simple device that works so well. I do think much of the complaining about the crosswalks is due to fear. The fear of not seeing someone at night trying to cross. The fear of being unfamiliar with an area and not see the crosswalk. Ultimately, the fear of hitting someone. I was a huge complainer when it came to the crosswalks, but the flashing lights have removed my fears, so I'm cool with the crosswalks least the ones on Plymouth Rd.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 11:33 a.m.

I would like pedestrians to be ticketed when they walk at a crosswalk even against the advice of the Do Not Walk sign. Every time I finally have traffic cleared enough to make a right turn, surprise surprise a ped walks out in front of you instead of waiting their turn!


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 10:41 a.m.

This quiz is registering the answers wrong! I just took it, answered all the answers correctly and it gave me 33%! Doesn't give me much confidence in whoever made the quiz up.

Kyle Mattson

Thu, May 23, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

There must have been a glitch when you took it, sorry about that. This is a new system we're working with for that feature and still working out the details.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.

I answered correctly to all three, but the last one was marked wrong.

Kyle Mattson

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:42 p.m.

So far with 875 readers taking the quiz here are the results: 1: 66% answered correctly 2: 61% answered correctly 3: 91% answered correctly

Kyle Mattson

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:36 p.m.

Here's a cheat sheet to the correct answers: Q.1 When approaching a red flashing "HAWK" signal what are drivers required to do? A: Come to complete stop at crossing and proceed when clear Q.2 Ann Arbor's crosswalk ordinance requires drivers to stop for pedestrians even if a crosswalk is not present A: False Q.3 When a traffic signal is not functioning due to a power outage: A: Vehicles must yield to all pedestrians


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 10:22 a.m.

Didn't know there was a horse left to beat... Those that live downtown or close by are the vocal pedestrians & bikers here. The language, signage & selective enforcement of rules/laws/ordinances are so vague & varied, there will never be a clear understanding or agreement. For those of us who can, just...avoid Ann Arbor. Get some fresh air, go to Canton or something. Problem solved.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 10:18 a.m.

I cross at Seventh and Washington nearly every day. Frankly, I'm embarrassed when people stop for me, although I give them a thankful wave anyway. I would rather just wait 5 seconds than have cars burning off more gas and occasionally rear-ending each other. On the other hand, I completely approve of the crosswalk signal that can be used by children, including those attending nearby Slauson. I guess my point is this: I think drivers should be required to stop for the crosswalk signal (which is clear and obvious), but not be required to stop if people are simply in the vicinity of the crosswalks (which is much less obvious, requiring drivers to look in multiple directions at once). This would make much more sense to me.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 7:31 a.m.

Recently at the crosswalk on Plymouth Rd I saw a pedestrian not use the Hawk light, look both ways at oncoming traffic and made a run for it. How is that for pedestrian responsibility? I was the only one who did stop too. So I guess the pedestrian knew far better then I what to do. What's the point of these hawk lights if no one uses them?

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

You saw one person do it and you conclude that "no one uses them"? I suggest your sample size is too small. Maybe they crossed there regularly and knew many drivers would not stop, so they decided to play frogger instead.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 5:52 a.m.

I have seen so many people on the crosswalks along Plymouth just push the button to flash the lights that are installed, and immediately cross without even looking. Why do so many pedestrians in that area do this? Cars are heavy, fast moving, and generally unfortunate to meet with.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 3:59 a.m.

Ann Arbor spent quite a bit of time in advertising this local ordinance. Signs have been displayed throughout the city giving visiting drivers fair warning. I am though dismayed that the city has provided a less than acceptable information program regarding a local parking ordinance. My daughter parked our car near the YMCA where she works. She parked near a home owner's driveway leaving approximately 1 foot from the back bumper to driveway cutout. Trying to be considerate, she also left room for the vehicle in front of her to be able to exit the space while trying not to block the driveway. The homeowner's driveway was completely usable. However, since the car did not meet the local unadvertised and non-posted ordinance, at the request of the homeowner, the vehicle was towed. My cost was $225 to retrieve the vehicle. Most citizens in Ann Arbor may not be aware that the local ordinance requires 4 feet from the driveway cutout to the rear bumper. This was a hefty fine to pay for a law passed by the city without informing the citizens nor posting the ordinance throughout the town. I blame city council and hope they do a much better job in the future. It would be interesting to know if the council members can recall the appropriate parking distance.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

Nicholas You use the term SUV like it is a dirty word! For your information MANY cars classified as SUV's get better gas mileage than those that are not classified as such. Do a little research before mouthing the same old stereotypes.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 5:13 p.m.

Nevermind the ornance. I'd say what your daughter did was incredibly inconsiderate in that the homeowner would be forced to back straight back into the street across both lanes of traffic rather than turning at an angle in one lane. I'm glad she was towed.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

Most cities have an ordinance like that, specifying 4'. I lived in an A2 house where people would regularly crowd and block my driveway (while attending church). I would call and ask that they be ticketed (though not towed). It was a narrow street and their parking made it difficult or impossible to leave my driveway. All because they were too lazy to park up the street a bit further. "Oh lord, please forgive me for how I just parked my SUV..."


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

It's an expensive lesson but ignorance is not an excuse.

Jon Saalberg

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 3:13 a.m.

Why the intersection at Huron and Chapin isn't included? My wife and I cross this intersection several time a week and have have to wait at least half the time so we are not run over by a car running the signal, with the "Walk" sign lit.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

Kindly ask the cops to do some enforcement there.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 3:01 a.m.

If I'm walking around in circles at a corner with a cell phone stuck in my ear, what is my intent?

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

I'd guess you're placing a bet with a bookie or trying to score some party favors? Or pizza. Maybe you're ordering pizza.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:59 p.m.

Is this one of the questions from the quiz? ; )


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:41 p.m.



Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:40 a.m.

i think i learned how to push through a crowded crosswalk from the a2 Cops... but, that being said... i've almost been hit too, in a normal crosswalk downtown walking normally in Kerrytown... they win btw, because they weigh 2000 pound and hurt terribly... or the bus that just ran over the nurse lady on Glen St... over a decade ago... tell me he didn't know that thump was a human? Sad... but, i've jogged into a crosswalk recently and dented a fender myself... you gotta watch the drivers that think the road and life only belongs to the convenient few who are in a terrible rush... loser goes to the deadman... dig?


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:33 a.m.

I often see bicyclists ride up to the crosswalks on Plymouth Road, push the button to activate the lights, then ride across the street. As they are not technically pedestrians, what is the rule on this? In addition to targeted enforcement of the crosswalk law, I'd like to see the city target distracted drivers. I regularly observe drivers gazing into their cell phones while driving as I stand waiting for the bus on Plymouth Road. Enforcing our state laws in this regard would curb this practice, and generate much needed revenue in the form of fines.

Justin Fenwick

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:35 p.m.

The law states bicyclists utilizing crosswalks and sidewalks are considered pedestrians, additionally, bicycles in the roadway are considered vehicles. Accordingly, cyclists are beholden to laws governing and protecting each mode as though they were walking or driving a motor vehicle.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

The law says bikes must be treated as pedestrians, especially when crossing in a crosswalk as you describe. Bikers must also yield to pedestrians.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:51 a.m.

Why aren't there flashing lights on the crosswalk on Huron Parkway where Huron High school students need to cross?


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

Carolyn - I see your point and I agree since I live in that area. It would definitely be helpful to have the flashing lights there to protect the kids - some of whom take the AATA bus and don't really pay attention as they exit the bus and immediately cross the street. I also have to say, though, that as an avid walker and runner, I never use that crosswalk because I hate making cars stop for me. Since there are medians in that area, I just wait until the traffic clears, make my way across one side and then do the same on the other side.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 3:47 a.m.

I know of at least one student blasted 20 feet in the air at the huron cross walk, I wonder what the stats are for the carnage at these crosswalk death traps.

Charles Curtis

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:17 a.m.

Having the same markings, signage, PAINTED crosswalk markings would help much. Many of the crosswalks are so faded that you cannot see them from road while driving. Its gets to be difficult to read all the useless signs that are placed at very congested areas, look for pedestrians, watch for bikes and watch out for other drivers at times. AND the city needs to ticket the jaywalkers, so many just walk across streets at random spots. I also have had so people play the game of standing in crosswalk on sidewalk, and then when you stop, they dont cross. Not sure if they are unaware or are playing a dumb game, but they ought to get a ticket if they dont cross at a crosswalk or stand texting/talking at crosswalk entrance. What about bikes that dont stop at crosswalks or stop signs and lights?


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:13 a.m.

Earlier today i stopped at the strobes on Plymouth but because the pedestrians had not stepped offf curb on other side, cars went past me..... Also, i totally get pedestrians have the rightmof way but shouldn't they stop and look before walking off the curb? There is stiLl a stopping time if you are going 30 mph


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:07 a.m.

Targeting the Jaywalkers?


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:59 a.m.

I'm happy to stop for pedestrians IN the crosswalks... it's the one's that cross at random I aim for :)


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:05 a.m.

When there is a blinking red crosswalk (like on Huron St. at 3rd) if the pedestrian has crossed, but the light is still blinking red, do you need to wait for the light to finish blinking before one proceeds?


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:59 a.m.



Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:28 a.m.

When the light is flashing red and there are no pedestrians coming into your lane, you proceed as with a normal flashing red light.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:09 a.m.

Take the quiz that Mr. Stanton put at the end of his blog entry.

Ann English

Tue, May 21, 2013 : midnight

You gave no map of these locations, but I'm very sure the 2200 block of Platt is at Lorraine, where Scarlett and Mitchell School students would walk.


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:49 p.m.

There needs to be consistency for the crosswalks. It is confusing for drivers and pedestrians when some have lights, while others don't. 1. Install strobe lights at every pedestrian crossing that is not located at cross street intersection to clearly indicate to motorists that someone is crossing the street. 2. Install lights to illuminate each side of the crossing. This will provide additional safety to pedestrians and allow motorists to see potential pedestrians approaching the crosswalk. 3. Ticket jaywalkers who opt not to use the pedestrian crosswalks that are provided all over the city. Downtown jaywalkers would provide plenty of revenue for fund lighting projects. 4. Have a joint program between campus police and A2 police to provide incoming students with information about being a responsible pedestrian and using crosswalks instead of walking in front of cars while listening to their Ipods. 5. Traffic police could also go into the elementary and middle schools to teach kids how to safely cross streets.

Matt Cooper

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

Nicholas: " mostly happens on State street in front of the Union' Don't get out much, do you? This happens all over town, a hundred times a day in every part of the city. On every street downtown, every side-street along Huron, Stadium, Washtenaw, Packard, William street, Fourth Ave, South no,not just on State Street in front of the Union, although this is one of the worst intersections. And I agree with other posters. Your posts seem to be incredibly one-sided. If pedestrians want to 'share the road' that's fine, but they also have certain responsibilities and duties that come with using public roadways for pedestrian foot traffic, not the least of which is conducting themselves in a safe and respectful manner. You ask motorists to be safe and respectful towards pedestrians. When will you ask pedestrians to extend the same courtesies to motorists and use their common sense?

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.

@obviouscomment: My comments are not one-sided. I praised the OP for #4. The students who stream across the roads outside of crosswalks and in the path of traffic are a big problem and are breaking the law. But then again, it mostly happens on State street in front of the Union. I just avoid that area during the student-season, and curse when I forget.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 10:22 a.m.

I would love to see the strobe lights used in more places. As a driver, I really appreciate when pedestrians and cyclists use them on Plymouth. I get plenty of visual warning that someone wants to cross and I and the other drivers are able to stop more safely as we all can see the strobes, rather than just a few drivers seeing a ped and stopping while others whose angle of view didn't allow them to see the ped either speed through the crosswalk or slam on their breaks.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:35 a.m.

@Nicholas Urfe...we get your point and obviously very few of us want to talk about how this comment is one-sided...well yours are all one-sided too, and we get your side

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:30 a.m.

Are you willing to pay the higher taxes required to raise the millions for #1 and #2?

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

That is quite a list. A very one-sided list. Are you a car driver, by chance? Do you have a list of things the city should do to get motorists to comply with the laws? Because the city doesn't have a problem with pedestrians running down drivers. But some would say we have a problem with motorists running over pedestrians. Though I really like #4.


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:48 p.m.

Division should be monitored for speed and failure to yield at the crosswalk at Detroit Street. Also the crosswalks on the south end of the Broadway bridge should be monitored as well for speed and failure to yield.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:22 a.m.

Yes Carolyn, the South end of the bridge is further West than the North end of the Bridge. Or you can say the East end of the bridge is further North than the West end. Both are correct, and your thought is very important. Thank you for sharing.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:58 a.m.

I do believe that the Broadway bridge runs east and west....


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:42 p.m.

I think not a single pedestrian will get a ticket.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

I am writing you a ticket said no cop ever to a jaywalker in Ann Arbor.

Matt Cooper

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

No, Nicholas, I don't. If I, as a driver, must risk being ticketed for not yielding to pedestrians at a crosswalk, should not also the pedestrian be ticketed for not walking all the way to the crosswalk, activating the stop light, and then proceeding once it's safe to do so? I cannot count how many times I've seen people cut across 2, 3 even 4 lanes of traffic (and thereby risking their own health and safety) because they can't be inconvenienced by having to walk that last 50 or 75 or 100 feet to the actual crosswalk. Shouldn't they be ticketed as well for putting not only themselves but me and other motorists in danger (and if you think that in a pedestrian vs. motorist collision that the only one who gets hurt is the pedestrian, you need to check your information)? Am I, and every other driver, now responsible for the safety of jaywalkers simply because I am in a vehicle and they are not? What responsibility does the pedestrian have? What culpability does he have when he crosses the street at a point that is something other than an actual crosswalk and gets hit by a car that didn't see him? What should that pedestrians fine be?

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:26 a.m.

The pedestrians aren't operating heavy machinery that can squash other people. Hence the focus on those who are operating heavy machinery. See the difference?


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

A follow-up story to be written ... never


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:54 p.m.

That will be a great follow-up story. The number of crosswalk tickets vs. the number of pedestrian tickets.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:24 p.m.

what happens when pedestrian "waves me through"?


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 5:10 p.m.

I agree completely grimmk, the problem is not with roundabouts it is with people who don't know how to drive around them. I refuse to pull into a roundabout when someone tries to let me in, that way it drives home the point that they are being idiots.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 7:37 a.m.

This! I've had that happen to me way too often. Talk about confusing. Even worse in a roundabout and the person IN the roundabout waves me in. Total fail.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:59 a.m.

Just check to see if he is waving with the whole hand or only one finger.

Jon Wax

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:18 p.m.

ya know... these things would probably work better if you said they were going into effect and then didn't list exactly where and when it was going to happen. just sayin. Peace Wax


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 5:04 p.m.

Ryan, I believe the point Jon was making is there is now by process of elimination a list of crosswalks that are not on the target list and therefore are even less likely to be monitored. Like the adage goes, no cop no stop.

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:54 a.m.

The goal is compliance, not writing tickets. If this advance warning gets people to be careful to stop for pedestrians at these crosswalks, so they don't get tickets, the campaign worked.


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:06 p.m.

"City officials said safe driving is not the sole emphasis of the campaign, as pedestrians have responsibilities, too. The city's ordinance also makes it unlawful for pedestrians to suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into a path of a vehicle that is so close it is unsafe for a driver to yield." I take that to mean they will be ticketing pedestrians who ignore the crosswalk that is ten feet from them and they just decided it was too much effort to walk that far to safely cross. Don't get me wrong as an avid walker for exercise (hence my screen name) I too have had my share of inconsiderate drivers when I and my dogs are out. But at the same time I have lost count of the number of times while driving that when coming upon one of the new crosswalks anywhere someone is close to one and steps out as if they are in the crosswalk and expects everyone to stop.


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 10:56 p.m.

I have no problem stopping for pedestrians in a crosswalk. But when will they target pedestrians that cross anywhere they please? This horse has been beat to death.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

Peter you are missing the point. IF pedestrians would pay attention when crossing somewhere other than a crosswalk instead of talking of the phone or texting there would not be so many confrontations. But there are so many airheads that walk against the signal or into the street because they think they are the only ones that matter in the world.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:23 a.m.

@Peter Thanks for your undestanding of this very simple to understand traffic law. At least I thought it was very simple.

Peter Baker

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:48 a.m.

You're all missing the point. By law, pedestrians can cross anywhere it's safe for them to do so, but cars don't have to yield for them if they're not in a crosswalk. Crosswalks provide safe passage and cars must yield even if the pedestrian is waiting to cross.

Barb's Mom

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.

@ Nicholas, Maybe you should take the quiz above. The second question is Q.2 Ann Arbor's crosswalk ordinance requires drivers to stop for pedestrians even if a crosswalk is not present True ?False The answer is FALSE!


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

I agree with Nicholas. If you get run over you are by definition not crossing as long as it is safe to do so.


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

Nicholas, then why are we wasting money on new fancy crosswalks? Just to give the police something else to ticket people for and put money in the city coffers for "Public Art"?


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

Is that true, Nicholas? Or is this an issue of "it's safe to do so" being interpreted differently? If a pedestrian can legally cross the road anywhere, and if cars must always yield to pedestrians, then isn't it ALWAYS safe to do so? I don't think people are supposed to just run into the road wherever. I think they're supposed to use crosswalks. I hpe the cops don't try to give me a ticket when I'm slowing down, but the person at the crosswalk stops to wait for me to pass, and I do. I don't have the time to play "no YOU go first," a game I got really tired of when played with cars at a 4-way stop.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:10 p.m.

What you describe is legal in Ann Arbor. Perhaps you could find the time to read the law? A pedestrian in Ann Arbor may cross anywhere so long as it is safe to do so. The big difference between a pedestrian and a car drivers is that the pedestrian is not at risk of running someone else down.

Tom Joad

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

These targeted enforcement efforts are well-appreciated by pedestrians. The word spreads quickly when a driver receives a citation for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a cross-walk. It's not an us vs. them mentality. Drivers, too, are pedestrians and have probably experienced the frustrations and dangers simply crossing a street at a designated crosswalk. Its in everyone's interest to have safer streets and respect for pedestrians


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

They should target pedestrians crossing illegally. And write them up for stealing shopping carts from Kroger on Plymouth, too.


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:01 p.m.

Is it not in everyone's interest for pedestrians to cross at these special locations? Many pedestrians have no respect for drivers.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 10:16 p.m.

They need to do this more often, and the fines need to be higher.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:40 p.m.

Nicholas You intentionally overlook the many real world situations where pedestrians walk into traffic without any regard for traffic. They have the I am entitled attitude!


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:38 p.m.

Nicholas Why is it so hard to admit that there are both drivers AND pedestrians that are AIR heads?


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

I've view jaywalking as an important life skill. If you absolutely needed to get to the other side of the street pronto, it'd be nice if you already had developed the good habits of safely getting across the road without causing a huge accident. It's not hard, and as Tano has mentioned, it saves the drivers the inconvenience of having to come to a screeching halt on a five lane road (backing up traffic, increasing driver irritability, etc...).


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

I don't understand your comment either Matt. Do you have any evidence that jaywalking is actually more dangerous than crossing at a crosswalk? Given the many comments here about how crosswalks are poorly or inconsistently marked, how the visibility of the pedestrian is often difficult and how the crosswalk itself seems to give pedestrians an unjustified sense of security, I really wonder if they are any safer. Jaywalkers are much more likely to be cognizant of the risks and aware of the dynamics of traffic conditions. And how often does it really happen that a jaywalker is hit by a car and the driver then blamed? As opposed to, say, the frequency of accidents at crosswalks where a pedestrian is hit by an unaware driver (who certainly will be blamed), or a compliant car is rear-ended?

Matt Cooper

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

Yes, Tano! Heaven forbid pedestrians be inconvenienced by having to do something that saves their own lives when it's just so much easier to blame motorists after the fact.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

@Lake Trout I don't understand why you are upset at these jaywalkers. They are not looking at traffic with an air of entitlement, the are looking to find a safe path through to the other side. They may be doing something very dangerous, but that is their own risk. From the point of view of drivers, they are making things easier for everyone by allowing the traffic to flow normally and taking it upon themselves to find a safe path across. If they went to the crosswalk they would inconvenience many people by forcing four lanes of traffic to stop.

Lake Trout

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:27 p.m.

The same goes for Jay-walkers - ticket them for NOT using the designated cross-walk that is 50 feet away. I see this every day were the AATA stop is half way between a hawk-signal cross walk and the Carpenter/Packard intersection. Lazy no-nods stand in the center lane where vehicles are trying to go for a left turn and look at oncoming traffic like they are entitled to special treatment.. WALK A FEW MORE STEPS TO THE CROSS-WALK!!!

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, May 21, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

nicholas, how much should the fine be for a pedestrian crossing 20-30 feet away from the clearly marked cross walk? I see this at least once a week in my area.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:08 p.m.

@jcj: you intentionally over-simplify the many real world situations where drivers refuse to stop. Cases where the pedestrian is in the street, in the crosswalk. Cases where the driver sees the pedestrian trying to cross, but ignores them. Drivers who make a right on red without ever looking for pedestrians. Drivers who stop in crosswalks, or block them. Drivers who roll through crosswalks and stop signs. Drivers who speed so fast they cannot stop for pedestrians or hazzards. Etc.


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 10:58 p.m.

Fines need to be higher for someone that does not notice someone on the sidewalk on the side of the road? I think not! What is the pedestrians responsibility? They should be fined for crossing anywhere but a designated crosswalk!


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 10:10 p.m.

I still say this would be much easier if all of the cross walks were marked identically. Different signage and markings make it difficult to identify a crosswalk with enough time to stop safely.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 5:51 p.m.

Agreed, yellow, flashing, neon, islands. Make it consistent.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 11:34 a.m.

It's so challenging EVERY morning for parents to figure out that near Forsythe on Newport at about 8 a.m., there might possibly be kids in the crosswalk waiting to cross. EVERY morning, parents blast through the crosswalk. Perhaps a ticket will give htm pause for thought. Before they injure someone's kid. I know this would be an unusual time of day to look for kids, as well as fater school.


Tue, May 21, 2013 : 9:42 a.m.

Most definitely! The ones that are on a four lane road that only have a sign in the median are especially problematic. If a pedestrian is coming from the left side of the road, both the pedestrian and the sign can easily be unseen by drivers in the far right lane. If a vehicle in the left lane is slowing for a pedestrian, the sign is 100% blocked from a driver in the right lane's view, and with no other signage to indicate a crosswalk is there, a driver in the right lane may have no idea there is a person crossing in front of that slowed/stopped vehicle. I've experienced this myself on Stadium near Liberty....I thought the vehicle was slowing to make a left turn and did not realize there was a person walking in front of it until I got close enough to see there were lines on the street, and thankfully the pedestrian paused to look at me before walking in front of me. I ended up slamming on my brakes to stop in time. I just had no visual clue that there was a person there legally crossing the street because of the unfortunate placement of the only sign. Signage like the example above at 7th and Washington is fantastic for busy 4-lane roads. The lights are very visible from a distance from all lanes.


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 11:02 p.m.

Nicholas Why do you defend pedestrians that cross AGAINST the signal or in the middle of the block?


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 10:54 p.m.

I agree about having identical signage. There are mid-block pedestrian cross walks on Division than don't have signs at all, and cars rarely stop there.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, May 20, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

It would not matter. The excuses and rationalizations for not stopping will never end. Just read the comments posted here from drivers trying to justify their bad driving.


Mon, May 20, 2013 : 9:56 p.m.

Geddes Ave at Gallup park should be on this list. It is one of the most dangerous crosswalks in the city, almost ignored my most motorists.