Should riding bicycles on sidewalks be banned in downtown Ann Arbor?
Hieftje says he's relayed the idea to a few different groups in the community and is awaiting feedback.
"All you need to do is walk in downtown to understand that there are some times when bicycles are very obtrusive and people are trying to ride through a crowd of people," Hieftje said, pointing out he's seen it happen on State Street.
"So it's an issue that I would like to have some input on from the various conversation groups that are concerned with both cycling and the downtown. I think it's a serious issue and one we should be taking a good look at before somebody is seriously hurt."
Hieftje said he has been in talks with the Downtown Marketing Task Force and Eli Cooper, the city's transportation program manager. He also has asked the Downtown Development Authority for input.
"There are some tradeoffs," he noted. "There's the family that wants to ride to the library with their kids and they want to ride on the sidewalk, so how do you figure that in and handle that? That's a complication."
John Mouat, chairman of the DDA's Transportation Committee, gave a report last week on the results of a new survey that ranked 12 different possible projects for enhancing the pedestrian experience downtown. Minimizing sidewalk obstructions and getting bicycles off sidewalks ranked at the top of the list.
The second most popular option was getting more trees, planter boxes and urban gardening downtown. Trip hazard mitigation ranked third.
Mouat said the survey results seem to indicate Ann Arbor's downtown sidewalks are rich commodity. He said the committee will look for possible ways to implement some of the recommendations of the survey.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529.