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Posted on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

Vehicle strikes and kills woman crossing Ann Arbor-Saline Road

By Cindy Heflin


The pickup truck that struck a woman crossing Ann Arbor-Saline Road near the scene of the accident Friday night.

Melanie Maxwell |

Editor's note: This article has been updated with additional information from Ann Arbor police.

A 70-year-old Ann Arbor woman was hit by a pickup truck and killed on busy Ann Arbor-Saline Road north of Eisenhower Parkway Friday night, Ann Arbor police said.

The woman was crossing the street from west to east near Oakbrook Drive about 6 p.m. when a pickup truck, driven north by a 22-year-old Horton man, struck and killed her, police said.

Ann Arbor-Saline Road was closed for the accident investigation, snarling traffic throughout the area for hours. Northbound traffic was being diverted into the Cranbrook Village Shopping Center. Southbound lanes were closed at Main Street.

It was the second fatal pedestrian accident in two days in Washtenaw County. Thursday night, a 59-year-old Ypsilanti Township woman died after she was hit by a red Toyota sedan on Golfside Drive north of Washtenaw Avenue on the border between Pittsfield and Ypsilanti townships. That accident also occurred about 6 p.m.

Ann Arbor police Sgt. Bill Clock said police have not yet determined why the woman was crossing the road in that area. There is no crosswalk or traffic light at the place where she was crossing.

Police are still interviewing witnesses, and Clock asked anyone with information about the accident to call him at 734-794-6921.

Sabine Gabaron, who lives in the area, said she has often seen pedestrians or bike riders trying to get across Ann Arbor-Saline Road near the intersection with Oakbrook. She is concerned about traffic and pedestrian safety in the area and said she has emailed the city seeking improvements. photographer Melanie Maxwell contributed to this report.

View Pedestrian accident in a larger map



Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

I've crossed at that corner many times and it's a nightmare. It's hilly and people are racing thru. Sure it's a commercial area but there *are* neighborhoods and parks there as well, regardless of who was there first. There * absolutely* needs to be a lit crosswalk are there like the ones on Plymouth Rd.. There are too many incidents there as it is and now this horrible tragedy to think otherwise.


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

All I know is that almost everyone driver I see in Ann Arbor exceeds the speed limit and does not drive defensively. People are insane in their cars, with no regard for others. It's terrifying. Now this. Condolences to the families of both of these women.

Frustrated in A2

Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 1:34 a.m.

Sorry to hear about the loss for the pedestrian's family. It's funny how many people become traffic engineers and traffic experts after crashes like this. Accidents happen that's why they are called accidents. Traffic fatalities are an unfortunate fact of life. No matter if every option suggested above was implemented there are going to be fatal crashes, it's an unfortunate fact of driving. As opposed to flooding the mayor's office with emails I'm going to trust the city traffic engineers to look into the situation and let them do what they're paid to do. This intersection may or may not need a crosswalk, I'm just asking that we trust the professionals for once instead jumping to our own assumptions.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 2:36 a.m.

But it shouldn't take them over a year to do so, when people have been expressing their concerns about the safety of the intersection.

Frustrated in A2

Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

No that should be common sense but we do need one to determine if a crosswalk is needed or a good fit for that intersection.


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

We need a traffic engineer to tell us it's dangerous to cross five lanes of 45mph traffic at dark at an intersection without a crosswalk???

Bill Wilson

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

Indeed... my family will also pray for her and her family.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

No street lights? That is what happens when AA Major is more concerned about saving money when saving lives. I can go around Ann Arbor see so many street lights are off and have been off so many months. Why isn't there some kind of check up system with the DTE? About two years ago I've called DTE told them light were off at Washtenaw and Hill. In two weeks they were replaced. Why are all the street lights are very often are not on or burned out, and no one is checking on them. It is such a tragedy for the woman's family. Very likely she lived in Senior Citizen development near by.Someone needs to sue the Major of Ann Arbor. Good luck with that.

Dagrmc McEwen

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 8:09 p.m.

My condolences to the family. A terrible incident. I live nearby and use the intersection often. Very busy intersection especially at Rush hour and especially busy on Friday nights with people going home from work and people heading downtown for dinner and entertainment. When you add a football weekend, Friday nights at that intersection are very difficult. At 45 mph on Ann Arbor Saline, it's like a race track. The street is quite wide at the intersection which makes it difficult to walk across safely. It would be helpful to mark the intersection as a pedestrian crosswalk with the appropriate signage. A stoplight there might backup traffic through the Eisenhower and Mainstreet intersections. Also complicating the intersection is that semis use the intersection to delver goods to the stores in the Wholefoods mall.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.

Of course everyone feels terrible about this. When ordinary people do ordinary things in ordinary places and can still be accidentally killed, it reminds us of how vulnerable we are. Only, everyone familiar with this area in the "shopping district" in the area of the I-94 interchange has known for a long time that this is no ordinary place for pedestrians and cyclists. Lets keep in mind that that "neighborhood" grew up around the shopping district which itself was created because of commercial considerations - with the assumption that all "traffic" would be motor vehicles, NOT pedestrian / cyclist traffic. The many remarks here confirm that it makes people walking or biking nervous - they're all vulnerable and sense the danger. I hope everyone agrees: too many times, it takes the killing of a human being before any provisions are made for pedestrians and cyclists. I'm sure many can tick off the examples from recent years - the truth is these conditions existed around Ann Arbor for many years: staring us in the face for years until someone dies.

Ann English

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

I think the "park and ride" lot off Ann Arbor-Saline Road at I-94 has been there longer than Meijer, any of the shopping centers, or subdivisions. Horton, Michigan is 50 miles to the west of us, but 32 of them can be covered via I-94 alone; I can see why THIS driver would want to drive over 60 mph on expressways; probably thinking, "Ah, Friday, done for the week. I-94, i'm almost there, " when this happened. That was partly my own thinking years ago, right before I was stopped for speeding.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

As I recall, this is also a congested area for vehicular traffic. Perhaps a crosswalk and reduced speed would help prevent future accidents there.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

I noticed how dark it was about 5:30 last night. however, With the amount of damage to the truck, looks like this vehical was traveling at a pretty good clip and remember, the pedestrian always has the right of way. Was he aware of what was going on or talking on the cell phone as many do. The investegation with sort it out. Pedestrians can never win in this battle.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

Uniform Traffic Code says that without a crosswalk, she was supposed to yield to all traffic before crossing. OTOH, it also says that he was responsible for avoiding a collision.


Sun, Nov 11, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

"...remember, the pedestrian always has the right of way. ..." Uh, no they don't.

E. Daniel Ayres

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

We live very near the 2nd fatality mentioned in the article. Walking near and crossing on many of the four-lane 45 mph speed limit routes around here is inherently dangerous because there are so many areas where pedestrian accomodations were not part of the original construction planning and design. I was very heartened to see what was done on Golfside Road right near where the second fatality was wrported. An old "four lane 45" was retrofitted to a three lane with turn lane and crossing islands. From a traffic engineering point of view, this makes a whole lot more sense. If Hewitt Road had been retrofitted that way, I'd still be driving my beloved 1995 Ford Ranger long bed pickup instead of its' more expensive to operate, less functional replacement.

Richard Carter

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

Should "Oakbrook" here be "Northbrook?"


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

It's Northbrook on the west side of A2-Saline Road. This is Oakbrook; I live nearby.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

I like to go shopping at stores on the south side of I 94/ A2 saline. I am always biking but will stop and get on the #16 bus on Eisenhower just to get over I-94 and get off at Target or Meijer. Traffic is too fast and people are merging to get on the X-ways. No to mention the big trucks, etc. Just too dangerous.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

One place I always fear is turning right from Washtenaw into the Whole Foods complex. There is a bunch of tall grass/plants that hides the sidewalk and any pedestrian there in. Who can fix that? The owner of the complex? The city? It needs to be chopped down.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

I hold the Ann Arbor city council responsible for these needless tragedies. With their policies they have fostered the attitude in this city that pedestrians own the streets and shouldn't have to worry about their own safety. All the crosswalks, various kinds of flashing lights, and all the ridiculous municipal ordinances in the world will do nothing when you mix cars and people together in a kind of right of way anarchy. All day long I see people crossing streets all over town in high speed traffic without even bothering to look up. It makes no difference if there's a couple painted lines on the street, or even the walk sign it clearly red. Mark my words, these accidents WILL continue and increase in frequency until the city addresses the REAL root of this problem.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 6:12 p.m.

When I grew my city told me to look both ways before crossing. Ann Arbor city council tells people they have the right away when they cross. Maybe it should be illigal to cross in a crosswalk without looking both ways. Also, lets try and be careful when on your bikes in town. I know we share the road, but cars share the road with cars every day, and there are fender benders every day. When a car bumps into a car it's an accident. When a car bumps into a person, walking or on a bike, it's a tragity. And if you ride in the street with your child attached to your bike, you should be arrested. You can be DEAD RIGHT, but don't include your child in your war for the streets.

Linda Peck

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

Skyjockey, I think you are right. I am very concerned about this situation and feel the accidents between cars, pedestrians, and bicycles are going to continue to increase if there are not firm policies set forth about how to behave on the road. I think not only does City Council need to address this issue, but also the issue of police patrol. We have a ton of speeders and careless drivers on the roads these days. I see this every day I am driving and it scares me. We need patrol cars that are visible on our roads and the only way we are going to get this is from the attention to the problem. City Council must get interested and fast. Otherwise, I do think the tragedies are going to continue to rise, as I have said above.

Bob Krzewinski

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

My complete sympathy to the family of the victim. At the same time, please, please, please, if you are walking at night and crossing roads, always act like you are invisible to drivers. And yes, when walking across an intersection STOP LOOKING AT YOUR CELLPHONE!!!! It will not kill you to be unconnected to your "world" for a short time when crossing a street. Last night while driving in Ann Arbor, and having a green light at an intersection, someone in a trance-like cellphone state was starting to walk out in front of me.

zip the cat

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

It does not suprise me one bit that more people are not killed with the way people drive. Everyone is in a big hurry to get to god only knows where. People tailgate you so close you can't see there headlights looking in your rear view mirrior. Hang up the phone and quit texting while driving SLOW DOWN

James Hamilton

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

I have crossed in the same area trying to get to the shopping center on the east side of the street. Traffic is coming fast and it is very difficult. I know I am not suppose to cross there, but I have.

Jim Osborn

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:07 p.m.

The Ann Arbor police really need to be aggressive and ticket all bicycle riders at night who have no lights. It is against the law and it is a dangerous practice for all. They also should ticket the bike riders who run traffic lights when there is opposing traffic, pass cars waiting for a traffic light, bumping into them while doing so, or pretend to be a pedestrian and expect cars to stop for them when riding 15 MPH on the sidewalks and then suddenly turning and crossing a roadway. I ride a bike downtown, and I do none of these things.

Bashir McCrutcheon

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 6:20 p.m.

@sellers: wouldn't picking up the phone cause drivers to then not be paying attention to the road/driving?


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

How come whenever a pedestrian gets killed by a CAR, somebody decides to complain about bikers? Drivers are the ones killing people out there by driving too fast and not staying focused on the rod at All times.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 3 p.m.

First, I wish to send my sympathy to this woman's family and friends. Jim, I agree that bicyclists should have lights on, if they are riding at night. Thursday night, around 6 PM, I was driving north on A2-Saline Road, near Busch's; this very stretch of road. There was a bicyclist traveling northbound on the street, with no lights, no reflectors, and he/she was wearing all black. They had a hooded sweatshirt, and the hood was up, making it nearly impossible to see them. Traffic was bumper to bumper, it was dark, and they were riding in the street during rush hour. I was hoping this person was able to make it home that night. Please use lights on your bicycles if you ride at dusk/night.

Richard Carter

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

As a cyclist I agree with you ... though I'm not quite clear on what law is being broken by "riding 15 MPH on the sidewalks and then suddenly turning and crossing a roadway." Not that I'm disagreeing, it's a bit ambiguous as to what you mean.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

If you notice anyone violating, you can also pickup the phone and call in a report. If no other active crimes are in progress I'm sure they would come to investigate.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

Any news report coming about the little girl hit by a car in the crosswalk at her high school in AA yesterday?

Jim Osborn

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

The present model of pedestrian islands create a false sense of safety. A car and especially a pickup truck can jump the small curb with minimal effort, striking the pedestrian waiting to cross. To make matters worse, many have tall weeds and many poles, making it hard for a driver to quickly ascertain if there is a pedestrian waiting to cross. A much better design is a traffic barrier, the same wood poles with the metal strips that are 3 feet high that are used along the edges of freeways and especially near bridges. I've seen them used for pedestrian islands in Glendale, California. They would consist of three poles and the connecting metal. They would stop a car, and a pedestrian would be easy to see, as would the island. The island would have reflective markers on it. For further safety, an automatic activated blinking light, either yellow or red would be activated when a person begins to cross. The lights can also be self-activated by a button. . pushes a button. Other cities uses these methods, they work, and are superior to what Ann Arbor and the Washtenaw Cty Road Comm. does. Besides providing alternatives, Ann Arbor also needs to ticket jay walkers, as this is a dangerous practice, especially at night..


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 2:37 a.m.

Also, pedestrians need to make themselves more visible. If they are wearing a black or dark coat/hat, black or dark pants & shoes and it is a dark night away from street lights...the pedestrian becomes almost invisible until they are within a few feet from a driver.

Richard Carter

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

I agree ... and to broaden it, for greater safety, the City should not only ticket jay walkers, but also cyclists who ride with no lights at night, and drivers who don't yield to pedestrians in marked crosswalks.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

Please turn on your headlights at dusk. This becomes a bigger problem after the time change. I do not know if that was a factor in these recent accidents, but I know it really affects the ability to see other cars. I cannot think of a rational reason not to turn on your lights at dusk, so I suppose it must be the case of drivers simply forgetting or not noticing. I am not blaming anyone for anything; just a reminder.

Richard Carter

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

Plus, it's the law.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

So when the Environmental Commission passed its pedestrian recommendations many years ago, the most controversial recommendation was that safe pedestrian crosswalks should be established not more than every football field worth of distance, unless there's no reason to think there are pedestrians in the area who would use it. I've always suspected that was the reason that the EC's two city council representatives never took the recommendations to council. Council could certainly have modified that recommendation. Either way, it might have helped in this situation - hard to know. But there should be very few places in Ann Arbor where there is no crosswalk nearby. [In fairness to Mayor Hieftje - he asked me a couple of times if I had a copy of those recommendations, but since the EC amended it when we passed it, it was up to the Environmental Coordinator and the council reps to have the final version. I couldn't remember years later what changes had been made.] But no crosswalk at Oakbrook drive? So we expect 70 year-old women to walk down to Eisenhower (12 football fields out of her way) or up to Main (14 football fields) to cross the street? My condolences to the woman's family.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 1:11 p.m.

Brad, I used Google maps the first time, and I was conservative with the measurements, which I did with a ruler. I suggest you do your measurements again. But you're right, I made a mistake, since I didn't include the return trip. My initial measurements were one-way. So it's actually 24 football fields roundtrip to Eisenhower, and 28 football fields roundtrip to Main. Skyjockey - you're counting all roads, including residential streets. Most residential streets need either nothing or only a dollar worth of paint every few years. You want to look at only the collectors and arterials. You're probably down to about 600 at that point. 500 places where we need a few signs and a dollar worth of paint, an another hundred or so where we need more extensive work that can wait until the roads are rebuilt. Next, what's the distance on the downtown grid? You'll find that short blocks are shorter than a football field - somewhere around 200'. Long blocks are longer, but then that's why there's a crosswalk on Main Street between William and Liberty. As it is, the Plymouth corridor between Murfin and Huron Parkway now has about the right number of crossings. Why's that such a problem?


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

I stand corrected. Actually I was off by a factor of 120 if you throw in the end zones.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

Skyjockey .. Your math is off by a factor of 100. That is 6160 crossings. I hope your flight plans are better but I still agree with your conclusion.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

Skyjockey43, I am a pedestrian myself; I am confronted with pedestrians as well, as a driver; I have taken the bus for many years in Ann Arbor. I get what you are saying - that's obvious. I am just saying that when a neighborhood changes because of added retailers, things need to change as well on the roads. This intersection has been very dangerous for several years now and no-one seems to notice. A street light needs to be there.

Richard Carter

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

Crosswalk Ordinance 1.0 or 2.0 only work WHERE THERE'S A CROSSWALK... so those ordinances are irrelevant here.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

Rosalie, crosswalks are not magic force fields providing an impenetrable barrier between mast moving, heavy steal objects and human beings. even 616,000 pairs of painted lines on the road will not prevent people from getting hurt crossing the road if they aren't looking out for their own well being. Everyone thought that the new crosswalk ordinance (and crosswalk ordinance 2.0) would make pedestrians safer. Obviously that way of thinking is incorrect as evidenced by all these tragedies.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

Google Earth says 500 yards to Eisenhower and 725 to Main.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

Since the opening of Whole Foods the traffic - both pedestrians and cars - has drastically changed. Even more so in the fall with football. Yes, sometimes it seems like a good idea to have more crosswalks.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

Also there are over 350 miles of roads in Ann Arbor. A crosswalk every 100 yards? That's over 616,000 crosswalks. Good plan.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Or the 70 year old woman could take advantage of the tax payer subsidized AATA senior ride program and be driven anywhere in the city limits for 3 dollars instead of crossing a busy road with no crosswalk in the dark.

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

He hit her at top speed based on the damage to the truck. How awful.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, "Two Carnegie Mellon University scientists have made a study of traffic fatalities that shows pedestrians walking during the evening rush hour are nearly 3 times more likely to be struck and killed by cars in the weeks after the fall time change. The problem, they suspect, is that pedestrians and drivers have gotten used to more than six months of visibility during those hours and are slow to adapt to the danger of the darkness. No such jump was seen for drivers or passengers in cars. Research by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of Arlington, Va., has calculated that going to a year-round daylight-saving time would save about 200 deaths a year." My question - why do we still use daylight savings? I think we should either end it or permanently stay in it, as it's the CHANGE that creates a dangerous situation. Sincere condolences to the families of the victims.

Richard Carter

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

Not to mention the week of a time change, particularly the "Spring Forward," where people lose an hour of sleep, there are more accidents and even more heart attacks.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

I venture to conject that in many places it's still pleasant to walk outside at this dusk hour, and come December, everyone is in by the darkhour as it's colder.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

Both of these accidents are very unfortunate. Commenters before me have said everything I would say, making suggestions for more pedestrian help in that area with lights, crosswalks and perhaps a hawk signal, as well as added caution for the time of day, slower speeds, etc. My condolences to the families of both women and the people who hit them. Lets all slow down a dusk and make sure we can stop if something or someone enters our path.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

You should carry a flashlight when walking on the road at night.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

That's a really good idea. It should be mandatory. Drivers can get pulled over if their lights are broken/not on and night, maybe something similar should come into effect for pedestrians?

Richard Carter

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

And/or... now you can get those LED headlamps sometimes for less than $10 on sale.

Vivienne Armentrout

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 11:56 a.m.

I was pleasantly surprised to be driving on Plymouth Road the other day when the HAWK signal came on so that pedestrians could safely cross. It appears to be working well. Perhaps the city should consider installing a similar crossing on the Ann Arbor Saline Road near all that residential/commercial confluence.

Richard Carter

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

Well, apparently the City didn't take *all* the responsibility off the pedestrian. If there's a HAWK light, they still have to push the button. Sounds like, from your experience, they don't always. Weird.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

The signals on Plymouth road aren't really true HAWK signals like the one at Huron and 3rd since they use flashing yellow strobes as opposed to an red stop light. This causes a lot of confusion for people who aren't familiar with the their meaning. Also the signals are highly dependent on the pedestrian actually activating the signal. I go by there many times a day, and all too often I see people crossing the road without activating the signal. The problem is that the city of Ann Arbor has taken all the responsibility off the pedestrian for their own safety. You can spend millions of dollars on crosswalk safety and people in this town will still cross the road anywhere and anytime they feel like it. If anyone can tell me of even one instance of a pedestrian getting a citation for jaywalking in Ann Arbor, I'd love to hear it. I don't think it's a mere coincidence that we're having so many pedestrian accidents this year. The two fatalities this week, the woman hit on Washtenaw near the Rec Ctr, and the other one at state and Washington. Drivers have a responsibility to drive safely and be vigilant for pedestrians, but a 4,000 pound vehicle can't stop on a dime when a U of M student decides to walk in right in front of you while chatting on their cell phone.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 7:41 a.m.

I was stuck in the traffic jam, and saw the police there, but I confess I thought they were diverting traffic because of the upcoming football game since I couldn't see the accident. My condolences to the woman's family and friends. There are many more homes on those streets then there use to be, and I think it's high time more pedestrian friendly measures should be taken.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 7:26 a.m.

last evening and this evening driving around 6 pm I noticed many pedestrians crossing in sevearl areas I thought as a driver would be unsafe for them and both nights people on bicycles in traffic without any lights/reflectors and wearing all black clothing. Gotta say too, the street lights weren't on at the time, either not on at all or rotating off to save energy? I have noticed some downtown blocks street light don't come on.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 7:01 a.m.

Oh my god, I'm so horrified. My prayers go out to the family, both families, of the pedestrians. This is getting out of hand. Also, to the driver who must be in shock, scared, and horrified of what happened. Wow. I don't think I really expressed my feelings well here. I'm so sorry.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 4:19 a.m.

My sincere condolence to the family of the 70 year old woman who attempted to cross a very busy street after dark. Personally, I Drive-In-Fear in Ann Arbor after dark; there are so many bicycle riders (exercising their "right" to peddle on the roadway instead of the sidewalks that are abundantly available beside the roadway). My protocol: 1. Stick to the Center Lane (if a 4 lane road), 2. Drive Slow and 3. Use your Bright Lights as much as possible. It seems like the Night Time Bicyclists are trying to "Prove Something."


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

Yeah. drive slow in the passing lane with brights on...Brilliant! Just like Charles Curtis said in his comment, do us a favor and don't drive.

Richard Carter

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

There do exist people in this town who do not have cars, and who only have bicycles to get around. I know some of them. And when they bicycle at night, usually the only thing they are trying to prove is to prove to their managers that they are capable of getting to their jobs on time. And yeah, study after study shows that there are actually MORE accidents when bicyclists ride on the sidewalk than in the street. Sometimes people walking turn on a dime to look at a nice flower next to the sidewalk or whatever. There are no laws mandating what side of the sidewalk people walk on, and a person pulling out of a driveway tends to stop before the street but not before the sidewalk, whatever the law says. My big rant for bicyclists on the sidewalk... you're supposed to be making some sort of sound (a bell, a horn, even "ON YOUR LEFT!"). I've been sideswiped when I stepped around a puddle while walking because I couldn't hear the bicyclist behind me.

Charles Curtis

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

Your protocols are some of the reason drivers have issues. Drive slow and in center lane forces drivers to pass you on right. If a driver is driving in center and comes up on a slow center lane driver, not only do they pass on right many get upset and look at the slow driver as opposed to looking for bikes/pedestrians. Driving with bright lights on blinds other drivers again reducing there ability to see. Do us a favor and dont drive. Night time bicyclists are not trying to prove anything, thats just a ridiculous statement. I have no problem with bicyclists. I do want police to enforce the law though. If bicyclists are on the road, they are suppose to honor ALL driving laws. The few who dont are giving the majority that do a black eye.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 5:54 a.m.

Obviously, you've never heard of the Washtenaw Biking and Walking Coalition (WBWC). They are constantly carping at cyclists to use ONLY THE STREET for riding or suffer Eternal Damnation. And they -FYI - have considerable influence with city council on the subject matter. Also FYI - for every person who want bikes on sidewalks only, there's an equally determined "expert" insisting that bikes stay OFF sidewalks (because they, you know, surprise some walkers who are too busy talking on cell phones to NOT hog the sidewalk so as to stumble into passing bikes). You get bonus points for "It seems like the Night Time Bicyclists are trying to "Prove Something." –– That's the very definition of Driving by Personal Opinion and... insanity. In addition to not hearing about WBWC, you've apparently no idea that there exists a Michigan Motor Vehicle Code which deals in detail with bicycles on the road at the same time as motor vehicles. The only roads I know of that prohibit bicycle traffic are the "I-" expressways.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 3:34 a.m.

I am deeply saddened by what happened tonight. My sincere condolences to the family and friends of this woman. I have been saying for a long time that there are many issues with this intersection. No traffic lights, no street lights, no crosswalk lines to cross Ann Arbor Saline, dense traffic in the morning and in the evening making it impossible to cut Ann Arbor Saline road by car, cars accelerating and going very fast between the two lights (Main and Eisenhower), cars exiting the Cranbrook Village Shopping Center and taking a left when it clearly says that you can only take a right, cars exiting the Cranbrook Village Shopping Center, taking a right and then entering Oakbrook or Northbrook to make U-turns. Clearly something needs to be done at this intersection. I also feel terrible for yesterday's accident. My condolences to the woman's family and friends as well. We should all be able to walk, run, bike and drive safely.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1 p.m.

Thank you Rosalie. I am friends with the family of the woman who passed on Thursday. They are extremely upset as this is definitely not an expected way to go. They appreciate everyone's kind words. Lets hope there are some changes to pedestrian crossings.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 3:17 a.m.

That stretch of Ann Arbor-Saline could definitely use a few sets of those pedestrian refuge islands in the center lane like there are on West Stadium. That's a wide street to try to cross with a 45 MPH speed limit and heavy traffic. Or maybe some of those HAWK pedestrian signals?


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 3:31 p.m.

I agree with the current speed limit and busyness of the road, a HAWK would interfere with traffic flow. This would be a good spot for some sort of skywalk/bridge. Paint something about the UM stadium/sports etc and get the U to help fund (pipe dream I know)...

Richard Carter

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

It's an area that needs some sort of appropriate or safe place to cross though... I know people who live in that neighborhood and I don't think there's a single place anywhere in the area designed for crossing Ann Arbor-Saline Road. And a HAWK signal doesn't require stopping on a dime. I drive Plymouth Rd. regularly and they can be seen from a long way off. You're not required to stop if it activates too late for you to safely stop.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

But with traffic moving at 40-45 mph which is posted speed limit, that is an issue as well. Cars, and those behind them, aren't meant to stop on a dime and hope those behind them can do the same. The best idea here is to make sure drivers go the speed limit and that pedestrians cross at the appropriate places. In both cases this week, the pedestrians weren't crossing at appropriate, or safe places.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 3:09 a.m.

My heart goes out to her family. I was there in my car when the police where trying to help her. I said many prayers as we were locked in traffic. May she rest in peace


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:50 a.m.

This is all pretty horrible, two accidents in as many matter what the cause of these accidents, we as a community need to take a hard look at our driving habits, the condition of the streets, lighting and crosswalks, and please let us all exercise some additional care in getting around.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 9:05 p.m.

I do know this fact, she was jaywalking if she was not crossing at a proper intersection. Quite frankly I would suggest pedestrians should be the ones who take a look at THEIR habits. I have yet to hear of the driver of a car that hits a pedestrian getting injured. Take some responsibility for your life and cross where you are supposed to cross. This goes for 70 and 59 year olds as well as the DOZENS who risk their lives daily near the campus of UM with illegal walking and bicycling behaviors.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

What is wrong with taking a look at our driving habits? Why are some people so defensive and so anxious to blame pedestrians for accidents? There are not enough details to know exactly what happened. A respectful request that we (drivers) look at our driving habits, the condition of the streets, lighting and crosswalks is not an attack and is something in our control. There is no reason to attack a dead elderly lady when you don't even know the facts.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 8:18 a.m.

Why are you pinning this on driving habits? Pedestrians need to take a look at THEIR habits of crossing without a crosswalk. If you can not cross the street safely maybe you should not attempt it. The driver is doing what he supposed to be doing. The woman could have caused injuries to a myriad of other people if the driver swerved to avoid her, or slammed on his breaks. There are crosswalks, it just means you have walk further to reach them.

Terry Star21

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:43 a.m.

This is extremely sad and very hard to read. My condolences to the women in Ypsilanti and the woman in Ann Arbors families. Ann Arbor and suburbs in my opinion, have more people out walking and running - it's that type of community. I am one of those. When running and crossing I feel a bit safer, while walking however my heart races. I am scared someone will run a red light, or I won't have enough time to cross. As a driver, the time right before dark is sometimes the hardest to see. You can put your lights on but they sometimes play tricks with sight/shadows. Ann Arbor and suburbs have the means to improve walkways across streets with lights, etc. and should make it a priority. I have noticed a wonderful job the last three years that has been done at some crossroads and adding bike lanes and this needs to continue. I was surprised that the corner mentioned in this article was not well lit. Additionally, pedestrians must really make an effort to cross at the intersections, as the Ypsilanti accident was about 250 yards north from the intersection. Again, condolences to the families.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:15 a.m.

I live right in this area and I use the running path often, and I'm almost positive there are crosswalk lines there. What the intersection needs is a traffic light - the speed limit right there on Ann Arbor-Saline is 45 MPH, so people barely slow down to fly onto Oakbrook; or when they're pulling out on to Ann Arbor-Saline, they don't stop before the crosswalk lines, they pull past them and the stop sign so they can see to turn. On top of all of this, there are hardly any streetlights and it's extremely dark once the sun goes down. The running/bike path is used heavily, and I am amazed that nothing like this hasn't already happened. I hope the city decides to take a look at the danger this intersection presents to its residents and makes some much needed changes. My heart goes out to this poor woman's family.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:20 a.m.

For clarification - I am almost positive there are crosswalk lines across Oakbrook at Ann Arbor-Saline, not across Ann Arbor-Saline. Based on what I saw as I was coming home as well as the normal foot traffic in this area, I assumed she was crossing Oakbrook, not Ann Arbor-Saline.

Jojo B

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:12 a.m.

We live in this area and trying to cross Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. by Oakbrook is a nightmare. No traffic lights or ped crossing zone anywhere nearby. And the traffic lights are synced perfectly so there is never an opportune time to cross. Just as a gap appears in the northbound traffic, the southbound traffic starts coming.

Jojo B

Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.

@a2citizen: Sounds like you're not familiar with the area or how people walk in the area. Many people want to cross between Oakbrook and Northbrook. The intersection of Eisenhower and Saline is a 1/4 mile away and the intersection of Saline and Main by Busch's is 1/2 a mile a way. Not a very realistic option for those looking to simply cross the street. While a light or a pedestrian crosswalk at Oakbrook is unlikely (and possibly more dangerous), at least having ample street lights would be prudent. It's surprisingly dark and unlit for such a major artery connecting the highway with downtown.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

There are pedestrian crossings at both the Eisenhower and Main (by Busch's)

Ann English

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 2:04 a.m.

I never thought that going back on standard time was going to increase the occurrences of accidents with PEDESTRIANS. I can understand people living on Northbrook desiring to walk to Cranbrook Village in order to shop. Or those living on Village Oaks desiring to walk over to Woodland Plaza to shop. But the only sign I have ever seen for safety reasons on that stretch is for motorists only, a Right Turn Only sign as you leave Cranbrook Village at Ann Arbor-Saline Road. No road markings for pedestrians anywhere.

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

That area is a pedestrian kill zone, cars routinely travel at speeds of 50+ mph.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:55 a.m.

Deepest sympathy to her family and friends. This is so tragic.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:44 a.m.

That's terrible, condolences to the family. I was there shortly after as police were re-directing cars, and it had already been dark out for awhile. I don't even remember seeing streetlights nearby. Ugh, I feel a little sick now. I had assumed it was just a car-to-car accident and that nobody had been seriously hurt.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:47 a.m.

That didn't come out right, I meant to say I had *hoped* nobody had been seriously hurt. Again, condolences to her friends and loved ones.


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 1:27 a.m.

Wow this is terrible, feel bad for her family. With the time change it gets pretty dark around that time. :(