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 Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5:48 p.m.

Ann Arbor pedestrian safety ordinance repeal proposed in response to concerns

By Ryan J. Stanton

There's a movement afoot to roll back Ann Arbor's pedestrian safety ordinance, and discussion on the issue could take center stage at this week's City Council meeting.

Council Members Christopher Taylor, D-3rd Ward, and Sabra Briere, D-1st Ward, are co-sponsoring a resolution on Thursday's agenda that seeks to amend the ordinance.

They propose getting rid of the local requirement that drivers must stop for pedestrians "approaching" crosswalks, and just leave it so that drivers must follow the pre-existing state law that requires stopping for pedestrians "within" crosswalks.

The following is the full text of the proposed changes.


Supporters of the pedestrian safety ordinance are mobilizing in protest of what they see as essentially a repeal of the local ordinance. They argue that would be a regressive move, reverting back to the old practice of making pedestrians put themselves in harm's way to get vehicles to stop for them. And they argue the current ordinance is modeled on an ordinance in Boulder, Colo., that has been in place since 1989 without any challenge.


Christopher Taylor

"It's been working in Boulder, Colorado, for 22 years, but maybe it'll take a little while here," said Mayor John Hieftje, a supporter of the pedestrian safety ordinance.

It's still possible that the proposal from Briere and Taylor could be revised or that it might not be voted on Thursday. Taylor said it's "a little bit in flux right now," but he said the message is clear from constituents that there are many concerns about the law the council unanimously approved in July 2010.

Enforcement only started in September.

"I've been communicating a great deal with my constituents on the matter and I think, although the ordinance does have its supporters, there is also widespread concern with the approaching standard," Taylor said, agreeing that it's not very clear.

"Everybody shares the same goal and the goal is to improve pedestrian safety," he said. "And everybody agrees that the best way to effect that is to encourage pedestrian-minded driver behavior — that is to say, to encourage drivers to know their obligations and to encourage pedestrians, too, to know their obligations."

Thursday's meeting starts at 7 p.m. on the second floor of city hall at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Huron Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

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 e-mail newsletters.


Ming Bucibei

Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 4:04 p.m.

A full repeal is needed -- JUST DELETE IT!! Ming Bucibei


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

Yeah the question is confusing. Can you change the question and post it please.


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 5:22 p.m.

How about enforcing J-walking laws. A2 has a diverse road system and in some places like Plymouth Rd, where there are not very many signaled intersections, should indeed have signals for walkers.We can call it art, and then it will fall under the city's one percent art found. Just imagine, "Life Saving Art", yeah, and we can put dome artsy graphics on it.. I'm not against people trying to make laws that govern pedestrian rights, just laws that are dangerous to both them and drivers. We are a city and city's have laws for both pedestrians and motorist, and combined make for pretty safe traffic. We can beat around the bush about this all day long, but the facts and fiction about this new law are not well thought out, and that in it's self is irresponsible of any city's leaders. I ride bikes, and when doing so I watch for cars and do my best to stay away from fast moving cars. Using bright reflective clothes for driver have a better chance to see you. The real problem is people who text, make up, screaming at kids, and just plain out day dreaming, are the things that really make drivers unsafe. Oh, I'm driving down the road and forgot to tweet it.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

The need for an ordinance is understandable. Especially with all the new construction of "student" housing, but please, please, be cognizant of the fact that this "ordinances" will affect all citizens.

Paul Epstein

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 10:08 a.m.

Almost unanimous: Repeal this inane ordinance, go back to pedestrians ensuring it is safe to cross before they do, and drivers not compromising safety by doing things that produce idiotically high odds that someone might get hit. Now, on to the next topic: Traffic lights are for ALLOCATING RIGHT-OF WAY! Simple. Period. There is no reason for so many of them to stay red for long periods of time and/or turn red in everyone's faces. Don't believe me? Go out there are see for yourself. Especially during very low traffic hours, if a certain light is red, it stays red for an irrationally long time. If it's green, it turns red upon approach of a vehicle. Either blink the lights on the city's periphery, or if they're supposed to be actuated sensor lights, make them behave like it. And during higher volumes, let's see a definite end to instances in which the green is for the traffic that is NOT there ( * in absence of any pedestrian traffic), causing the entire intersection to experience up to two minutes of no movement. Is the EPA aware of this?


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 4:14 a.m.

So now I'm supposed to stop for someone who is almost across the street, on the other side of a street, e.g., Plymouth Road? So now I'm stopping when there is absolutely no one in the road on my side of the street? I'm supposed to look at the other side of the street to see if there is someone who has almost finished crossing? This is worse than the "approaching" the sidewalk. I have to look even further away from the street and stop when there is no one at all crossing (on my side of the street). This is nuts. They still do not get it.

A A Resident

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 3:51 a.m.

I have some "feel-good" laws I'd like to have passed too. Unfortunately, I haven't really really had the foresight, or taken the time to examine them for all the practical ramifications. Perhaps Hishoner the Mare would find me to be an asset on the City Council? LOL


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 2:54 a.m.

I was very nearly hit today by a car turning left onto William from South State Street. I was walking south on State and had the "walk" sign fully lit (not flashing yellow). I started to cross and the car turned. I know they saw me. It was one of those "screw you, pedestrian" type drivers. Idiots.

Ming Bucibei

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 12:07 a.m.

Repeal it Delete it!!! Install HAWK signals, full traffic signals and cross overs where needed!! Ming Bucibei


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

look: the problem with the law is the word "approaching." why should the driver of a car have to puzzle out whether a pedestrian is "approaching" a crosswalk? and no, it is not always obvious. what if you're approaching the corner of Main and William and you see a friend and start talking? should all traffic stop until you've "completed your approach"? this is typical Ann Arbor nonsense, where now it is apparently too onerous to ask people to look before they cross the street. quick! some aggrieved group needs to file a lawsuit!

The Picker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 9:42 p.m.

Weenie poll ya got there! Whats wrong with, -Repeal -I don't care -Don't repeal Remember you're the watch dog of government ! Practice your function.

The Picker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

Again! The city gaming the citizens ! Pass an outrageous law, then come back half way to near sanity. Get rid of this law and return common sense to city life and traffic flow! And while their at it, review all city ordinances for common sense and cost efficiency.

John Q

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 8:26 p.m.

Is Ryan Stanton ever going to get around to putting some facts to the claims that this is causing accidents all over town? How much times does it take to get the data from the AAPD showing the number of rear-end accidents before and after the ordinance went into effect and how many of those are attributable to pedestrians crossings? Lots of dramatic claims here but so far, no facts to back up the claims of those saying this is causing more accidents.

Wolf's Bane

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

Based upon the back story and the issues with the current wording of the ordinance, the revisions make a great deal more sense. Especially, part b. However, I can't believe that was missed at the first attempt? Hello? Bueller?! Anybody?

Rosie Lemons

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

My biggest problem with the ordinance as written is that it makes it literally impossible to drive anywhere near campus. There are always students 'approaching the intersections'. If you are not allowed to carefully nose your way into the intersection, you would never be able to drive through. I do like the pedestrian stop light installed near the YMCA. And I think that perhaps for the places on Plymouth Road that cross so many lanes of traffic, that one of those would be a very good idea.

Peter Baker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.

If you can't help but run in to a car stopped in front of you, I can't help but wonder why you're driving to begin with.

Peter Baker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

I'd argue that my familiarity with physics is what compels me to keep a safe distance when driving.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

Peter - Guessing that you and physics have only a passing acquaintance.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

The best argument to get rid of the currently written ordinance is that it's unconstitutional. It violates the due process clause because the term "approaching," as used in the context of the ordinance, is unconstitutionally vague. "[T]he terms of a penal statute [...] must be sufficiently explicit to inform those who are subject to it what conduct on their part will render them liable to its penalties… and a statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application violates the first essential of due process of law." Connally v. General Construction Co., 269 U.S. 385 (1926). I encourage anyone who has received a ticket under the currently written ordinance to challenge the law on "void for vagueness" grounds.

David Spence

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

I wonder what the people who responded to the poll thought it meant? For one thing, the proposal doesn't appear to repeal but to amend the ordinance. For another, "I like it" would appear to mean, "I don't like the ordinance as it is now," while "I don't like it," appears to mean "I do like the current ordinance." Confusing!


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 8:38 p.m.

I made that mistake. You can change your vote


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

I support modifying the law but NOT with this wording. Saying a driver needs to yield to a pedestrian in crosswalk 'without regard to which portion of the roadway the pedestrian is using' is going to cauase issues. Some AA polic will be over zealous in enforcing this. It isn't necessary for ALL TRAFFIC TO STOP when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, especially ones on 6, 7, or 8 lanes of traffic. Let the traffie that needs to stop stop to let the pedestrian safely procceed at their chosen speed. I've lived in places with laws like this and it is just stupid and dangerous to have everyone stop when it's going to take a pedestrial 30-40 seconds to get accross all lanes of traffic. Let folks use common sense. Don't create a law that will just be a fund raising law for some AA police officers. The traffic islands and lit crosswalks are already such an improvement, I'm not sure why they went over board with this law when the existing state law is adequate.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:18 p.m.

I have not lived in Boulder but I have lived in towns out west with similar laws. It gets nutty when you are a pedestrian on a sidewalk. All the traffic screeches to a halt whether or not you have any intention of crossing or not. You have to slink away from the sidewalk and deliberately face away from the street before traffic moves again. It is total over kill. They do the same thing when I would ride a bike in the street. When riding a bike in the street, I expect to be treated like a vehicle - it's crazy when everyone stops for you. It really doesn't make anything safer and it's so unneeded and totally disrupts the flow of traffic. There has to be some happy medium. I think getting the AA police to enforce the law of getting folks to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalks so they can safely get accross the street is enough. Add more pedestrian islands and lit cross walks where needed. Add some of these HAWK things where it is really bad. The police should also be enforcing the laws on the pedstrians as well. I drive around the UofM hospital in the early mornings pretty frequently and the pedestrians cross against the traffic lights all the time. And, they do it in the dark, in the rain, and dressed in black clothes. ALL THE TIME. It is crazy dangerous but there never seems to be any enforcement there.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

I think the problem is that the state law is not enforced. Michigan Motor Vehicle Code Section (MMVC) 257.612 (ii) states: ..."The vehicular traffic shall yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully within an ad- jacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection." Basically pedestrians have the right of way when crossing at a cross walk. Most motorists don't yield for a pedestrian unless that person is right in front of them. It appears we have a general lack of enforcement of the traffic laws. I regularly see people running stop signs and red lights; turning from the wrong lane; rather than slowing down for a turning car they will cross into the oncoming lane to pass; and so forth. What I don't see is people getting pulled over for these offenses. How does the Mayor expect to enforce new laws when the laws we have are not enforced?


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:56 p.m.

Except that 612 applies to signalized intersections. That's why it starts with "(1) When traffic is controlled by traffic control signals..."

Jim Walker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:55 p.m.

Ann Arbor adopted the Uniform Traffic Code (UTC) and its ordinances should therefore follow that code to be in full agreement with state law and standard engineering practices. The word Uniform is important for both the controls AND their meaning. Here is the section of the code that applies. R 28.1702 Rule 702. Pedestrians; right-of-way in crosswalk; violation as civil infraction. (1) When traffic-control signals are not in place or are not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right -of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger, but a pedestrian shall not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into a path of a vehicle that is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. (2) A person who violates this rule is responsible for a civil infraction. The proposed ordinance changes bring the city ordinance closer to state law, but NOT in full compliance and agreement. For example on an east-west street, the UTC rule does NOT require the driver going west to stop if the pedestrian is in the part of the crosswalk that crosses the lanes with Eastbound traffic and is some distance from the potential conflict point for westbound traffic. Note that the UTC code requires pedestrians who cross at places other than crosswalks to yield to all vehicle traffic, per R28.1706 Rule 706 James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> , Ann Arbor, MI


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:54 p.m.

This is much better, except that it's a state police recommended ordinance, not a state law. You should look at the other pedestrian ordinances in UTC. They also ban pedestrians crossing outside crosswalks in business districts.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:40 p.m.

If they are really so concerned about this, just take some money from the public art fund and put in HAWK signal crosswalks. That way the pedestrian traffic does not have to worry about having to &quot;put themselves in harm's way to get vehicles to stop for them,&quot; and driver's get a fair shake. As for Boulder, CO, after looking on-line it is clear that their signage around their crosswalks is both more visible (i.e., placed higher from theground with surrounding foliage trimmed back to keep the signs visible), and less mis-leading (i.e., A2's say to yield for pedestrians IN the crosswalk, when the ordinance is for those APPROACHING the crosswalk). While on the subject both pedestrians and drivers would get a break if the city would better care for and prune the trees and foliage in their easements. While they are at it, perhaps they could get residents to better maintain their shrubs and other foliage that encroach on sidewalks, limit visibility, and generally create safety issues.

Go Blue

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

The ordinance should never have been passed. Pure lunacy that it was. Maybe the mayor needs to give it up and live in Boulder since he appears to be so enamored with the city. Guess he hasn't noticed - Ann Arbor is not Boulder. That approach is like saying to one's child, &quot;your sibling excels at (fill in the blank), therefore you should too.&quot;


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

I moved to Ann Arbor in part because I thought pedestrians and bicyclists could move about town with relative ease and safety vs. my home town of St. Clair Shores, and even better than small towns where I've lived such as Houghton, MI and Fremont, MI, but it appears that there is a lot of hostility out there, and drivers rule here as well. Streets like Washtenaw, Plymouth, Main St(from Stadium south to Eisenhower)., Ann Arbor-Saline, Huron, and Jackson are nightmares for bicyclists and pedestrians. There is no reason why motorists can't learn to stop for Pedestrians who are responsibility and leagally walking across the street, and there is no reason why motorists can't learn to stop for cars or other obstructions in front of them. One of my biggest concerns with the recent raising of speed limits around town is the likelihood that more drivers would react too slow to stopping when necessary. Look people if you want live in &quot;suburb&quot; then go live in Shelby Township. My energy put into making Ann Arbor more than just another suburb of Detroit.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

Eric, as the saying goes, something like: Everything I learned in kindergarden is all I need. THat is, and maybe I am old, but my parents taught me to look both ways before crossing the street and to wait until it was safe to do so. They did not put a time limit on it. I was also told to cross at intersections, if there wasn't one I was to walk to the nearest one. If we rode our bikes in the street, which we did often (and without helmets, emagine!) we were to watch for cars and get out of the way. This actually wasn't really taught to us, it was common sense, but perhaps that is being bred out of people. Self righteousness regarding &quot;use of the roadway&quot; shouldn't trump self-preservation (not getting runover). If you missed out on safety town I am sure they would let you listen in with the five year olds.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:30 p.m.

Wait, where did they increase the speed limits? I thought the City Council ignored that order (by putting these crosswalks all over the place). They didn't raise the speed on Plymouth Road and that's the road where the crosswalk ordinance is proving to be the most dangerous.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

I have witnessed numerous pedestrians and cyclist crossing in front of traffic when they have a &quot;Do not cross&quot; signal. The day they follow the rules will be the day I give a damn.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

The new proposed wording seems very sensible.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

ON second thought, after having read all the comments, I think the new law should just be repealed.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

Hello City Council: The bus stops are at the crosswalks on West Liberty. It is impossible to tell if someone is waiting for a bus or is about to cross.

Murphy's dad

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

If you look up the pedestrian ordinance on the City of Boulder website you'll see that there are some differences between the two cities. First, signage in Boulder points out that according to &quot;state law&quot; motorists must &quot;yield&quot; to pedestrians &quot;IN&quot; the crosswalk, not approaching like we have here. Second, on all multi-lane roads Boulder has pedestrian actuated flashing signs. On their FAQ page they acknowledge that they're used on &quot;multi-lane roadways where one car may shield the view of a pedestgrian from another car approaching in the neighboring lane&quot;. So it would appear that the reason it's working in Boulder is that they're only enforcing state law, and that they're doing it in a sensible way. So why do the mayor and the WBWC keep bringing up Boulder as an example to justify what is being done here in Ann Arbor?


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

About time someone woke up!!


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

All &quot;tweaks&quot; will fail without basic ENFORCEMENT of BASIC laws. WHY WASN'T THE ORIGINAL ORDINANCE ENFORCED AS ASSERTIVELY AS THE &quot;NEW&quot; ONE? If you enforce speed limits and &quot;anti-distraction&quot; laws AND enforce the existing State pedestrian law, the &quot;problem&quot; will solve itself. Try it: I dare you.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:53 p.m.

So, if you change the wording, does that mean we can all go back to ignoring the crosswalks?

Lisamarie Babik

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:46 p.m.

I have been following the local ordinance and TWICE have almost been rear-ended because other vehicles are not prepared to stop at crosswalks when there are people waiting to cross. More than that, I frequently get honked at, flipped off, and otherwise aggressively treated when I do stop at the crosswalks and have to guess whether or not a pedestrian is going to cross the street, round the corner, or is just going to keep standing there. Honestly, it's frustrating and the ordinance seems to only give Ann Arbor pedestrians more reasons not to look before stepping into traffic regardless of whether or not they're at an actual crosswalk. Frankly, I think we have enough of that without having a local ordinance that leads them to believe that's okay, that every car in Ann Arbor will stop for them because otherwise they'll get a ticket. Having the &quot;right of way&quot; is cold comfort after a 3,000 lb. vehicle hits your body.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:28 p.m.

&quot;It's been working in Boulder, Colorado, for 22 years, but maybe it'll take a little while here,&quot; said Mayor John Hieftje, a supporter of the pedestrian safety ordinance. Yes, we just aren't as smart or pedestrian-oriented here. I guess we haven't had enough &quot;education&quot; from council and the WWBC yet. I think the mayor should pack up and head for Boulder immediately. We just aren't smart enough here to appreciate him. Clueless!


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : noon

Ryan, you're continuing to confuse things by claiming there's a state law, when there isn't. Whoever told you there was unfortunately didn't know that either. Good luck finding that in Michigan Compiled Laws. There is an ordinance that the State Police recommend local communities adopt, but the fact is that local communities *have* to pass some ordinance for there to be a rule in effect. They can either pass the recommended one, or something else. As I've said before, and told my councilmembers, whatever you pass will be ignored unless there's enforcement. They should probably ask the Police what to pass, though our police would probably just take the motorist perspective, since we haven't had foot patrols in ages. My biggest concern with this proposed wording is the replacement of &quot;impossible&quot; with &quot;unsafe.&quot; Who decides what's unsafe? If I'm paranoid about getting rear-ended, does that mean I never have to stop as long as there's someone behind me? How far back do they have to be before it's safe for me to stop? 100ft, 200ft, 1/4 mile? This isn't a joke, because we've had people here who have said they won't stop for a pedestrian if there's anyone behind them.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:51 a.m.

A light at the eastbound exit ramp at State street has been needed for years, the bridge at Stadium has sat in disrepair for over a year, the roads are a general mess and THIS is what our council was spending time on? Why not just spend the money for a crosswalk and crossing light if people are too dumb to look both ways before crossing?


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:48 a.m.

&quot;It's been working in Boulder, Colorado, for 22 years, but maybe it'll take a little while here,&quot; said Mayor John Hieftje, a supporter of the pedestrian safety ordinance. Who cares what works in Boulder, CO?


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:36 a.m.

It is a stupid law and needs to be repealed. Recently, I have seen folks just not even looking and walking right out into the street. Many students on campus do it frequently coming from between parked cars, etc. Let's get real folks, cars are a lot bigger that we are. So be safe and remember what you mother told you to do - look both ways before crossing the street.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

It's funny how many people are talking about campus when the issues are all on major arterials. We have a jaywalking ordinance, you want it enforced. Fine, but that has nothing to do with marked crosswalks where signals aren't in place or aren't in operation.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:25 a.m.

Tremel so aptly said it years ago &quot; Ann Arbor is six square miles surrounded by reality &quot; ...time for our leaders ??? to get their heads out of the dark place and come to grip with the reality of the real world.... this insane ordnance needs to go where it belonged in the first place ...file 13....

Janet Neary

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:24 a.m.

The proposed change does NOT conform to the state law, and I wish people would quit saying that current law requires a driver to stop. It requires the driver to YIELD, and that is a big difference. The old Ann Arbor ordinance was exactly like the Michigan Uniform Traffic Code: &quot;When traffic control signals are not in place or are not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger, but a pedestrian shall not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into a path of a vehicle that is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.&quot; Furthermore, the Boulder ordinance only says &quot;yield&quot; and not &quot;stop&quot; -- its change was simply the &quot;approaching the crosswalk&quot; part, so we're going MUCH farther than Boulder. The &quot;yield&quot; requirement allows for rational response to reality, such as that the pedestrian is already in a different part of the roadway.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

Sorry for the repetition. Darned tiny little edit window...


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:19 p.m.

Hey! I'm impressed! (I'm not impressed easily in these conversations.) However, there is no state law. There is a state police recommended ordinance. So, you're mostly right. The councilmember I talked to about this said they're all pretty much OK with the stop vs. yield requirement, because they want to emphasize the stop - they're concerned that otherwise motorists will just blow through, saying they didn't have to yield because the pedestrian wasn't close enough to *really* be in danger. OTOH, there is no state law. There is a state police recommended ordinance. So, you're mostly right. Welcome onboard!

Jeff Pek

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:39 p.m.

Yes! Just repeal the ordinance; don't amend it.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 9:44 a.m.

The new ordinance was probably only an excuse for the AAPD to lurk in certain areas and wait for opportunities to write even more traffic tickets to help pay for that new building.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

@lefty, I have to disagree. The Chief of Police himself said that the ordinance was causing problems and only something like 9 tickets were written, police were letting most people off with a warning. Frankly those 9 tickets could be contested, I wonder how many of them were and to what outcome. Additionally if the Chief was opening making statements regarding the ordinance you can bet there was a lot of discussion about it within the ranks, I bet most cops didn't like it, felt it wasn't a good use of thier time, confusing to drivers (generally not enforcable) and for lack of a better way of saying it, stupid.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

YOU are nuts!!!!!


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 9:09 a.m.

What about drivers entering our city on main routes that live in other cities and states that have no idea that we have different laws than almost anywhere else? They wonder why the &quot;idiot&quot; in front of them slammed on their brakes and swerve around them to avoid hitting them and take out a pedestrian that they didn't see because the stopped vehicle was a van or pickup (I have seen this almost happen because I was the stopped van). Also on Ellsworth Rd there is a crosswalk with a bus stop even with it, is the person standing there about to cross the road or simply waiting for the bus? P S I also would like to get my leaves and Christmas trees picked up again in the &quot;Tree City&quot; where I pay some of the highest taxes around so that the Mayor and Council can ok special projects that do not represent the majority of voters and are a waste of money. Maybe they should pay attention to our recent election!


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:07 p.m.

Except that a very similar ordinance is becoming standard in most Michigan communities, including all the big ones in Washtenaw County. The surrounding states all have basically the same wording as state law. If they can't figure out that someone's stopped at a well-marked crosswalk, most likely for a pedestrian, they deserve to lose their driver's license.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:50 a.m.

No excuse for ignorance of the law.............:-)


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 6:51 a.m.

I just spent some time looking at Boulder, CO on Google map satellite view, and I couldn't find a single crosswalk that was not at a controlled intersection.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:21 p.m.

Eric, You didn't look very hard. Check out the intersection of Walnut and 16th in Boulder. 16th street has a stop sign, but Walnut doesn't. There are crosswalks both directions. That was after about 30 seconds of looking. I am sure there are many more crosswalks that are not at controled intersections.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 6:46 a.m.

I'm concerned about the addition of &quot;without regard to which portion of the roadway the pedestrian is using.&quot; Does that mean if the ped has already crossed to the other side of the road (even on a 5-lane road), I have to wait until they are up on the curb before I can cross?

Jeff Pek

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:37 p.m.

Exactly. Can you imagine people actually waiting for a crosser to get to the other side of Plymouth Rd before going again? There would be a literal riot behind them!


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:19 a.m.

Once the city council is done chasing their own tail and amend the ordinance to be in line with state law &amp; common sense, what will become of all the shiny new signs they wasted money on? Also, does anybody know if the law in CO this ordinance was &quot;modeled&quot; after is actually *enforced* in CO? &quot;On the books&quot; =\= &quot;enforced and in practice&quot;


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:31 a.m.

The shiny new signs reflect state law.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:43 a.m.

I still cringe stopping my car for an ambulance, fire truck, or school bus with flashing lights, thinking some inattentive driver is going to hit me for stopping. If I stop my car because I see a person on the sidewalk whose intentions may or may not be clear, I'm almost certain I'm going to get rear-ended or t-boned. I would much rather yield to pedestrians who are clearly crossing at a light or crosswalk, not merely contemplating crossing. I can't guess their intentions, even if I'm only doing 15 m.p.h. Sorry. This was a stupid ordinance, and I'd almost forgotten about it until I had to drive into town to go to the hospital. I was nervous the whole time wondering if I was going to get a ticket for some person I didn't even see. I've mentioned it to other people who don't read, and they had no idea that this rule was even in place.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:34 a.m.

I can't understand the logic... you fear stopping for ambulances, etc., because of the 'certainty' of being rear-ended but you would be willing to stop for a ped in the xwalk if the A2 law reverts to state law?

Stuart Berry

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:11 a.m.

Why is Council meeting on Thursday? What mischief are they up to with lame duck Rapundalo?


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:39 a.m.

And newly elected councilmember takes their seat at the next scheduled council meeting. Lumm will be seated at that meeting, before any other real business.

Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:25 a.m.

Council always moves its meetings from Mondays to Thursdays on election weeks. This happens once every August and November.

A Voice of Reason

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:57 a.m.

This is Ann Arbor and we ain't no Boulder. Why are you looking to the nut-jobs in Boulder as a model for city policies? And, yes, regressive....we want to put the citizen's in harms way when they cross the street--nice objective reporting Ann Arbor. Maybe citizen's should cross at the lights--now that is a new idea. Maybe a common sense campaign is what is needed and ticketing people for jay-walking. No, this city is just cheap when it comes to safety. Put in proper crosswalks with lights if you are really concerned about safety. Like Boulder, I hope you are not planning on taking over the electricity from DTE too and become self sufficient supplier of our own energy. Pick up the leaves, my christmas tree, and fix the roads. Stop coming up with busy work for yourselves and the citizen's of this community. The taxes are high enough.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:49 a.m.

I say get rid of the HAWK crossings too. If A2 is such a walk-to-work city, then walk on over to the traffic light and cross. It is ridiculous to spend so much money when we have traffic lights that do the same thing. Stop being such lazy cry babies. You want to open your door and cross the street. There are way too many cross walks around here, that just empower more of these people who cross without looking. Plus, what uneducated person put up some of those islands that obstruct the proper use of the turn lanes...


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:59 p.m.

You should try it sometime when it's a half mile up to the next traffic light.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:52 a.m.

Excellent points..................

local guy

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:47 a.m.

I agree that the ordinance needs tweaking. I'm a lawyer, though, and I don't comprehend the new language at the end of the first paragraph. I also don't know what's a &quot;crosswalk&quot;. Striped, lined, or any intersection?


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

Man, they're touchy about some things. As I recall, I pointed out the state law that defines crosswalks, MCL 257.10, pointed out that the crosswalk lines and symbols are spelled out in the Michigan MUTCD, and said that this is basic competence that everyone is supposed to have to have a driver's license. And they deleted my comment for that?

Bob Krzewinski

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:38 a.m.

Lets also ban any left turn by a vehicle in Ann Arbor unless there is a dedicated turn lane. Think about it. You might be drivng down the road talking on your cell phone in one hand, eating with the other and watching something else on your smart phone when all of a sudden there is a car stopped in the road ahead of you because they want to make a left turn and have to wait for traffic to clear going the other direction.

Ann English

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 1:09 a.m.

I know people who were involved in just that kind of accident last summer, only it took place in Hamburg, where we were visiting a lot of others. If the left turn is to be made just after a curve in the road, or at the top of even a low hill, oncoming traffic is especially unlikely to see the left turner early enough to avoid a collision.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:23 a.m.

I was with you until you got to the part about talking on your cell phone while watching something on the cell phone at the same time. How is this possible? Oh, wait, it makes as much sense as the rest of the post. Never mind.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:53 a.m.

Along with that let's ban bicycles from making left turns in traffic lanes. I should not have to stop as stated above for a car or bike.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:39 a.m.

Today, on Huron, a man stepped out into traffic, against a red light at State St right in front of me. I slammed on my brakes to keep from running over him. I swore, he stepped back onto the sidewalk and gave ME a dirty look! He stepped right out, against the red light and orange hand, into oncoming traffic and was upset by me almost hitting him! And this was a grown, bald man!

Peter Baker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2 p.m.

Until you can track that guy down and ask him what his motivation was and he says &quot;well I feel emboldened by the new pedestrian ordinance&quot;, it's all anecdotal. People, both drivers and pedestrians, did stupid things before this ordinance, and will continue to do stupid things after.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 10:21 a.m.

Unfortunately, it has a lot to do with the ordinance. It has confused a significant number of pedestrians who now believe that a car has to yield to them if they are approaching an intersection, regardless of traffic control. This law has worsened safety for both pedestrians and motorists. So you got a dirty look because the guy truly believed he did have the right of way. He was wrong, but City Council and niche lobby organizations are at fault.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:15 a.m.

&quot;this was a grown, bald man&quot; hmmmm, sound more like a grown, bald moron.

Peter Baker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:15 a.m.

Well that has very little to do with this ordinance. He was obviously in the wrong. If we're just throwing out anecdotes, there's plenty of drivers doing stupid things every day too.

Attempted Voice of Reason

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:29 a.m.

Wow. Something good to hear for a change. Thank you. Dare I say it? &quot;Sabra for Mayor 2012&quot;? There IS a reason nobody in your Ward felt compelled to try to unseat you. Well 3 more things will get you my unwavering financial and volunteer support should you make that leap for a mayoral campaign: 1) Block the Fuller Road Parking Money Pit and Parkland Eater (aka imaginary train station) the way you are with the unsafe crosswalk law. Maybe look at buying some of that DTE land to expand the current station instead? 2) Find a way to prevent fiscal irresponsibility like the underground parking garage on Fifth. The cost as well as the roadway blockage for 3 years is unconscionable. 3) Make sure our basic services are restored or maintained - looking for smarter ways to cut costs while maintaining or improving services. I'm happy to see sanity in City Council. It also looks like your job may get easier with a new ally in the form of Jane Lumm. I know she is a Republican and you don't agree on everything, but she does appear to be rational like you. Which on Council is rare. Good luck!


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:33 a.m.

Hey, if Ingrid won't run, I might be able to put a sign in my front yard for Sabra. ....of course she could not run as a Democrat. I just won't vote for those people. It really doesn't matter what they stand for, I just won't vote for them. Now, if she were to be, independent, well that would be another matter altogether. Did I get that right?


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:28 a.m.

I think somehow in the proposed new ordinance, you have to have &quot;that the vehicle approaching the crosswalk can SAFELY stop in a reasonable stopping distance&quot;, because if the vehicle is being tailgated, he or she cannot SAFELY stop. Or if he or she would go into a skid stopping on wet or icy pavement.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:25 a.m.

Why do we have to differ from the rest of the state? I am all for reverting back to &quot; in the crosswalk&quot; and having that enforced. The &quot;approaching&quot; addition is ridiculous and confusing.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:33 p.m.

Sorry to pick on the two of you, but this all becomes much more clear when you realize that there *isn't* a state law. They didn't enforce that because there wasn't one. The only long-existing state law are the ones for crosswalks at signals. The UTC is fairly new, and the law creating a carrot for local jurisdictions to adopt it is even newer - last 5 years IIRC. Leezee - we're one of the few jurisdictions in Michigan *really* interested in being pedestrian friendly, and we're much bigger than places like Traverse City, so there's more to deal with here. In most other pedestrian-friendly places in the country, they enforce pedestrian safety in crosswalks. We're just trying to catch up, and Council is trying to deal with the problem of motorists who just ignore crosswalks. The put the approaching bit in there to try to make it clear that pedestrians aren't supposed to have to wait in marked, midblock crosswalks.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:51 a.m.

My concerns with reverting to the &quot;in&quot; law (long existing state law) is that (1) cars will not stop for peds in the crossing (witness the drivers not stopping for cars stopped in front of them and blaming the crosswalk) and (2) the current law is not being followed. It's time for a change.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:25 a.m.

Guess when Rapendodola got kicked to the curb everyone else started getting concerned about where their bread was going to be buttered. Oh well, I guess that is how a democracy should work. Now if we can just kick Leftie to the curb we will be all set. Maybe Ingrid could run as an independent.....


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:17 a.m.

The sooner this ordinance is repealed, the better. If pedestrians wish to cross the street, they can obey the laws of the state, as is done in every other city in Michigan. Motor vehicle laws do not change from city to city, so this should be no different.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

Oh, I agree with that completely; the roads would be much safer for everyone if drivers did what they were supposed to do, instead of what they felt like. I can't tell you how many times I've seen cars almost wander into my lane, because the driver was too busy texting or what have you. Having said that, it's simply not possible to legislate that sort of change into a population's behaviour, and even more absurd to expect it to happen right away. If this were Germany, where obtaining a driver's license was actually challenging, I doubt we'd be having this discussion at all. But, since it isn't, a better solution is needed than simply passing an ordinance and expecting everyone to become a more alert driver through the power of wishes.

Peter Baker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

&quot;expecting the motorists of the world (or the region) to suddenly decide to stop eating/drinking/texting/fiddling with the radio/yelling at the kids/etc while driving, just because there's a new pedestrian ordinance, is completely absurd. &quot; I don't expect them to stop doing that because of the pedestrian ordinance, I expect them to stop doing that because it's incredibly dangerous. To everyone.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 6:15 a.m.

It's not as if the two are mutually exclusive. The point here is that expecting the motorists of the world (or the region) to suddenly decide to stop eating/drinking/texting/fiddling with the radio/yelling at the kids/etc while driving, just because there's a new pedestrian ordinance, is completely absurd. PS. The same city council who decided they could make everyone into better drivers by wishing harder, are the same bunch who cut the police force, thus making it harder to enforce the traffic laws. Be sure to thank them for that, too.

Peter Baker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

As a pedestrian AND a driver, I'd really appreciate it if drivers obeyed the laws of the state as well.

Tom Joad

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:57 a.m.

How about getting drivers to stop. Period? I've been at crosswalks and wait interminably for a long line of cars fly past seemingly oblivious to the well-marked signs and patient pedestrian standing there eager to cross. I say ticket and fine drivers into obedience. Enough drivers receive a penalty and word will spread to stop for pedestrians. It's the law....

Peter Baker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:03 p.m.

Well that obviously skirted my point, which is that driving infractions, being the dominant number of transported people, far out way any cycling and pedestrian law breakers.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 6:19 a.m.

It doesn't work that way, Peter. If you write more tickets to hire more police officers, they have to write more tickets to stay employed, and eventually, you have a system where everyone is not only cited for every tiny infraction, but some that the officer made up on the spot. There was a town with this exact problem in Ohio, I believe it's name is Lynnfield.

Peter Baker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:20 a.m.

&quot;How about you ticket pedestrians who REGULARLY jay walk and bike riders who REGULARLY violate every conceivable traffic law that exists!?&quot; Only if you ticket the drivers doing the same thing, which, given the amount of people in cars vs bikes/pedestrians, would easily award the number of violations. And would probably fund another 20 cops.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:02 a.m.

@Ron The law is you shouldn't wait? No, the law is I yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk when I'm driving. And I will. Just don't step in front of my car when I'm close to you. I'll try to stop, but the laws of physics apply.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:25 a.m.

How about you ticket pedestrians who REGULARLY jay walk and bike riders who REGULARLY violate every conceivable traffic law that exists!?

Ron Granger

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:20 a.m.

@Mike: &quot;Tell me why I should have to wait, but you shouldn't?&quot; --- Because it is the law. You are protected inside your steel car. Pedestrians are not.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:18 a.m.

Because, Mike... Pedestrians are more important than motorists. They're saving the planet!


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:08 a.m.

How long is interminably? About 30 seconds or so? Because I wait interminably every day. When I want to make a left, when I'm pulling out of a side-street, at stop signs, when the light is red, when pedestrians step out into the street from between 2 parked cars, when traffic is heavy, and yes, when pedestrians are crossing at crosswalks. Tell me why I should have to wait, but you shouldn't?


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:27 a.m.

Over 70% of people surveyed on agree that the pedestrian ordinance needs to go... it about time city council FINALLY saw that!

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:26 p.m.

Peter, do you have data otherwise? Never mind, I know you don't, so maybe you could tell us what possible logical reason you could have for thinking it's not a representation of the population?


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:14 a.m.

Live here for 27 years and get to know the people... I think you'll understand what I'm talking about then. Bottomline... the representatives on city council are duty bound to REPRESENT the people of this city. One of the major proponents of this pedestrian ordinance was just voted out of his post and many people cited the ordinance in exit polling as a reason for his ouster. You may not see that the people of this community want this ordinance repealed, Peter, but city council is finally waking up to it and that's all that really matters.

Peter Baker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

&quot;I've lived in Ann Arbor for a long time and I can tell you that the attitude expressed on here is pretty representative of the city I've lived in for 27 years.&quot; Well I say the opposite, and given what we're arguing about – informal, easily manipulatable internet polling, that is at least as true a statement.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:23 a.m.

Peter, I challenge you to refute the statistics on ... I know they're not scientific, but I've lived in Ann Arbor for a long time and I can tell you that the attitude expressed on here is pretty representative of the city I've lived in for 27 years.

Peter Baker

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:36 a.m.

Sure, because the regulars are a proven cross section of the Ann Arbor populace. Most proudly say they'd never even live here.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:26 a.m.

Finally! Time for Ann Arbor to re-enter the world of the sane!

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:49 a.m.

I saw a nice solution to this just the other night. In downtown Brighton there is a crosswalk, and when pedestrians press a button, yellow lights in the pavement, along the boundaries of the crosswalk, start blinking. It's simple, and, I'm guessing, not as expensive as the HAWK system. Example found on YouTube here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Tom Teague

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 6:50 p.m.

Good Grief, Charlie Brown's Ghost, I thought we'd covered this before: Everyone knows that if an idea originated somewhere else, it cannot possibly be implemented successfully within the City of Ann Arbor.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:34 a.m.

It's no better than HAWK, and they're not recommended for northern areas because they're a maintenance headache with plows, salt, snow, sand, etc. Notice that the example in the video is Reno NV - makes sense down there.

Attempted Voice of Reason

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

My guess is those in-pavement lights are more expensive. I'm just imagining the work required to install them, and the extra pavement maintenance - plus the 2nd car back can't see them. My vote would still be for something overhead, even if it costs a bit more. The only dumb thing I see about the Hawks: Why do they blink side to side like a railroad signal? I'd prefer a solid or together-flashing red, depending on circumstances. Also, if we're willing to hang them from wires, the cost should go down. It seems a bit silly when I see expensive steel poles with concealed wires around, when there's 8 million power and telephone wire crossing the intersection anyway. Not a big deal - just sayin'.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:29 a.m.

Bah. What do those hillbilly rubes up in Brighton know anyway? I'll bet they have no more education than most of Shelbyville.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

CBG...really? less expensive and simpler solution? Not in my town! We live in Neimann Marcus, not crass...less expensive....why that is like saying &quot;cheap&quot;... omg...


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:46 a.m.

This is a knee jerk reaction that will only further confuse EVERYONE because the education that SHOULD go along with this new decision won't accompany the reversal . It used to be that I had confidence about my driving and walking habits. Now I find myself constantly second guessing myself and others. The police chief was totally correct when he indicated that total dysfunction has been generated by this whole situation.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:43 a.m.

This absolutely needs to be done. Except for the (minute) number of readers of that even KNOW there is a new rule, absolutely nobody is following it; and I've watched near-miss after near-miss at the local middle-of-the-road crosswalk near my home as drivers slam on breaks when they see the police sitting across the way, NOT because they see someone nearing the crosswalk. There are really two issues here: The state already has rules about street crossings and how to treat pedestrians without the need for micromanagement. Second, Ann Arbor should really be looking at the locations of these midblock pedestrain crossings and eliminating them, moving them to standard street corners. Of the three such crossings that I pass every day to and from work, all of them are within half-block or a normal street crossing.

John Q

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

Mid-block crossings exist because that's where pedestrians wants to cross. They not going to go to a distant crossing even if you think you can force them to do so. Apparently, drivers are never expected to modify their behavior but pedestrians have to be inconvenienced to accommodate them.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

Of the several crossing I pass everyday, there isn't an intersection anywhere nearby. So...pedestrians cannot cross during rush hour without dashing OR we have to put up new traffic signals along the road ($$$).

Trevor Staples

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:26 a.m.

I've seen many accidents at traffic lights. We should repeal the traffic light ordinance, too.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 6:20 a.m.

It's not a matter traffic lights causing accidents, Trevor. It's about a city council who believes they can make everyone into a better driver just by wishing harder.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:18 a.m.

I think we should ban all people in cars, no bikes, no pedstrians...I know my dogs would appreciate the wide open spaces


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:30 a.m.

Yes, but unlike the pedestrian ordinance, repeal of traffic lights would result in more accidents, not less.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:10 a.m.

Thank you to Council Members Christopher Taylor and Sabra Briere for listening to their constituents and representing the will of the people. Too many politicians seem to forget that their role is to represent the people who elect them. There is overwhelming support to revise or repeal this ordinance, and Christopher Taylor and Sabra Briere have taken the first step. Your leadership is appreciated. Please repeal this ordinance and find a way to improve pedestrian safety in Ann Arbor that makes sense. Thank you.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:59 p.m.

What? Now the onus on pedestrians is to look both ways and wait until the street is clear and safe to cross? Outrageous!


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:27 a.m.

You should read it again. Pedestrians don't have to wait until the street is clear. They have to wait until a motorist could safely stop, which is basically what it said before.

Ron Granger

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

How many pedestrians must die in the name of haste under the wheels of almighty car?

John Q

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

You should pay attention djm. The deaths were well covered in the news media.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

@ron granger....when did the accidents and loss of life happen? It's a sad situation but I don't recall any recent pedestrian fatalities. Where did these deaths happen? I feel for anyone that has needlessly lost a loved one. I'm just uniformed evidently.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

...and the Oscar for the dramatic post on goes to Ron Granger.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

DJM, two in Ann Arbor so far.

Ron Granger

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:19 a.m.

@Mike: &quot;Pedestrians need to pay attention, cross when there is a break in traffic&quot; But that isn't the law. The state and local law say that drivers are supposed to stop. What will it take to get drivers to accept that it is their obligation to pay attention and stop?


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:15 a.m.

I dunno know, how many have died?


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:51 p.m.

How dramatic! Nobody needs to die. Pedestrians need to pay attention, cross when there is a break in traffic, and if a driver happens upon them before the move is completed, he will yield his right of way. Simple.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

If a drivers can't stop for a car which has stopped in front of them then what's the likelihood that cars will stop for a pedestrian IN the crosswalk??? The root cause of rear-end collisions is driver inattention. I agree with previous posters who have suggested engineering and education as a better long-term solution (and, yes, I have written to my council members!).


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:39 p.m.

Excellent resolve! And as someone else commented. Install HAWK signals where needed.

David Briegel

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:30 p.m.

Pedestrians and Cyclists beware, those &quot;mobilized citizens&quot; are about to declare &quot;open season&quot; on YOU! Progress!!??


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:14 a.m. much is the tag and when does the season begin?


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:35 p.m.

No open season. We're just asking you to use a little common sense when crossing, we'll do the same when you're in the crosswalk. .


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:29 p.m.

wow a group of people that listen to another group of people. i stil think they could put a few HAWK UP in some of the worst areas. nice play council.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:54 a.m.

I agree that HAWK signals are the way to go (or the others I linked to down lower), but we just spent two HAWKs-worth of money on the new urinal. Priorities, you know.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:29 p.m.

This law needs tweaking, but as someone who lives, works and, most importantly, walks downtown, the proposed tweaks above go to far back in the other direction. Until the recent modification, my twice daily crossing of Beakes Street was a dangerous proposition (if not a game of chicken). Since the law was modified it has been a lot safer for me and my neighbors (young and old). I understand the concerns of those who spend most of their time driving through downtown. Seems to me the tweaks could be geographical or involve more signage and/or lights. But to say that a driver just gets to ignore a person about to step into a crosswalk and gun it is just plain wrong and was the predominate driver behavior before the recent changes. As with those who look unfavorably on increasing downtown density, the opponents here have to wake up and smell the coffee: this is a city and will continue to look and feel more like one. We have to start acting like one and respecting the right to cross a street downtown without taking one's life into one's hand is one way to start doing so.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

@ormand...I, even though not a very smart old woman, understand what the ordinance is in reference to...I was trying, and I can only assume unsuccessfully, to convey that if people just used common sense in regards to their own well being, this would be a non issue...and yes I have walked south to pick up lunch and crossed in front of Conor O'Neils but only when there was a break in traffic...I don't expect cars to pile up just so my gaspacho stays fresh...common sense...but in this town each and every minute interest group feels they have the most important interests...but as in every town, city, urban and suburban area...there are really stupid, self involved folks that want everything their way...


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:48 p.m.

Ordmad, prior to the ordinance the state law was not being enforced. What really needs to happen is that the state law needs to be enforced.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:37 a.m.

Ordmad I cross Beakes Street several times a week at 4th Avenue or 5th Avenue as I have friends in the neighborhood. I have crossed during &quot;rush hour&quot;. I don't know what you are talking about as far as the danger/game of chicken. There is enough time in the break of traffic to make it safetly across simply by looking both ways and waiting less than two minutes before stepping into the crosswalk. In fact it is less of a &quot;wait&quot; than it would be to wait for the walk signal at the intersection of Main and Beakes which I also use. Even when game traffic is heavy I can make it across because the cars all stop clear of the intersections and crosswalks while traffic waits for the light at Main to change.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 4:32 a.m.

@ Grimmk: five minutes to cross a downtown street is not &quot;now, now, now.&quot; and that, during rush hours, is often what it takes unless you are prepared to run across the intersection which many are unable to do. and even once you're in, no one really slowed, that is until this new ordinance took effect. @ djm: agreed where there are traffic signals. i, like most (but not all), wait for the walk sign. there are, however, a lot of crosswalks without signals and these are the ones that this ordinance explicitly applies to. please read more carefully before sounding off. that way next time you'll know what you're talking about. @ MJC:


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:12 a.m.

seems to me it's same for pedestrians that ignore oncoming traffic and just step into the path of my vehicle because I should impede my travel for them....which by the way I live downtown and work on Main St. and walk to and from work every day as well and stand at the intersection waiting..yep...waiting for my turn to cross...with the light, legally...while numerous of the a2 oblivious minions just step into the road because they are more important than those that have the right of way...I obey the law....iy's really not that difficult


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:54 p.m.

I understand your concern about pedestrian safety in the downtown area. But this ordiance as it stands for Plymouth Road traffic is just simply dangerous. I've seen people step right into the cross walk with oncoming traffic plainly in sight... while wearing dark clothes at night! They think drivers can see them and those tiny little signs that tell pedestrians they have the right of way - no matter what the traffic conditions! It's insane. Pedestrains have to look both ways and cross when it's SAFE! Everyone knows that... at least we did before this ridiculous local ordinace came to be.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:51 p.m.

Well, if you don't want to wait by all means just go for it! You're acting as though cars never have to wait to make a turn, etc. I know that on coming traffic has the right of way and am not going to blindly turn in front of them in the hopes that they'll stop because I'm sick of waiting. We need to stop this NOW NOW NOW mentality. I'm sorry that you feel that waiting is the end of the world. It is a horrible inconvenience. But I feel that this repeal is going to make driving safer for everyone. I'll no longer be darting my eyes from left to right every five feet thinking there will be a pedestrian lurking in the shadows. Years ago, &quot;Look both ways before crossing the street&quot; was enough. Why isn't it enough now?


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:28 p.m.

In light of Jane Lumm's victory last night, it seems like a few other council members might be worrying for their jobs and maybe even finally realizing it's their job to represent the needs of the community, instead of trying to micro-legislate human behavior for a special-interest group. About time.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:18 p.m.

charlie i agree . might as well use the urinal after each council meeting.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

Thank you Clark! Could not agree more!

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:43 a.m.

Mort, if that's really how it works, we the city also be getting it's $750K back for the urinal?


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:46 p.m.

Public safety is a public interest group? Would you say that if we considered weaker roadway or car safety designs?


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:30 p.m.

i think her victory has nothig to do with this. just feed back from the people did it.

Chase Ingersoll

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:25 p.m.

If all we are doing is changing it to match the state regulation, why do we need a local ordinance?

Jeff Pek

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:29 p.m.

Totally agree. Not that the state law has many &quot;teeth&quot;, or really gets enforced (cough, downtown Dexter, cough), but having a local ordinance of this nature makes no sense.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 11:22 a.m.

There is no state regulation. There is a State Police recommended ordinance. Why can't you people get the distinction? Second, it doesn't match the recommended ordinance, so if they want it to be different they need a local ordinance.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 12:42 a.m.

Chase is right... after all, when Arizona created a law that merely mirrored federal law, Ann Arbor City Council got all huffy about it and passed a &quot;resolution&quot; about.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:43 p.m.

Don't ya know? Ann Arbor is its own little world.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:33 p.m.

Because we're so self-important.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:09 p.m.

Much better.