Council supporters of deliberative review of the ordinance as of 11/26: Taylor, Warpehoski, Briere, Hieftje and Teall
- In 2009 (pre-ordinance change), of the 43 pedestrian/car crashes in Ann Arbor, six or 13% , were at non-signalized crosswalks not controlled by a stop sign. Three , or 7%, were at mid-block crosswalks.
- In 2012 (fully post ordinance implementation), of the 60 pedestrian/car crashes in Ann Arbor, nine or 15%, were at non-signalized crosswalks not controlled by a stop sign. Three, or 5%, were at mid-block crosswalks.
Ann Arbor City Council will be considering a repeal of Ann Arbor's pedestrian crossing ordinance tomorrow night, November 18th and holding a public hearing at the second hearing of the resolution (likely December 2nd). As of today, a majority of Council: Mike Anglin, Jack Eaton, Sumi Kailasapathy, Steve Kunselman, Jane Lumm, and Sally Peterson support a repeal. Do you agree with them that a person in a wheelchair should need to roll themselves into the street to signal their intent to cross? Should their resolution pass, drivers would no longer be required to stop for pedestrians waiting to cross at a crosswalk. Drivers would only be required to stop if a pedestrian was willing to place themselves in the street in front of a moving vehicle. We believe this is unsafe for all us, but especially for the most vulnerable in our community (kids, seniors, and individuals with disabilities.
Council appears to be reacting to public fears about safety at crosswalks, not looking at the facts.
View Council's resolution here.
WBWC's Annual Meeting is Wednesday, November 13th from 7-9pm at Conor O'Neills in downtown Ann Arbor. Come learn more about the initiatives WBWC has been working on in 2013 and how you can get more engaged in walking and biking advocacy in Washtenaw County, as well as learn about about the exciting new projects happening locally.
This years speakers:
Our keynote speaker, Micheline Maynard, is the award winning journalist, author and educator. She writes the Voyages blog at Forbes.com, and contributes to The Economist as well as a variety of publications. She spent six years on the staff of The New York Times, where she was Detroit bureau chief and senior business correspondent. She also led Changing Gears, the public media project reporting on the future of the Industrial Midwest. She will be speaking on her new journalism project: Curbing Cars: Rethinking the Way we Get Around. More on Micki Maynard: http://michelinemaynard.com/bio/.
We're also excited that Heather Seyfarth, project supervisor at Clean Energy Coalition, will be present to discuss an exciting new transportation project in Ann Arbor... Ann Arbor's new bike share system which is anticipated to launch in spring 2014! Learn more about bike sharing and what Ann Arbor's system is likely to look like in year one. More on CEC's bike share project: http://cec-mi.org/mobility/programs/ann-arbor-bike-share/
If possible, RSVP on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/events/474417136008550/
UPDATED: Please sign our petition asking Council to preserve our current pedestrian crossing ordinance.
Controversy has errupted in Ann Arbor this fall following the death of a University of Michigan student in a crosswalk along Plymouth Road. Some community and Council members have suggested that pedestrians will be safer if City Council repeals the pedestrian ordinance passed unanmiously by Ann Arbor City Concil in 2010.
The Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition stongly supports the assertion that bikers and walkers in Ann Arbor are at risk. However, we contend that the solution to making Ann Arbor safer isn't to take away one of our pedestrian safety tools-- a law that requires motorists to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. In 2010, Ann Arbor City Council differentiated itself from other communities in Michigan by passing a strengthened and, most importantly, clear pedestrian ordinance. Ann Arbor demonstrated leadership by rejecting the premise that unsafe walking conditions were acceptable, and brought Ann Arbor in-line with established best practices, rather than following the normative practices of the region. According to a 2010 report by Transportation for America, the Detroit Metropolitan area was ranked as the 12th most dangerous area to walk in the country.
Ann Arbor’s 2010 ordinance change requiring vehicles to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks was a step toward walkability, but unfortunately only a first step. Limited education, spotty enforcement and inconsistent engineering of crosswalks have resulted in wide spread confusion, resulting in some current council members to support a return to Ann Arbor's previous code-- MUTC (Michigan Uniform Traffic Code R 28.1702, Rule 702) pedestrian crossing language. Interestingly, many walkable communities (e.g. Santa Monica, California) utilize the UTC language, but interpret the intent as equivalent to our current code language and recognize the pedestrian right-of-way beginning on the curb or curb ramp. However, under the City of Ann Arbor's past interpretation of MUTC language, pedestrians were required to be in the street, within a crosswalk, before a motorist was required to yield. In other words, pedestrians were required to step in front of a moving vehicle to trigger the need for a motorist to stop at a designated crosswalk-- a very risky proposition if you were elderly, a child, or an individual with disabilities. City Council choose to clearly state, through a clarified ordinance, where the right-of-way begins for pedestrians in Ann Arbor. This clarity is critical for the police department because the ambiguity in the MUTC language did not allow Ann Arbor police officers with a law that was enforceable. Sensibily most pedestrians are unwilling to step in front of a moving vehicle at a crosswalk, so police officers were unable to issue any tickets... read more about why the ordinance was changed here and the process that led up to the ordinance revisions.
A video taken at crosswalks in Ann Arbor in 2009 provides a glimpse back in time, a time when too few drivers in Ann Arbor stopped at crosswalks. As the video shows, in 30 minutes only two drivers stopped for vision-impaired woman with a white cane. In 2010, the stop rate on Plymouth Road was around 1%. Today, the stop rate on Plymouth Road is 84% according to an study conducted by Western Michigan University. While the recent death of a U-M student on Plymouth Road is a tragedy and should compell Council to action and demonstrate that a problem still exisits in our community, repealing the pedestrian ordianance is not the solution. The two students who died trying to cross Plymouth Road in 2003 prove that life before the ordinance was not safer; moving backward is not the way forward.
Please join the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition in voicing your support for our current pedestrian crossing code to your council member AND please sign our petition. Encourage Council not to take a step backward, but rather smart steps forward. Encourage them to re-commit to the development of a safer, walkable city and demonstrate this committment by allocating more resources for traffic enforcement, community education, and appropriately designed, visible crosswalks to truly enhance pedestrian safety.
Page 1 of 3