Comments on: Chapter Added to Fifth Ave. Historic Saga it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Jim Rees Jim Rees Tue, 01 Nov 2011 00:25:41 +0000 Re: 8

Michigan is the only State that does not have a law requiring motor vehicles to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. It does have an administrative rule that makes failure to yield a civil infraction, but this only applies to half of the crosswalk and is little known and never enforced.

By: Sabra Briere Sabra Briere Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:44:20 +0000 Re: #7 and all other questions: I’m sorry. I should have responded more accurately, but I thought I had the right link.

Here’s what the City used as it’s basis for the ordinance (an administrative rule):

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.
History: 1979 AC; 1981 AACS; 2002 AACS.

By: Jim Rees Jim Rees Sat, 29 Oct 2011 13:13:17 +0000 Re: 6

MVC 257.612(ii) applies only to cars turning right on red, not to crosswalks in general. As far as I can tell Michigan is the only State that does not give pedestrians the right-of-way in a crosswalk.

By: Sabra Briere Sabra Briere Sat, 29 Oct 2011 11:09:46 +0000 Michigan has such a law. I don’t know why Ann Arbor hasn’t been enforcing it. Here’s a link to a brochure on it: [link] and here’s a link to the law itself: [link]

The difference is that Ann Arbor’s ordinance requires drivers stop, not just yield — and that ‘approaching’ rather than ‘in’ is the indicator. I drove across town yesterday with a skeptic in the car — and pointed out how drivers were stopping safely along Plymouth and at the Broadway Bridge, pedestrians were crossing, and we were all safe.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Sat, 29 Oct 2011 00:25:21 +0000 BTW, I was crossing Catherine today at the intersection of 4th and Catherine (on the west side of the intersection). Broad daylight. As I was crossing, the vehicle coming through from the east pulled into the intersection and nearly up to the crosswalk (and my body). Ann Arbor needs a law against jerks.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Sat, 29 Oct 2011 00:21:54 +0000 Yes, I agree (#3). I lived with that type of law in California and it worked well. I was nearly rear-ended on my first week in Ann Arbor because I stopped for a pedestrian. Couldn’t believe that Michigan didn’t have such a law.

By: Jim Rees Jim Rees Fri, 28 Oct 2011 22:54:57 +0000 The other 49 States have had pedestrian right-of-way laws for many years. It’s nice to see Ann Arbor finally catch up, and I hope some day Michigan will follow Ann Arbor and the rest of the world. It’s obviously going to take a while for people here to get used to the idea.

I think the least confusing thing would be to align Ann Arbor’s law with the rest of the US. Most other States require vehicles to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. This doesn’t require any subjective judgement as to whether the pedestrian is approaching the crosswalk. It does require that drivers pay attention, something they’ve not been used to doing.

Eventually the pedestrians will learn to cross the street instead of standing on the corner waiting for a gap, and the drivers will learn to recognize when pedestrians are trying to cross. This will take time. It will be well worth the effort.

By: Barbara Barbara Wed, 26 Oct 2011 20:56:49 +0000 Thanks Mike. What is being done in the name of progress is a pity.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:38:47 +0000 I am a strong supporter of pedestrian access but I think the ordinance as presently drawn is dangerous to pedestrians and difficult to enforce properly in a town where so many people from out of town are driving. How often have we seen impatient and inattentive (cell phone) drivers do dumb things? I don’t know how many times I’ve been driving just at the speed limit in the left-hand lane when a driver speeds past me in the right-hand lane to get ahead one car-length. And I was surprised when I first moved here that no one goes through intersections when the light first changes. Then I figured out it is because someone is always running the red light if they were approaching as it turned. With this driver culture, expecting good judgment at pedestrian crosswalks is a stretch.

I’m with the pedestrian at Crest and Liberty who didn’t want to cross with oncoming traffic from the other direction. I’ve been observing my own ability to notice pedestrians while watching all traffic conditions (like drivers who go through red lights, cyclists ditto, side street eruptions, etc.). Even when I am attempting to be very alert and careful, I think I would have trouble seeing a pedestrian entering the road from the other side of the street, especially if I am traveling at 35 mph.

I’d like to see a serious investment in signage, signalization and pedestrian refuges for busy streets, with clearly painted crosswalks as many places as possible (there should be some sort of traffic metric that could determine need) and good enforcement and education for stopping for pedestrians IN crosswalks. And wouldn’t pedestrians get more respect if we had sanctions against jaywalking?

I appreciate the careful consideration of this issue by Council.