At 3:41 p.m. on Dec. 9, 2013, Ann Arbor mayor John Hieftje filed the veto of a revision to the city’s crosswalk ordinance that the city council had approved at its Dec. 2, 2013 meeting.
The council had approved the significant amendment to the existing law on a 6-4 vote. The amendment would have eliminated the requirement that motorists extend the right-of-way to pedestrians at the curb or curb line – in addition to those within a crosswalk. It would have left in place the requirement that motorists stop, not just yield to pedestrians within a crosswalk.
As a result of Hieftje’s veto, the law will continue to read as follows:
10:148. Pedestrians crossing streets
(a) When traffic-control signals are not in place or are not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall stop before entering a crosswalk and yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian stopped at the curb, curb line or ramp leading to a crosswalk and to every pedestrian 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.
(b) 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.
(c) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway. (Corresponds to Uniform Traffic Code rule 706)
For more detail on the evolution of the local law, see Chronicle coverage: “Column: Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road?”
The text of the veto filed by Hieftje begins as follows:
Walkability and pedestrian safety are of fundamental importance to the quality of life in Ann Arbor. Ordinance No. ORD-13-31 would reduce both by requiring pedestrians to put themselves in harm’s way before obtaining the right of way. By way of this transmittal I, therefore, veto the Ordinance to Amend Section 10:148 of Chapter 126 Traffic of Title X of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Ordinance No. ORD-13-31, as amended) that was approved by City Council on December 2, 2013. [.jpg of filing]
The complete filing runs a full page.