The traffic light is out and Dexter is closed. Arbana is bumper to bumper. Avoid going west!
Eastbound traffic slogging through the snow backed up in continuous line at least to Seventh Street. Encountered several Maple Leafs fans walking eastbound, who gracefully accepted congratulations.
Big after-game traffic snarl as cars are unable to make it up the hill if any one car gets stuck.
Headed southbound towards Washtenaw Avenue about 200 yards before the intersection a deer prances across the road east-to-west. In other news my brakes work great.
Traffic being diverted.
Traffic at standstill as cars can’t get up hills coated with ice. [photo]
Ann Arbor city council meeting (Dec. 19, 2011): At its last meeting of the year, the council ended the current round of discussion on the city’s pedestrian safety ordinance by finalizing changes that clarified conditions under which vehicles are required to stop for people who are trying to cross the street.
The current ordinance amendment maintains an existing requirement that motorists accommodate not just pedestrians who are “within” a crosswalk, but also those who are verging on entering a crosswalk. What’s different is the way the concept is expressed. In July 2010, the council chose to describe pedestrians who are about to enter a crosswalk as “approaching” the crosswalk. The version of the ordinance finalized on Dec. 19 requires motorists to accommodate “… a pedestrian stopped at the curb, curb line or ramp leading to a crosswalk and to every pedestrian within a crosswalk …”
As part of the previous amendments made in 2010, the council also had removed language that specified a half of the roadway where drivers needed to accommodate pedestrians. This time around, the council restored similar language, which reads, “… 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.”
In other crosswalk-related business, the council approved an expenditure of $81,000 to install five rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB) on existing pedestrian islands in the city. Four of the locations are along Plymouth Road, at Georgetown, Traver Village, Beal and Bishop. The fifth location is at Seventh and Washington.
Also at the Dec. 19 meeting, the council ended a long process of review by the city and negotiation with neighbors by approving a change to the zoning of the Hoover Mansion property on Washtenaw Avenue, which University Bank uses as its headquarters. The change will allow University Bank to build 13 new parking spaces on the east side – behind the main building, allowing the bank in accommodate expanded employment.
Towards the end of the council’s meeting, a relatively rare debate unfolded about a mayoral nomination to a city board. At issue was the nomination of a city employee – transportation program manager Eli Cooper – to the board of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority. He’s replacing another city employee on the board, public services area administrator Sue McCormick, who left her position with the city in mid-December. In the end, Cooper’s nomination was confirmed with dissent from two councilmembers. A separate vote on a general policy opposing nominations of city employees to boards and commissions received only four votes of support.
The council considered two compensation-related issues – one for its city attorney, Stephen Postema, and another for election workers who staff the polls. After a closed session to discuss Postema’s performance review, the council voted with dissent from one councilmember to award Postema the ability to cash out 250 hours of banked time. The council delayed its vote on pay increases for election workers, on the possibility that their pay could be increased more than what’s proposed, to match the amount specified in the city’s living wage ordinance.
In other business, the council approved a bond re-funding, authorized reimbursement for a broken electromagnet at the materials recovery facility, accepted additional federal money for solar projects, and heard about a possible strategy for addressing vacant and dilapidated properties.
[Editor's Note: HD, a.k.a. Dave Askins, editor of The Ann Arbor Chronicle, is also publisher of an online series of interviews on a teeter totter. Introductions to new Teeter Talks appear on The Chronicle.]
I first met Zak Branigan outside the UPS store at Westgate shopping center, when I was dropping off a load in the course of my bicycle delivery duties. He’d recognized me by the sign on my bicycle trailer for ArborTeas, which is run by a friend of his, and alum of the totter, Jeremy Lopatin.
Glimpsing through the door of room 116 of Hutchins Hall at UM Law School on Tuesday evening, The Chronicle could see what seemed like a late-evening class in session. Not sure of the room number we wanted, it was with some caution that we nosed further into the room. Ah. The familiar faces of Tony Derezinski, newly elected Ann Arbor city council representative of Ward 2, and Dave …
As The Chronicle reported previously, Ann Street between Fifth and Division streets was scheduled to convert to one-way eastbound on Sunday, Nov. 9. The conversion, which is in part motivated by an effort to increase on-street parking by using angled spaces, had originally been scheduled for the previous Sunday. That date was adjusted at the suggestion of councilmember Marcia Higgins, who figured there would be enough confusion on Election Day, without adding a new one-way block to the equation.
We checked yesterday (Nov. 9) to see if the one-way restriction had been implemented, and returned this morning …