Ann Arbor to Get Pedestrian Safety Task Force

A nine-person pedestrian safety task force has been established by the Ann Arbor city council, with a charge of delivering a report with recommendations by February 2015. Action came at the council’s Nov. 18, 2013 meeting with a unanimous vote that occurred after 1 a.m.

The item had been postponed from the council’s Nov. 7 meeting amid concerns about the funding needed to support the task force’s work. Public services area administrator Craig Hupy had described the staff and other support for the task force as costing on the order of $100,000, depending on the level of support and activities required. [.pdf of Nov. 7 memo on pedestrian safety]

At the Nov. 18 meeting, a substitute resolution was put forward by its sponsors – Chuck Warpehoski (Ward 5) and Sabra Briere (Ward 1) – that in part tried to address the concern about budget by tapping some of the $75,000 the council allocated in the FY 2014 budget to prioritize which sidewalk gaps should be eliminated. [.pdf of substitute pedestrian safety task force resolution]

The pedestrian safety task force would consist of nine residents, including “representatives from organizations that address the needs of school-aged youth, senior citizens, pedestrian safety, and people with mobility impairments.” Applications from interested citizens should be turned in to the mayor’s office by Dec. 2, 2013, with the task force members appointed on Dec. 16, 2013. [.pdf of standard city board and commission task force application]

The task force would deliver a report by February 2015. That report would include recommendations for “improvements in the development and application of the Complete Streets model, using best practices, sound data and objective analysis.”

As the task force sponsors, Warpehoski and Briere had indicated that their intent is not to make the task force an alternative to repealing the city’s crosswalk ordinance. That repeal was given initial approval at the council’s Nov. 18 meeting.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]