Liberty near Seventh

Stopped. Watched. icon

It is annoying when someone clears their drive but ignores the sidewalk. It is really a problem when they clear the drive and throw up more obstacles for pedestrians. If I had hired this snow removal firm, I would be firing them. [photo] It was even worse earlier, before walkers had climbed over the snow boulders to try and pass safely.

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  1. February 6, 2014 at 9:31 am | permalink

    Slauson does the same thing. Every time it snows, there is a fleet of trucks out within minutes to clear the parking lot, but it could be days before the sidewalk is cleared, if ever. I find this behavior particularly reprehensible for a public school.

  2. February 6, 2014 at 10:16 am | permalink

    Call the city (community standards) and they’ll ticket the offender & neighbors thereof who are also offending.

  3. By Linda Diane Feldt
    February 6, 2014 at 10:44 am | permalink

    You can also email to report violations. I find that easier than calling. I send them lots of emails.

  4. By Rob Utterback
    February 6, 2014 at 1:42 pm | permalink

    For anyone who goes the Community Standards route, I certainly hope you have better luck than I’ve had. On January 12, I reported that a mountain of plowed snow blocked the sidewalk on the south side of Jefferson St. between Madison and Main, just east of the railroad tracks. Despite my repeated attempts, as of Sunday the mountain still stood. At this point I’m thinking of naming it after the supervisor for street cleaning.

  5. By Steve Bean
    February 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm | permalink

    @4: That’s a creative thought, Rob, and I appreciate your efforts (the more the better), but have you determined that the city didn’t take action? Could it be that the property owner has been notified, maybe even ticketed, maybe even more than once, and just hasn’t responded?

  6. By Rob Utterback
    February 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm | permalink

    Maybe so, maybe not, Steve. The City has not provided me with any information. However, according to the their web site, “If, upon re-inspection, the necessary action has not been taken, the City may clear the sidewalk and bill the property owner.” As of Monday, no action had been taken.

  7. By Donna Estabrook
    February 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm | permalink

    I think the city should respond to the person who phoned/e-mailed with the complaint. I e-mailed Community Standards 2 weeks ago about the sidewalks bordering N Maple by Maple Village Shopping center. I have to go to the Sec of State office on the bus with a wheelchair user. If the city doesn’t let me know that the walk has been cleared of snow there is no point in going out there as we may not be able to even get off the bus.

    Linda – when and where does the committee on pedestrians meet and can anyone attend?

  8. By Linda Diane Feldt
    February 6, 2014 at 9:16 pm | permalink

    Donna, the task force on pedestrian safety and access is meeting for the first time next month. The date will be set the first week in March, I’m told. It is subject to the Open Meetings Act, so the dates and locations have to be posted and each meeting open to everyone. All I know at this point is what I’ve been told – there will be a process for input from the community. I’m certainly in favor of collecting a wide variety of opinions and other input, through many means.
    I would imagine that we would need to set up a way to hear lots of input and be able to make that meaningful. But other than that I know just a bit more than you do. My personal opinion is that input describing the problems is valuable, as well as hearing ideas and solutions. We’ll also be looking at best practices and data.
    We are reading background materials – and have not even really begun.

  9. By Rob Utterback
    February 7, 2014 at 9:15 am | permalink

    I’ve just been been informed by the city that the sidewalk at issue (the south side of Jefferson St. between Madison and Main, just east of the railroad tracks) “is private property not subject to City ordinance.” I guess that people will just have to walk in the street until the spring thaw.

  10. By George Hammond
    February 7, 2014 at 12:52 pm | permalink

    Rod, Madison and Jefferson run parallel. I guess you mean Jefferson between Main and Ashley. It looks like the property owners on the south side of of that block are the Ann Arbor Railroad and the company that owns the building at 502 South Main Street. Maybe the railroad right-of-way is not subject to city sidewalk ordinance?

  11. By Rob Utterback
    February 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm | permalink

    Sorry George, I miswrote. (BTW, it’s “Rob” :) ) You are correct: south side of Jefferson between Ashley and Main. Regardless of what the City claims, it is indeed a city sidewalk on which snow has been piled.

  12. By George Hammond
    February 7, 2014 at 2:35 pm | permalink

    Oops, sorry Rob!
    I does seem weird that one stretch of sidewalk running along a street would be “private” and not subject to city ordinance.

  13. By Kathy Griswold
    February 7, 2014 at 2:38 pm | permalink

    @ Linda Diane Feldt — Thanks for the update and for serving on the Pedestrian Task Force.

    @Bob Utterback — I recommend you use the free mobile application SeeClickFix to document (with photo) an issue and then send an email with the SeeCkickFix link to The advantages are that city workers have a photo and exact location of the problem and community members can see the outstanding requests. The City announced that they will have a new system with a mobile interface later this year.

    Thanks to Jeremy Peters who posted instructions on reporting service requests on another article.

    Also, for anyone interested in pedestrian issues, the Michigan Association of Planning [link], in partnership with the Michigan Safe Routes to School Program, will be presenting the Transportation Bonanza [link] in Lansing next Thursday, February 13. I hope to see some Chronicle readers there.

  14. By Donna Estabrook
    February 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm | permalink

    Thank you Linda for the info on pedestrian task force. Are the meeting times and locations posted on the Ann Arbor City website?

  15. By Linda Diane Feldt
    February 7, 2014 at 5:20 pm | permalink

    Donna, someone else (David Askins?) will have to tell you where meetings are posted. I don’t know. I also haven’t yet seen what policies and procedures apply for task forces. I think all of that will be known in March. You can ask me in a few weeks if you want –
    I will share whatever I know.

  16. February 8, 2014 at 10:50 am | permalink

    Re: [15] pedestrian task force meeting notices

    I expect a page will be set up for the pedestrian safety and access task force on the city website, and that will likely include dates of upcoming meetings, a document library for the task force’s activities and the like. Another good place to check is the city’s master event calendar (outside of Legistar) is here: [link] And I’ll take this as an opening to give The Chronicle’s event listings a plug, which include the city’s listings as a subset: [link]