Home > Videos > The Visceral Sense of Fear of Pedestrians & Giving The Bird While Wearing Mittens

The Visceral Sense of Fear of Pedestrians & Giving The Bird While Wearing Mittens

Video Tuesday

Dangerous pedestrian issues in Ann Arbor via mgrocoff

The closing remark for this video from Ann Arbor sums it up well, “we can have a community where we no longer feel invisible as pedestrians.” A major part of it is infrastructure, but the other side of it is culture. Many of us have experienced walking in cities on the west coast, which seem to have a more mature ethic that assumes people walking will cross the road and motorists stop accordingly. In Michigan, even in walkable Ann Arbor, we have a long ways to go.

Since this video appeared, Ann Arbor’s city council passed a pedestrian safety ordinance that will attempt to enforce that motorists must “stop and yield the right-of-way to every pedestrian not only within a crosswalk, but also pedestrians approaching a crosswalk.” It’s questionable if the new ordinance, which is different from state law, will be effective.

The above video was used to help pass the ordinance.

SIDE-NOTE: Yesterday, I did give the one finger salute to a motorist cutting in front of me while crossing at the Rose St. cross-walk. I had the green and was in the street; they couldn’t wait the 3 seconds for me to clear. Unfortunately, my communication was unclear as finger communication doesn’t work so well when wearing mittens.

Live and learn.

  1. Richard Miller
    November 16, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    An all-too-familiar scenario. Nothing short of a sustained state-wide pedestrian/vehicle sensitivity campaign solidly backed up by widespread and publicized enforcement will bring about change. I believe pedestrians DO have the legal right-of-way at intersections even without zebra striping and certainly without additional signage and flashing signals. But can anyone recall incidents of enforcement? What will it take to bring about serious change in widespread driver response?

  2. November 16, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Currently, the law in Michigan is horribly unclear. Basically, there is little the police can do as long as no one is injured, and even then action isn’t guaranteed. “The vehicular traffic shall yield the right of way to pedestrians” seems obvious, but for some reason isn’t enough to stop encroachment.

    I think the cultural shift and the enforcement shift need to be a priority at every level of state government.

  3. Pat
    November 18, 2010 at 12:59 am

    One of my pet peeves is cars rolling towards me when they are at a stop sign I am walking across the street. This happened today a few more times. It somehow made me think maybe we should refer to cars as wheel chairs with extra seats.

  4. Anonymouse
    November 19, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Reminds me of trying to cross Division and Parkway. It’s even worse now that they changed the area of the cross walk and put curbs up where it used to be. I don’t bother going to the Leelanau trail anymore because it’s too dangerous to cross the parkway @ division.

  5. Anonymouse
    November 19, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Oh and I’ve complained numerous times to MDOT about that intersection, and that changing the crosswalk has made it worse or at least not made it any better. I don’t get much of a response. I guess someone has to get seriously injured or killed before we get a safe crossing there.

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