City May Pass Ordinance Requiring Stops at Crosswalks
The Traverse City city commission will consider an amendment to the City’s Uniform Traffic Code tonight to require that drivers stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks. This is the first official action to come out of the August 22nd study session concerning rules and regulations concerning pedestrians and bicyclists.
Currently, state law is can be interrupted as simply don’t hit anyone. It states that drivers must “yield” to pedestrians, both at marked and unmarked crosswalks. Local representative Wayne Schmidt has written a bill to clarify state law, but that bill hasn’t seen any action beyond a sub-committee. The change in Traverse’s ordinance is modeled after Ann Arbor’s crosswalk ordinance passed in 2010 (MI Daily).
This is a right step to take to prioritize people’s movements on foot or wheelchair. It will add importance to establishing more marked crosswalks in the future. We are typically familiar with crosswalks in the downtown district, but this amendment will also impact a crossing like that found at the notorious Garfield Ave. and Washington St. intersection.
Still, culture is changes slowly, don’t expect consideration for pedestrians like that found on the west coast right away. This change, if passed obviously, will take time to change the awareness of people driving in the community.
The entire part of the Traverse City Code of Ordinances to be altered is Section 410.03 and can be read below beginning on page 59 of the packet for tonight’s meeting (PDF).
Also of interest on tonight’s agenda:
- Motor vehicle parking amendment to eliminate off-street parking requirements for new businesses in select locations (pg. 37).
- Authorization of yet another study regarding Boardman Lake Ave. (pg 47).
- Approval of the Natural resource element of the master plan (pg 67).