Home > Complete Streets, Design the Details, Representing, Safety Issues, Videos, Walking > Crosswalk Ordinance? What Crosswalk Ordinance?

Crosswalk Ordinance? What Crosswalk Ordinance?

Last year, Ann Arbor passed a crosswalk ordinance that become the model Traverse City used for its recent crosswalk ordinance (TC’s Uniform Traffic Code Section 410.03). It requires all vehicles (including bicycles) to stop for pedestrians in unregulated crosswalks that are marked and posted.

If you haven’t noticed, it is in effect. Any reports from the streets?

Front side of a postcard campaign by Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition

Driver Behavior Remains the Issue

Ann Arbor has had issues with compliance of their law as the privilege associated with driving a car is difficult to change. People behind the wheel are still not readily stopping and there has been an uptick with fender-bender rear ends when someone stops too quickly. Ann Arbor is attempting to improve that with stricter enforcement, enhanced warning systems and perhaps with a slight clarifying of the ordinance language to clarify that a stop is only required if “a pedestrian is stopped at the curb or ramp leading to a crosswalk.” It avoids the vague term of “when approaching” a crosswalk.

Still, authorities in Ann Arbor are discovering that the biggest obstacle to compliance has nothing to do with the ordinance or pedestrians; the biggest issue remains driver behavior. Namely, distracted driving and driving too fast. There is state law to help reduce the former and the latter requires that the city focus on design of the streets to restrict speeds, but also to protect pedestrians with greater use of bump-outs, medians and narrow streets. It appears from the comments by council members, that Ann Arbor’s council is supporting continued improvement in street design guidelines to achieve those ends. Ann Arbor is also attempting to raise the awareness of the ordinance through postcard and ad campaigns, as well as continuing to provide video footage of the experience on the street.

Want to Help

Forces are coming together in Traverse City to begin a PR campaign for our new ordinance, both through the City Planning office and through citizen effort. If you’re interested in lending a talent, an idea or being filmed as you navigate the streets, you can send me a message or contact the planning department to be plugged in. TC resident Marya Tyler is also interested in putting together some short PR videos that will air online and public access. If interested, email at: maryawashingtontyler@hotmail.com

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The following video was effective in helping to get A2’s ordinance passed. (If you need a bit of a pick-me-up in your attitude before your daily walk commute, watch this video).

“We can have a community where we no longer feel invisible as pedestrians– where motorists stop to allow children to cross the street.”

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  1. T. Werner
    December 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Unmarked crosswalks are also covered, a good thing since the City has so many:

    “When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to every pedestrian within an unmarked crosswalk 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.”

    Problem with marked or unmarked crosswalks – grandma has to actually be IN the street for the car to be required to stop or yield. Cars don’t have to stop just because she is standing on the sidewalk waiting to cross.

  2. Matt Ross
    December 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Garry, Any word on when they will start marking more of the crosswalks?

  3. December 1, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Making more crosswalks? If you mean plans to stripe more intersections, I don’t. The striping scheme is developed in the springtime.

    As far as striping more mid-block crossings, that isn’t likely to happen anywhere in 2012, other than the Elmwood crossing of Grandview Parkway. It is a good question worth looking into though, thanks.

  4. BeSquirrely
    December 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Almost got run over with toddler and newborn in tow at the marked AND signed (but awful) Front St intersection near J & S. Arrghh.

  5. December 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    May need to start a map of near misses.

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