On Monday December 2, 2013, a majority of Ann Arbor City Council is poised to vote to repeal the City’s “Crosswalk Ordinance”. The ordinance requires drivers to stop for pedestrians within a crosswalk as well as those clearly about to enter a crosswalk. The Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition was part of the 2009 public process that delivered resident-directed
recommendations to City Council and led to the development of this stronger crosswalk ordinance. Now City Council is attempting to overturn that effort with no analysis of the impact of the ordinance.
Council member Steve Kunselman reported to WBWC that no data is necessary to overturn this ordinance, this Council has the votes and he prefers to "use emotion" to guide this type of decisionmaking. Data just "intellectualizes" the conversation.
Council members Chuck Warpehoski and Sabra Briere introduced a motion to postpone action on the repeal until a Pedestrian Safety Task Force conducts a full review of the ordinance and provides recommendations in a report to City Council. WBWC supports postponement in order to allow the Task Force time to complete a full review of the impacts of the ordinance and involve the public in the decision making process-- neither will happen if City Council votes to repeal the ordinance on Monday.
Council supporters of a repeal of the ped crossing ordinance as of 11/26: Peterson, Lumm, Kunselman, Anglin, Eaton and Kailasapathy.
Council supporters of deliberative review of the ordinance as of 11/26: Taylor, Warpehoski, Briere, Hieftje and Teall
Because building a walkable city that is safe for pedestrians and bikers is important to you, we need you to participate. How you can help:
**1**. Come to the Ann Arbor City Council meeting on December 2nd (7pm City Council chambers) and demonstrate your disapproval of how Council is proceeding. Ask City Council during the public hearing to postpone acting until a true review of the ordinance has been conducted by an appointed Task Force.
Please let us know if you can speak at the public meeting by registering on Facebook
or sending a note to
. Even if you are uncomfortable speaking, please just attend the meeting. Making sure the room is filled with supporters of a safe, walkable Ann Arbor will help to demonstrate the public desire to postpone action until after the Task Force delivers initial recommendations. If you can not stay through the entire public hearing the most important time you can be present is from 7:00-7:45.
We have been told that a new resolution will be introduced on December 2nd by Council member Steve Kunselman to model Ann Arbor's code language after Traverse City. Ironically, Traverse City was following Ann Arbor's lead when they revised their code language in 2011. While the words on the paper would be better than a full repeal, the legal impact would not be. Traverse City currently interrprets their code to mean motorists must stop for pedestrians waiting to cross at marked, signed crosswalks. Ann Arbor would not follow this interpretation. Before proceeding with any action, we simply believe the city should allow for a public process, review of data and impact anaylsis.
Other ways you can help:
2. Consider writing a personal letter to City Council supporting the current ordinance/asking Council to postpone action until a true review of the ordinance has occurred. It is crucial that you copy the WBWC (
) with the submission so that we can reference these letters and share your views, particularly if you can't attend.
Thank you for your time and attention to this issue.