Ann Arbor is creating a task force to look at pedestrian safety and access, but even before the group meets a change in the city's crosswalk law is expected.
Ann Arbor City Council took a pair of actions at their meeting last night with an eye towards pedestrian safety, but concerns remain about if they will do anything positive.
WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more:
Ann Arbor City Council has voted 8 to 3 in favor of the first reading of an ordinance change to repeal the city's crosswalk ordinance and use the Michigan Traffic Code instead.
The difference is whether motorists have to stop for pedestrians still on the sidewalk but at a crosswalk as current law requires, or only having to yield for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
City Council Member Sally Petersen says the death of a University of Michigan student this summer while trying to cross Plymouth Road is the reason to bring this resolution forward now, and that she supports the creation of a pedestrian safety and access task force to look at the issue.
Council voted unanimously for the resolution to appoint the new task force. Critics of repealing the crosswalk law say any change should come after the task force report.
Chair of the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition, Erica Briggs, says she doesn't understand why the city would change the crosswalk law again before having the larger look at pedestrian safety. Briggs also believes that the requirement of the pedestrian to actually be in the crosswalk is a particular burden to the most vulnerable pedestrians, such as people in wheelchairs.