The University Record, October 30, 2000


The University Record welcomes letters from members of the University community. Those on topics of broad University interest will be given preference for publication. Letters should be no more than 500 words in length and must be signed. The editorial staff reserves the right to reject any letter and to edit and/or condense letters for publication. The editorial staff also may limit the number of weeks letters are published on an issue, and the number of times any one person’s viewpoint on a single issue will be published. Letters may appear in small type. Organizations submitting material must include the name and address of an appropriate officer. Letters must be received by noon Wednesday to receive consideration for publication in the next issue.

Readers say new signal needed at Catherine-Glen

This letter is an attempt to clarify some misconceptions presented in the Oct. 23 letter regarding bus and pedestrian safety at the intersection of Catherine and Glen.

Dennis Moore’s technical commentary on the logistics of a bus attempting to turn at the intersection in question is uninformed. The job of driving, whether a bus or a car, always requires attention to all aspects of the environment around the vehicle, not one specific object or situation. Bus drivers, licensed by the state, are professionals who understand the seriousness of their job duty and its associated responsibility. It is erroneous to suggest that bus drivers do not know what is going on around their bus. Pedestrians and other car drivers should assume the same responsibility as the road is a shared environment.

Michigan Commercial Driver’s License regulations suggest that right turns are to be executed in the curb lane of traffic. Having the bus turn in the center lane would cause many car and bus crashes.

The clearest solution would be for the city of Ann Arbor to create a signal that allowed pedestrians to cross without any traffic movement. Countless times I have stopped my right turn to allow people to cross, and cars turning from the lane to the left of the bus speed past and then see the pedestrians and must either slam on the brakes or swerve around them.

The recent death of Janis Marchyok is a terrible tragedy for those involved. Requesting that the city make changes to signals at Catherine and Glen is the clearest solution. It is a solution that would increase the safety of pedestrians in the intersection, rain or shine.

David Rossman, transit coach operator, Transportation Services

Dennis Moore has made several suggestions (Oct. 23 Record) regarding bus routing through the intersection of Catherine and Glen. I work in the Victor Vaughn Building and cross this dangerous intersection at least twice a day. When I heard about Janis Marchyok’s death, I was surprised the accident involved a bus. Usually the buses aren’t the problem. The drivers are used to pedestrians being present and wait for them to cross.

Cars in the middle lane often have their view blocked by buses or SUVs in the right lane. They start to turn the corner and are startled to see a pedestrian. Then there are the aggressive drivers in both lanes who try to hurry through before a walker reaches their lane. When I told people that I had written to the city of Ann Arbor about this, I heard many stories of near misses and people actually being brushed by cars.

The fact that the weather made it difficult for the bus driver to see the woman would not have been a factor if the time for pedestrians crossing was not at the same time cars are given the light to turn. I agree with Susan Wineberg (Oct. 2 Record) that pedestrians need to be given a special time to cross and should not have to compete with vehicles.

Barbara E. Laird, education resource specialist, UAW-Ford University Program