Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, August 26, 2011

Crosswalk ordinance impacts campus community

As students, faculty and staff begin to make their way back to Ann Arbor for the school year, the university is reminding everyone of the city’s recent pedestrian ordinance changes.

The new ordinance — effective last year though enforcement will begin this fall — requires motorists to fully stop for pedestrians in or approaching marked crosswalks in locations with no traffic control signals or with traffic control signals that are not in operation. Mid-block crosswalks, such as in front of the LSA Building or from North Campus across Plymouth Road, are most impacted by this revised ordinance.

Under the previous ordinance, pedestrians had to enter the crosswalk to require motorists to stop.

“With so many city streets integrated into our campus community, we felt it was important to share this information with the University members,” says Sue Gott, university planner.

The ordinance also includes safeguards for drivers. It states that pedestrians may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and enter the path of a vehicle when a driver is unable to respond in the proper fashion.

Pedestrians must use crosswalks if they expect drivers to stop for them. Pedestrians crossing a roadway at any point other than a marked crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles.

The penalty for not stopping for pedestrians approaching a crosswalk is a $100 fine and two points on a driver's license.

Targeted enforcement of the ordinance will begin next month. The Ann Arbor Police Department will hand out warnings in September, and issue tickets in October to motorists who do not stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks. Many of the crosswalk locations have new signage to remind drivers and pedestrians of the new law.

U-M and the city are working with the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition to publicize the pedestrian safety ordinance throughout the community. For example, bus signs have been posted in AATA and university buses, and educational posters have been distributed to buildings across campus. Parking & Transportation Services also integrated additional training with university fleet drivers.

For more information about transportation safety in the city of Ann Arbor, go to Walk, Bike, Drive: Our Safety Depends on You at: www.A2gov.org/walkbikedrive.