Gentle readers, it seems some folks in town are starting to mount another attack on Ann Arbor's crosswalk ordinance. They say it is too confusing to expect drivers to follow different traffic codes in different municipalities, that the ordinance gives pedestrians the false sense of security to cross without looking, and that it creates a situation where drivers yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks are likely to be rear-ended.
It is unfortunate that decades of urban planning have left us with places where walkability was an afterthought. Who would have thought that the thousands of students living on North Campus would ever want to leave their bucolic 800 acre enclave to cross Plymouth Road to buy groceries, or go out to eat? Nevertheless, we have created an environment where driving is a right and pedestrians are an afterthought. I think the Ann Arbor's ordinance helps rectify the situation. That said, I don't think the city has done a great job communicating the specifics of the ordinance to all drivers in the city, especially those who may be commuting or visiting from other municipalities. To remedy this, I would suggest getting some custom traffic signs like the one above (only 10.57 each for orders of at least 100 at buildasign.com!). These signs could be placed both at major entrances to the city and a few hundred feet in front of problematic crosswalks.
Gentle readers, what are your thoughts on the crosswalk ordinance? I'd welcome contrasting points of view on the subject.