Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Next Steps In City Walking, Biking Plan

Ann Arbor has gotten a fair bit kinder to pedestrians and bicyclists since adopting its first Non-Motorized Plan in 2007. But there's plenty of room for improvement on many of the city's byways. Wednesday, Feb. 8, the city is holding its first public meetings on a 5-year update to the plan. At City Hall, 3-4:30 and 6-7:30. There might even be some bicycle boulevards on the agenda.


  1. Don't suppose anyone who reads this knows how, when, or why the decision was made that crosswalk signals should not change unless a ped pushed the button before the signal cycle? I was thinking on my ride today how ridiculous it is that on walkways specifically designated as 'multi-use paths,' you can arrive to a "don't walk" signal at a light that is green and wait, I don't know, 3.5 minutes? until the next cycle to get a walk signal. Meanwhile I could've ridden my bike across the street 8-10 times in what time was left on the green traffic signal.

  2. Yup, we definitely need more automated pedestrian signals. I assume the decision on whether to automate or require button-pushing is based on average pedestrian traffic at the location, but there are lots of sites where that test hasn't been applied (Maiden Lane and Fuller is one). What places are you thinking about?

  3. Eisenhower. Huron Parkway. But those are just on my personal routes and the ones I've run into most recently. Seems like 95% of signals around here are conditional.

    I guess I don't see what the harm in always having the signal change is. There's a blinky warning to not start crossing too late. Do the 'walk' signals burn out more easily or cost a great deal more to replace than the 'don't walk' signals? Is there an incredibly expensive piece of equipment required to make the signal automatic rather than conditional? Make them all always change. Then add a "cycle the light faster on button push" doohicky to the intersections with high pedestrian traffic/intersections that only change when traffic is present.