ANN ARBOR – Ahead of Monday's City Council meeting, the citizen-led advocacy organization A2 Safe Transport gathered in the lobby of City Hall to hold a community conversation.
The group is urging the city of Ann Arbor to work with engineers with experience in pedestrian safety to develop safer crosswalks, following a string of pedestrian crashes in recent years, many involving high school and college students. It is trying to implement Vision Zero, an international road safety project that aims to prevent accidents that cause serious injuries and fatalities, in the pedestrian heavy city.
At the City Council meeting, which many of its members attended wearing neon yellow T-shirts with the group's logo, council passed a resolution sponsored by city Council Member Kathy Griswold, D-Ward 2, that will see the city work closely with community members, including the University of Michigan, to develop solutions on safer transportation in Ann Arbor.
A2 Safe Transport was formed after the death of a local high schooler who was struck and killed while crossing Fuller Road near Huron Parkway in late 2016.
"It's an organization of concerned citizens, mostly moms, who got together after the death of a high school student that some of us knew that was crossing at a crosswalk that my kids cross at every day that was inadequately marked and lit," chair of A2 Safe Transport Claire Duvernoy told A4. "Our goal is that every crosswalk in this city, especially the ones that are near schools where children cross, be adequately lit, adequately marked."
While she said City Council has been a partner in efforts to improve pedestrian safety, she said council citing budget limitations has been a frustration for the citizen group.
"I will say that City Council has been very helpful when there has been a tragic accident, but what we’d like to do is see them be more proactive and do something before there’s a tragedy," said Duvernoy. "There's always the tension between the cost of doing various things versus being reactive. Personally, I think, and I think all of us in A2 Safe Transport think that there is nothing more important than pedestrian safety and preventing accidents and tragic deaths. So we think this should be the highest priority for the city."
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