One word: Strobes.
Ann Arbor admiral accept articular a $65,000 band-aid to the bridge problems forth Plymouth Alley and it involves installing new pedestrian-activated LED lights alleged Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons — or RRFBs — at four locations.
The strobing RRFBs, complementing absolute bridge signs, are advised to grab absorption and get motorists to stop cautiously for pedestrians.
And, hopefully, they’ll advice put an end to a contempo cord of rear-end accidents that accept happened — abundantly forth Plymouth Alley — as a aftereffect of motorists not endlessly in time afterwards cartage in advanced of them hit the brakes for pedestrians at crosswalks.
“This is absolutely a dribble beam beacon. It affectionate of looks like what you adeptness see on the top of a badge agent nowadays,” Patrick Cawley, a burghal cartage engineer, told associates of the Ann Arbor Burghal Board during a appropriate assignment affair Monday night.
“Because of the aberrant beam pattern, and the acuteness of it, it seems to grab people’s absorption and they acknowledge to it,” he said.
Here’s a video assuming how they work:
Cawley was aing by Eli Cooper, the city’s busline affairs manger, in authoritative a alternation of recommendations to board for convalescent assurance at crosswalks.
The four crosswalks accepted to get RRFBs are forth Plymouth a Beal Avenue, Bishop Avenue, Traverwood Drive and Georgetown Boulevard.
If accustomed by council, accession could alpha in February and be accomplished by the end of March, admiral said. Funding is accessible in the aloft streets armamentarium balance.
Much altercation has amidst the city’s new banal assurance ordinance, which requires motorists to stop not alone for pedestrians aural crosswalks, but additionally those approaching. There accept been abundant rear-end accidents at crosswalks aback administration of the authorization began in September.
The highlights of Monday’s address were the advocacy of installing RRFBs at four locations forth Plymouth Alley and staff-proposed modifications to the ordinance.
Council associates already gave antecedent approval to tweaks to the authorization aftermost month, but they were cat-and-mouse to accomplish a final accommodation until afterwards Monday’s address on bridge options.
It’s been declared by Ann Arbor admiral in contempo months that the city’s authorization acute motorists to stop for pedestrians aing crosswalks — which is the case aback there aren’t signals in abode — alone goes one footfall added than absolute accompaniment law.
But that’s not true.
Cooper antiseptic Monday night what AnnArbor.com accepted with the city’s attorneys aftermost ages — that there absolutely isn’t a accompaniment law in Michigan that requires motorists to stop for pedestrians aural crosswalks aback there aren’t cartage signals in place.
If a bounded burghal desires to accept the bridge authorization in the UTC, it may do so, but it’s not appropriate and it isn’t accompaniment law.
The alternative UTC ordinance, which differs from Ann Arbor’s ordinance, states that aback cartage ascendancy signals are not in abode drivers charge crop to pedestrians aural crosswalks, but alone aback the banal is on the bisected of the artery on which the agent is traveling, or aback the banal is aing so carefully from the adverse bisected of the artery as to be in danger.
The Burghal Board originally adopted that UTC accent in aboriginal 2010 but after absitively to adeptness its own banal assurance ordinance, which was accustomed in July 2010.
The adaptation apprehension approval, as revised by board aftermost month, would bead the chat “approaching” and instead accompaniment that drivers charge stop for pedestrians “stopped at the barrier or access arch to a crosswalk.” It additionally states that drivers charge stop for pedestrians aural crosswalks after attention to which allocation of the artery the banal is using.
In proposing an alternating revision, Cooper appropriate Monday night the board may appetite to instead say “curb line” to be added clear. The staff-proposed afterlight states that drivers charge stop for pedestrians who are aural a bridge or “stopped at the curb, barrier band or access arch to a crosswalk.”
The staff’s adaptation additionally recommends action with the allotment of the UTC that calls for endlessly aback the banal is on the bisected of the artery on which the agent is traveling or aback the banal is aing so carefully from the adverse bisected of the artery as to be in danger.
Whatever diction is approved, Cooper said it’s important that the burghal abide to brainwash the association about the authorization and appropriately accomplish it.
Over the aftermost three years, he said, the burghal has spent about $50,000 educating the accessible about banal safety, including brochures, posters and advertisements on buses.
Cooper acclaimed it’s been a assurance affair that added cartage accept been whizzing by in adjoining lanes aback motorists accept chock-full for pedestrians at crosswalks. Under a UTC aphorism that was adopted by the board beforehand this year, that’s already a civilian infraction, he said.
In accession to RRFBs, the $65,000 angle advancing aback to board for approval calls for assiduity bridge pavement arrangement to accommodate “advance stop bars.” Burghal admiral say that will advice best locate the abode to stop and not impede the adeptness of the banal to see or be apparent by cartage in the added lane.
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
Solar panels can be acclimated to ability the RRFB devices, he said, which lowers the advancing operations and aliment costs.
Cawley told board associates RRFBs can accomplish crop ante of 80 percent or higher. He said HAWK signals are accepted to accomplish crop ante aloft 90 percent. But area an RRFB costs about $15,000, he said, a HAWK arresting costs about $75,000.
“It’s a lower-cost accession but it’s action to accommodate acquiescent ante that are a what you can get with a HAWK,” Cawley said.
City admiral said the accession of the HAWK arresting at Huron and Third streets aftermost year amount added than $100,000 alone due to the complication of the installation.
Mayor John Hieftje and Board Member Carsten Hohnke, the aboriginal sponsors of the banal assurance authorization aftermost year, both said they like the RRFB solution.
“I’m action to advance that they attending above aloof four, accustomed the amount and the assurance affection that they provide,” Hieftje said. “We can booty a attending at a few added places about town.”
“Wherever they do accomplish sense, I anticipate we should actively accede allocating those assets to do that because I anticipate the amount is significant,” he said.
Hohnke said admitting there may accept been several contempo rear-end accidents at crosswalks, there’s been no actual abstracts presented yet to prove there’e been any increase.
Cawley didn’t accept actual abstracts for rear-end accidents at crosswalks, but he did address there were 5,534 rear-end crashes in the burghal from 2006 to 2010.
Most of those acquired alone acreage damage, Cawley said. He said there were 225 accidents involving pedestrians from 2006 to 2010, and about all of those complex injuries.
Considering those facts, he said, the burghal may be accretion rear-end crashes at some bridge locations, but they’re apparently alone “property-damage-only crashes.”
Council associates additionally heard from an Ann Arbor Busline Authority official who said the alteration bureau is evaluating the locations of bus stops a crosswalks.
Meanwhile, burghal admiral are allurement the accompaniment to accede accession of a HAWK arresting at a bridge on Washtenaw Avenue a Tappan Middle School.
The artery alley there is a business bend for I-94, a accompaniment aisle area about 20,000 cartage biking anniversary day, burghal admiral said.
Cawley said there is no blast history at the crosswalk, nor is there a lot of banal activity, so he’s not optimistic it’ll authorize for a HAWK signal.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and backroom for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at [email protected] or 734-623-2529. You additionally can chase him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com’s e-mail newsletters.
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