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Stop ignoring science and delaying safety improvements to our community!

This petition had 383 supporters


Road diets are proven Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) safety countermeasures that Ann Arbor City Council should be embracing, not debating. The biggest safety benefits are to motorists. FHWA reports they result in an overall crash reduction of between 19 and 47%, while also improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians by calming speeding traffic, creating the opportunity for improving bike facilities and pedestrian crossings.  

But Ann Arbor City Council has spent meeting after meeting rejecting the scientific consensus and robust data analyses of their own traffic engineers. Indeed, Councilmember Jane Lumm just called for a MORATORIUM on all new road diets calling for another study.  City engineering staff just released a 37-page report highlighting the merits of the project, and national data is clear. CM Lumm's call for more data simply delays critical safety improvements while wasting taxpayer dollars. The data is clear. Road diets improve safety! And when conditions are right, they improve safety without increasing motorist travel times. 

What are road diets? 

Nationwide, engineers are putting roads on diets, helping them lose lanes and width. In the process formerly fat streets often become leaner, safer, and more efficient. They become multi-modal and more productive. For instance, a 4-lane road is converted to a 3-lane road with a center turn lane, bike lanes, and more clearly marked crosswalks. 

Background on why this topic is an issue now in Ann Arbor... 

1) In the spring of 2019, City Council altered past practice and passed a resolution requiring all road diets to be approved by Council, rather than allowing some to be approved administratively. 

2) In July 2019, three straightforward road diets (Earhart, Green, and Traverwood) came before City Council, all of which EASILY met the FHWA criteria for road diets, were recommended in the City's non-motorized transportation plan, and received the support of staff after robust engineering reviews. Two of the three projects had majority public support as well.  While Green Road received just below 50% public support during a public comment period,  it fills a critical gap in our non-motorized infrastructure, was included in our master plan, recommended by engineering staff, and doesn't significantly impact motorists. However, City Council stalled on ALL three projects and recommended more costly engineering and commission review. 

3) After the City Council referral, Ann Arbor Transportation Commission again reviewed these projects and recommended the City implement them to advance our transportation and safety goals.  And City staff released a 37-page report further clarifying the importance of the road diets. These projects will return to City Council on Monday, August 5th... but despite strong data and compelling scientific reasons to proceed, many members of City Council have made comments indicating a desire to deny these projects as well as an overall suspicion about road diets.

Tell Ann Arbor City Council to stop rejecting modern science, commit to Complete Streets and Vision Zero, and to vote YES on August 5th for these critical safety improvements. 

For more info, go to: 

https://www.wbwc.org/road-diet-information

https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/provencountermeasures/road_diets/

https://nacto.org/docs/usdg/road_diets_fixing_big_roads_burden.pdf (A 1999 report! This isn't a newfangled idea!) 



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