“Why should pedestrians always be inconvenienced and never motorists?”

An Ann Arbor News letter to the editor: (Via Brandon)

“Pedestrian-activated light needed on road

Ever since Teh Nannie Roshema Rolsan and Norhananim Zainol were killed crossing Plymouth Road in front of the Islamic Center, people have been writing letters addressing the issue of whether there should be a traffic light in that area. Some people feel that no light is needed because pedestrians should use the “nearby” crosswalk.

The nearest traffic light is three tenths of a mile away. For a pedestrian to walk to the light, cross the street, and walk back on the other side adds six tenths of a mile to his or her trip. The typical pedestrian walking speed is 3-4 mph. At 3 mph, adding 0.6 mile to one’s trip adds 12 minutes. Why would anyone choose to add 12 minutes to one’s trip when trying to cross the street? Do motorists look for ways to add 12 minutes to each trip they make?

If large numbers of people cross Plymouth Road at the Islamic Center, there should be a traffic light there. Since the pedestrian traffic volume is large at some times and small at others, I think a pedestrian-activated signal is a good solution. Motorists would only have to wait when a pedestrian is present.

It is not unfair to expect motorists to wait while a pedestrian crosses the street. This is far less time than the 12 minutes that certain motorists expect pedestrians to add to every trip. Why should pedestrians always be inconvenienced and never motorists?

Riin Gill, Ann Arbor”

Author: Rob