Skinny sidewalk, strange sign
June's Question Corner
by Tim Athan
Q: What's the deal with the narrow sidewalk outside of Hiller's at Arborland? Two people can't walk side by side there-how is a handicapped person going to manage? Isn't there an ordinance about width of sidewalks?
A: The city does regulate sidewalks but only on public property. State and federal rules on commercial property require wheelchair access from parking to stores. There is barrier-free access to Hiller's from the parking lot without using the narrow sidewalk.
The city recently adopted a comprehensive Non-Motorized Transportation Plan that promotes pedestrian-oriented design. It may lead the city to encourage developers to provide better pedestrian amenities on private property.
Q: On the east side of South Main Street just south of the Scio Church intersection and just north of the Busch's corner at Ann Arbor Saline Road there is a yellow diamond-shaped road sign that says:
Any idea on what this means, and why the city needed to put a sign there? It's bothered me for years.
A: The sign is on the property of an Ann Arbor couple who were amused to see a similar sign when they visited the Berkshires. The State of Massachusetts posts these signs to indicate areas where houses or other buildings are, on average, less than 200 feet apart. A Massachusetts friend gave the couple this one as a fiftieth anniversary present.
[Originally published in June, 2009.]