Issues: Kathy Plans to Hit the Ground Running

Kathy Griswold was the only candidate in Ward 2 endorsed by the Sierra Club. The Michigan Sierra Club wanted Kathy elected to City Council because she talks the talk and walks the walk on issues of the environment and sustainability. However, Kathy promised that along with improving our air quality and protecting our water, she would focus on basic services.

“Fix the Damn Roads.”

Kathy is listening and hears residents when they say Ann Arbor’s roads are a disgrace and need immediate attention. The responsibility for the present 8-year plan to have 80 percent of Ann Arbor roads rated at least 7 out of 10 on the PASER scale, a pavement rating system used by the city rests on the shoulders of City Administrator Howard Lazarus and Mayor Christopher Taylor. While campaigning, Taylor repeatedly promised that his plan would bring results.

Yet, on Sept. 10, 2018, a little over 30 days after Taylor won the primary election, the City Administrator released a disturbing memo which stated that only the city’s major roads could be repaired by 2025, not our neighborhood streets. The excuse offered up in the memo was that, “The city’s present level of paving efforts appears to be tapping the full capacity of regularly successful bidders.”

This is not only an unacceptable failure on the part of the City Administrator, it smacks of playing politics with the truth about road repairs. It’s time to look beyond the usual and customary strategies and bidders in order to get this job done more quickly.

Kathy’s Council Resolution: Between now and November 2018, when she is sworn in, Kathy plans to craft and introduce a resolution which will direct the City Administrator to shape a road repair plan which includes the necessary funding and which vastly widens the search for road repair contractors so that 70 percent of the city major roads and neighborhood streets will be rated at least 7 out of 10 on the PASER scale within the next 48 months. Kathy will ask the Administrator to communicate monthly road repair data, including costs and miles done, to Council and to Ann Arbor taxpayers so that we can all track the progress toward this important goal.

A Moratorium on the Installation of New Pedestrian Crosswalks.

As a long-time pedestrian safety advocate, the safety of Ann Arbor’s school children who walk to school, pedestrians, drivers and bicyclists is among Kathy’s most pressing concerns. City staff have installed incorrect signage at pedestrian crosswalks, left crosswalks unmarked, unsigned and unlit, and have alleged that Ann Arbor does not enough money to correctly sign, mark and light all of the city’s mid-street crosswalks.

This is unacceptable. The health, safety and welfare of residents must be a priority for city government.

Kathy’s Council Resolution: Between now and November 2018, when she is sworn in, Kathy plans to craft a resolution which will direct the City Administrator to place a moratorium in the installation of any new mid-street crosswalks. Until all of Ann Arbor’s existing mid-street crosswalks are evaluated by a licensed traffic engineer, then correctly signed, marked and lit, according to state crosswalk regulations and crosswalk engineering standards, no new crosswalks will be installed. Improperly placed and/or dangerous mid-roads crosswalks will be removed. Removals will be based on data including traffic engineering reports, user death, injury, bike and automobile crash reports.