The Ann Arbor City Council unanimously approved a new pedestrian safety ordinance last July that gives walkers and bicyclists the upper hand when trying to brave traffic to cross city streets.

It’s a new kind of share-the-road philosophy, and city officials acknowledge it will take time and education to change the current culture. In the words of Police Chief Barnett Jones, it’s an effort to stop pedestrians from “playing Frogger trying to cross our roadways.”

The ordinance change, brought forward by Council Member Carsten Hohnke and Mayor John Hieftje, clarifies the obligation of motorists to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

According to the new ordinance, when traffic control signals aren’t in place or aren’t in operation, the driver of a vehicle must stop and yield the right-of-way to every pedestrian not only within a crosswalk, but also pedestrians approaching a crosswalk.

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