Farmington officials resolve crosswalk differences

After wrestling with the issue of when vehicles should stop for pedestrians, Farmington officials on Monday approved a new crosswalk ordinance.

Before the change, pedestrians would have to step into a motorist’s lane of traffic before a vehicle was required to yield.  City Manager David Murphy said the new rule requires a stop when walkers are standing within the apron that makes crossing easier for people with disabilities.

Officials initially disagreed over whether the stop should come before or after someone steps off the curb. Council member Maria Taylor raised the issue of intent, asking how a driver could determine whether someone standing at or near the curb planned to cross.

All council members seemed happy with the new language.

“I think, as it stands, it’s strongly worded for the pedestrian,” said council member Joe LaRussa.

Mayor Steven Schneemann, who had argued for a stop as pedestrians stood at the curb, said he was “very supportive” of the new language.

“I do think this is going to make Farmington a leader when it comes to safety,” he said. And as enforcement begins, he added, “motorists will understand that we take pedestrian safety very, very seriously in our city.”