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Ann Arbor 5th Ward City Council Candidates Discuss Pedestrian Safety Before General Election

Ann Arbor's 5th Ward will have a new city council member next month.  Incumbent Mike Anglin will not appear on the November ballot after losing the primary election.  We spoke with the two candidates in the running.

Get all of the details from the 2015 local elections from WEMU News here

Professional planner Chip Smith and University of Michigan Hospital nurse Kevin Leeser are the candidates.

Smith beat incumbent Mike Anglin by more than 300 votes in the primary election.  Leeser is a write-in candidate.

Both have a passion for improving pedestrian safety but Smith would focus on snow removal after city council recently voted against requiring residents to clear snow less than an inch in accumulation.  Smith says he is not interested in writing tickets to violators like council decided to do but instead wants to make sure the sidewalks are cleared for everyone to use.

Meanwhile, Kevin Leeser would put the spotlight on addressing the issue of two-wheeled riders.  Leeser rides his bike to work everyday and believes the city needs to do a better job when it comes to offering bike lanes.  He wants the city's pedestrian task force to include bike safety in their list of priorities.

Voters are also speaking up.  5th ward resident Chris Hewett says he's tired of seeing drivers go between 40 and 70 miles per hour in 30 speed limit zones.

He wants his next representative to address that issue to prevent car crashes in neighborhoods.

In addition to public safety, both Smith and Leeser want to see more affordable housing in Ann Arbor and improve city services offered to residents.

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— Jorge Avellan is an assignment reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him

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