Ann Arbor Area Community News
Don’t interpret this as a return for ArborUpdate (the once and future king of Ann Arbor), but I saw this press release sent to the group email, and wanted to post it up here:
After years of updating, the ArborUpdate crew is taking a break. It may be temporary, it may be permanent, but for now the ArborUpdate sign is flipped to “closed.”
There’s a few reasons for this:
As we head out, we’ll keep this thread open for a brief while for goodbyes. Then, the current plan is to put the site in hibernate mode, turn off comments, keep ArborUpdate as an archive, and see where things go from there.
City Council: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 7:00 pm.
Why is the Sierra Club arguing against a transit station? The oppose the decision to build the station on top of what is technically parkland (it currently serves as a parking lot).
There are a lot of questions here (e.g. Is this a good investment for the city? Will it reduce congestion from the east? Will use this center to come farther into Ann Arbor?). What most strikes me is, “In this case, which is more environmental, transit or parks”?
As reported by AnnArbor.com, Yesterday the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Chambers of Commerce had a breakfast to discuss their merger.
What does the merger mean? Is it:
What will the merger help? What will be the challenges in it?
(These are all real questions I have, but now I sound like I’m writing high school essay test questions.)
City Council: Monday, January 4, 2010 at 7:00 pm.
City Council: Thursday, December 21 at 7:00 pm.
It’s been a while since we had a good parking fight around here, so thanks to AnnArbor.com for throwing us a bone. In two pieces today, they post one downtown merchant’s op-ed for free parking during the holidays, and an article on the Ann Arbor City Council’s upcoming discussion of extending meter enforcement from 6pm to 10pm. (full resolution text.)
City Councilmember Sandi Smith cites, in her explanation of the time extension, the importance of convenient, high-turnover parking at the curb for downtown businesses and customers. For at least five years, the DDA has observed that the 6pm end time encourages all-night parking – a downtown employee or patron arriving at 4 or 5pm pays the meter through 6pm, then leaves the car there for the rest of the night, forcing later patrons to park further away even for short trips.
Commenters on AnnArbor.com, by contrast, are heavily skewed towards the attitude that parking should be free, so that downtown Ann Arbor businesses can compete effectively with WalMart.
Extending meter enforcement can, according to Don Shoup and others, help downtown businesses in this competition by providing parking convenience, often a stronger factor than price in the mall vs. downtown decision. (This, as observed, rarely factors into the visceral reaction to pricing parking.)
Notably, past discussions of downtown parking pricing and timing have typically led to the concern that lower income downtown employees priced out by such a decision be provided with an alternative – such as extending the hours of bus service. The resolution at hand does not seem to include consideration of such alternatives.
The resolution references the 2007 Nelson/Nygaard study of downtown parking, available online.
City Council: Monday, December 7 at 7:00 pm.
Depending on your perspective, Washtenaw Avenue is either an important connection bringing together businesses, commuters, and shoppers in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Ypsi Township and Pittsfield Township or it’s a traffic nightmare, the an danger to pedestrians, and a concentration of ugliness in the county.
A group of community leaders gathered to envision what rules, plans, and incentives should be put in place now for the corridor’s development over the next 20 years and beyond. The initial report has been covered by AnnArbor.com, Mark Maynard, and Concentrate.
What do you think the future of the corridor should be?
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