Comments on: AATA to Arborland: We Could Pay You Rent! it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Joel Batterman Joel Batterman Wed, 01 Jul 2009 18:37:53 +0000 As of July 1, the following Arborland businesses have already moved to express their disappointment with the closing of the bus stop, or are working to share their concerns. These 11 businesses represent fully half of the mall’s current tenants.

They are: America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Beauty First, Borders, Cold Stone Creamery, dressbarn, DSW Shoe Warehouse, Hiller’s, Marshall’s, Michael’s, Noodles & Company, and Starbucks.

Additional stores are speaking to corporate offices about the possibility of following suit.

If you get a chance, tell them thanks, and to keep up the good work!

(also posted to Arbor Update)

By: Dave Askins Dave Askins Wed, 24 Jun 2009 22:47:30 +0000 Re: [10] I think the practical effect of “Compact Only” signs is similar to “This space is smaller than standard, so exercise appropriate navigational care when parking here anyway … in your standard-size car .”

By: Feat of Clay Feat of Clay Wed, 24 Jun 2009 20:05:55 +0000 I’ve long found the Arborland lot hilarious for its numerous spots dedicated only to compact cars. Are there that many compact cars in the county?

While my green side applauds the favoritism shown to people who drive small cars, I’m not sure it’s realistic at a shopping center with anchors so attractive to families with pets and kids–and the requisite minivans and SUVs.

I’ve wondered if the signs were a political/ecological statement, or just the management’s way of squeezing more slots into the parking lot. Either way they seemed out of touch with the realities of Arborland shoppers.

By: Steve H Steve H Wed, 24 Jun 2009 01:41:54 +0000 If the management of Arborland is the same as a few years ago, I’d like to ask if the statute of limitations has run out on a compliant about their parking area. I shopped at Hiller’s (great store!) and upon leaving with a 4 yr. old and an 8 yr. old–on a muggy, hot summer day, found that I could not escape their parking area. They had a crew resurfacing their lot and the traffic in/out as grid locked. We’d probably still be there if I hadn’t finally driven over a curb and sidewalks and out the gas station’s exit.

An experience like that sticks with a guy–as you can now see.

I hope the management there will do the right thing re AATA–they’ve got some bad ‘car’-ma to make up for.

By: Mark Mark Mon, 22 Jun 2009 14:45:49 +0000 I will reiterate my contention that since the management company that owns Arborland is based in Farmington Hills, they have ZERO involvement in the Ann Arbor Community. I think Ann Arbor citizens need to write and protest company’s lack of support for mass transit, and the lack of community values.
Regarding the tents — if there are people living there, then they should be removed.

Arborland Center Property Management:

Brittany Polen
Finsilver/Friedman Management Corporation
34975 W. Twelve Mile Road, Suite 100
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
Phone: (248) 848-4933
Fax: (248) 848-5124

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Mon, 22 Jun 2009 11:12:34 +0000 “Nacht asked if the anticipated challenges would require communications with the city of Ann Arbor at the level of the city council and the mayor. Board member Sue McCormick, who is director of public services for the city, indicated that staff-level communications would be adequate.” With all due respect, this decision is not for a staff member to make. McCormick’s presence on the AATA Board contains inherent conflicts. While she should be functioning as an independent board member, she is also speaking as a city staff member answerable to the city administrator. To some extent this is an incompatibility of office.

It seems to me that a crisis like this is exactly where a mayor’s standing and diplomatic influence could be best used, when staff inquiries have failed. This is not just an AATA matter, but a change in circumstances that affects both city residents and the long-term functioning of a transit plan that has been deemed to be important at the policy level – including the mayor himself.

By: Susan Susan Sun, 21 Jun 2009 23:08:46 +0000 re comments 4/5 — Thanks for sharing your insights which sound very plausible.

By: Leslie Morris Leslie Morris Sun, 21 Jun 2009 20:42:23 +0000 My next-to-last sentence should read “They are probably going out of their way not to “hang out” on ARBORLAND property, or to cause trouble. I apologize for this mistake.

By: Leslie Morris Leslie Morris Sun, 21 Jun 2009 19:45:28 +0000 In the comments on an Ann Arbor News story of June 16 on the loss of the Arborland bus stop, I have found evidence of the real reason the owners are so adamant about getting rid of the bus stop. There are descriptions of problems with “vagrants” “hanging out” “smoking crack” etc. at the bus transfer point. As a 15-year user of this bus stop, I state unequivocally that these allegations are false. I have never seen anything illegal or even annoying at this transfer station. There are suggestions that this is connected to the panhandlers who stand with signs at the corner of Washtenaw by the traffic light, where motorists wait to exit from Arborland. These panhandlers never come to the bus transfer station, so that activity will continue if the station is removed. There are panhandlers who solicit shoppers in the parking lot; I have been solicited several times while walking in front of Borders’. These panhandlers do not come from the transfer station. I have never seen any panhandling at the transfer station.

At the Blake Center there is some “hanging out” and some occasional panhandling. What is true is that many of the bus riders are poor, and some may be homeless. Some people who do not like their looks apparently assume that they must be engaging in illegal activity. Such illegal activity as there is on the Arborland property will continue if the transfer station is removed, because there is no connection.

I have located what has been referred to as a “tent city” in the comments to the Ann Arbor News story. At the far corner of the Arborland parking lot, behind the Toys R Us store, a small path leads into thick underbrush. About 15 feet into the underbrush, well hidden in the brush, is a cluster of what looked like about eight tents. I would guess that the maximum population capacity might be about twenty people. It is close enough to Arborland that it might be on the Arborland property, but it is impossible to tell.

There are houses not too far away, also behind Arborland.

I think we have found the real reason that the owner wants to remove the transit stop. The parking difficulties are a cover story. The owner is not even willing to accept rent to keep the stop there. Residents who live behind Arborland have discovered the tent cluster. While driving by the shopping center, or while shopping there, they have seen obviously poor people sitting on the benches waiting for the next bus. Since they are not transit users themselves, they have falsely concluded that these must be people from the tent cluster “hanging out”, and that there must be illegal activity going on. They have complained, possibly directly to the owner. The owner, who does not live in town, has no way of knowing that the complaints are mistaken.

All regular users of this transit stop know that the stop is safe. Most users are senior citizens, disabled individuals, or parents with small children. If there were illegal activity going on they would be very concerned, and would report it. Store managers would also be concerned, and would be demanding that the problems be solved.

The handful of residents of the (illegal)tent cluster are clearly trying to keep a low profile so that their tents will not be removed. They are probably going out of their way not to “hang out” on Oslund property, or to cause trouble.

So 1000 people per day are to be inconvenienced, and a considerable number endangered, because of this?

By: Kris Kris Sun, 21 Jun 2009 17:51:47 +0000 It’s too bad AATA keeps being kicked out of parking lots with plenty of room in them, it makes we wonder what is happening.

Since they were pushed out of the Maple Village lot the buses must now stop in a busy traffic area with 3 lights within a 1/4 mile, which has lead to a great hindrance. Hopefully AATA can reestablish these relationships.