Comments on: UM, Ann Arbor Halt Fuller Road Project it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: cosmonıcan cosmonıcan Fri, 17 Feb 2012 02:35:52 +0000 #30: I think it’s clear I want Fuller Park left alone, preferably with the current asphalt removed. There is nothing about the current location of the train station that begs it to move.

Hope that answers your question, I have no interest in writing a screed about some dream scenario, I’ll just keep that notion to myself.

By: Eric Eric Fri, 17 Feb 2012 00:19:20 +0000 @29

Assume the train will still go along the river valley.

Assume the Michcon site is cleaned up.

Assume a new train station will be built either on the Fuller Transit Station area or on the current Amtrak / Michcon area.

Would you prefer that land currently proposed for Fuller Transit Station was taken out of the park inventory and turned into a train station (and maybe some commercial) and the current Amtrak / Michcon site was turned into park or vica versa? (I suspect the latter based on your comment, but didn’t want to assume.)

(I realize there are other options and my assumptions may not holdup.)

I can see pros and cons to both approaches in terms of the transit station having the maximum possible positive impact, but either way, you’d have about the same about of park land in the Huron valley.

By: cosmonıcan cosmonıcan Wed, 15 Feb 2012 22:25:41 +0000 Regarding the UM parking plans, Kresge Park and Wall Street. Wall Street would seem to be a done deal, the houses are gone now, which caused the protests before, all that remains is a parking lot for the full length of that street; they may as well build a parking deck there, though below ground parking is probably impossible at that site. While it may be suitable for housing, I can’t imagine the UM doing it, even for an undergrad dorm.

As for Kresge Park, there is this from the “Medical Center Campus and East Medical Campus Master Plan Update” linked by Mary: “Alternative methods of storing cars in parking facilities may allow parked cars to be stored more efficiently in the limited amount of space available; this concept should be explored in the future.” Obviously the UM planners were thinking about automated parking systems which have been discussed here in the Chronicle before. This is a company which makes such systems: [link]

Underground parking high up that hill, away from the water table, seems possible, and an orderly method of storing the vehicles would reduce noise and idling fumes. The proximity of parking to the hospitals is priceless, and there’s room above for any type of building.

I don’t care what they do with any of those areas, so long as they keep their mitts off of Fuller Park and leave the lower parts of the river valley for nature. Keep the train station where it is if you must; I’d rather see it and the railroad moved alongside I-94 to create a transportation corridor, but that will never happen except in my dreams.

By: Tom Whitaker Tom Whitaker Wed, 15 Feb 2012 20:32:25 +0000 Another interesting group of resource documents on the medical center parking issue are the Regent’s Actions for the new Mott. In these briefings, provided to the Regents when they were asked to approve spending for Mott, there are some interesting statements made about parking lost by Mott, parking recently gained at the CVC, and a parking plan for the future. Administrators also promise to provide the Regents with an annual report on the status of med center parking strategies. Not sure if they’ve done that. The plan and annual update was in response to the fact that Mott would take out an existing surface lot, but no new parking would be included in the project.

Looking back a few more years, much of the current medical center parking woes are due to the lack of foresight when building the last parking structure on the medical campus–the one next to the Cancer Center. In a money-saving move, they opted not to build in the structural capacity to add floors to that structure in the future. Perhaps it could still be done–albeit quite expensively, and not without losing spaces during construction.

UM does still have the option to build an underground parking structure on the Kresge site, and to provide the additional capacity to build on top–whether it be another medical building, or more parking. It would be more expensive than building above-ground parking on Wall Street, but then again, parkers wouldn’t need to be continuously shuttled back and forth either, a fact that just compounds the environmental impact. Ironically, this would also make the commuting experience not a whole lot different than parking in a satellite lot miles from campus.

Perhaps the best solution, but not a likely one, is to build a moderate structure at the Kresge site, and then build some decent, affordable housing for employees and/or medical students on Wall Street.

By: Mary Morgan Mary Morgan Wed, 15 Feb 2012 15:07:49 +0000 At a planning commission work session last night, one of the planning commissioners had been reading these comments and pointed me to UM’s master plan for the medical center campus. The report is dated – it was completed in 2005 – but does identify the former Kresge site for “major growth and investment opportunities.”

[link to medical campus master plan]

The part that’s relevant to Kresge starts on page 13.

A section on the Wall Street district begins on page 19, and shows two proposed parking structures there (page 21) as well as other proposed development. This was prior to the Fuller Road Station project.

And here’s a link to other UM campus plans: [link]

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Wed, 15 Feb 2012 15:07:09 +0000 Just this morning I read of what my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, has done in conjunction with the city of Madison to create a “front door” that is a benefit to the city as well as the University. [link] The UM, on the other hand, appears to do its planning as though the real estate around it is merely in a holding pattern for future acquisition and exploitation. Look at the sea of parking garages that it is creating in the Glen area. This is not exactly a benefit to our urban fabric.

We enjoy the Diag and parts of the central campus (many of which are a legacy of earlier eras) but otherwise UM is acting just like the large corporation that it is, and exerting its money and power at will without much notice of the effect on the locals.

By: Eric Eric Wed, 15 Feb 2012 14:31:56 +0000 @24

That’s what I was trying to say. The university seems to be hopskotching around building new buildings and shifting where the function is served. I can’t imagine they don’t want to hang on to the land to build a new medical building or replace another one.

In other words, I’m guessing the parking garage goes on Wall Street.

By: Brandon Brandon Tue, 14 Feb 2012 00:55:06 +0000 @Eric,

Re. The former Kresge labs site. It’s such a high value site right in the middle of the medical campus. I was told years ago before it was torn down that U-M didn’t have any plans for the site, but wanted to keep its options open. If it needs to build another medical building, and the rate U-M is growing, it probably will, that site will be extremely useful.

Then again, maybe U-M’s priorities have changed. But I would expect U-M to seek to build parking on Wall Street again, rather than at Kresge.

By: Eric Boyd Eric Boyd Mon, 13 Feb 2012 20:09:51 +0000 I got the sense that the Kresge “park” would only be such until the next big building came along. Maybe I’m misremembering the original article.

By: Steve Bean Steve Bean Mon, 13 Feb 2012 19:49:42 +0000 I think what you’re suggesting for bus transit makes sense.

I think it’s not so different to have lots spread out versus concentrated near the river. Whether the runoff goes to the river is a matter of engineering and design, not proximity, for example. Structures reduce the footprint but require more embedded energy. Tradeoffs. Using existing infrastructure makes sense (see first thought above), but that’s unrelated to aesthetics (what you meant by blight?).

I think that financially and environmentally effective solutions don’t exist. Financial and environmental problems do. In both cases, it’s the financial aspect that’s the problem, and we won’t ever get around it as long as we continue to use money. No matter what environmental improvements are made there will always be an end run made for financial reasons that negates them.

Those are MY thoughts. (-: