Comments on: Wall Street Redux: Residents Give Input it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Lawrence Baird Lawrence Baird Tue, 01 May 2012 13:12:58 +0000 In terms of the University’s non-motorized transportation plan, what contributions, if any, has the University made to the border-to-border trail?

The Arb for example has little connectivity to the border-to-border trail, unless you count illegally crossing the railroad tracks.

By: Jim Rees Jim Rees Mon, 30 Apr 2012 23:20:17 +0000 Re 2: None of those buses are what I would call direct. If I leave Blake tomorrow morning at 10:00 for NCC, the 1, which goes by way of Dhu Varren, will take 46 minutes including a 18 minute wait. The 2 will take 30 minutes including a 11 minute walk. The 3 will take 33 minutes including a 18 minute wait and 7 minute walk. Even if these were good options, the University can hardly take credit for them.

Re: “There’s all kinds of work to be done with NCRC. It was a huge acquisition and it’s going to take some time to digest.” Exactly. When you have a big job to do, you order the to-do list by priority. The top priorities, like vehicular access and parking, get done right away, before the facility even opens. Lower priorities get done later. Things that are considered completely unimportant, like the pedestrian connection, aren’t even on the list, and don’t get done until someone complains.

Any claims by the University that they encourage alternative transportation are a blatant deception.

By: TJ TJ Sun, 29 Apr 2012 23:56:21 +0000 About 15 or 16 years ago, I regularly biked from North Campus (family housing) to Central Campus. Other than the fact that it’s uphill both ways :-), it wasn’t that much worse than biking from the OWS to Central Campus in terms of traffic.

By: Dave Askins Dave Askins Sun, 29 Apr 2012 20:35:33 +0000 Re: “It pays part of its employees’ fares on that bus. That is not the same as helping to pay for its operation.”

I take it the point there is that the UM’s payments in connection with the commuter service are tied to and limited by the number of employees who use the service, whereas AATA uses local millage money to cover the gap between revenues and expenses – whatever that amount might turn out to be.

So here’s what it turns out to be. Revenues for commuter express for the first half of FY 2012 (through March) showed $54,138 in passenger fares (some portion of which UM paid) and $42,313 in state operating assistance for a total of $96,451. Expenses for commuter express over that period were $138,053, leaving a total of $41,602 that was covered by Ann Arbor taxpayers.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Sun, 29 Apr 2012 20:13:46 +0000 I don’t believe it is correct to say that the UM “subsidizes” the Chelsea Express. It pays part of its employees’ fares on that bus. That is not the same as helping to pay for its operation. Ann Arbor taxpayers (who do not include the UM) pay for that.

By: Rod Johnson Rod Johnson Sun, 29 Apr 2012 19:49:43 +0000 Jim: I work on North Campus. I don’t bike to work, but I know people who do, who use Plymouth and Fuller and are satisfied. How could that be improved, in your opinion? I *do* take the AATA bus home from NC fairly often. The 1, 2, and 3 all serve various parts of it. Not sure what the problem is there.

As for walking/biking between NC and NCRC, *shrug*. There’s all kinds of work to be done with NCRC. It was a huge acquisition and it’s going to take some time to digest. I can’t blame the U for not making bike connections the highest priority. Nevertheless, there *is* a pedestrian/bike connection between Hubbard and NCRC, a fairly recent one, I guess.

North Campus is somewhat sequestered by design. The lack of “amenities” is something we all grumble about, but short of putting a strip mall on campus, I’m not sure what else to do. There are at least seven places to get food on campus and two convenience-ish stores that I can think of–not fine dining, admittedly, but it’s not the wasteland it once was. I’d be curious to hear your recommendations.

Re the article: I’m curious about the status of the old Kroger shopping center parcel. Is there anyone looking at a project there or is it completely in limbo? It seems like that will ultimately be the biggest factor in the livability and walkability of Lower Town.

By: Jim Rees Jim Rees Sun, 29 Apr 2012 19:12:37 +0000 The University is quick to claim they encourage alternative transportation, and will even throw money at things like the Chelsea bus if it means they don’t have to actually change anything on the Ann Arbor campus. But let’s examine the record.

1. The main entrance to the Hospital faces away from town. It couldn’t be any farther away without actually being in the river. There is almost no bike parking by the entrance, and what’s there isn’t covered. There is no bike parking at the Emergency entrance, or at most of the other entrances. There is a small amount at the back door of the Med Inn but it’s on the side of a hill and not covered. It’s not at all obvious how to walk to the hospital from town, and if you do manage it, you’ll end up at a back door with no reception desk that’s locked at night.

2. A year after the Pfizer purchase you still couldn’t walk or bike conveniently between there and neighboring North Campus.

3. The Cardiovascular Center was built without bike parking. After I badgered them for a year they finally put in about three spaces, again not covered.

4. Palmer Commons and Life Science were built with about six short-term bike spaces, not covered.

5. 50 years after North Campus was started, there still is no good way to walk or bike there.

6. Unlike the City, which allows bike parking anywhere that it isn’t in the way, the University impounds any bikes not in a bike rack. Which wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t so stingy with bike parking.

7. The University continues to move operations out of town. Arbor Lakes, Wolverine Tower, NCRC, and even Turner Geriatrics are all in places that are hostile to pedestrians and bicyclists.

8. The University bus system is actually not too bad. But it doesn’t connect well with AATA. There is no direct bus from downtown to North Campus, Arbor Lakes, Wolverine Tower, or Turner Geriatrics.

9. While North Campus is fairly walkable, there are few amenities there. The nearest group of bars, shops, and restaurants is at the top of the hill on Plymouth, in a pedestrian/bike hostile strip mall.