At its last regular meeting of the year, on Dec. 4, 2013, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board approved the final funding necessary to replace 81 light poles on Main Street, passed a resolution waiving a claim to reimbursement for the DDA’s costs associated with the former Y lot and formally accepted its audit report for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2013 (FY 2013).
In advance of their Dec. 9, 2013 budget planning session, Ann Arbor city councilmembers have been asked to prepare by thinking about Ann Arbor’s “brand.” Chronicle editor Dave Askins reflects on how he might answer this question, and whether the city’s self-image of civic engagement really holds up.
A special meeting of the Ann Arbor city council – called for Dec. 9, 2013 – will include a closed session to discuss written attorney-client privileged communication and land acquisition. The land acquisition likely relates to the pending sale of the Edwards Brothers property on South State Street to the University of Michigan. It follows some friction among councilmembers about the way information was shared with the council about the sale. The special meeting will be followed by an annual budget planning session, which will include discussion of results from a citizens survey conducted earlier this year.
Items on the Dec. 2, 2013 Ann Arbor city council agenda include a final vote on the repeal of the city’s crosswalk ordinance, which requires motorists to stop (not just slow down) for pedestrians standing at the curb, not just those within a crosswalk. The council will also be asked to handle several land use matters, including the establishment of a cost for the removal of on-street parking spaces. This article includes live updates filed during the meeting from council chambers.
Items on the Dec. 2, 2013 Ann Arbor city council agenda include a final vote on the repeal of the city’s crosswalk ordinance, which requires motorists to stop (not just slow down) for pedestrians standing at the curb, not just those within a crosswalk. The council will also be asked to handle several land use matters, including the establishment of a cost for the removal of on-street parking spaces.
Chronicle editor Dave Askins highlights the Happy Thanksgiving message from the University of Michigan Library. The message is in part a plug for the Audubon Room at the UM Hatcher Library. It is named after the first book of any kind – special or otherwise – acquired by UM in 1838: “Birds of America,” illustrated by John James Audubon.
Chronicle editor Dave Askins weighs in for the existing city ordinance that regulates motorists and pedestrian behavior at crosswalks – because it requires motorists to yield to pedestrians who are standing at the curb and doesn’t force pedestrians to venture into the road to claim the right-of-way. But he counsels for compromise, using an analogy to a Thanksgiving dinner: Ladle gravy over the part you don’t like. Included are 10 charts and maps from the city of Ann Arbor.
The Ann Arbor city council’s Nov. 18, 2013 features a transportation focus, including the admission of Ypsilanti Township as a member of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, adoption of an update to the non-motorized plan, establishment of a pedestrian safety task force, and initial approval of a repeal of the city’s crosswalk ordinance. The also gave final approval to a change to the ordinance regulating the Ann Arbor DDA’s TIF capture. The council also revised its ordinance on park use, so that no fee would be applied to groups using parks for the charitable distribution of goods to meet basic human needs.
The Nov. 21, 2013 meeting of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority was marked by applause for the Ann Arbor city council, for its action three days earlier to approve adding Ypsilanti Township as a member of the AAATA. In its one main business item, the board approved an increase to the contract it has with Advance Security to provide protection for the new Blake Transit Center under construction. The board also heard a presentation on an analysis the AAATA is doing to compare its performance to peer transit authorities.
Chronicle editor Dave Askins takes the occasion of a 43-year-old Ann Arbor city council resolution to suggest a goal for ending meetings sooner than 2 a.m. His suggested target for ending city council meetings is by the time the last public bus leaves the Blake Transit Center in downtown Ann Arbor.