Stories indexed with the term ‘LINK’

DDA OKs Shelter Grant; Mulls Committees

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board meeting (Oct. 6, 2010): In its main business, the DDA board approved a $218,050 grant from its housing fund to The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County for improvements at the Delonis Center on Huron Street. The money will pay for new washers and dryers, lockers and chairs, an emergency generator, energy conservation measures, medical equipment and software. The board is still weighing approval of more than $113,210 for installation of solar panels and for computer hardware. By board policy, the DDA housing fund receives an annual $100,000 transfer from TIF (tax increment financing) revenues.


Left to right: DDA board chair Joan Lowenstein, and board members Gary Boren and Roger Hewitt. (Photo by the writer.)

Another main topic of discussion was transportation, which came in the context of recent transportation committee talks with the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority. The discussion with AATA dealt with the possible return of a downtown circulator service [formerly The LINK] and improved service to Ypsilanti, as well as an initial study of bicyclist habits in the downtown area. Related to bicyclists, the board heard from one downtown merchant during public commentary about dissatisfaction with the “art” bicycle hoops, as one example of the DDA’s lack of success in considering the end user in some of its decisions.

The board also mulled over a possible restructuring of its committee structure – currently the board has a transportation committee, a partnerships committee, an operations committee, and a capital improvements committee.

Restructuring those committees is being considered in the context of the possibility that the DDA could begin to take a more active role in development of city-owned surface parking lots downtown. That more active role is one possible outcome of the ongoing city-DDA discussions about the parking agreement under which the DDA operates the city’s parking system. The new structure under discussion would add an economic development and communications committee, while merging the operations and capital improvements committees. [Full Story]

AATA to Focus on Ypsi Cost Cuts

Ted Annis AATA Board member

AATA board members Ted Annis, left, and Charles Griffith. (Photo by the writer.)

Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board meeting (August 19, 2009): Looming on a six-week horizon for Ypsilanti is the renewal of its Purchase of Service Agreement with the AATA – at a price slated for 10% higher each year over the next three years to make the agreement match actual costs. That’s the context in which three out of seven Ypsilanti city councilmembers appeared at the AATA board meeting on Wednesday.

Their collective message: Recognize the fiscal constraints on Ypsilanti, focus on the 30 years of a positive AATA-Ypsilanti partnership, and find ways to cut costs of the service without cutting service levels. Their message resonated with AATA board members, who seemed more inclined to find creative ways to cut costs than to use federal stimulus dollars to simply make up the gap. Part of that creative approach could include closing the Ypsilanti Transit Station.

The longer-term solution of supporting the AATA bus service through a dedicated countywide funding source was a theme that ran through the comments made by Ypsilanti councilmembers, as well as others at the meeting.

In other business, the board approved the construction contract for the Plymouth Road and US-23 park-and-ride, and formally discontinued the LINK service – a decision that came as no surprise given that the other two funding partners – the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority – had discontinued their funding for the downtown circulator bus. [Full Story]

AATA to Arborland: We Could Pay You Rent!

Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board meeting (June 17, 2009): The AATA board led off its monthly meeting by going into an executive session to discuss terms of the contract they’re negotiating with the future CEO of the organization, Michael Ford, and emerged with a resolution to make a written offer.

Other positive news coming out of the meeting was scant, compared to three disappointments. First, Arborland management seems committed to not allowing AATA to use a bus stop located on its property inside the shopping plaza. Second, the LINK downtown circulator bus, which the Downtown Development Authority recently elected not to fund in the fall, won’t be supported by the University of Michigan, either. Finally, the north-south connector feasibility study, which appeared finally to  have all four partners on board with their funding, was postponed by the AATA board when questions were raised about the price tag on AATA’s share – $320,000. [Full Story]

DDA Committee Gets getDowntown Update

Ann Arbor Observer article from Ann Arbor District Library clipping file.

A 1998 Ann Arbor Observer article about the park-and-ride program, found in the Ann Arbor District Library's clipping file.

DDA Transportation Committee (Dec. 18, 2008) The Downtown Development Authority‘s transportation committee addressed the north-south connector study and had a “big picture” discussion about transportation issues before hearing from getDowntown director Nancy Shore, who gave an overview of that program. The context of her presentation was $100,000 of funding for alternative transportation authorized by the DDA in September 2008, part or all of which could be allocated to getDowntown. [Full Story]