Last night around 7 p.m. I saw at least a dozen Maple Leaf fans all trudging through the unshoveled sidewalks along Plymouth Road looking very tired. I stopped to offer a ride to two of them and learned that the driver of their “promised bus” back to the Park N Ride at Plymouth and US-23 had told them (as they were dropped off at Michigan Stadium) that they would NOT be getting a ride back. Having no other options, they decided to walk. I gave them a ride and then went back and picked up two others because it was just so horrible out.
Eastbound traffic slogging through the snow backed up in continuous line at least to Seventh Street. Encountered several Maple Leafs fans walking eastbound, who gracefully accepted congratulations.
Big after-game traffic snarl as cars are unable to make it up the hill if any one car gets stuck.
Hugely festive scene in our neighborhood as cheering hockey fans, on foot and in a crawling stream of cars, buses and, just a minute ago, a stretch limo, make their way west on snowy East Stadium to the hockey game.
At 6 p.m. bars were setting up outdoor seating. The security guards for the puck were already very cold. [photo]
Blue trash barrels dot the Pioneer High School front yard; concessions setting up east of the stadium.
Crane stands ready for puck-dropping duties. [photo] Main Street is closed as preparations begin for The Puck Drops Here. Small cluster of Red Wings fans mid-block between Liberty and William nearing the intersection: “No, I think this is it, that’s all there is. We’ve walked the whole town.”
Wayfinding map overlayed with temporary version optimized for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day events (Puck Drop and NHL Winter Classic). [photo]
Two events scheduled for New Year’s have received approval for their associated street closings from the Ann Arbor city council: The Puck Drops Here and the National Hockey League’s Winter Classic Game. Council action came at its Nov. 18, 2013 meeting.
In connection with the NHL Winter Classic Game to be played on New Year’s Day, the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is hosting a New Year’s Eve event called The Puck Drops Here, which will mimic the dropping of the lighted ball in Times Square, but with a 6-foot diameter lighted “puck” that is being fabricated by METAL.
Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board meeting (Nov. 6, 2013): Two voting items were considered by the board: (1) an award of a consulting contract to SmithGroupJJR and Nelson\Nygaard to develop a streetscape framework plan; and (2) approval of monthly permits in the public parking system for the 624 Church St. project.
Both items were approved on unanimous votes at the meeting, which featured perfect attendance by the 11 current members of the board. The following evening, on Nov. 7, the Ann Arbor city council confirmed the appointment of Cyndi Clark, owner of Lily Grace Cosmetics, to fill a vacancy on the 12-member DDA body. At its Nov. 6 meeting, the board did not discuss either Clark’s appointment or the other council agenda item affecting the DDA – a revision to the city ordinance that regulates the DDA TIF (tax increment financing) capture.
The sale of monthly parking permits for the 624 Church St. development was an issue that the DDA board had previously considered – for an earlier version of the project, which had actually completed the city approval process. It had gone through planning commission review and recommendation, with a site plan approved by the city council on March 4, 2013. For that earlier version, the project was required to provide 42 parking spaces for the additional residential square footage it contained beyond the by-right density under the city’s zoning code. Instead of providing the parking spaces on-site, the owner of the project sought to satisfy the requirement through the contribution in lieu (CIL) program – a request that was granted by the DDA.
For this revised and expanded version of the project – made possible through additional land acquisition – a greater number of parking spaces is required. And the project owner again sought to meet that requirement through the CIL program. So at its Nov. 6 meeting, the DDA board granted the project owner the ability to purchase 48 monthly parking permits in the Forest Avenue parking structure.
The DDA board also acted on its streetscape framework project. The contract awarded to SmithGroupJJR and Nelson\Nygaard is meant to provide guidance for developing future streetscape projects, not to design any specific streetscape project. The most recent streetscape improvement undertaken by the DDA was the Fifth and Division project, which included lane reconfigurations and bump-outs.
In addition to its voting items, the board received a raft of updates, which included reports on the first quarter financials. The DDA is essentially on course to realize $4.5 million in TIF capture revenue and about $19 million in parking revenue. Other updates included reports on preparations for the NHL Winter Classic hockey game, debriefing on the International Downtown Association conference attended by some board members and staff, Freedom of Information Act issues, and public commentary.
The board heard from Ray Detter, speaking on behalf of the downtown area citizens advisory council, about the ongoing downtown zoning review. Detter’s remarks were countered by DDA board members. Detter reprised his comments at the city planning commission meeting later that evening. So that back-and-forth will be reported out in more detail as a part of The Chronicle’s Nov. 6, 2013 city planning commission report.