Stories indexed with the term ‘UM transportation’

Transit Connector Study: Initial Analysis

Last summer, the final piece was put in place for a four-way partnership to fund a transportation feasibility study of the corridor from Plymouth Road down to South State Street. The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board gave approval for its $320,000 share of the study’s $640,00 price tag.

The "boomerang map" showing the Ann Arbor corridors being studied for higher quality transit options like bus rapid transit, streetcars, and monorail. (Image links to higher resolution file.)

Some early results of the “Ann Arbor Connector Feasibility Study” were presented last Tuesday evening at the Ann Arbor District Library in an open-house style format with boards and easels, complemented by a presentation from the consultant hired to perform the study, project manager Rick Nau of URS Corporation.

Nau reported that the study is currently in the needs analysis phase – traffic congestion was a phrase Nau sprinkled through his remarks during the evening. The initial needs analysis shows that the majority of the travel demand in the Plymouth-State corridors is accounted for by trips between different parts of the University of Michigan campus.

The study has not reached the point of drawing lines on maps for possible transportation routes. Instead, the representation of the area of study is a “boomerang map” stretching from US-23 near Plymouth Road to Briarwood Mall. The boomerang includes two of four “signature transit corridors” identified in the city of Ann Arbor’s Transportation Plan Update – Plymouth/Fuller roads and State Street.

Prompted by an audience question, Nau made clear that the study has not yet reached the dollars-and-cents analysis phase that will eventually come. The study is expected to be completed by December 2010 with the preliminary recommendations to be publicly presented in the fall.

Nau’s presentation focused on establishing the need for higher quality transit along the corridor and the range of technology choices available to meet that need. Those technology choices range from larger buses running along the regular roadway to elevated monorail trains. [Full Story]

UM Regents OK Upgrade to Campus Bus Stop

University of Michigan Board of Regents meeting (Feb. 18, 2010): Nearly 10 minutes after the scheduled 3 p.m. start of Thursday’s meeting, UM’s chief financial officer Tim Slottow joked to president Mary Sue Coleman, “I don’t think we have a quorum yet.” None of the regents had arrived.

Hank Baier

Hank Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations, gave regents an update on plans for a Central Campus Transit Center on North University Avenue. (Photos by the writer.)

Enough of them showed up a few minutes later to begin the meeting that had a relatively light agenda and lasted about an hour.

Of note for city residents was a briefing on what’s called the Central Campus Transit Center, a $4.5 million project to build larger bus shelters and make changes to North University Avenue, narrowing the road and adding bike lanes.

Regents approved the appointment of Phil Hanlon as provost, to replace Teresa Sullivan, who’s leaving later this year to become president of the University of Virginia.

They also heard a presentation about the extensive accreditation process that’s underway. Occurring every 10 years, the process includes a site visit in mid-March by members of the Higher Learning Commission. There’s a distinct lack of suspense – it’s unlikely that UM will fail to achieve accreditation. But like any good student, they’re trying for the highest marks. [Full Story]

Green Light: North-South Connector Study

Michael Ford AATA CEO sitting at table with Rich Robben

At right is Michael Ford on Day Two of his work as CEO of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority. At left is board member Rich Robben. (Photo by the writer.)

Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board (July 21): The AATA board’s monthly meeting schedule usually skips the month of July. But there was some unfinished business from June’s meeting on the approval of funding for the north-south connector feasibility study. And a looming expiration date of July 31, 2009 on the M-Ride agreement with the University of Michigan had led to the suggestion from board chair David Nacht of a one-year extension to that agreement.

Mainly in order to address those two items, the board decided to call a special meeting for Tuesday, July 21. It was properly noticed and publicized as required by the Open Meetings Act.

In addition to approving the two items on the agenda that had prompted the board’s special meeting, it was also an occasion for the board to welcome the recently hired CEO, Michael Ford, who did not take up much time with his few remarks: “Day Two,” he declared, “And I look forward to many more!” [Full Story]

UM Regents Get Transportation Update

University of Michigan Board of Regents (July 16, 2009): At their monthly meeting on Thursday, regents approved a major renovation project for one of UM’s oldest residence halls, and got an update on the university’s parking and transportation strategy. The topic of parking and transportation came up again during time set aside for public comment, which included a pitch for a development at the possible Fuller Road intermodal transit center.

University executives also praised the recent inclusion of UM Hospitals and Health Centers in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of best American hospitals – they ranked 14th in the nation. [Full Story]