It’s that time of year! The Ann Arbor Art Fair starts on Wednesday, July 16th and runs through Saturday, July 19th. By drawing in over 500,000 patrons and over 1,000 artists, the Ann Arbor Art Fair aims to connect local artists to the community in order to increase public appreciation for contemporary arts and fine crafts.
Starting at 7:00 am on Tuesday, July 15th, the following road closures will be enacted until noon on July 20th.
• Church Street from S. University Ave to Willard St.
• E. Jefferson Street from Thompson to Maynard St.
• E. University Avenue from S. University to Willard St.
• E. Washington Street from S. State to Fletcher St.
• E. William from Thompson to S. State St.
• Liberty Street from S. Ashley to S. State St.
• Maynard from Liberty to E. Jefferson St.
• N. University Avenue from S. State Street to Fletcher St.
• S. Main Street from William to Huron
• S. State Street from E. Washington to E. Madison St.
• S. Thayer Street from E. Washington to N. University Ave
• S. University Avenue from S. State Street to S. Forest Ave
There will be an Art Fair Trolley that links the four fairs together. Tickets to ride the trolley for the whole day are only $1.00. If you are driving to Ann Arbor, there will be shuttles every 10 to 15 minutes from the following parking lots that will take you into the fair: Huron High School, Maple Village Shopping Center, Pioneer High School, and Brairwood Mall. The AAATA ArtFairRide Shuttle will provide service to from Pioneer High School and Briarwood Mall to Main Street at William and to State Street at Madison. Trinity Westside will provide service from Maple Village to Washington at Main and at State, while Trinity Northside will provide service from Huron High school to Washington at Fletcher and Forest at S. University. Parking for these locations will be free. For more information visit www.theannarborartfair.com.
Parking at downtown structures and lots will be $12.00 per day; parking after 5 pm will only be $6.00. Buses & Trolleys are wheelchair accessible and air conditioned.
shur! Mural Project at 616 E. Liberty St.
With permission from the property’s owner, 616 East Liberty Street has been transformed from a blank canvas into a colorful and amazing new mural. Supported by funding from the DDA, the mural’s rendition was organized by shur! Mural Project, who created the painting’s outline and a paint-by-numbers system that allowed members of the community to join in on painting the mural. On June 21st, 2014, a total of 49 community members (referred to as Deputy Muralist by shur!) came out to support the outdoor project by rolling up their sleeves and painting the afternoon away. This project closely aligns with shur! Mural Project’s greater mission, which is to empower members of the community to creatively express themselves while having a positive impact on the community. Check out the full story here.
Next time you’re walking on Liberty Street, be sure to check out one of Ann Arbor’s newest additions!
The Townie Street Party, the annual kick-off event to Art Fair week in Ann Arbor, returns this year with a new addition: the Ann Arbor Mile – Dart for Art. Part of the national campaign to Bring Back the Mile (www.bringbackthemile.com).The run will take place at 6:00PM on Monday, July 14, 2014; and the course runs out and back on State Street between North University and Monroe, includes a turnaround on Tappan and South University and finishes on North University. Runners and spectators are encouraged to enjoy the Ann Arbor Mile – Dart for Art as part of the Townie Street Party festivities. For more information about the Ann Arbor Mile or to register, visit AnnArborMile.com.
The Townie Street Party, now in its 10th year, is a kick-off to Art Fair week and supports the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original. Held on E. Washington between Thayer and Fletcher, the Townie Street Party takes place on Monday, July 14th from 5:00 – 9:30 p.m.and celebrates area residents for so graciously hosting the Art Fair each year. The Townie Street Party offers a fun-filled evening where the whole family can enjoy terrific music; grab a bite of Townie grub; enjoy a brew at the Townie Pub; or take a stroll through the Kids’ Art Fair. Admission and activities are free.
The Townie Street Party benefits the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original. Established in 1960, the Street Art Fair’s mission is to increase public knowledge and appreciation for contemporary fine arts and fine crafts by creating opportunities that connect artists, the Ann Arbor community and the general public to their mutual benefit. The Street Fair is the original of the now four award-winning Ann Arbor Art Fairs that bring nearly 500,000 visitors to our city to enjoy not only art, but all that Ann Arbor has to offer. For more information about the Townie Street Party or the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair visit www.artfair.org.
All downtown parking structures will be open at their usual rate, including UM’s Thayer and Fletcher decks.
Streets, sidewalks and alleys play an integral role in every city. They are created to serve a variety of functions that are social, environmental, technical and economic. The Downtown Street Framework Plan will establish a set of guidelines that will coordinate the goals of each of these functions in order to maintain and enhance the character and functionality of downtown Ann Arbor.
The goal is to balance the needs of all street users, with a particular focus on pedestrians and how streets can be used as public space. The final plan will reflect the understanding that the pedestrian environment is about much more than transportation – that streets serve important social, economic, and environmental needs.
The effort brings together City and DDA staff, as well as other agencies, to comprehensively plan for streets within the DDA District. In conjunction, input from a variety of downtown stakeholders and the general public is an essential component. Please use the links below to access an online survey and a wiki mapping tool. We would love your thoughts and input as the work continues.
Follow this weblink to the survey.
To provide feedback using the wiki mapping tool use this link.
Summer is sneaking up on Ann Arbor with many great events just around the corner! The annual Taste of Ann Arbor event is Sunday June 1st from 11am to 5pm on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor. Tickets to taste samples of food from local restaurants can be purchased for $0.50 at the event!
Stop by Liberty Street to visit The Ann Arbor District Library booth where there will be activities for children including Hula Hooping and sidewalk chalk art. The University of Michigan Exhibit Museum will also have a booth on Liberty Street.
This year’s restaurant participants include:
Arbor Brewing Company
BD’s Mongolian Barbecue
The Black Pearl
The Blue Nile
Blue Tractor BBQ and Brewery
Buffalo Wild Wings
Busch’s Fresh Food Market
Carson’s American Bistro
Conor O’Neill’s Traditional Irish Pub
Fresh Fruit Smoothies
Jamaican Jerk Pit
La Dolce Vita
The Lunch Room
The Melting Pot
The Ravens Club
Real Seafood Company
Silvio’s Organic Ristorante
The Wafel Shop
Whole Foods Market
It wouldn’t be summer time in downtown Ann Arbor without some music as well! Here are the artists booked by Sonic Lunch for the event:
The Rolling Jays
Kate Peterson of Nervous But Excited
Dave Menzo & The Cave of Wonders
Ladies Night is this Friday, May 9th in downtown Ann Arbor! This is a great opportunity to shop local and support your downtown friends and neighbors.
Starting at 5 pm, thirty-four retailers will be providing special offers, discounts, snacks, photos, goody bags, raffles and more. The DDA is happy to help support this event by working with MSAA to offer free parking downtown until 1am when you make a purchase of $25+ from a participating downtown shop. The free parking passes are valid for all municipal parking structures and surface lots, except for those that are pre paid. We suggest parking at the Fourth and William Street parking structure or the Library Lane underground structure. For more parking information go to http://www.a2dda.org/transportation/.
Ladies Night Passports will be available at all participating retailers. As you visit the stores be sure to get your Passport “stamped”. Get 15 stamps and be eligible to enter a drawing for some incredible Main Street prizes. Just leave your completed Passport with any of the businesses listed on the Passport. Additionally, some restaurants are joining the festivities by offering Ladies Night drink and food specials.
For a list of all participating businesses and their deals visit the Main Street Area Association website.
Spring has sprung, and bicycles are making their way back onto the streets! For us, this means it is time to add additional bicycle parking with our on-street racks.
We started with just two on-street racks a few years ago, and due to high demand are now placing eight racks this spring and summer! We are working with Republic Parking to install racks at the locations that were a success last year and we have several other requests for additional locations for this year. We are also working with business owners and prioritizing where we think we can capture the most cycling traffic before locating the remaining racks.
This season’s bike racks are currently located at:
- State Street near Bivouac
- 4th Avenue near the People’s Food Co-op
- Detroit Street near Zingerman’s
- Liberty Street near Bill’s Beer Garden
- North University near Panera and Silvio’s
- N. Main Street near Mighty Good Coffee
The racks can accommodate 14 bike parking spaces in a single car space during the warm-weather season – this has proven to be a benefit to both businesses as well as patrons.
Bivouac in downtown Ann Arbor told us, “We loved having the bike rack in front of our store. The rack was constantly full of bikes and our customers appreciated having it there. It also prevented people from chaining their bikes to lamp posts and street signs, which doesn’t look very good. We would absolutely welcome the bike rack back in the spring.”
Bill’s Beer Garden also let us know they appreciated having the bike racks there during the day at the Home & Garden, and even more so at night when patrons were visiting the Beer Garden.
We would love your feedback, please let us know if you have suggestions for additional locations: contact Amber Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ann Arbor Downtown Authority has approved a $600,000 grant to the Ann Arbor Housing Commission (AAHC) to be used to redevelop Baker Commons and Miller Manor. The funds come from the DDA Housing Fund which provides grants in support of encouraging a diversity of housing downtown.
Miller Manor 727 Miller Ave. (Ryan J. Stanton)
Baker Commons is located within the DDA boundaries, and Miller Manor is just outside of downtown. We believe it is important to include Miller Manor, since these residents are also frequent users of downtown. Reinvestment in these buildings will strengthen downtown by ensuring they do not become blighted buildings and ensuring the residents can continue to be a part of downtown life.
Baker Commons 106 Packard St. (Ryan J. Stanton)
The redevelopment of these properties is part of a $25 million comprehensive plan to improve AAHC properties and make them financially stable by switching from public housing to project-based voucher rent subsidies and private investor funding for the rehabilitation. Executive Director, Jennifer Hall, indicated that this new funding model is critical for the preservation of these units as affordable housing and the DDA is a tremendous partner.
This grant accompanies a March 2013 grant made to the AAHC for the same purpose.
The Ann Arbor DDA board recently passed a resolution funding the go!Pass, supplemental transit service, and the getDowntown Program for 2014/2015.
We believe these programs are crucial in allowing more residents and employees to get to and from downtown Ann Arbor more easily while reducing pressure on the parking system. The DDA recognizes that alternative transportation options help to attract a talented workforce, create a high quality of life and benefit the environment.
Since it began in 2001, the number of downtown employers and employees participating in the go!Pass program has grown every year. The getDowntown program provides programs, services, outreach and marketing to encourage downtown employers and employees to use transportation alternatives.
The go!Pass program provides a transit incentive for employees that increases bus use and frees up parking spaces for other users. Cost increases in FY 2015 are due to estimated 5% increase in ridership over FY 2014. More and more employees are recognizing the value the go!Pass provides.
NightRide is also expected to see increased usage and expanded services. This service provides a discount to employees with a go!Pass who take the bus to work and need a ride home after the buses stop running.
The DDA will also continue to support enhanced service to Route #4 and #5. These routes that run along Washtenaw and Packard have the highest downtown employee ridership and provide an important link to the Ypsilanti talent pool.
The ExpressRide go!Pass discount also encourages downtown employees to use transit rather than drive alone to work and provide non-stop service from Canton and Chelsea daily.
Downtown Ann Arbor is getting a new bike share program this June! ArborBike, run by the Clean Energy Coalition in Ann Arbor, will have 14 bike stations located all over downtown and on the University of Michigan’s North and South campuses.
The program is primarily used for short trips (under 30 minutes) to run errands or get to work and meetings quickly. Bike share is also ideal for trips where you may want to take a bike somewhere, but don’t plan to get home via bicycle.
Bike shares help:
- Reduce traffic and parking congestion
- Improve access to downtown and campus destinations
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Improve air quality
- Increase transit use and multi-modal trips
- Improve public health through activity
- Foster downtown vibrancy and a sense of place
- Increase visibility of nearby businesses
- Provide engaging transportation for visitors
An annual membership to the program is $65 a year, $20 a week, or $6 per day. However, if your organization makes a commitment to purchasing 15 or more annual memberships for its employees, an annual membership will cost $50 ($45 for non-profits). Your bike share membership also keeps track of your progress: miles you travel, calories you burn, and greenhouse gases you keep out of the air.
If you have more questions about the new program, or would like to receive updates, you can email email@example.com, or visit their website.