Spring is finally here! This means we have started installing additional sidewalk bike hoops and on-street racks in the downtown area. We plan to install over 50 standard inverted U bike hoops and have already installed the on-street bike racks for the spring season.
This season’s racks are currently located at:
- 300 S. State Street near Bivouac
- 200 N. Main Street near Mighty Good Coffee
- 200 W. Liberty near Bill’s Beer Garden
- 400 Detroit Street near Zingerman’s
- 200 S. Fourth Ave by Transition Rack
- 300 N 4th Avenue near Braun Court
- 200 N 4th Avenue near the People’s Food Co-op
We place these racks out during the warm weather season with the enthusiasm and support of adjacent businesses. Together we see tremendous value in converting a single car parking space or unused curbside space into 14 bike spaces – providing more customers, visitors, and employees with convenient spaces close to their destination.
We would love your feedback. If you know of a location that could use an on-street bike rack or permanent sidewalk bike hoop, contact Amber Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 3rd, The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority approved grants to two iconic institutions in Downtown Ann Arbor – the State Theatre and Ann Arbor Farmers Market.
Later this year, the Farmers Market will begin construction on a new structure that will expand market operations and improve community event space, particularly in the winter months. The DDA granted $175,000 to help construct this beneficial public project identified through the City’s Capital Improvement Plan and Market Advisory Commission. “The DDA’s grant provided crucial final funding needed to enable Parks & Recreation to move forward with this project,” said Market Manager Sarah DeWitt.
In its 97th season, the Farmers Market serves as a vital retail venue for local food producers to engage with the community every week of the year.
Later this year, the Michigan Theater Foundation will revitalize the historic State Theatre building – improving accessibility and adding new movie screens. The $200,000 DDA grant will be used to restore a vital piece of the downtown landscape, the Art Deco Marquee. Lee Berry, the Michigan Theater’s Chief Development Officer noted that, “The DDA’s important contribution enables us to complete the exterior restoration at the level of excellence that the downtown community deserves.”
The Michigan Theater Foundation purchased the second floor of the State Theatre in 2014 to preserve, restore, and operate the historic theater designed by renowned architect C. Howard Crane. The State is scheduled to re-open in early 2017.
These important projects will further the mission and goals of the DDA by improving the pedestrian experience, encouraging increased activity downtown, and enhancing the identity of the Kerrytown and State Street neighborhoods.
The DDA is committed to ongoing maintenance in the parking facilities with the goal of extending the useful life of the garages and minimizing the potential of major structural deterioration. With this goal in mind, the DDA annually takes on important structure repairs called out by our engineers. This summer and fall, the DDA performed necessary and important maintenance work in four of the parking structures. By taking care of things early, the issues don’t become big problems.
We appreciate your patience and support as we do this work.
It’s interesting to note that this year’s work included:
Applying 65,000 square feet of deck coating
Applying 275,000 square feet of deck sealer
Applying 42,600 linear feet of sealant
Repairing 1,500+ square feet of concrete
Beginning in July and continuing into fall the DDA will be overseeing its regularly scheduled maintenance work in many public parking structures. The work includes replacing and repairing concrete, sealing cracks, reapplying deck coating, painting and stair work and will total more than $800,000. Our goal is to take care of the little things along the way so they don’t become big things. This reinvestment ensures the continued health of an important part of downtown infrastructure.
While this work will necessitate certain areas within the structures being closed to parking, monthly permit holders will always be able to park with their permits. We will also be diligent to keep the footprint of the work contained as much as possible to allow for ample hourly parking. Specific timing and project information will be posted at each location as work begins there. We appreciate your patience while this important work is being done.
Areas of focus this year will include-
• Concrete repairs and coating work in the Maynard Street stairwell.
• Sealant work at the roof level of the Forest structure. Waterproofing and coatings work inside the structure, as well as façade work.
• Concrete repairs and coating work at 4th & Washington.
• Concrete repairs at the Ann Ashley structure.
Demolition of the brick façade and canopy is scheduled to start this week as the Fourth & William project continues. The Fourth & William Structure is the largest public parking structure with 1,000 spaces on eight floors, it is also one of the oldest. Patrons using the structure have expressed frustration with the 30-year-old elevator, located on the southwest corner. In addition to the elevator, the stairs need to be repaired to better accommodate patrons in this busy facility.
This project will install a new, larger stairwell, and two new high-speed elevators, as well as other improvements. The construction will be undertaken in phases so that patrons can continue to use the structure throughout the project, with only occasional and brief service interruptions.
With demolition starting this week, keep an eye out for changes that may impact pedestrian mobility near the southwest corner of the structure. The Elevator/Stair Improvements Project will be completed in Fall 2016. More information on this project can be found in the 4th & William Project Updates section of our website.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Fourth & William project, do not hesitate to contact us.
On April 1st, 2015 our Board renewed our funding commitment to the getDowntown Program, the go!pass, and enhanced transit service on routes 5 and 13. We are very proud of our commitment to these programs in partnership with the City of Ann Arbor and the AAATA.
The getDowntown Program helps downtown employers get to and from work in downtown Ann Arbor, by providing access to commuting programs and services, including the go!pass program.
The go!pass is an unlimited use transit pass available to employees working within the Downtown Development Authority Boundary. The DDA funds 90% of the pass, making it available to employees for $10 per employee. Last year, nearly 5,000 employees held the pass – reducing CO2emissions and demand for parking by nearly 1,000 spaces – freeing up spaces for visitors and locals that are interested in spending a relaxing day in downtown Ann Arbor.
The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority has supported the getDowntown and go!Pass program for over 10 years using revenues generated from downtown parking. Since 2009, the annual go!pass ridership has increased from 521,768 to 678,103. If you have feedback about downtown transportation options and what we can do to help, let us know!
We are continuing the tree planting that we began last fall – this spring we are planting over 60 trees downtown, which will bring the total trees planted to about 115!
See the attached map showing trees planted in fall 2014 and spring planting locations for 2015.
We’ve worked closely with the City Forester to identify need and remove dead trees – once we wrap this spring we will have addressed the planting backlog that was identified in the City’s Tree Inventory.
The Area Associations and the Main Street BIZ help care for planting beds and keep trees watered. We have also reached out to business and property owners who are eager for healthy trees and they are excited to contribute as well.
Currently, we are working with the 365 Program to create a volunteer program for downtown to engage interested volunteers to care for the tree pits that are most in need of additional care.
Which areas of downtown do you think would benefit most from tree planting? Have you spotted any downtown trees that need additional care?
As always, we appreciate public input and feedback.
Now that spring is finally here and the Commuter Challenge is in full swing, be sure to keep an eye out for the conveniently located on-street bike racks at:
• State Street (300 S. Block) near Bivouac
• North University (700 N. Block) near Panera and Silvio’s
• 4th Avenue (200 N. Block) near the People’s Food Co-op
• 4th Avenue (300 N. Block ) near the Catherine Lot and Braun Court
• Detroit Street (400 Block) near Zingerman’s
• N. Main Street (200 N Block) near Mighty Good Coffee
• Liberty and Ashley (200 S Block) near Bill’s Beer Garden
We place these racks out every spring; businesses request additional bike parking as many more people are biking downtown to shop, dine, and work. Several of the racks replace a metered parking space, accommodating up to 14 bikes in a single car space.
We are always interested in feedback – do you know of any locations that could use an on-street bike rack? Let us know and we will start planning for next year.
Following a Board vote to construct a Bike House at the Ann/Ashley Parking Structure on April 1st, 2015 – we have a final design!
This will be our second bike house, as we continue making improvements that support non-motorized transportation and enhance downtown quality of life.
We heard a strong request from nearby businesses and employees – many stating that a bike house will enable them to ride their bike to work, support their vision for downtown Ann Arbor, and help them to attract talent. Our first bike house was constructed in the Maynard Parking Structure in May of 2013. We partner with the getDowntown Program who manages the space – a secure enclosure, with keycard access and annual membership, which can accommodate up to 37 bicycles at one time using hoop racks and ultra space savers.
Check out the Ann/Ashley design and let us know what you think! Construction will get started in the next few weeks and we hope to open the doors in July. If you need bike parking in the meantime, we will have a temporary rack near the Ann street entrance of the Ann/Ashley Parking Structure. To learn more and get a Bike House parking pass, contact the getDowntown Program by calling 734-794-1876 or by clicking here.
Snapshot of Republic Parking System’s new homepage
This week Republic Parking launched a new website for their operations here in downtown Ann Arbor. The site, rpsa2.com, features many new user friendly new tools meant to simplify downtown parking.
The site contains information about parking options, maps, news and updates, and a link to a new payment portal for monthly and validation customers. Visitors can learn about parking options and real time availability. Monthly parkers can make payments or get assistance with permit questions. Additionally, the DDA and Republic Parking will use the site as another way to share important news and updates with parking systems users.
In the next few weeks Republic Parking will be adding additional tools to allow for online request and payment for meter bags.
Explore what Republic Parking System’s new website has to offer by checking it out today!