Since its inception in 1982, the DDA has actively promoted walking, biking, and bus ridership, as the DDA recognizes that these alternative transportation options are good for the environment, reduce the number of downtown parking spaces needed, and lessen traffic congestion.
- The getDowntown Program
- Walking Downtown
- Bicycling Downtown
- Riding Buses To and Around Downtown
- Moped and Motorcycle Downtown
- Carsharing Downtown
The DDA is a proud partner in the getDowntown Program which encourages and assists downtown commuters in the use and development of sustainable transportation choices. The getDowntown Program is a partnership between the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, and the City of the Ann Arbor. The getDowntown Program organizes the Go!pass Program, Curb Your Car Month in May, and other activities throughout the year for downtown commuters.
Did you know that Ann Arbor was recently ranked the 3rd best city for walking in the country? When you get here, it’s easy to see why. With the goal of making the downtown as pedestrian-friendly as possible, the DDA has:
- Undertaken dozens of sidewalk repair and improvement projects. These have included new concrete and brick sidewalks, lighting, trees, and street furniture.
- Renovated several downtown plazas to make them more welcoming to visitors, including new seating, brickwork, and landscaping at Sculpture Plaza, Liberty Plaza, and the Farmer's Market.
- Helped sponsor the Downtown Historic Street Exhibit program, which makes the downtown pedestrian experience more interesting.
- Annually printed about 50,000 copies of the "Downtown Walk Map," which is distributed to visitors, residents and others through a variety of means. Email us at email@example.com to see if we can get you a copy.
One of the best ways to get downtown may be sitting in your garage. The DDA offers lots of benefits for bike riders, including covered parking at every parking structure, and plenty of bike parking on the sidewalks and street. There are also bike lanes on several of the major streets leading into the downtown. To promote the use of bicycles by commuters, visitors, and others coming to the downtown, the DDA has:
- Added a bicycle parking request form to our website - you can now request a bike hoop or on-street rack location and even report an abandoned bike for removal!
- Installed dozens of new bike hoops in convenient locations throughout the downtown including commemorative art hoops and hoops on e-parking space markers.
- Installed fun and functional hoops in the shape of carrots, apples and cherries to highlight the Farmer's Market as a wonderful asset that brings many people downtown by bike every Wednesday and Saturday.
- Installed on-street bike racks in a metered parking space that had been bagged for this purpose. This allowed the DDA to seasonally accommodate 14 bicycles in a space that would otherwise accommodate a single car.
- Purchased and maintained two dozen bike lockers. The lockers, managed by the getDowntown Program, are available for rent to downtown commuters (locations and more info are listed here). To rent a bike locker, contact Nancy Shore, the getDowntown program coordinator, at (734) 214-0100.
- Added bike lanes. In 2009-2010, the DDA undertook the Fifth and Division Improvements, which included bump outs to foster pedestrian crossings, new LED lighting, gateway elements, and the installation of north/south bike lanes. Bike lanes on these two important corridors increase community members ability to bicycle in and around the downtown.
Riding Buses To and Around Downtown
With almost every single route ending in downtown Ann Arbor, taking an Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) bus is a great way to get downtown. The AATA operates 27 bus routes and several Park and Ride Lots in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area. Information on the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority bus routes and schedules are available at www.theride.org.
The go!pass is a bus pass available to all downtown employees, enabling them to ride for free on any AATA bus. DDA sponsors the program and provides 95% of business owners cost, with the aim of increasing the number of commuters coming downtown using buses rather than a single occupancy vehicle. Go!pass users also benefit from discounts at numerous downtown businesses. More than 6,000 passes are in distribution with 413 downtown businesses participating. The getDowntown Program coordinates go!pass distribution, please visit www.getdowntown.org for more information.
Beginning in April 2012 the DDA partnered with the AATA to pilot AirRide parking. AirRide will provide twleve daily round trips from downtown Ann Arbor to Detroit Metro Airport. The DDA will provide parking at the Fourth and William parking structure, near the Blake Transit Center, for $2 per day (2 week maximum stay).
As gas prices and environmental awareness rise, many downtown residents and commuters see the advantages of leaving their cars parked and using a moped or motorcycle to get around. Electric scooters generate zero emissions and many mopeds, and motorcycles have better fuel efficiency than automobiles. In addition, they use less space, reducing congestion and requiring less impervious parking area. Recognizing that such elements align with its transportation goals, the DDA provides motorcycle/moped and scooter parking free of change in designated areas throughout the district. For specific locations, see the moped and motorcycle parking map (pdf).
Continuing its commitment to support and fund alternative transportation programs in the downtown, the DDA supported bringing 4 Zipcars to downtown Ann Arbor in 2008-09. There are currently 10 Zipcars in the downtown area. Zipcar is a growing company that provides hourly car rental services to universities and downtowns throughout the nation and the world. Their technology allows members to see which cars are available, sign them out online and then simply walk to the car and wave their keycard to turn the car on. Using a Zipcar is green as well as convenient; every one takes 15-20 personally owned vehicles off the road.
To join or learn more, visit the Zipcar Ann Arbor website.
Preferential Parking for Carpoolers
The DDA, in partnership with the getDowntown Program, offers preferential parking spaces for carpools of 3 or more or vanpools. These spaces are first floor guaranteed parking spaces, located at the Ann/Ashley, Fourth and William, Fourth and Washington, Maynard, and Forest Parking Structures. Carpool parking passes are available for $125/month, please contact the getDowntown Program for more information.