Fourth Avenue Street & Transit Improvements

Fourth Ave. Street & Transit Improvements

4th ave Vision Ann Arbor

The Fourth Avenue Project is a full street reconstruction and includes repaving travel lanes, widening sidewalks, providing new lighting and pedestrian amenities, as well as underground utilities. The project will:

  • Enhance transit boarding and operations.
  • Add amenities for people taking the bus and walking.
  • Support bicycle travel, although designated bike lanes are not proposed due to limited width of the right-of-way.
  • Update infrastructure and improve stormwater management.
  • Incorporate infrastructure to support the Ann Arbor Housing Commission (AAHC) project at 350 S. Fifth Ave.

After the design and engineering is complete, the project will move forward to construction.

The goal of this project is to create a street that functions as an extension of the AAATA transit center and is safer and more comfortable for all users, particularly those taking the bus. Whether they’re waiting for the bus, walking with a friend, or biking to work, everyone should feel welcome on Fourth Ave. The project will also support the adjacent affordable housing project at 350 S. Fifth Avenue. Investment in affordable housing near transit, biking, and walking opportunities is key to reducing living expenses and meeting the city’s climate neutrality goals.

Location

Fourth Ave. between William St. and Liberty St.

4th Ave schematic

Project Timeline

  • Design and Engineering: Now through early 2024
  • Construction: Anticipated for 2026 (Note: Timing of street and streetscape construction may change based on integration with other projects)

Partners

The Ann Arbor DDA is the lead agency and will work closely with City Engineering and other departments as necessary, as well as the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA) and the Ann Arbor Housing Commission (AAHC). Questions about this project should be directed to Shelby Mistor at the Ann Arbor DDA: smistor@a2dda.org or 734-994-6697.

What to Expect

The preliminary design concept for Fourth Avenue Project was developed in 2020 and was supported with public engagement efforts through the People Friendly Streets Initiative.  We are seeking additional public input as the concept progresses through the design phase.  During this time, there will be opportunities to learn more about the project and give your feedback.  Communication with the public will continue through construction.

Project History

People-Friendly Streets (DDA)

The DDA’s People-Friendly Streets (PFS) initiative began in 2018 – prioritizing people, placemaking, and resilience. When the DDA began a second round of PFS projects, the Fourth Ave. project was identified as an opportunity to encourage transit ridership and support affordable housing.  A preliminary conceptual design was prepared during this process and defines width of travel lanes and sidewalks, bus loading areas, and general locations streetscape and transit amenities.

See a public engagement summary for PFS projects.

AAATA

The AAATA has utilized S 4th Avenue (northbound), along with the adjacent Blake Transit Center (BTC), as its primary transit hub in downtown Ann Arbor for over 35 years. Currently, the AAATA has four bus bays along the curb on 4th Avenue. Various transit elements have been added to the sidewalk as the system has grown to ensure the safety and comfort of AAATA customers.  With continued system growth and development of the adjacent lot at 350 S 5th Avenue, the AAATA and the DDA have partnered to further enhance bus operations, as well as the pedestrian and transit friendliness of the street, sidewalk, and curb. Initial concepts were drawn in 2021 as the partnership between the AAATA, the DDA, City, and Housing Commission were formalized for the significant redevelopment occurring around the BTC.  Additional design work for 4th Avenue is now underway.

AAHC

The City partnered with the Ann Arbor Housing Commission (AAHC) to conduct a feasibility study, which determined that 350 S. Fifth, the former YMCA site, is large enough to provide affordable housing units in addition to market rate units and some non-residential use. With this direction, AAHC worked with Smithgroup to conduct two years of community engagement that resulted in a conceptual plan for the site. AAHC and Smithgroup are now working on a more detailed design of this concept to bring before the Planning Commission. Design objectives include:

  • Maximize affordable housing units
  • Maximize market rate housing
  • Develop a mix of housing types and prices
  • Expand the Blake Transit Center
  • Activate the ground floor for public benefit
  • Maintain some city ownership/control
  • Recapture the cost of purchase
  • Appropriately scale down to the lower density area south of William Street

City of Ann Arbor

The Fourth Avenue Project is included in the City of Ann Arbor’s Capital Improvements Plan (CIP).

Project Information

MEETINGS

Board Meetings

Wednesday, August 7, 2024

Ann Arbor DDA Offices
150 South Fifth Avenue
Suite 301
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

Non-Regularly Scheduled/Special Meetings

DDA Informational Meetings 2024
Wednesday, June 5, 2024 at Noon (Completed)
Wednesday, December 4, 2024 at Noon

Special/Non-Regularly Scheduled Board Meeting

 

 

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