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Posted on Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 3:15 p.m.

Bicyclists protest outside Rick Snyder's gubernatorial campaign headquarters in downtown Ann Arbor

By Ryan J. Stanton


Bicyclists and walking advocates protest outside Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder's campaign headquarters in downtown Ann Arbor today in response to statements he made at Sunday's debate against Democrat Virg Bernero.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Bicycle bells rang out in downtown Ann Arbor outside Rick Snyder's campaign headquarters this afternoon as area bicyclists and walking advocates staged a protest in response to comments the Republican gubernatorial candidate made in Sunday's debate.

The protestors said they were seeking clarification on what appeared to be a criticism by Snyder of a local bicycle and pedestrian bridge project.

Asked during Sunday's debate whether he supported an increase in the Michigan gas tax, Snyder cited a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge over US-23 at Geddes, near his Ann Arbor home, as an example of inefficient state transportation spending.

The full text of Snyder's response to the question is as follows:

"I don't support an increase in the gas tax, because we need to get efficient first. I mean, we need to look at value for money budgeting. Because if you go around our state our roads are terrible, but let's tighten our belts, let's be efficient and see where we can deploy these dollars to fix the roads that really need to be fixed. A classic illustration I used from the Ann Arbor area, if you went to the Michigan/Michigan State game you had to suffer over the Stadium Street bridge potentially. Two lanes are permanently closed on that bridge. I think it's got a rating of like 2 out of 100. At the same time, I live near Geddes Road and US-23. They just built a bike and pedestrian bridge across US-23 at the cost of millions of dollars. What they didn't bother to tell us is a quarter-mile south that there's a bridge over Huron River and there's a bike and pedestrian path there. So let's get efficient about where we're deploying these dollars. There's a much better way to do things. And that's what we should focus on first."


The group of protestors was led by the University of Michigan Bicycle Coalition's Joel Batterman, shown here in green.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Area bicycling and walking advocates have said they found Snyder’s comments perplexing, given his previously stated support for “walkable cities” and “green infrastructure.”

About a dozen protestors lined up outside Snyder's office today seeking answers. The group was led by the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition, University of Michigan Bicycle Coalition, League of Michigan Bicyclists and Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.

"We're out here to show that there's an organized bicycle and pedestrian community and we're paying attention to local politics, and we heard Rick Snyder's disparaging and misinformed comments about bike infrastructure investment in the Ann Arbor area and we wanted to compel him to clarify his statements, hopefully publicly if we can," said Elias Schewel, a U-M master's of urban planning student and member of the U-M Bicycle Coalition.

"I believe the word he used was 'inefficient' funding for infrastructure," Schewel added. "And as I understand it, the pedestrian bridge at US-23 and Geddes, the funding for that comes from a different source than the funds that would be used to improve and maintain the Stadium bridge, and so for him to try to score political points in the debate by confusing the issue contradicts his stated support for walking and biking in Michigan."

Ryan Kazmirzack, deputy director of communications for Snyder's campaign, came out of the office during today's protest. The campaign ended up chatting amiably with the protestors and gave them bright green Snyder bicycling T-shirts.

"Rick's comment was not at all a knock on bike riders," Kazmirzack said. "Making cities walkable is a big part of his 10-point plan. He was using the bridge as an illustration of how government funding priorities get turned around. He's talking about the bridge over on Stadium Boulevard that is literally crumbling, two lanes have been permanently shut down, and he's saying we need to take care of our existing infrastructure first before building more infrastructure."

Kazmirzack said the protestors were reasonable. The cyclists presented the campaign with a letter inviting Snyder to tour the new bridge by bike and attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony next week. As a matter of fairness, or "bikepartisanship,” the group said it also would extend an invitation to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero.

"They wanted us to know a little more detail about the bridge," Kazmirzack said. "We took their letter. We'll make sure we look it over. It's not problem at all."

U-M Bicycle Coalition’s Joel Batterman, a master's of urban planning student at U-M, said his group wanted to emphasize to Snyder that complete streets play a vital role in moving Michigan toward a more prosperous future. He said he was happy with the outcome of the protest.

"In the debate last Sunday when we heard bike and pedestrian spending brought up (by Snyder) as an example of inefficient transport spending, that was surprising for us because Snyder's platform is generally supportive of walkable cities and green infrastructure," he said. "So we hope it's just a misunderstanding, and that seems to be the case."

While an existing bicycle and pedestrian path passes under US-23 on the south side of the Huron River, no crossing exists to the north between the river and Earhart Road, isolating Concordia College and northeast Ann Arbor from that path system, Batterman said.

“Connections like this bridge and the emerging Detroit greenway network are building a sustainable, just, and prosperous future for all Michiganders," he said in a statement.

U-M Bicycle Coalition member Jeri Stroupe, a student at the U-M School of Public Health, said in a statement that while bike and pedestrian facilities are valuable amenities for Michigan cities, they're also a vital part of a healthy and safe transit network. They reduce carbon emissions, encourage physical activity, prevent injuries, and save lives, Stroupe said.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529.



Fri, Oct 22, 2010 : 12:16 a.m.

Why do vehicle drivers complain about bicyclists, but oppose measures like dedicated bike lanes and bike paths that would get them out of their way? It does cost money to accommodate both bicyclists and motorists, but accidents, injuries and lawsuits also cost money. BTW, I think it's clear, but since so many have dismissed this article, the story here is not about bicyclists "protesting" Snyder, but about how we can fairly reconcile the needs of both motorists and bicyclists.

matt picio

Wed, Oct 20, 2010 : 11:40 a.m.

Julius, less than half of road funding comes from the gas tax. License & registration fees usually don't even pay for the cost of administering them - in a good year they contribute less than a few percent of the cost. The majority of road costs are paid through state and local taxes. All Michigan residents pay sales tax, anyone who's not homeless pays property tax (renters don't write the check, but the rental property owner builds that cost into the rent), and anyone with a job pays income tax. The majority of cyclists live in a house or apartment and have a job. Those who choose not to own a car, or choose to own and not drive it are subsidizing the system - they are paying more into it than they get back. And bikes cause effectively no wear and tear on the roads, so from a use perspective, they are also subsidizing the system - most of the road wear is commercial trucking, and the rest from automobiles. Alleviating congestion - build places for people to ride bikes and they will, and bikes take up far less road than cars. Portland Oregon has almost 6-8% of the workforce biking to work. in their case, that's more than 10,000 cars off the road and out of people's way. They did this while spending less than 1% of their transportation budget on bikes. BTW, adding more lanes does not remove congestion. (well, ok, it does for a few months) Adding more lanes results in more people using their cars (Google "Jevon's Paradox") - the actual time spent in your commute changes very little, what happens is more or less people travel based on how much of an effort it is. More congestion = fewer trips, as people try to combine them, or take other modes (bike, walk, bus). The system automatically rebalances. As for "it's not that hard" - If someone is riding to Concordia, and took Dixboro to the south side of the river, then rode to the ped bridge and back up, that's 1.5 miles instead of 1/4 mile. By bike, that's about 9 minutes, on foot, about 30 minutes. Is it ok to make cars take a 6-mile detour? A 15-mile detour? Geddes should have been built with a wide shoulder, and that would have made it safe for bikes and pedestrians to share the road with motorized traffic. It wasn't, and this bike/ped crossing is far cheaper than widening the road now. Cyclists were originally behind the movement to pave the roads, and cars have benefitted from that arrangement for roughly a century. Now we've made it effectively so that one *has* to own a car to get around, and when even minor improvements are proposed, people call "foul". These improvements aren't just comparatively chealp, they're correcting decades of poor design and discrimination against those who either can't afford a car, or choose not to. The average car costs its owner over $7500 a year - how is it fair to tell someone they have to pay $7500 a year for the right to use the road, on top of the taxes they're already paying?


Mon, Oct 18, 2010 : 9:12 a.m.

Why does this story even deserve mention anywhere at all? 12 people, what a tremendously significant number especially when you consider that they were probably paid by the Michigan Democratic Party. The pedestrian bridge was a tremendous waste of money. I suspect the traffic circles on Geddes will also prove to be a mess. I hope I'm wrong but the traffic so far does not bode well for when it opens for real.

John Q

Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 9:39 p.m.

"The roads don't get wider and nothing that has been done really alleviates congestion. I read a few years ago that many of the local leaders don't want to solve such problems because "It will encourage more people to drive."' Go do some reading on "fixing" congestion by widening roads. It's well documented that adding lanes to roads is, at best, a short-term fix for congestion. Once people figure out that the newly widened road provides a faster route, more people start driving that route, either from other routes or those who had used other modes to get down that route. The solution of widening these roads also means pouring massive amounts of money into a road that's typically congested only a couple hours a day. People complain about "wasting" money on bike paths and yet think nothing of demanding millions in road widening projects so as to shave a minute or two off their commute time.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 3:22 p.m.

We have a representative from Taylor because Republicans controlled redistricting and the redrawing of Congressional district lines pushed Lynn Rivers out of Congress. Yes, Michigan's population meant we had to lose one Congressional district, but how that didn't dictate how district lines would be redrawn. Congressional Representative, John Dingell is aware of the Stadium Boulevard bridge and delivered Federal funds to rebuild the bridge. That means real blue collar jobs, an area John Dingell has always championed.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 12:45 p.m.

I can see gas getting to 5 dollars per gallon, but I also know it doesn't have to be that way. As it is, traffic in Ann Arbor is OK as long as you get to work early and leave late.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 10:26 a.m.

When gasoline is 5 dollars a gallon, it is coming, the context of this discussion will be quite different.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 10:21 a.m.

Where is Stu Dowty, no picture of him riding a bike in his duck costume? Just another stunt and red meat for the LEFY faithful. Not much of a story here. Guessed missed the rallies for Snyder and Dr. Rob Steele prior to the M football game. Hundreds attended as opposed to a handful of bikers looking like nomads in search of a watering hole.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 9:56 a.m.

Plus, it's not that hard to get to that path. You just have to go down Dixboro and jump off onto that side street that was Dixboro before that new bridge was built. You cross that dam and the path is on the right. Unless that has changed since May it's perfectly reasonable. The #3 runs down Dixboro. After all that, is the state's budget not already strained? I have an idea. Put these types of projects on hold instead of threatening to cut Police and Fire if we don't vote to raise our own taxes.


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 9:49 a.m.

I have two problems with all the bike paths. 1: They expect drivers to fund them. There's already enough of that going on in other areas. So you tax motorists to death while neglecting to improve the roads for them. Instead of more lanes, there are fewer with bike lanes that only a few people use. 2: The roads don't get wider and nothing that has been done really alleviates congestion. I read a few years ago that many of the local leaders don't want to solve such problems because "It will encourage more people to drive." Well more people are driving whether you do something or not. Might as well make sure we're not idling in parking lots all day. On the other hand, roundabouts and bikes do not mix. I can understand the need for a bridge but as Snyder already said, there's a perfectly good bridge and a bike path that will get you all the way to north campus just a 1/4 mile away. Do you NEED to use Geddes?


Sun, Oct 17, 2010 : 12:47 a.m.

Those in the ultra liberal bubble that is Ann Arbor should fear no longer, Governor Snyder will soon be here to save us and stop...The White House! (It took a Carter to get a Reagan).


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 8:45 p.m.

Love this pic!: Thanks Joel!


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 8:40 p.m.

I agree with Tru2Blu76 - People should be able to ride their bikes without risking their lives and without interfering with cars or pedestrians. This is extremely difficult to do in our existing infrastructure so any improvements should be appreciated by all. Improvement is definitely needed for both bicyclists and pedestrians at Washtenaw and 23 / Carpenter Rd. and also Packard under 23. Furthermore, I still don't understand why, when the Ellsworth / Platt Rd. bridge was re-built and Ellsworth Rd. straightened, there were no bike lanes added. What a loss!! Over 1,500 homes in the immediate area of Ellsworth and Platt, could've used those lanes that would have allowed pedestrian/bicycle access to another major commercial / retail hub along Carpenter Rd.(which, if attempted at this point, is a risk to one's life.) I am not familiar with the bike path over 23 at Geddes, but if it avoids the lost opportunity that occurred when Ellsworth was re-built, I am glad that it was added. I used to risk my and my children's lives riding a short distance along Platt south of Ellsworth and am so grateful that that bike path was added. For those who think bike paths go unused, check out this one! I have seen all kinds of people using it to bike, run, run with strollers, walk.... I always have to laugh when I read articles or hear people say that they haven't seen people attempt crossing or using dangerous streets --- it's because they are dangerous!!! Usually after the dumb people like me try it once, we never try it again! So when TruBlu says: That means: MORE pedestrian/bike facilities... so be ready. I can only say, "I hope so!" BTW I am involved in accident research and am shocked by the number of bicyclists I have seen hit lately by vehicles that do not stop to render aid!! However, I am also a driver who has been assaulted by bicyclists! Once, in Ann Arbor, while at a stoplight, a bicyclist rode past me on the right, slammed his fist into my, admittedly large, gas guzzler, then grabbed onto the bed of the pickup truck that was in front of me for a free fast ride!! All this with a police car behind me at the same stoplight! There is a way for bicyclists and drivers to use the same pathways, but, in most cases, it will take new construction to make accommodations for both. Bicyclists should appreciate the safety and drivers should appreciate less to worry about on the road.

Jeff Gaynor

Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 12:56 p.m.

@zack66: "...they should take their little bikes a 1/4 mile away..." Hmm, maybe we should build roads a quarter mile apart. @Macabre Sunset: "they want... our tax money to support their hobby." Our hobby? I bike - or take the bus - five miles each way to work every day. And by not paying gas taxes I consciously choose to have less money go for roads. If more people did this, we wouldn't need so many.


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 9:34 a.m.

If Michigan is to have any hope of keeping up with the rest of the world in the years ahead, it will — among other things — move toward designing roadways to better handle multiple modes of transportation. In Western Europe, Japan, and elsewhere, streets and roads more readily accommodate personal vehicles, buses, rail, bicycles and walkers. Urban and exurban design will seek to minimize conflicts over space usage along thoroughfares, and it's taught from an early age that roadways are shared by all and do not belong just to drivers of cars and trucks. The 21st century will not, like the previous one, be the era of the automobile. To repeat a sentence from the article: "... [the] group wanted to emphasize to Snyder that complete streets play a vital role in moving Michigan toward a more prosperous future...." And, as Joel Batterman wrote later to follow up: "... In part, this can be accomplished by designing bicycle and pedestrian facilities into new projects from the outset, per Michigan's new Complete Streets legislation, instead of having to pay more to retrofit them later." Snyder does know better, but was playing to the naive prejudices of the wider audience during the debate. He definitely needed yesterday's small reminder, and will need many more in the future if he's elected governor.

Jay Thomas

Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 9:18 a.m.

Ann Arbor's famous tolerance. LOL And two years ago Dingell didn't even know the Stadium bridge existed (and it was still a mess). That's what we put up with for having an 84 year old guy from Taylor as our representative.


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 8:30 a.m.

Isn't it interesting that Federal money shows up in the 11th hour of an election year for the bridge repair. Politics at it's best. Before getting too giddy over the gift of our money, remember Michigan is still a donor state in terms of the amount of federal dollars returned.


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 8:18 a.m.

" Hopefully, after Rick becomes governor; they will have a job to go to everyday!" People who say why aren't these people working seem to think the only jobs that count are Monday through Friday 9-5. Ask Rick if the job that happens 6 pm to 2 am is not a job? Is the doctor, nurse, firefighter, cop, restaurant manager, hotel manager, retail clerk, professional athlete etc not a "real" enough job for you? Think before you open your mouth or just be quiet. It is better for you to remain quiet so people think you are ignorant, rather than open it and remove all doubt.

Patti Sonntag

Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 8:18 a.m.

The point, that was misconstrued, is the importance of fiscal responsibility and safety for motorists and cyclists. I personally appreciate representatives who take into consideration that a budget exists. Looking at traffic flow in the area and knowing that the roads in A2 were designed to handle less than 1/2 the traffic that we see on a daily basis; Mr. Snyder is correct in his assertion that money is more wisely spent creating a safer environment for both motorists and cyclists. In A2 there seems to be a tendency to place more emphasis on aesthetics instead of viewing the project using a more common sense approach. I travel frequently down Huron Parway and the bridge and can't help but wonder why the extra lanes that are much needed did not get added during construction to repair. The same unsafe amount of traffic squeezing through a small space exists at project end but the retention wall and the expense of beautifying the walkway are prevalent. Bikes are always welcome to share the road and in A2, they are legally permitted to ride on the sidewalk.


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 8:14 a.m.

Typical liberal ideology, why aren't they protesting some worthy cause, the city and state have provided millions over the years and yet they feel compelled to complain about not having enough. Ryan Kazmirack should have given them a crying towel along with the t-shirts, these individuals need a reality check.

Roger Roth

Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 7:43 a.m.

Rick says, "There's a much better way to do things. And that's what we should focus on first." Two suggestions to many candidates to follow Rick's idea: tell the truth and be specifically substantive. As for the protesting bikers, at least they showed up, and that's way more than most of us complainers would do.


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 1:42 a.m.

Yes again. A2 had no control over the bike path and the person who proposed the path was most likely the owner of a mansion by rick who also liked riding a bike. Never seen so many people on this site hate on a bike trail as unused as it may go, as most do not get used. Rick will win and then he will fall on his face, but either way he will look flashy and well produced. "it's the way she goes" Trailer Park Boys.


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 1:28 a.m.

So why don't you write about the continuing protest at Starbucks? There are more bikes there at any given time then at this protest! Really pathetic article!


Sat, Oct 16, 2010 : 1:09 a.m.

Wow, Eric Blade said "retards." I tried to say that once and my post was removed. Rick Snyder must own Ever thought that Ann Arbor has no control over the 23 project seeing as it is a state road and not a city street. Do you people actually think that the city looked at a failing bridge over State street and said "instead lets put a pedestrian bridge over a highway that will never be used." If anything this is some random pork project from one of Rick's wealthy neighbors who is also a bike rider and didn't want to go any further south and asked the state not the city to build it for him. It's sad that rick will win, because he will fall on his face. Never seen a proposed bike path in Ann Arbor critisized till now, you are all brainwashed, but have fun finding this out.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 11:58 p.m.

There seems to be a misconception that bicyclists are biking for fun given our long Michigan winters but many bike year round to work and everywhere else. My brother lives in a large city east of us with a similar treacherous winter and managed for years to bike to his job nearly daily. Guess what? He is a mechanic and has nothing against motorized vehicles - he just wants the exercise and appreciates the savings in his wallet and to the environment. I doubt most people would abandon cars but if it were safer and more convenient, maybe?

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 11:03 p.m.

Yes, anon, but then they want disproportionate amounts of our tax money to support their hobby. Which, in turn, robs of us those same precious resources.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 10:53 p.m.

Yes, the idea of this bridge is good, but in reality, it is out of place.Compare the ease of bisecting 23 at Geddes to 23 and Washtenaw. There is much more traffic, vehicle and foot, there than at geddes. I suspect, but can't confirm, that if Packard or the trail along the river in Gallup were not available, you would see more bicycle traffic here too. The decision to merely put a bike path over 23 and not a full blown road is ridiculous in light of the fact that it would have been better to put it at Washtenaw & 23. There is much more to offer from a bike bridge this area than for people at Concordia College who want to take a bike ride. What about people in "EZ Goes" who want to travel a main retail corridor?


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 10:41 p.m.

Thanks 'talker' - you made the best point in that Dingell secured federal dollars for the much-needed Stadium bridge repair. The local dollars are going to the population that values alternative transportation. Isn't Ann Arbor aiming to be the greenest place on earth? If it doesn't support bicyclists, they're all talk, no action.

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 10:28 p.m.

Please note we noticed a few typos in the transcript of the debate provided by the Detroit Free Press and have cleaned up Snyder's statement to be more precise. @ Joel I almost forgot we had that photo. Thanks!


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 10:20 p.m.

At least the cyclists are trying to do something to reduce CO2, reduce traffic congestion, reduce dependence on foreign oil and oil spill oil.

Joel Batterman

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 9:34 p.m.

Let's hope this photo of a certain future venture capitalist is a good sign: Looking sharp!


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 8:17 p.m.

It's a "bridge to nowhere"; as someone that used to go through there at least twice a day for 3 years, and don't think I've seen a dozen people cross (and of course bikers can ride in the road) I cannot help but wonder how many miles of paved bicycle path could have been purchased for what it cost- certainly enough to make a dent in connecting the path that ends at the mill just east of there on Geddes and runs all the way to and through Gallup Park, and the one being built further down along Geddes in Superior Township that extends the stretch along the Pulte sub west of Prospect. These types of knee-jerk responses from the Left are just as silly as those from the Right.

Joel Batterman

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 8:15 p.m.

The letter endorsed by my group and others didn't question the need for a fix on Stadium (now a go). It stressed that: 1) money for the US-23 bridge couldn't have gone to fix the Stadium Bridges, since it came from a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant, and 2) while the existing Gallup Park path under US-23 from Concordia College is indeed one-quarter mile away as the crow flies, it is much farther away by bike or foot (3 miles, according to Google Maps), since it is not possible to bike or walk across the Huron River at this location. We hope that Snyder's comment resulted from a misunderstanding about which side of the river the path is on. We agree that more efficient transportation spending is needed. In part, this can be accomplished by designing bicycle and pedestrian facilities into new projects from the outset, per Michigan's new Complete Streets legislation, instead of having to pay more to retrofit them later. Ideally, bike and pedestrians could be accommodated on the existing Geddes bridge over US-23, but the bridge was built without sidewalks or bike facilities, and it is too narrow for them to be added. Given the circumstances, a new bridge was determined the best option available, though I can't say if ferries or submersibles were considered in the analysis of alternatives. Also, it's a stretch to call this event a "protest." As described in the article, it was more of a convivial chat. Knowing of Snyder's stated support for walkable cities and green infrastructure, we wanted to clarify his remarks in the debate. Hopefully, like I said, they resulted from a simple misunderstanding about the funding sources and Gallup path site. In my experience, a "protest" usually includes bullhorns and chanting, or at least some signs. None made an appearance here...though I guess those bicycle bells can sound pretty warlike.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 7:37 p.m.

The statement from joel Batterman includes the nugget of information that explains the genesis of the adorable & probably wasteful pedestrian bridge over US23. It's to improve access to the Gallup Park bike & pedestrian path for people in the area between US23 & Huron Parkway, specifically those @ Concordia College. Which they currently absolutely don't have w/out taking their lives in their hands. (The bridge will also help w/ access to the #3 bus line for those folks.)


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 7:26 p.m.

"what were they protesting, exactly? That he suggested they go an extra 1/4 mile to the other bridge, rather than the city spend multiple millions of dollars to create a new bike trail?" The point is that it's not a matter of going 1/4 mile to this "other bridge." The new bridge makes it possible for bicyclists AND pedestrians to safely cross US-23, giving them access to the facilities on the other side, which includes the "other bridge" that crosses the Huron River, not the highway. I know it's easier to just lob comments without actually understanding the situation, but please see if you would like a more complete explanation.

Tom Joad

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 6:58 p.m.

Hearken back to the days of John Engler


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 6:46 p.m.

And the whole point of the article is....what?


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 6:37 p.m.

At the debate, Snyder took an ignorant cheap shot at cyclists. He knew it would play well with the audience, since so many in Michigan react to cyclists and pedestrians with something approaching sociopathic anger. We are a very backward state in the area of transportation, and while Snyder seems aware of this, he was playing for votes and sympathy that night. To spin themselves into a higher gear, local cyclists might wish to copy the Snyder model by organizing Ann Arbor SPOKE, a new source of adventure capital that invests in start-up bike paths and trails throughout the region.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 4:56 p.m.

By the way, the decrepit bridge on Stadium Boulevard will be repaired with help from our Federal taxes secured by our Congressman, John Dingell. With so many cities and states requesting help, I thank Congressman Dingell and his staff for relaying the urgency of the Stadium Boulevard repair.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 4:51 p.m.

People who work near enough to ride bikes to work leave more parking spaces for others. Please don't assume that people who ride bikes are deadbeats. People who want to ride bikes to work or on errands are more likely to be able to do it when they don't have to ride an extra half hour for lack of nearby pavement.

Urban Sombrero

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 4:41 p.m.

When was this? I walked past there twice today, from and then back to the parking garage. I must've just missed it.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 4:21 p.m.

Sometimes people protest just to protest - especially in Ann Arbor. Geez, Snyder was not saying he's against spending money on bicycle/pedestrian paths or bridges. He's just pointing out there may be a priority and/or distribution of funding issue. I hope Snyder does fix the outdated Michigan gas tax to find more funding for Michigan's horrible road system when he's elected. There's no way the money is just going to magically appear or that MDOT is going to become 4 times more efficient overnight.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 4:17 p.m.

Wait, so the bikers are protesting fiscal efficency? I don't know what they want here and expect they may not as well (perhaps they were looking for something to do and just want to be uppity about something). So much for productivity, guess it was a slow workday.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 4:14 p.m.

"What they didn't bother to tell us is a quarter-mile south that there's a bridge over Huron River and there's a bike and pedestrian path there." Gees Snyder I thought you lived in Ann Arbor! You need to be told where the bike paths are? Guess they don't make limo bikes eh?

David Briegel

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 4:14 p.m.

bogie, I'm sure he'll deliver that promised "trickle down" that we've all been waiting for! Rick the Savior!


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 4:06 p.m.

Amen B master B. I just wish would never publish a photograph of any "protest" less than a hundred people. Also, please don't mention any names, nor any quotes from these "groups of buddies." Chickens, Ducks, Bikers, and runners are all just people looking for attention, under the guise of a cause. Hopefully, after Rick becomes governor; they will have a job to go to everyday!

Ace Ventura

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 3:57 p.m.

I guess they didn't include these 12 guys in the latest poll

b master b

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 3:51 p.m.

Yet another example of the loud mouthed liberals with nothing better to do. Here's an idea: go work and be useful to this community


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 3:43 p.m.

@Mike...I LIKE your idea...LOL


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 3:40 p.m.

Thanks Bob. I know there was some discussion about this in the spring. I wasn't sure if it became an ordinance.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 3:28 p.m.

Seems the bridge repair should take precedent over any extra projects like bike/pedestrian bridges. Only common sense.

Bob Needham

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 3:21 p.m.

treetowncartel: No, not in Ann Arbor.


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 3:14 p.m.

Isn't it illegal to have your bicyle on a sidewalk?


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 3:09 p.m.

Hmm, it appears there is now a better place for my previous post. The pedestrian bridge span over 23 is a waste for the fact that they should have gone the extra step and widened Geddes at that point too. Putting in those footings for the columns was a monumental task, and it only makes sense to build the infrastructure for the future. I will note that the argument put forth for it is very flawed, since there is a rails to trails bike/walking path just south of there along the river in Gallup park. The other problem with that project is that there is a lot more foot and bike traffic where Washtenaw and Packard intersect 23, but there is not a nice shiny path facilitating the foot and bike traffic in those two locations. With respect to this new bridge, I do think the design should include a sidewalk on both sides and it would also be nice to see U of M and Ann Arbor Golf and Outing put a sidewalk in up to Main street.

Terry Calhoun

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 2:49 p.m.

Mike, the bicyclists and walkers nearly all also drive, and pay gas and other taxes.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 2:46 p.m.

Wow, what a protest! Great to know the Bernero campaign (oops, I mean the intrepid blog) is on top of this. About a dozen people arrived!!! Does this make every Michigan Stadium tailgate a potential protest movement?


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 2:42 p.m.

Here's a novel idea. Let's tax the bicyclists and walkers. Buy a bike add a 10 percent tax to pay for the bike lanes. Buy a pair of shoes, pay 10 percent tax for walking lanes. Hey, I know... Breathe the air, lets pay a 10 percent tax on tissue paper...


Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 2:41 p.m.

wow Rick you upset 12 people because they should take their little bikes a 1/4 mile away and use a bridge there? What a bunch of sissys!

Duane Collicott

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 : 2:26 p.m.

What? No chickens and ducks this time?