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Posted on Sun, Aug 21, 2011 : 10:56 a.m.

City of Ypsilanti to install meters, charge for parking in Washington Street lot

By Tom Perkins

Downtown Ypsilanti visitors will soon have to start paying for parking in the Washington Street parking lot.

City Planner Teresa Gillotti presented preliminary lot plan to City Council last week. If the plan, or one similar, is approved at a future council meeting, then visitors will be paying 50 cents an hour by the end of the year.

The lot holds 163 total spaces and abuts the Ypsilanti Transit Center. It's partly utilized by Ann Arbor Transit Authority bus riders as a park and ride lot, and the city and AATA are working on an agreement under which the city would "lease" 11 spots to the AATA.

Those spaces could generate up to $5 per day if the meters were in, which would equate to revenue of $15,675 for the city annually. The city is requesting $7,800 annually from the AATA to use the spots.

Under the proposed plan, the lot would also have 30 spaces designated for people with residential and employee permits, which cost $75 every three months and could provide the city with a maximum of $6,750 in revenue. Right now 25 people hold passes, though that number could grow as several downtown loft projects are completed.

The lot's remaining 122 spaces would be metered for ten hours during weekdays.

Installation costs are estimated at $35,000, of which the city already has $17,000 set aside in a Washington Street lot fund.

The city recently entered into a five-year lease at $1 annually with EMU to take over 72 spots the university previously owned. In return, the city removed four parking meters from the southwest corner of Adams and Pearl Streets so the AATA bus can drop off students directly in front of the College of Business. EMU also gave the city $17,000 to to use the spots.

Students who commute to the College of Business have been parking in the Washington Street Lot for free and walking a block to class instead of paying a $75 fee to park in the business school's parking structure.

Prior to taking over the entire lot, the city regularly received complaints from people whose cars were “parked in” by other cars, as well as complaints about faded striping, litter and broken glass.

The lots on North and South Huron streets will remain free for two hours. Visitors can also find free parking off Michigan Avenue behind Materials Unlimited and will soon be able to find free parking on Ferris Street. Gillotti said the city's parking plan remains flexible.

"This is the first time we done this with this many spaces so if we have to make changes then we will," she said.



Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

I never understood the concept of paying to park. It's a form of Highway robbery. I love going to Brighton where they find no need to charge to park. It looks so much nicer without all the meters all over the place. In addition, the meters in Ypsi won't take $1 coins. You have to stand there feeding dimes & nickel into the meters.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 1:06 a.m.

Here is a novel idea. Why not build a parking structure in the vacant land where the flea market once stood and move the AATA park and ride down there. There is more room for busses and traffic flow there. Then maybe they could leave the Washington St. parking area alone so there is some free parking for business owners in the area. Not only would that work better for downtown. But it would also generate interest in new business growth in the open space that is just a mess to look at now.

Thinking over here

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

Excellent idea!!!


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 11:49 a.m.

Don't parking garages usually cost about $40,000 per space to build? That means a 100 spot garage would cost $4,000,000. That doesn't make a lot of financial sense to do that.

Monica R-W

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 3:52 a.m.

Excellent idea Bones. Nothing is being done with the vacant lot of the former Flea Market anyway. What a perfect place to move the AATA bus stop!


Sun, Aug 21, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

The reasons students park in that lot isn't because they don't want to pay for the $75 permit, it's because it is nearly impossible to find parking in the structure attached to the COB. I've done both, and for the structure I would have to arrive at least an hour ahead of my class time and would still be waiting anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes just for a space. For the lot, I could just pull in and walk over.

John A2

Sun, Aug 21, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

The free parking is a base for people to even want to take a walk and shop. I would recommend that Ypsilanti put in a pay booth, and sell parking permits to people who carpool on the bus.


Sun, Aug 21, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

First, install meters. Then, write a few tickets. In a few moths, the city can give the entire lot to EMU because "nobody uses it anymore." A self-fulfilling prophecy.


Sun, Aug 21, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

Just another reason not to shop in downtown Ypsilanti. How's that downtown redevelopment thing working out?