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Posted on Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

DDA offers incentives to encourage parking in downtown Ann Arbor's new underground structure

By Ryan J. Stanton

Have you thought about parking underground lately? Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority leaders want you to give it a try soon.

And they'll make it worth your while.

With the new Library Lane parking structure set to open next month, DDA leaders are rolling out the first substantive experiment with differential parking rates in the downtown.

For the next two years, monthly permits in the new underground structure will sell for $95 a month. That'll be a $60-a-month savings for monthly permit holders who move over from Liberty Square or Maynard, where monthly rates jump from $140 to $155 on Sept. 1.


A look at the pedestrian staircase extending from Fifth Avenue four stories down to the bottom of Ann Arbor's new underground parking structure.

Ryan J. Stanton |

"It's our first real aggressive experiment," said DDA board member Roger Hewitt, a downtown business owner.

"It's a perfect time to do it, now that we have a new structure to experiment with, and we'll certainly report on what the results are."

Hewitt said the plan isn't designed to raise revenue, but rather influence behavior and better manage parking demand in the downtown.

The Liberty Square and Maynard structures have the highest demand of any of the city-owned parking facilities that the DDA manages.

"Frequently the Maynard structure does fill up in the middle of the day and people actually have to wait to get in. Liberty Square is also very near capacity," Hewitt said. "So we're proposing a number of demand management strategies to try to address that."

Mayor John Hieftje is embracing the plan, calling it a good first step as the DDA considers more ways to free up parking in high-demand retail areas.

"Demand management has been the cutting-edge practice around the country with DDAs with parking districts, and I think it's high time that we took a hard look at it," he said.

"And what it means is you make it a little more expensive to park in the very high-demand areas and you make it cheaper for those people to move over to an area like the new structure."

The DDA manages the city's 7,200-space parking system, which includes six structures with about 4,300 spaces, 18 lots with about 1,200 spaces and about 1,700 on-street metered spaces.

The DDA already was scheduled to raise the monthly parking permit rate at Maynard and Liberty Square from $140 to $145 on Sept. 1. The extra $10 hike was recently decided as part of the incentive program to get people to move over to the new structure.

The DDA plans to hike the rates again next year for Maynard and Liberty Square to $160 a month, following the thinking that the price difference between the new structure and the high-demand structures should be dramatic enough to truly incentivize a change in behavior.

The DDA also is planning to add hourly parking back into the Liberty Square parking structure starting Sept. 1 to relieve some of the hourly parking demand in the Maynard structure.

Right now the Liberty Square structure, accessible off Washington Street east of Division, is open only to monthly permit holders during the day.

Hewitt said there about 700 monthly permit holders in Maynard and Liberty Square. Maynard, with 805 spaces, brought in $234,145 in revenue in April. Liberty Square, with 592 spaces, brought in $140,569. Together they accounted for 25 percent of all parking revenue.

DDA officials are expecting it to be a while before the general public catches on and takes advantage of the new structure, accessible off Fifth Avenue near Liberty Street, so they're hoping the discount rate will help jump-start that process.


Roger Hewitt

"Our experience is when you open a new parking structure — above ground, below ground, it doesn't matter — it doesn't really get used much for the first couple years," Hewitt said. "It takes the public a couple years to find it and find the convenience of it and start using it."

Because the DDA doesn't expect the Library Lane parking structure to have a lot of use initially, Hewitt said, "they would probably be spaces that would otherwise be empty."

The DDA plans to offer the same $95-a-month incentive to new users of the parking system as they sign up for monthly permits.

However, because the DDA is not working to move people from elsewhere in the system — such as the Fourth and William or Ann and Ashley structures — other monthly permit holders will not be offered a discount. They'll pay $145 a month beginning Sept. 1.

But in hopes of encouraging new retail and office business in the Liberty Street area, where there are a number of commercial vacancies, the DDA plans to provide the special rate to any new businesses that were not located in downtown before May 1.

DDA officials also are planning to improve signage between the State Street area and the new Library Lane parking structure to direct motorists.

Nader Nassif, the DDA's newest board member, said he's toured the new underground parking structure and he's impressed with it.

"It's very well designed. It's a beautiful structure," he said. "I think anybody who does use that and takes advantage of the $95-a-month option is actually getting a pretty good deal."


Workers put finishing touches on a glass canopy that hangs over the entrance to the underground parking structure off Fifth Avenue on Wednesday.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The DDA amended its budget on Wednesday, readjusting its parking revenue expectations for the year from $16.16 million to $17.03 million — about $867,000 more than projected when the fiscal year began last July.

In the first nine months of the fiscal year, parking revenues were up — at about $12.6 million — and DDA officials attribute that to rate increases and higher demand.

DDA officials said the monthly parking permit wait list is longest for campus-area structures, and Maynard in particular fills up completely throughout the fall and winter when University of Michigan classes and campus activities are at peak activity.

Adding to the demand for public parking will be the new customers, residential tenants, visitors and employees associated with new developments opening this fall.

The concept of using demand management was a central element in the DDA's 2010 Public Parking & Transportation Demand Management Strategies Plan.

The plan also discussed expanding parking meter enforcement hours later into the evening, a move DDA officials are still contemplating.

In addition to the parking rate changes, the DDA is working on a mix of strategies as part of its demand management plan for the campus area.

The DDA is requesting that the getDowntown staff put together a transportation audit program for State Street and South University area businesses to assess the actual transportation needs of employees and customize commuting options for them.

The DDA wants getDowntown to create a targeted marketing and communications plan for area businesses that ensures employees are aware of alternative transportation options.

The DDA also wants getDowntown to develop a program that would encourage employers to provide a transportation stipend to their employees to allow them to choose the transportation option that works best for them. Such a stipend could allow employees to choose to either have their parking subsidized or to receive a go!pass or potentially a Zipcar membership.

Employees who take the lower-cost option — a go!pass and/or Zipcar membership — could receive a portion of the cost savings in their paycheck.

Starting this spring, Ann Arbor SPARK is offering its employees the option of giving up their parking spots in exchange for an extra $50 a month in their paychecks. Google also offers employees incentives for giving up parking passes, such as Zingerman's gift cards and a Zipcar membership. Google now has the highest go!pass ridership of any employer downtown.

DDA officials are talking about getting additional Zipcars in or near the Maynard parking structure for use by workers and residents, and encouraging the city to renew its former practice of removing abandoned bicycles at least annually and preferably three times a year to make bicycle parking more available and convenient downtown.

Another idea on the DDA's list is purchasing and installing at least two additional in-street bike racks in the downtown.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

Count me in as somebody who jumped at this opportunity. You have to be messed in the head not to accept a two-year savings of $1,440 over the Liberty Square lot, especially with the access provided to the new structure by Division and 5th.


Sat, Jun 9, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

I'd still rather see decent localized public transit along with the wheel-spoke arrangement used for outlying areas. Anybody ever been to Portland, Oregon? You never have to bring your car into the downtown, and you can be on a trolley going to other parts of downtown within minutes of deciding to find one.

Jon Saalberg

Sat, Jun 9, 2012 : 3:03 a.m.

This is a joke, right? $50M spent by the city, with the DDA's blessing, despite no evidence whatsoever that more parking is needed in Ann Arbor, and now the powers-that-be are offering discounts on parking in Ann Arbor's Big Dig? Well, at least there will be a few people - those responsible for this unnecessary parking "deck" - who will see it as a success, no matter what the rest of us see. The Maynard garage may be full sometimes, but unless those digital numbers lie, the other garages are rarely full, and some of them, such as the one on Ashley, are never full.

Frustrated in A2

Sat, Jun 9, 2012 : 2:09 a.m.

I wouldn't buy a permit until they open 5th Ave and there's no telling when that will be after the 20 something delays on that Lol!


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 4:35 p.m.

Well, I'll take this announcement as an admission by the DDA that this parking garage really was a bad idea. If it was a good idea, they wouldn't need to offer incentives. At $65 per month per spot, times 700 spots, that is just about $600k per year they will earn on this garage. Just over a 1% return on the $50 million they spent to build it. Great job guys! I don't feel at all like taxpayer money was wasted.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

I think it's a great idea. Large parking structures are usually ugly (except for the great one on Washington) and take of valuable space in a shopping area as small as Ann Arbor. MORE parking structures should be underground! Yes, I go downtown a LOT (also shop in Detroit and Ypsi!), I am a woman 50+. Use common sense, be aware of your surroundings no matter where you park! Crime can and will happen anywhere. The more people use it the greater the safety. Downtown areas are not a MALL. We don't need huge surface areas of wonderful downtown land to be wasted on parking. We want wonderful stores and restaurants, trees and benches, fountains and grass. Not cement.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

There has been a surface lot across from the library this entire time and it's very rarely full. There's also a huge parking structure one measly block over on 4th/William. I'm pretty sick of all the rape/crime histrionics about this underground parking structure. I have lived in big cities & parked in lots, parked in structures while going to school in Detroit and around town here. All of this crime and raping of women is NOT happening. Practice common safety sense - which you should be doing everywhere and get over yourselves. Also: it's clear that many of the negative whiners on here don't even live in town. So no one CARES if you plan on never using the lot or going downtown.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 4:19 p.m.

at least 15 of the comments make significant mention of the cost of parking:seems to me revenue/or cost[do you prefer that word?] is front and center in people's minds. For most people,pocketbook/costs of things these days is not exactly nuanced ,or a "later" issue,actually.Do you have data that supports people complain about parking because its "unavailable", in your words? I dislike parking because of the cost-it's not a whine-it's a factor.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 3:35 p.m.

The #1 reason people complain about coming to Ann Arbor is "not enough parking" or that it's a pain. That tells you that people are here, it's busy and being used. No I don't think people care what all of the regular whiners - who don't live her - think. It's not going to impact the use of the town and clearly has not so far. And once the lot is open the complaints about not enough parking are beyond silly. The major point I was making was about all of the hyperbolic rhetoric surrounding this issue. Your nuanced issue about a "revenue scheme" is an entirely other issue.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

that's rich-not ONE person cares if people come to town? As far as whiners-I think the debate has/still is about the money and process for this vs. the actual benefit. When people start using it, the truth will be more apparent about the whole benefit or lack thereof. Parking structures are large and enable auto usage-as well, in this town have become a revenue scheme...therefore ,a healthy debate about the promotion and permission given to build these things is necessary. I think the commentary is valid.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

At $150/month it sounds like they're offering incentives for business to move somewhere it doesn't cost their employees $1800/yr to park.

Paul Wiener

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

When I worked at Stony Brook University, in Long Island, NY, for 15 years I paid $15 a month for parking in a large structure on a large busy campus, 100 yards from my office. 12 x 15 = $180. Here, where at least 4 large parking structures within walking distance of workers will vie for cars, it'll cost 12 x 150 = $1800. (12 x 95 = $1140). for 15 years: $27,000. To park. This garage will be a joke, an embarrassment, a failure, a blight, a traffic hazard, a crime scene, a deja vu, an irrelevance, a road rager, and will never be a wakeup call to a city government that always sleeps.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 10:37 a.m.

Demand Management (or Market Based System which I helped investigate on at Oakland U ten years ago) is not something new. It's basically the same thing that U-M is doing with the gold, blue, orange, etc parking lots. You want premium parking, you pay more... I fail to see how their spin on this is revolutionary and cutting edge?


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 3:48 a.m.

The DDA circus continues.

Susie Q

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

I hate parking structures. As a woman, I have always felt uneasy when parking in one when I am alone. I have observed people (men) urinating in the structures and choose not to park there UNLESS absolutely necessary (MD appt). I used to park in the surface library lot to visit the library, Herb david's, Jerusalem Garden and other spots, but have not been there since they started building the underground structure. Probably will not go back. I am 60 and would rather parallel park on the street, use a surface lot or go elsewhere.


Sat, Jun 9, 2012 : 12:25 a.m.

I've seen women urinating in the parking structure across from ABC...


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 1:30 a.m.

It's going to open so soon. The construction was so swift and efficient. The Cosco builders could learn from this-afterall it almost took them a year to build that small structure on Ellsworth Rd.

Susie Q

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 2:07 a.m.

good one, I don't think it was EVEN a year.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 1:16 a.m.

"price difference between the new structure and the high-demand structures should be dramatic enough to truly incentivize a change in behavior"???? Maybe they could explain why it is so important to "change" everyone's behavior to use the new structure? There are a set number of parking spaces in the city; why do they care which one we use? Sounds like "1984"...I'm guessing they won't lower the pricing of the other structures once our "behavior" has changed; rather, the new structure's pricing will be raised to be more in line with the old ones.


Sat, Jun 9, 2012 : 12:24 a.m.

@Mr. Burgundy. I thought Maynard and Liberty Square were farther from Main St.??? I think I would rather have spaces open in the new structure.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 10:42 a.m.

Humans are creatures of habit and the majority of them do not like change. Consistency creates expectations and people are upset when expectatons are not met. There are exceptions of course, but in general, folks who are early adopters or bleeding edge types are the ones who try something new - and unless it's revolutionary will keep the secret to themselves. Revolutionary would be things like it's 1/2 price, it's always empty (while others wait in line), it has an underground tunnel to X, Y, or Z, it comes with a free bus pass, your car gets washed while it's parked, etc. That kind of coolness gets the early adopters jazzed and they can't keep their mouth shut.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:29 a.m.

Let's face it, the city gov't (and the DDA by extension) is using parking as a surrogate tax. The city gov't abdicated its responsibility by allowing the DDA to effectively increasing parking rates at its own discretion rather than setting definitive rules whereby the DDA could raise those rates. This line is telling: "The DDA also wants getDowntown to develop a program that would encourage employers to provide a transportation stipend to their employees to allow them to choose the transportation option that works best for them." Now, instead of helping local businesses, the DDA is trying to figure out ways to increase the expenses of the local businesses. Not only by creating a new unfunded benefit for the businesses but by increasing parking rates for their patrons. Ultimately, the question is why this unelected group has so much power over the downtown area?


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:53 p.m.

Why are there any incentives at all to convince people to use this lot? The city and DDA spent a lot of time, money, and effort convincing us that we had to have this lot or there wouldn't be room for anyone to park downtown anymore!


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

Because the DDA wants to avoid the extreme embarrassment of "no use" when the parking lot opens. Sort of why Sky Line offered magnet courses. An attempt to cover up a bad idea.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:46 p.m.

Plan to get out my AATA bus card and ride the ride. Won't catch me down there. Plus there are out lining areas that are more enticing then an underground garage.

Wolf's Bane

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:44 p.m.

Now might be a good time to close the defunct parking structure at Fourth and William and sell the land to the highest bidder for a new development. I've always hated that parking structure so close to one of the busiest and most beautiful streets in Ann Arbor. By the way to all the whiners. This new underground structure is awesome and we should thank council for making it a reality with our tax dollars. PS. I'd also like to see that parking lot between Fourth and Fifth bulldozed and the land developed. I hope that is the long term plan I hope? I realize the Y was doomed, but it would be good to put something new and useful in that spot.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

At $65 per month per spot, times 700 spots, that is just about $600k per year they will earn on this garage. Just over a 1% return on the $50 million they spent to build it. Great job guys! I don't feel at all like taxpayer money was wasted.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:15 p.m.

Yeah, it is a piece of garbage and even with the recent retro fit, unsafe and needs to come down.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 10:42 a.m.

Can you explain why it's defunct?


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:32 p.m.

There is a lot of disdain for this parking lot. However, I think once the money spent on building this thing pays off, whenever that is, people will be glad we have an underground lot. Ann Arbor is beautiful and ugly garages should be underground. If security becomes an issue, do you think they might work with the UofM or VA hospitals to make it a secure lot for employees to hop on the bus? That would make sense to me.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

They could give me a free parking spot with my nameplate on it and I still wouldn't park there.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:47 p.m.

I agree 100% with this post.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

There is no way I will use the underground parking lot. And, DDA needs to continually raise the price of parking because they are not fiscally responsible and stay within the guidelines of their budgets.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

I, for one, will never park in that thing. I had to park in an underground structure in Milwaukee last year. Four levels down. I could only think that if a car caught fire or someone wanted to Jack me, I was as good as dead. And for the record, I rarely have any trouble finding a spot at on the street. I can't be the only one.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 10:44 a.m.

If you were on the top floor of a 5 story structure and someone was jacking you - how would you get out/help? There are usually only one or two ways up or down, and unless you are on ground or maybe second level, you can not jump.

Left is Right

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:17 p.m.

"And for the record, I rarely have any trouble finding a spot at on the street. I can't be the only one." ssssshh!


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:10 p.m.

Poll results will be skewed: due to failure to include: "I get around town by bicycle and on foot" as an optional response. Personally, I can't wait to try descending into the bowels of the earth by down-ramping on my bicycle in the new structure. If I were younger - I'd buy a skateboard just to have that experience. And - who's going to climb all those stairs to get from the bottom of the structure to the street level? Wouldn't an escalator have been the more sensible choice for this "cutting edge" parking structure?


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.

Or, as we experience with other AA structures, I can hardly wait to smell pee as I traverse the stairs.

The Picker

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:02 p.m.

Library Lane parking structure set to open next month. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight !

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.

Which next month would that be??


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

It looks okay, and maybe'll it'll be great for downtown employees. I usually park downtown at night, so I'm not going down into that place, sorry.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

I believe it is a plot by the city leaders to build such a structure that has a criminal history, allow the experience to happen such that they have the data and results to recommend hiring more police. No concern for history of such structures. No concern for fiscal responsibility. Only care about art. No visionary leadership here. Not a bunch I wish to support and follow. Also, not a group that I wish to brag about.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

I will only use it if they build a conference center and hotel on top of it. Oh...nevermind.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

All of these things only benefit the monthly users. I thought this was also to get others of us off the street hunting. I just got back from Downtown where NONE of the businesses I went to EXCEPT DAVINCI gave stickers for the structures. Not much incentive to use the structures. But thanks DaVinci, it does make me feel wanted and I will return.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

I am not sure if Ann arbor has the criminal element ready for the underground parking structure yet. We may have to import some talent from Ypsi or Detroit for a while!

John Q

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:32 a.m.

I've parked many times in parking structures in Detroit and never have had a problem with crime. The only time I've heard of people having problems with their cars being broken into in Detroit was when they are parked on the street.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:19 a.m.

Steve...I agree with you. I also believe Goober has the same right to object to another person's views and comments.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:25 p.m.

I live in Ypsilanti and work on a monthly basis in Detroit, I don't find the comments offensive, I find them humorous and accurate. There both full of crime whether it's politically correct or not to recognize it. If there is ever a spur of crime in Ann Arbor, this would be the place for it. As far as opinions Goober, everyone is allowed to have them.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

I find your opinion and comments to be quite offensive.

Ron Granger

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:57 p.m.

I cannot wait until this underground skate park opens! And I don't even skate. I just wanna get rich off the epic wipeout youtube vids. Thanks DDA! PS: Has anyone ever tried to skate on glass panels like the ones they're using on the roof?


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

Ask the guy that ran (on foot,) over the Arcade's roof a few months back...


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

Might as well make it free, since many people have already voiced their disdain for this underground parking lot. Even with a CPL, I personally wouldn't park there. Honestly, what exactly does the DDA do with all this money? Extending metered spaces past 6 would further drive people away from the downtown area at night. Pressuring people (by extending metered spaces) to use the underground lot at night will backfire. DDA, please encourage downtown traffic, not drive it away. That's your job.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

@steve - no, it really doesn't in the long run. All they're doing is raising prices on the other lots, extending metered time on the street - apparently they are taking a lead from the cable companies by offering this *NEW, LOW, INTRODUCTORY PRICE* and then jack up the price to match the rest of the lots. What a joke. @peregrine - I won't waste time answering your reply. Hope your bubble doesn't meet a sharp object in your beloved parking structure.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:19 a.m.

We've found again and again that what many people voice in these forums has little to do with greater Ann Arbor. This seems to be a favored place for fearful histrionic types to hang out and feed off each other, convincing themselves that they're some grand majority. I don't have a CPL and I'll gladly park there. And I won't be fearful either.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:20 p.m.

doesn't offering the spaces for less than other garages encourage downtown traffic?


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:47 p.m.

thanks for raising the rates at the other garages. its an incentive for me to rework my yearly budget.

Mike D.

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:47 p.m.

I'll use it if they install self-pay machines for hourly parking instead of booths with brain-dead attendants. It's insulting but commonplace to wait in a 20-minute line to exit the 4th and William structure—and pay for the privilege.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:17 p.m.

Well, lead, but who's counting?

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:57 p.m.

Hip-hop had an "golden age"?

Rob T

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:56 p.m.

Sorry, I was the car holding up the line. We were chatting with the attendant about hip-hop's golden age and weren't thinking about the people behind us.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

"Hewitt said the plan isn't designed to raise revenue, but rather influence behavior and better manage parking demand in the downtown. The DDA amended its budget on Wednesday, readjusting its parking revenue expectations for the year from $16.16 million to $17.03 million — about $867,000 more than projected when the fiscal year began last July. In the first nine months of the fiscal year, parking revenues were up — at about $12.6 million — and DDA officials attribute that to RATE INCREASES and higher demand." Glad to hear the DDA still talking out of both sides of their mouths. Please get rid of the DDA. This is a money grab to pay for their unwanted project that resulted in a deficit!


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

Does the new underground parking have an elevator? I am encouraged to see that the staircase does not look overwhelmingly steep for old knees.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

I hope the staircase has a railing otherwise it's dangerous looking.

Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

Yes, there are elevators.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

I wish your poll had another option, somewhere between "I can't wait" and "avoid at all costs." I am nervous in aboveground and underground structures and much prefer surface lots and on-street meters, but may try it when using the library and the little restaurants by the big dig. I am downtown 3-4 times per month so would not use a monthly permit. I guess you were aiming for downtown workers, but if you would like to have shoppers taking your poll, you will need another choice for us.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

I hate these polls. Where is the neutral "I'll use it" and not "Yes, can't wait. Looks awesome." I mean really... who gets that excited about parking?


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

A personal, armed guard for every single female parking in this structure might work. Ann Arbor's 'big dig'! What a waste of tax payer money.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:14 p.m.

I was wondering if they would have a rent-a-gat kiosk at the entrance.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:16 p.m.

Why does Ann Arbor have a Downtown Development Authority? What is its chartered mission? What is the history of its inception and role as a quasi-governmental agency? Is it still relevant today? None of those questions are intended with any prejudice -- I honestly wonder why it exists, what it is supposed to do, and whether it efficiently and productively uses public money, and for what purpose. Perhaps an article on this topic,


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

It's to let the mayor hire his friends to do make-work jobs and leech tax money. I seriously can't think of a single benefit. The fact that they're not elected just smacks of corruption.

Ryan J. Stanton

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

Here's some background on the DDA:

Alan Goldsmith

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:13 p.m.

"Starting this spring, Ann Arbor SPARK is offering its employees the option of giving up their parking spots in exchange for an extra $50 a month in their paychecks." Really nice of them since Ann Arbor and Washtenaw taxpayers are funding this semi-private organization that still refuses to open its financial records to public view.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

I'll give up my space, (which I don't use anyway, I walk.) Where's the $50 a month form?