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Posted on Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 1:53 p.m.

DDA wants to know: Do you feel safe in downtown Ann Arbor?

By Ryan J. Stanton

Do you feel safe in downtown Ann Arbor?

Are there public safety issues you want to see addressed?


Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor at night.

Melanie Maxwell |

The Downtown Development Authority wants to know and is asking for public feedback in a new survey posted online at

The DDA has been discussing issues related to the perception of downtown safety, and there's a push by some to bring back downtown beat cops. DDA officials say answers to the survey will help them make decisions.

The survey results will be shared with the Ann Arbor Police Department. 

Participation is intended to be anonymous. To take the five-minute survey, click here.

The survey will be available until June 8.

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



Fri, Jun 15, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

I think that you have to be part of the 1% to shop downtown . The parking is so expensive. What scares me most about Downtown is the City Council and the DDA.


Thu, Aug 26, 2010 : 2:49 p.m.

"...but for shop owners there is an increase in shoplifting, whether you catch a person doing it or don't find out until it's too late. The presence of cops sure would help. I miss the beat cops stopping by to share info with. It sure helps." I've disagreed with your version of this before and I will again. i don't think there's any relationship between beat cops and shoplifting. A shoplifter is concerned with people in the store,not if there's a beat cop walking the block.


Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 8:22 p.m.

Newcombe Clark is obviously behind this one. "We're not looking for...scientific data" Well that's good, you won't get anything scientific, or even meaningful from a self-selected online survey such as this.

Jay Thomas

Fri, Jun 4, 2010 : 3:29 p.m.

I feel safe but not everyone should. I saw some guy getting beat up in front of the LSA building while I was going by. A girl being accosted by some vagrant the other side of State & Packard from where I was standing (and he didn't want spare change). Lotta things that shouldn't be happening, let's put it that way. :|


Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 6:23 p.m.

Or all the perks the city attorny gets.Arent we still paying for the last 2 they fired early because they couldnt get along.


Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 6:17 p.m.

dont feel safe at night around Studio 4.This isnt the first time theres been trouble around there.It was under a different name but the premise is the same


Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 4:30 a.m.

a skewed survey question to justify the 2 million they just gave to our greedy unions that rob us every day


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 9:10 p.m.

maybe the average person feels safe, but for shop owners there is an increase in shoplifting, whether you catch a person doing it or don't find out until it's too late. The presence of cops sure would help. I miss the beat cops stopping by to share info with. It sure helps.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 8:42 p.m.

The corner of State Street and William, following down to the arcade area, is not an area I feel safe to be late at night. The sidewalks are filthy, the lighting is bad, and it feels creepy. Of course "feeling" unsafe isn't proof that the area is unsafe, but a good city cleaning and more visible police presence might help this area.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 4:36 p.m.

Bring back the beat cops!


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 4:28 p.m.

chimarathon, You bring up a very good point. I have seen numerous cars attempt to make left hand turns from the center lane recently. I honestly have no idea where these people went to driving school, but it has come close to resulting in an accident each time.

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 3:59 p.m.

Susan Pollay, DDA executive director, said part of what's driving this survey is the recent Public Parking & Transportation Demand Management Strategies Plan, which was presented to the Ann Arbor City Council recently. Pollay said DDA members are pursuing a lot of the elements of the plan and one of them involves delving in more deeply to understand how the evening economy downtown is different from the daytime economy. She said the survey also will be useful for the dialogue around beat cops. "Rather than just jump to hiring beat cops, we need to understand how people are perceiving the downtown," she said. Pollay said statistics show the downtown is safe and that there are very few serious crimes reported, but perception is reality. She said the survey will be useful as the DDA encourages more regular evening activity downtown, as well as encourages more urbanites to live downtown.


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 3:58 p.m.

The most dangerous thing of downtown Ann Arbor is cars making left hand turns

5c0++ H4d13y

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 3:32 p.m.

If I was a cop car parked at a high school I would be worried. Having lived in Chicago for 8 years ann arbor is a resort. If only I could find a recliner on a car to relax in.

Charlie Naebeck

Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 2:59 p.m.

I have to honestly laugh out loud to this question. When I think of feeling safe in a city, the very first place I compare anything to is Detroit and most cities (short of Gary, IN) are much nicer than downtown Detroit. Even Detroit is relatively safe if you have any common sense. The biggest thing you're going to see in Ann Arbor is a drunk college student doing something stupid most likely. lol


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 2:36 p.m.

I recently went downtown for some very spicy Indian food. Afterwards I was told repeatedly by friends, "If you don't stop doing that, I'm going to vomit." Yes I feel safe. My friends......not so much!


Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 1:33 p.m.

Would charges for parking be classified as panhandling or robbery? :-)