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Posted on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Improved 'urban gateway into the city' in mind as Ann Arbor studies State Street corridor

By Ryan J. Stanton

Ann Arbor officials are looking to hire a consultant to help develop a comprehensive corridor plan for South State Street, and part of the thinking is State Street’s relationship with I-94 presents opportunities for an improved "urban gateway into the city."

The Planning Commission met Tuesday night and discussed a draft request for proposals the city plans to send out soon to attract a consultant to take on the one-year study project. City Planner Jill Thacher said she hopes to have a consultant selected by May.

The study area is defined as the 2.15-mile stretch of State Street from Stimson south to Ellsworth, an automobile-oriented thoroughfare with mixed office, retail, research and limited industrial uses, as well as a small number of residential properties.

"It's a pretty unique corridor because it doesn't have a lot of cross streets, so it doesn't have very good circulation, but it is a major employment corridor," Thacher said. "There are lots of office uses, light industrial and research, and this is a mix that's not found in any other corridor in the city. It also has several interesting anchors like Briarwood Mall, U of M has a large piece of property for its tennis center, and Edwards Brothers is a very large employer."


Planning Manager Wendy Rampson said about $150,000 is available for the South State Street corridor study project.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The RFP also mentions the research park between I-94 and Ellsworth.

Planning Manager Wendy Rampson said about $160,000 in funding was set aside for the corridor study in a previous budget, about $150,000 of which remains available to spend. She'll be asking the City Council to carry those funds over into next fiscal year.

City planning officials say a master plan for the corridor is needed to address a range of issues, including future growth demands and the ability of the corridor to accommodate that growth, as well as the merits of introducing land uses not currently found along the corridor.

"We are seeking a creative firm to go beyond formulaic planning processes in addressing this corridor’s vast future potential," the draft RFP states, noting the corridor serves a key role in connecting downtown and the University of Michigan to I-94 and Pittsfield Township.

Officials say recent area, height and placement amendments to the city’s zoning ordinance allow new opportunities to expand or redevelop at higher densities.

According to the RFP, most development along the corridor has taken place in the last 50 years, and the existing and desired balance of land uses has not been assessed in many years.

Thacher said it's unique that the city is studying a corridor with only a handful of residential uses. Whether additional residential developments are introduced along the corridor, and under what circumstances, is expected to be a component of the study.

The proposed planning process would include dialogue with various stakeholders and the public in order to develop a shared vision of the corridor's future. Two to four public meetings, plus up to 25 targeted individual or small group interviews, would be used to gather public opinion.

The process also would include a market study to identify demand and redevelopment potential. The selected consultant would work with city staff and the Planning Commission, which would serve as the ultimate decision-making authority for the corridor planning process.

Planning commissioners wondered Tuesday night whether it might be a good idea to establish a corridor improvement authority, like the one being considered for Washtenaw Avenue, to use tax-increment financing to incentivize redevelopment along the corridor.

City officials say there are a number of transportation opportunities and challenges along State Street, so transit and congestion issues also are expected to be examined. Thacher said State Street has one of the highest public bus riderships of all the corridors in Ann Arbor.

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 e-mail newsletters.



Thu, Apr 14, 2011 : 12:52 p.m.

The exit that people use is Main's fine..please none of this adding cute lights like on Stadium Blvd..or signs all around downtown for HOW much money again? or strip malls...there's already a strip mall there at Saline Rd with vacant fronts [Colonnade Plaza] we don't need more Rite Aids and CVS. AnnArbor is a small city:this thinking is beyond reach. If there is something wrong..identify it...otherwise do something more important..than spend money for "Looks"


Thu, Apr 14, 2011 : 2:36 a.m.

Just throw down 10' of ashphalt on both sides of the road out to 94, keep it maintianed year round, and then recruit some local groups to , maybe the commercial businesses aloneg the way to even compete in a planting project, and send a $150,000 check to my abode. I know I always enjoy entering Charlevoix from the east and seeing the petunias lining the roadway on my way in. Just keep the plants below driver window heights.


Thu, Apr 14, 2011 : 2:08 a.m.

As long as we keep electing clueless idiots like Kommisar Hieftje and his minions to fill-up space at the Kremlin-by-the-Huron, we will continue to get costly, crackpot, "planning" exercises like this. Reminds me of the "5-Year Plans" the Russians used to keep coming-up with back in the '60s and '70s. We all know how those worked-out! Down with the Hieftje! Vote the losers out!


Thu, Apr 14, 2011 : 12:54 a.m.

They closed the fire station near here because of dire financial straits. Now they want to spend money on making a nice corridor in another part of town? I don't get it. . .


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 11:16 p.m.

One must step back and remind people that you are the ones voting these people in, and keeping them in office (Or keep electing some of the same). Only you can vote them out, or better yet recall them. It's great to whine, but only if your willing to finally do something about it.

Stephen Landes

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 10:51 p.m.

I am afraid that this study will be more money down the drain because our city has no valid process for reviewing and approving any kind of project. Look at the disasters we have with trying to review and approve apartment buildings and a conference center -- no plan, no process, all politics, no decisions. Spend the money on finding a solid plan review and approval process already in use by a city we admire, then duplicate the process.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 10:22 p.m.

This is absolutely crazy--adding great insult to grave injury. We cannot afford basic city services. We have to lay off vital police and firemen functions, and now we are going to pay a consultant big bucks to give an opinion on the State Street Corridor? Do you people on Council and in official City positions conduct your personal finances in this cavalier way, or is this happening only because it is the taxpayers' money that you are spending so lavishly and wastefully?


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

I know republicans don't stand a chance, but why not run for / vote for some blue dog democrats?

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

What is the point of Ann Arbor asking these questions? You know, when all is said and done, like Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown, that the city will not approve anything a business proposes on principle alone.

Mr. Tibbs

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 6:04 p.m.

judging from some of the comments in here FINALLY some of you are getting "IT".....we here all the time about the bloated pay of the employees, but take a look at how bloated, sorry, I keep using the term, but what else have you? My guess is this has nothing to do with benefitting the cities needs, nor the citizens needs. AND everything to do with E-Z on and E-Z off for footballl traffic....! City council is filled with employees of the "U" or if not actually working for them.....retired from "U" employ. SO you know what this entails, and just who is going to benefit from this....Briarwood? Like Pittsfield or the city gives a rats rear-end about them. A few years ago the city spent about 500K on a consultant and when they didn't like the answer they got they fired....excuse me....replaced "them". It's all a matter of FOIA. Follow the money. The tax payers of these parts are way to generous and or just flat "unfixable" thank you Ron White. but it is nice to see the incompetence at the local level is being chased down. Now, try to imagine this level of incompetence, and the national level. if this comment gets removed, there is only one of two reasons for it. I am right about my assesment of the incompetence, or I am right about the "U" football fans E-Z on and off are the real beneficiaries of more of your tax money. or perhaps I am right on both counts, and this website is in cahoots with "them"


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

who the hell cares! fix the homeless problem instead.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 5:10 p.m.

So long it gets corrupt poloticians out of Ann Arbor quicker, then approve it.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

If $150,000 was not spent last year, then too bad it should go back to the general fund. No amount of studies and/or creativity will surmount the fact that State St. bottlenecks at the UM campus, there is nothing that can be done other than encourage more park and ride opportunities near the highway and mall. In terms of the concrete medians, any landscaping company could provide a "free" design proposal and quote for creating either a grassy median or nice pavers along with raised plant beds and/or plant containers.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 4:08 p.m.

Wasteful spending. It is evident that city management is not thinking about spending wisely. Every city employee needs to be personally responsible to limit expenses and look for ways to reduce spending. They are the stewards of our tax money. Frivolity is unwise and should not be allowed, least their position be eliminated.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

Ann Arbor Leaders : " HEY look at the beautiful silk purse we can make out of a sow's ear and for only a little money!" Ann Arbor Citizens : "Hey you said you had nothing to put in a purse so what do you need one for in the first place?" Ann Arbor Police and Fire : "How long do you think you can keep that empty sow's ear before it is taken away?" DUH!


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

Memo to Mayor and Planning Commission: Bikes are not allowed on I-94. Consequently, tying I-94 into the city access corridor of State Street will not be achieved by putting in bike lanes. Most of that stretch is already too narrow.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

I ride my bike out State to Wolverine Tower all the time. People can park in the UM parking lots and ride bikes into town on State. More will be doing it with $5 a gallon gas.

Marshall Applewhite

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

Not sure if this is an acceptable place to post this, but here's a great video of camera shots in Ann Arbor. Definitely makes Ann Arbor look like a much cooler place than many here make it out to be. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

I agree this corridor needs a serious overhaul. It is in poor shape, is poorly designed and does not fit into our city. I also agree that this is not the time for that project. Repave that section of state street and perform the other repairs needed to get that section of road back from being a complete wreck and revisit this project when our plate isn't so full and our bank account so empty.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

What I keep hearing over and over again is that Ann Arbor is loosing money. The reason they are loosing money is because UM keeps buying up and eating up all the empty land space they can get just for a tax free incentive the state has to offer. Wake up Ann Arbor, because the next thing you know Ann Arbor won't have a police force anymore because it will be UM police coming to your rescue. O wait, UM won't rescue you it will be state police or sheriff. If they aren't around or can't, then you all are messed with. Ann Arbor is so displaced with what their priorities are it scares me. Ann Arbor public schools hires a $200,.000 superintendent and yet cannot afford to pay transportation, food service workers or custodians so they lay em off? Then Ann Arbor hires a consultant to figure out what is wrong with Ann Arbor? My word Ann Arbor your priorities are so off it is not funny. Cut everyone's salaries and then look at the police and fire. Because if your house burns? It will be the neighbors saving their own from burning and not yours. As for State street? I keep hearing they are going to tear out that intersection and put in a round about like they did up at Geddes. They really need it up there. It is a mess at rush hour. Good luck Ann Arbor. Cash hit it right on the nail on the head. Ann Arbor is going to end up like Detroit if it keeps spending like Kwami did and look where they are now. Suing him for money he does not have. Glad I do not live in Ann Arbor and can watch it go down in flames.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 9 p.m.

They do. It's just for some reason the people of Ann Arbor don't see how much the University contributes through providing thousands of well-paid local residents. Churches, for example, eat up about one-fifth the local property, tax-free, as the U. What are they doing for the community? In the old days, churches were the safety net for the homeless. A very valuable contribution. Today, they seem uninterested, and the city has to make up the difference. IMO, churches should be taxed long before the University is taxed.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 7:50 p.m.

JNS; you sound like someone a couple years ago saying let GM fail Macarbe: Its not jackson. The U and Ann Arbor must work together.They have shared the same space for over the past 100yrs. The city cannot continually thank the U for being here. At some point cooperation is needed.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

Yet the public schools, the churches and the city buildings comprise more tax-free land than the University. Yet those three contribute a net loss to the tax base while at least University employees receive salaries only partly paid by the people and their income tax goes to the government. What would Ann Arbor be with Michigan? Take a drive through Jackson if you want to find out.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

Ya know, if there is one thing I can't abide, it is a when somebody post incorrect facts. The new super gets $245k, not $200k. Jeeze. You must be thinking of the old one. Oh, wait, he didn't even get $200k Other than that, it looks like a pretty fair assessment of the situation.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

You own a piece of UM too.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

You don't live here? But have plenty of advice, I see. If you live nearby and see Ann Arbor going down in flames, it won't take much for your community to catch fire as well.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

It would be really nice to have another &quot;gateway&quot; to our favorite city, but what about taking care of the major gateway that we already have ... Ann Arbor/Saline Rd and I-94 ?? The asphalt has been patched a thousand times, the area hasn't been resurfaced for a decade, has deteriorated into one of the worst stretches of road in the county, and isn't slated for repaving until 2014 ... maybe. The city cost would be $50,000, but the city manager says we can't afford it. The State of Michigan share would be $50,000 but they can't afford it. The County's share would be $50,000 and they won't put it in the budget. Every day thousands are forced to travel that road into and out of the city, damaging their cars in the process. Every day a new visitor comes to Ann Arbor to be greeted by thousands of potholes and damaged road. I think that instead of paying $150,000 for another study, the money would be much better spent fixing Ann Arbor/Saline Road between the intersections of Eisenhower and Lohr Roads, so all of us would be served.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

I support improvements for the &quot;gateway&quot; area of South State Street; but whatever happened to the consultant recommendations for improving the north side of Main Street? Ann Arbor didn't have the spare change to implement those recommended improvements way back when, and they certainly don't have the funding now. Hiring a consultant, although a nice idea, is a waste of tax payer money if we can't cover improvement costs.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 5:14 p.m.

So, I did some googling and this is all I could find: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> This update from a city council member (from Fall, 2010) suggests that no study has been done since 1988 and that a North Main Corridor study is planned after the State Street Corridor Study.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

North Main is a good case in point. Hire a consultant then do nothing.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

@Terminal: Can you point to an article laying out what happened to plans to improve the North Main corridor? It's so ugly and so difficult to cross to reach Bandemer Park.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

The redevelopment of the disgusting and ugly N Main corridor was blocked by a small group of NIMBY's. This area has the most potential for sensitive residential development and public access to the Huron more than any other site in the city.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

I think it's good that the city is looking at corridors. They are important. I do hope that we try to plan for future transportation methods and option if doing any improvements. I agree the state/victors way area is no longer ideal given the # of driveways and traffic load there now. I like the fact there is no traffic signal there however it has become dangerous because of the Briarwood traffic as well. Main Street/AA Saline, State Street, Plymouth-AA, Jackson/Huron, and to some extent Packard are main gateways into the heart and spokes out to the neighbors. Dexter/Miller should probably be viewed as that too even though it's low traffic at this point. Thinking about this kind of thing is important to stop AA from being a Flint, Detroit, Youngstown, or similar where sprawl gets the best of everyone. We have done well so far; how many other cities have a size of ours and do not have a ring of suburbs and sprawl ?


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

Spend, spend, spend, plan, plan plan! It's funny how this city spends so much money on how to develop but when development is actually proposed it gets shot it down? Am I the only person that feels that all of these &quot;plans&quot; are just a smokescreen to prevent development? And lets make sure we hire a consultant worthy enough for Ann Arbor, which means probably somewhere on the side of the country. Half the budget will be wasted on just getting these consultants in town for one of their charrettes. Same thing different day in Ann Arbor.

Lets Get Real

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 1:45 p.m.

Yes please! Let's spend hundreds of thousands of dollars with some outside AA (probably MI) outfit to come here and tell us what to do with our corridor. I love the parameters - Stimson to Ellsworth. Let's beautify the commercial areas so we can channel visitors to Ann Arbor into the student slums between Stimson and 5 points. Why do we have city planners on staff? If they aren't qualified for their jobs - make the city's cutbacks there, rather than with essential services. Only in Ann Arbor do we believe concrete police are more important than criminal risk mitigating police. Talk about things being upside down.

Will Warner

Thu, Apr 14, 2011 : 12:24 a.m.

5 points - LOL


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

Folks realize, that if elected officials (or any govt. ) tries to decide on their own, naysayers will say they were not qualified to decide on civil engineering studies. I've worked for the government before and I do have to say I didn't like using outside consultants, but I also was hurt when people blamed for not having an expert. Lets try to remember the majority of local officials are trying to do the right thing - and we really should try to help them as much as we try to keep them honest.

scott hummel

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

Go Blue - be careful what you wish for. The city used the U of M urban planning group to design the debacle of an intersection just north of 94 on State st. Victor's Way is a death trap. Having to shoot across 2 lanes of traffic to get into the median, then shoot across another 2 lanes of traffic, into the right turn lane for 94 Westbound - trying to not be hit by cars exiting the mall in the same lane - is a disaster. They have destroyed this area's traffic flow once, please don't ask them to try and &quot;fix&quot; it again.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

City Planners are only doing what their political masters... you know the ones we all responsibly elected... are directing them to do. We have an amazing (and small) group of highly educated and trained planners. Don't blame the messengers. Using their professional skills is hampered by the political process... you know, the one that's controlled by the people we elected.

Go Blue

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

Nice contradiction. No money for what is crucial but there sure is money to burn on a study. In this town we have the best and brightest amonst us; whatever happened to trying to tap in to that talent instead of burning money and using someone not from the area. Ask UM Urban Planning to have a student competition to design a realistic solution. Winning solution then works with the city to make it a reality. Both sides win. City does not have to pay for a study and the students get valuable hands on experience. Seems this type of problem solving has been done in the past and may be how the city changed the street traffic patterns years ago. How about some innovative thinking instead of simply throwing money at a problem to solve it.

Basic Bob

Thu, Apr 14, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

Yes, that worked for Pittsfield. The master plan &quot;update&quot; is in its third year, even though the supervisor has a PhD in Urban Planning and got help from grad students at U-M. This innovative thinking has put the entire community planning process in limbo. Meanwhile, the supervisor offered to bypass the master plan to approve their development, rather than finish the work. But it might work in Ann Arbor.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

You must be new around here. Hiring a consultant is SOP for the city. Why would they want to change the way that have been doing business for as long as any of us can remember?

David Briegel

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

Great suggestion and we rarely use that valuable resource right here in River City.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 12:54 p.m.

&quot;Planning Manager Wendy Rampson said about $160,000 in funding was set aside for the corridor study in a previous budget, about $150,000 of which remains available to spend. &quot; I would prefer the city apply my portion strictly to fixing potholes and making sure the street lights are working. I prefer they stay away from &quot;social engineering&quot; as thats a &quot;luxury&quot; we cannot afford.

J. Zarman

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 12:41 p.m.

Amazing to me how many commenters here continue to whine and moan about good planning, getting it right, and correcting existing problems. And to be done by real experts, with already-budgeted funds.

David Briegel

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 12:29 p.m.

One of the biggest challenges for State St is the parking lot on 1-94 btwn State and 23. Those four lanes should have been six a long time ago. The resulting backup onto State is dangerous and the congestion is awful. And Pittsfield needs to widen State from Ellsworth to Michigan Ave. Costco is not going to bring less traffic to that area. And the Briarwood Mall and surrounding area is a dreadful looking blight! And a city &quot;planner&quot; should be able to take comments like these as part of their job and come to some logical conclusions. Can't your own employee stell you what you want to hear as well as a consultant?


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 12:23 p.m.

We are in a structurally different recession this time which will involve a slow jobless recovery. Projections for population growth and new business development in Ann Arbor are flat at best. With this in mind and a struggle to balance the City's budget, the planning commission and city council should shelve any development studies until demand for more residential and commercial space becomes apparent. At this time the Planning Commission should not be looking for new ways to provide developers with our tax payer dollars. Ann Arbor citizens may soon be facing a new millage request or potential income tax as a result of the irresponsible decision to build underground parking facilities primarily to accommodate private developers without identifying reliable funding. Furthermore, the hiring of consultants like the Schumaker Company and The Roxbury Group by the Housing Commission and City Council indicates that city government can not select consultants capable of providing worthwhile studies, IMHO.

Wolf's Bane

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 12:19 p.m.

I agree with all comments thus far, why is this RFP even being considered when we have so many other, more serious issues to deal with? What about State Street bridge? What about all the cuts to Fire and Police personnel? What about the actual state of the roadways in question? I hardly think any amount of window dressing will fix any of these urgent issues? Get real.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 11:39 a.m.

And all it took was 20 years. The city has placed far too many zoning restrictions on property owners.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 1:49 p.m.

This stretch of State St. exemplifies the results of no / poor planning and ineffective zoning.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 11:28 a.m.

Wow city &quot;brains&quot;, you cannot afford police or firefighters but you are looking to &quot; attract a consultant to take on the one-year study project....&quot; .&quot;Planning Manager Wendy Rampson said about $160,000 in funding was set aside for the corridor study in a previous budget, about $150,000 of which remains available to spend. She'll be asking the City Council to carry those funds over into next fiscal year.&quot; Not one of those top paid 50 administrators can plan anything? Maybe you should realize that the bodies of the firefighters and police officers that you are laying off aren't even cold yet....might want to wait until after they are thrown out the door before you insult them any more. After all you might need them to do some hard work before they leave. Why don't you give it a couple of weeks before you flaunt your wasteful &quot;let them eat cake&quot; attitude toward the basic needs of city residents?


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 11:25 a.m.

Please don't spend a dime on the State Street corridor before you first fix up the Huron Street and M-14 Main Street corridors. Come on city council, is State Street really that bad compared to the other two?


Thu, Apr 14, 2011 : 1:43 a.m.

We should make the Hieftje ride his bikey up and down W. Huron all day. With any luck at all, he'd disappear into one of the many potholes, or maybe have a close encounter with a gravel train. At the very least, the wheels on his bikey would be nice and square by the end of the day!

Basic Bob

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 11:24 a.m.

State St. might connect I-94 to Pittsfield, but it virtually ends at the city limit. This road should be at least 5 lanes all the way south to Michigan Avenue. Michigan Avenue should be 5 lanes. This would give us a real route into Pittsfield and Saline.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 11:21 a.m.

How about they use some of that money to just repair that stretch of State Street? It looks like an &quot;urban gateway&quot; right now -- to Beirut in the 80s.

average joe

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 11:04 a.m.

A few days ago we were shown the top earning employees of Ann Arbor with all their fancy titles. And not one of these folks are smart enough to come up with ideas for this area, &amp; will defer to another highly paid consultant while the city employee gets paid to wait for the report.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 10:57 a.m.

Isn't this something a city planner could do? What do they pay the city employees for, to make phone calls to consultants? Funny, they are only considering this after they have made plans for the bridge improvement. It seems like this is a litle late in the offing. I hope they can get their square peg in the round hole they are stuck with. @ Floyd Griffey, maybe they should consider putting up a nice highway noise/site reduction type wall on the east side of State street.


Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 10:49 a.m.

It's always interesting how one day's news has the city &quot;considering&quot; (quotes because they'll do it) new taxes and cutting crucial services because of the apocalyptic budget crisis they're in, then within 12 hours read about hiring consultants and doing studies on improvements we're going to make to accommodate this impending massive growth. Is the plan in place to hire back those firefighters and police when there's all these new people in town, working and buying houses whose values will have also jumped, according to the same people who are standing at the windows of their massive new building, yelling about this horrible budget shortfall? How much did you spend on that trolley feasibility study? Or the Fuller Station study (you know, the one where you didn't get funding because it was NOT feasible, but keep planning on it anyway)? Or that 1/4 acre of &quot;green space&quot; that was priced higher than downtown New York City space? I'm getting pretty tired of the way the city can't figure out where to stop spending money for a while. I'm having a budget shortfall too, so guess what I did; stopped eating out, cut back cable and internet, bike instead of driving to work, etc. I'm planning on hopefully making more money in a year too, but I'm not going to go out and buy a new car in anticipation of it. It's crossing over from just mismanagement to straight up corruption.

Floyd Griffey

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 10:33 a.m.

Ann Arbor needs to clean up the Student Slum between Stimson and Packard, it's year round disgusting. Welcome to Ann Arbor, Beer Pong anyone?

Omega Man

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 10:28 a.m.

The I-94/State Street corridor is an embarrassing entry point into Ann Arbor and Pittsfield, particularly when sitting in traffic trying to get to/from work or a UM event. Traffic flow should be the primary focus. Please consider alternatives to the paved islands that have big weeds sprouting nearly year-round. Taubman (Briarwood Mall) has not stepped up to the plate to help make this a more attractive area compared to malls with comparable demographics. Other communities manage to create very attractive public spaces around financially successful areas.

Marshall Applewhite

Wed, Apr 13, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

Yeah, I agree with this. I've been saying for a long time that the islands with the weeds are a terrible first impression for people entering the Ann Arbor area from out of town. While I don't think they should spend truckloads of money to remedy it, there has to be a cost effective way to make that area look cleaner.