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Posted on Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

Increases in downtown parking rates win unanimous approval from Ann Arbor DDA

By Ryan J. Stanton

The cost of parking in downtown Ann Arbor is going up following action taken Wednesday by the Downtown Development Authority.

In a meeting that lasted a half hour, the DDA's governing board voted unanimously on a series of rate hikes that have been talked about for several months.

Some of the changes — including increases in the cost of parking in some structures and lots — take effect Jan. 21.

Other changes won't happen until Sept. 1, which is when on-street parking meter rates go up to $1.50 an hour. The rates already jumped to $1.40 from $1.20 an hour four months ago.

What's not being enacted yet is an extension of parking meter enforcement hours past 6 p.m., though DDA officials sound confident that'll come eventually.

Here's a look at changes taking effect Jan. 21:

  • Meter bag fees will increase by $5/day to $20/day
  • Premium parking will increase by $5/month to $180/month
  • Entry fees into Ann & Ashley after 4 p.m. and all day Saturday will increase by $1/entry to
  • $3/entry
  • Entry fees into Liberty Square after 3 p.m. and all day Saturday will increase by $1/entry to $3/entry
  • Entry fees to the 415 W. Washington lot will increase by $1/entry to $4/entry
  • Permits at the 415 W. Washington lot will increase by $10/month to $90/month
  • Permits at the First and William lot will increase by $10/month to $115/month
  • All hourly parking rates will be charged by one-hour increments
  • Art Fair parking rates will increase by $2/entry to $12/entry
  • Meter bag requests for Sundays and holidays will incur an installation fee of $160 for up to 100 bags and $320 for more than 100 bags

Here's a look at changes taking effect Sept. 1:

  • Parking structure hourly rates will increase by $.10/hour to $1.20/hour
  • Attended parking lot hourly rates will increase by $.10/hour to $1.40/hour for the first three hours and $1.60/hour thereafter
  • Parking meter hourly rates will increase by $.10/hour to $1.50/hour
  • Parking structure monthly permit rate will increase by $5/month to $145/month

A number of business owners have expressed concerns in recent months that further rate hikes could hurt downtown, but there were no protests at Wednesday's meeting.

DDA officials said the increases are needed to keep up with maintenance costs and an increasing financial obligation to the city. Under a new agreement, the DDA is required to transfer 17 percent of parking revenues to help augment the city's general fund.

Revenue from the rate increases also is being used to help finance a $50 million underground parking structure the city and DDA are building on Fifth Avenue downtown.

The DDA has been drawing from its fund balances to pay for the project. Despite seeing increased parking demand downtown and raising parking rates, the DDA is now on the verge of running a deficit in its parking fund, an auditor told DDA officials in November.

DDA officials remain confident the parking fund balance will build back up to a healthier level in the coming years, and they say they're watching it closely.

DDA board member Roger Hewitt said all four downtown business associations are now in support of the rate increases, which were presented to the City Council in November. The DDA also held a public hearing that spanned two board meetings.


On-street parking meter rates will increase to $1.50 from $1.40 an hour starting Sept. 1.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The changes don't require City Council approval. Under the new parking agreement, the DDA has unilateral authority to set parking rates and enforcement hours.

Hewitt said it's encouraging that demand in the parking system and revenues continue to be strong, even in an economy that's not booming. There were nearly 450,000 more visits to downtown parking lots and structures this past year compared with five years ago.

"So clearly, despite the recession, despite the sluggish economy, there are a lot more people coming downtown and parking downtown, as well as using the go!pass, which has also seen significant increase," Hewitt said. "So there's a lot more activity."

DDA board member John Splitt gave an update on the 700-space underground parking structure, which is expected to open in time for the Ann Arbor Art Fair in July.

"The permanent electrical line will be hooked up sometime this month, so the permanent power of the deck will be in place," he said. "And over the winter months, they will continue to pour concrete and the walls, a few columns, etc."

Sandi Smith, co-chair of the DDA's Partnerships and Economic Development Committee, gave an update on the DDA's Midtown Discovery project, a master planning effort for five city-owned properties in a concentrated area of the downtown.

"They have now gone through the groundwork of assembling all of the different plans from the downtown to make sure that we're on track, so we're not recreating anything," she said. "We're just putting it all in one spot so that the Calthorpe and A2D2 — and all of these efforts done in the past — are brought together, and that is where we are."

Smith said one of the next steps is to engage the public. She called the Ann Arbor District Library and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority strong partners in the Midtown area.

The AATA is about to demolish and rebuild the Blake Transit Center, which sits across from the Library Lot and next door to the Y Lot, two of the city-owned properties being looked at.

Smith said the AATA is keeping an eye on the potential for a neighboring development of some kind on the Y Lot, and the new Blake Transit Center is going to be built to anticipate "something being next to and perhaps over" the transit center building.

"So they're very much aware of the needs there," Smith said.

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.



Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

Are these the same people that created the absurd price signs with a million different amounts on them? Will these signs now have to be updated?


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 7:11 p.m.

If this helps keep a few more irritating tourists away, good riddance I say. And for everyone that threatens to "not come here" I am curious why you waste your time commenting and posting and reading about a city you don't even live in? Don't you have anything better to do with your time? I certainly wouldn't waste my time reading your local paper.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 11:49 a.m.

Not only are the DDA members appointees they are appointed by our feckless leader, hieftje. so while you get annoyed that you gotta pay more to park your vehicle in AA, remember that you begged for this at least the last four election cycles (everyone is allowed one mistake). And come next election you will do it allllll again and reelect hieftje and his posse cuz they are a package deal and you luv a deal.

Jon Saalberg

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 2:36 a.m.

This evening, while listening to the radio, I heard Ms. Pollay, the doyenne of the DDA, say that the rate increases will help cover the costs of the new parking deck - I guess the rate increases might not have been necessary if the completely unneeded library parking deck had not been built. None of the parking structures are full on a regular basis, yet our esteemed city leaders thought that Ann Arbor "needed" yet another parking structure. I live walking distance from the structure at Ashley and Miller, and that structure is rarely, if ever, full, with hundreds of empty spots. Ditto most of the parking facilities in our city, save during the Art Fair, which is all of four days a year, and even then one can find space in the structure near us. This makes one wonder that if more thought were put into the "why" of building more structures and surface lots, less would have been built, and we wouldn't see the more or less yearly pronouncement from the DDA that rates are going up.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 12:07 a.m.

Not an issue for me. I go to downtown for one thing and only one thing, I get my hair cut at Anneka's. And they validate my parking. Nothing else down there is attractive to me. And I find it hilarious that "DDA board member Roger Hewitt said all four downtown business associations are now in support of the rate increases..." Yeah right, how many of them validate your parking? Last time I saw the list I was not impressed. Still I must add that when my step daughter visits from New York City, she is amazed at how cheap parking is in A2.

say it plain

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

I hope she's also aware of how Ann Arbor is not New York City lol... Parking near the shops at Kerrytown or Grizzly Peak shouldn't cost anywhere near what it costs to park in Manhattan, I'm thinking...

say it plain

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 11:48 p.m.

Wow, I was already feeling how $1.40 an hour near Kerrytown made me feel less 'hospitable' about buying little discretionary bits of stuff at the shops there... Now it's even worse! And I'm not exactly going through some financial hardship lately either. It just starts feeling like silliness, given that there was nobody even competing with me for the spot. I realize that sometimes there will be some competition for the parking, but that it feels like I've already bought a cup of coffee just for the sake of getting out of my vehicle... it makes me feel less interested in buying stuff at the vendors. Oh well... I guess the DDA knows what's best for downtown ;-)

ralph mcgraw

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

One more reason to head to Ypsilanti. Down in Depot Town there's free parking and good restaurants. For shopping, just head to Briarwood or Meijer. Pretty soon the various DDA "committees" will be placing "air" meters around downtown Ann Arbor to make you pay for the air you breathe. Then, we can breathe in the air while we stroll over to the million dollar "water art" we just paid a million bucks for. Oh yeah, we're the smartest city in America.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 9:01 p.m.

I wish to thank the Ann Arbor DDA on their wise and prudent decision making. ------Ypsilanti Chamber of Commerce


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 4:09 a.m.



Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 8:53 p.m.

DDA has a license to steal and our elected officials gave it to them "free of charge and accountability" to the citizens of Ann Arbor. Government at it's best which is shirking it's responsibility and defusing it's accountability to the citizens it's supposed to benefit. Many residents who pay taxes can't afford to go downtown because parking and bus fare is too expensive but yet they pay taxes to support bloated government which is what the DDA is.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

What is the matter with this town these days? We are madly galloping in all the wrong directions! I hope that the so-called leaders are happy with their decisions, because the PEOPLE of Ann Arbor certainly are not!

say it plain

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 1:56 a.m.

Who cares so long as the "people" of the nearby suburbs still come out to support the overpriced shops and restaurants at near-acceptable levels? The DDA doesn't represent anything like 'regular' people. We knew that, but so long as the current 'leaders' keep on getting re-elected while doing less and less re-presenting of the populace of the city, we can't really be surprised about it. The pace of the galloping does seem to have picked up, that surely seems true!

rusty shackelford

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

C'mon people. If you can't find free parking within 3 blocks on anywhere downtown you're either legally blind, in which case you shouldn't be driving or you're some obnoxion from West Bloomfield for a day (night?) trip, in which case I'll take your money for the city.

Left is Right

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 12:43 a.m.

I always park free. One point here is that viable downtowns are hard to come by. And the public is fickle. Siphoning more off of a system that's not well understood (i.e., complex) is likely to have unintended consequences such as significantly reduced viability.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

haha, 112 comments about a dime.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 4:04 p.m.

This is truly criminal, not political. What this amounts to is a group who are accountable to no one, using everyone's money to fund what they deem as an acceptable rate hike. Do the math......$1.50 per hour X 8 hours is $12 a day X 5 days........$60 a week to park? Seriously? And that's if you can "magically" find a meter directly in front of the place you want to visit. Factor in walking a 1/2 mile to get to the intended place and you've added another 15 minutes to your parking fee. Have the "powers that be" realized that the economy is in the tank and not many people have the extra money to fund Ann Arbor's Follies? I pity the people who work longer hours or work more than 5 days a week. People need to get wise and IF they feel the need to wander into downtown A2 for any reason, figure out a way to deny those meters your hard-earned money. Carpool, take the bus, do whatever it takes. For those that say, "it's not about dimes," you are sadly mistaken. Obviously you have never heard of being "nickeled and dimed" to death!


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

If you have commented more than 2 times on this story, please move on to the next story. Your point has been made.

Left is Right

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 4:40 a.m.

Thanks mom. Sometimes there are more than two points to make.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

One word: NICKELS. Folks here's a simple passive way to demonstrate. Use nickels to pay at the regular and electronic meters. If you see others meters about to expire be a kind neighbor and throw some nickels in to help them and also fill the meter! The meters will fill up much faster and stop working because they need to be emptied much more often. Nickles are about the same size as a quarter but you will use 5x as many of them. With more maintenance and parking less tickets issued the DDA may determine it's simply not worth it. As an added bonus at the garages always pay small fees with a $20 so they run out of change So go to the bank, get rolls and rolls of nickels and pay parking with them. Viva la resistance & power to the people!

Left is Right

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

I'll get my nickels but I've heard that you can be ticketed in this town for feeding someone else's meter. Deprives the city of ticket revenue.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.



Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

For this price? I can park at Pioneer High School take the bus downtown and then catch it back again. Holy smokes, another reason I do not do Ann Arbor unless I have to. Wow, what a hike and what a hit the businesses are going to take under this new change. Good luck Ann Arbor. Won't find me parking there.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

Liberals like to make "public" services available for "the public"... meaning everyone. This is done by pooling resources (i.e. taxes) to pay for them, then making them available to opposed to the "every man for himself" system of making resources available only to who make enough money. Parking fees were supposed to be used so people didn't park all day and parking spaces would be available when people come looking for a spot. Somehow it's turned into a vicious cycle of building more (expensive) parking places, then needing to charge more to pay for the buildings. But as the fees go too high, the city runs the risk of discouraging people from coming downtown at all and the system will collapse, with unfilled parking places that will still need to be paid for. The DAA is trying to walk this fine line, but I'm not convinced that they are making the right calls lately. And if they are using parking for revenue generation alone (not to cover costs of parking), then they are stupid. Parking should be managed to optimize access to the businesses downtown.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

Are you kidding? I suppose this is the way the unwanted underground parking structure needs to be funded.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

Yes, they bluntly admitted that in an interview broadcast on WEMU this morning. Disgusting.

Mike D.

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

For all the complaining about this increase, the reality is that downtown restaurants are busy and it's nigh impossible to find a metered spot. Raising rates is the natural product of supply and demand. If you think parking is expensive here, try parking in any major city. I pay $35 a day and up in Chicago and $45 a day and up in New York. Given that Ann Arbor's restaurants are priced comparably to both places, the parking here is a non-issue.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

Mike...go back to Chicago

Stupid Hick

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

Ho hum, I suppose I'll instruct my chauffer to circle the block rather than park.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 5:09 a.m.

Then we hope you are visiting AA a lot and enjoying your relative windfall in "affordable parking." ;+} It should be noted Chicago's parking was privatized last year for quite a few future decades. Do not worry the cost of parking there will pass NYC very soon and continue to climb. At least that is not happening in AA ... yet


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

Ann Arbor <<<<<<< Chicago. Since Ann Arbor is 1/10 the city that Chicago is we should pay 1/10 the parking rate, or $3.50/day. It's all proportional.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

assuming you mean evening dining at restaurants-the metered spots are used up because it's free-that will be changing. I haven't found the restaurants very busy, actually....lots of empty tables. midnite madness was busy-they should do it once a season for what their drop-off in business is going to be.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:07 p.m.

1. The DDA has to go. There is no question about that. When you begin to think that your city is so awesome that you can get away with anything and you ignore the fact that people are angry, dissatisfied, and going elsewhere, there will be backlash. I don't have issue so much with having to pay for parking. My issue is more about how the DDA pays no mind to what the business owners and residents are concerned about. 2. I will never park in that underground garage due to safety concerns and the fact that on busy nights, you'll probably have to wait forever to get out of there. I really miss the library lot. 3. We are spending more and more time in Plymouth. Check out Cellar 849 or Zin if you like wine. Head a bit down Plymouth Road to Livonia and go to Buddy's for great pizza. Want upscale? Got to Terry B's in Dexter. Want to stay in town? Go to Paesano's. Seafood? Mac's in Saline. Ypsi is opening a new BBQ joint on Michigan Ave. - Red Rock - and there are some great places to eat in Depot Town - free parking!

Left is Right

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 12:23 a.m.

Want good value in food? (Compared to downtown AA) Take in a trip to Karl's Kabin.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

We do Canton now. Ann Arbors parking is way to pricey and too hard to find. I do Westland for the mall if I need to. Otherwise, Canton has a JC Penney and I am ok with that. Michigan Ave to Westland has everything I need so yes, I agree, Plymouth and Canton are great places to go to.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

All the negative posts...I thought liberals like to pay more for public services?


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 5:04 a.m.

I believe liberals and everyone else will pay for services that give good value in return... especially when they have input. That is not what is happening here. All AA development authority is doing is allowing folks to decide where they want to visit.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

Yes with other peoples money


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 11 a.m.

Well I am not going to worry! I never drive downtown so parking is not a worry for me. Go ahead and raise prices. Yes, Ypsilanti I go to Depot Town and the parking is free!

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 7:05 p.m.

I ride the AATA bus for free because the DDA pays my fare so although this parking increase will hit me, I am still getting a good deal :)


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

JNS the AATA spokesperson strikes again!


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

We use the Sunday bus service from Ypsilanti to get to downtown Ann Arbor. $3 round trip. What a way to save money. I do agree, Ypsilanti does have some great restaurants and free parking to boot.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 10:12 a.m.

Still free on Sunday?


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 10:03 a.m.

Excuse my ignorance on this but what the hell is a meter bag?


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

Yes but not quite, leezee. You can "rent" the bags from the city to strategically close parking spots in front of your business if you need the space. For example, if you need a dumpster to perform some renovations, you have to pay the city to first bag and clear the spots out. $5/day was really quite a bargain for this, but a quadruple increase... kind of rough.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

A bag they put over the meter when it is out of service or they don't want you to use that spot for some reason (parade, car show......).


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 5:25 a.m.

Liberals in action.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.



Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 4:34 a.m.

I've made my choice (to not pay excessive parking fees and for overpriced food/drinks) by not going to the downtown Ann Arbor establishments. My guess is that there apparently are plenty of people with lots of discretionary cash. To each their own.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.



Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 4:06 a.m.

Raising the parking rates does not encourage visitors to the downtown area. I'm amazed that the downtown businesses didn't push back on these increases. Certainly will discourage people from coming into A2 and then have to pay excessive parking rates on top of inflated restaurant costs. Only when the downtown businesses start to push back will anything change. Downtown A2 would be much better off closing off a portion of Main Street so people sitting outside eating wouldn't have to choke on exhaust fumes, and creating a pedestrian area, surrounded by FREE parking. Yes, free parking. That's what one large commercial area of Minneapolis did. The businesses got together and decided that encouraging people to come to that area for the restaurants, theater, shopping and bars was more important than charging for parking. It worked, and it's a thriving part of the city. A2 is going in reverse on this one.

say it plain

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

@Kathryn is so right on that... We need to get our mayor and his crew on a taxpayer-sponsored official visit to this MN community right away, @Sallyxyz!


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

Main Street is already almost impassable, so most sane drivers avoid it as a "thru" street. But changing it to pedestrian it would make it way more enjoyable to hang out there.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

Having to drive through downtown Ann Arbor with Main St closed will not not encourage people to travel there either.

Stephen Landes

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 3:21 a.m.

The relationship between the DDA and City Council is insidious and has become a means to raise taxes on citizens without a vote of the people. Council and the DDA negotiate a new agreement between themselves that requires the DDA to provide more money to the city. In order to meet this new agreement the DDA takes unilateral action to raise parking fees. This is just another tax disguised as a fee charged by an unaccountable arm of city government. This underhanded way of doing business should be illegal -- and it probably is.

Peter Eckstein

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 3:16 a.m.

The Arborland shopping center has lost a couple of big tenants. It was very considerate of DDA to take this action to help Arborland fill up its empty stores.

John of Saline

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:26 a.m.

Well, dollar coins do work in Ann Arbor meters, both individual ones and those big centralized ones. Get 'em from the bank and save yourself the trouble of hauling around masses of quarters.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

Yeah instead you can haul around a sack of sacs ;)


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:14 a.m.

I remember, long long ago when my kids were little, actually choosing to go downtown. We spent a leisurely few hours checking out Peaceable Kingdom, maybe get some lunch, maybe the library. Now....I strategically plan my very infrequent trips into the very unpleasant experience of downtown. Too hard to find much besides overpriced restaurants? I know there probably is more, but I'm too busy scurrying back to my car to avoid paying for the next "rounded up" hour.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 5:59 p.m.

hmm? It is a lot better then walking 3 or more miles to school because AAPS now has limited service on school buses. AAPS is planning on removing HS routes eventually and heck, since the hi schools are totally limited on space? Might as well save a teen life and make them ride the bus. So yes, I am all for AATA. Why? Because the service is a lot better then getting attitude from a school bus driver on a really bad day.

say it plain

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 2:10 a.m.

Exactly @Carolyn, that captures a lot of my experience as well. I miss how it used to be and find this new normal a lot less pleasant. I'd love to get a sense--though I realize it's probably not data that is collected just yet lol--how many of these 'new parking visits' logged by DDA parking mavens are from out of town folks, coming for a destination restaurant row and/or specific shopping trip, and how many of them are from people who reside somewhere in or just outside of AA. Anyway, it's always kinda galling to pay so much to park when there aren't even people around, which tends to be when I tend to want to bother trying to negotiate the many closed-to-traffic streets and so on that downtown AA has been for a while now.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 6:43 p.m.

JNS we get it, you absolutely LOVE AATA and they can do no wrong and are the only solution to everyone's transit issues. Thank you we got that the first 10 times you posted it. Are you employed by AATA? If not you really should be working there!


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

@jns131 The AATA isn't the answer to whatever you think the question is, it's service doesn't compete with downtown parking. Those that live out of downtown Ann Arbor with cars and/or families drive, they don't take the bus as its inordinately inconvenient and wasteful for the service it provides (time, energy, space all those frivolous things). UM has it's own bus system & the schools have it's own bus system. The serice the AATA provides is efficient only for the rush hour near capacity times. Is your personal library transit service at least half full at off peak times? Probably not.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Another reason we use AATA to get downtown. To get to the library. There is no parking and with AATA right across the street from it? Perfect.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:50 a.m.

Also, the on-street parking devices (as pictured above) have a regrettable flaw that I think needs to be fixed; there is no way to tell if a parking space has been paid for or not, so motorists are double and triple paying for the same space at times. What a foul trick on us!


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

No trick, you are buying a parking license that is non transferrable and only good for your vehicle. What's the issue?

G. Orwell

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 4:43 a.m.

The way to find out is to click on "add more time." This will tell you if there is any time remaining. It is a hassle but if you plan on staying long and/or go downtown often, it could add up. I find that about 1/3 the time, there is some time left from the previous user.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

What's needed is a safe, convenient, on-time, low cost shuttle that transports shoppers, diners, and criminals to the downtown area and back to satellite parking areas. Aren't there any creative minds out there that could start a 'taxi-lite' company to haul the few shoppers willing to go downtown? Shouldn't the AATA invite riders with more reasonable fares? I suppose the DDA could just charge 1 or 2 parkers 100 or 200 thou apiece to rake in the cash instead of stealing it from us 99%ers. Start with the woman in yesterday's NEWS hinting for a raise who works for UofM and makes $700,00 a year. Oops, let me guess, she has a chauffer....


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 6:40 p.m.

"What's needed is a safe, convenient, on-time, low cost shuttle that transports shoppers, diners, and criminals to the downtown area and back to satellite parking areas." This made me laugh out loud


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

like select ride or a taxi? those services already exist and are widely used successfully in many other cities...


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

For $1.50, park at Arborland, take the bus downtown, shop, dine and what ever, take the AATA back to Arborland for another $1.50, hit 23 and go home. What a way to save money and leave the driving to AATA. Plus there are a number of buses that go in that area anyways. Do the math and enjoy the ride.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:27 a.m.

This is ridiculous...I have lived in Ann Arbor all my life & only lately have the parking rates sky rocketed!!! Another reason I will not go downtown or if I have to, take the AATA downtown. Absolutely RIDICULOUS


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

We do. Plus with AATA adding more #4 to routes? What a way to ride without the headaches.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:12 a.m.

And they wonder why less and less people venture into A2 to explore and recreate!!!

Woman in Ypsilanti

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

I am not sure that is true. I work downtown and I see more and more people around all of the time.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

...because there's nothing to do but eat at a Mainstreet Ventures restaurant? That gets old after a while.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 12:25 a.m.

Hate to say it, but I mostly only trekked downtown to go to Mongolian BBQ, which that was few and far between at that. Looks like I will have to get my Mongo elsewhere. Parking rates have become ridiculous.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 6:39 p.m.

Hey don't go all the way to Canton. Try Flat Top Stir Fry Grill at Washtenaw and Huron Parkway. Same concept.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

Mongo in canton is worth the extra time it takes to get there and parking is pretty cheap....its free

Marshall Applewhite

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 12:09 a.m.

The comments section of these articles is always good for some laughs. Gotta love a bunch of curmudgeons getting upset over a dime. The world will be a better place once all the boomers are gone.

Marshall Applewhite

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

There actually is a way to vote on this measure, and that would be using market forces. If the revenue from parking decreases, they will eventually stop raising rates. This certainly isn't rocket surgery.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

social engineering?...Really?! LOL

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

Maybe the term "serial diming" could be invented. One dime increase is one thing. Regularly scheduled dime increases are, well, not dimes. Also, I believe the increases are higher than that. Oh, and BTW, many people who are younger or older than boomers get tired of being gouged. Are you saying the younger generations are too dumb to resent being gouged?


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:56 a.m.

I think this is more about taxation without representation. Even in this day and age, that gets people riled.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 12:55 a.m.

If it were a dime I'd gladly pay, It's much more. When did you last park downtown? the rates have doubled from just a few years ago. And were does the money go? unfunded liabilities, legacy costs, social engineering... the list goes on.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 11:17 p.m.

Let's see.... Briarwood and other malls in the area have parking that is .... free! Saline - Dexter - Chelsea - Milan - Tecumseh ...the parking options in their areas are free. At this point the Ann Arbor downtown area will continue to be my last option for eating, general shopping and entertainment. This is how I exercise my "unilateral authority" to pay or not to pay rising parking rates. ;+}

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 10:39 p.m.

Ugh. Well at least AATA is improving the bus service around the same time.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

Taxpayers are paying alot more than $0.10 each hour they use the AATA services, if they use them at all.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

AATA has bus service on Sundays. AADL has things going on then that we frequent, so this helps us out a lot.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 10:29 p.m.

Parking that goes up a dime an hour is only a problem for employees, who have to pay all day every day. For the rest of us, come on people, get real. A dime is going to stop you from coming downtown? If that's the case, you weren't going to come anyway.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

Re- read the fees.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 11:37 p.m.

That's an excellent justification. I would imagine it's exactly the type of thinking that's applied to most of the rate hikes and ridiculousness coming from the mayor, council, and DDA. "Whatever we can get away with." Why don't they just raise all parking by $.50 per hour every week until people actually DO stop going downtown, then just back it up $.10 per hour, and there you have it; the perfect rate. Right?


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

Ypsilanti? OK with me, or anyplace but downtown A2.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

Whittaker Road has an excellent Krogers and a nice Mexican restaurant. Or on Michigan Ave? A nice strip mall too boot.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 10:10 p.m.

Is the DDA in the land development business or the parking business. It would seem that currently it's the former at the xpense of the latter. TheDDA is not the New YOrk Port Authority, it's investments and use of funds should be subject ot harsh review to determine wheter there is misfeasance or malfeasance in their actions

Jim Walker

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 10:09 p.m.

As parking downtown gets more and more expensive - along with our city's fierce parking ticket enforcement procedures - many of us choose to spend most of our dollars in more outlying areas that offer free parking. There are many fine restaurants and shopping areas outside of the downtown area that offer free parking and where you won't risk being "stung" with an expensive parking ticket. And the DDA should PERMANENTLY shelve any plans to extend the paid parking hours at meters downtown. James C. Walker, Ann Arbor, MI

Left is Right

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:46 a.m.

And that includes at least one restaurant that used to be downtown.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.

Parking is so messed up downtown with the library parking lot closed that I rarely go downtown even to the library, which is where most of my trips downtown used to start, then going to Jerusalem Garden or Dinersty when it was there, then maybe Main Street.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

Catch any bus to downtown for the same price DDA is going to charge. What a way to get door to door service.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:47 p.m.

This is what happens when "one party" rules! They are unaccountable for rate hikes because they have unelected groups do the dirty work, have 1/2 hour "Transparent" meetings, etc etc! Don't be a mind numb robot when you vote! Think please!


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

Just the other day I was telling some visitors how friendly and welcoming downtown Traverse City is (as opposed to downtown A2). Would you believe that every meter in downtown TC has a magic button -- push it and you get the first 30 minutes free!! If that were to occur in A2 I'd probably faint in the middle of the street and be run over by a construction vehicle heading toward the library or one of the new apartment buildings.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:36 p.m.

Gee, I can remember when parking only cost a nickel per hour and a penny bought you 12 minutes of time. Too bad wages for the average worker haven't increased 24 fold in the same time period! Maybe this explains the mass exodus of non-specialized retail establishments from downtown areas.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

Have stated it numerous times -- DDA needs to be shut down. The citizens of Ann Arbor have voiced they concerns about raising the parking rates--DDA nor council, mayor have not listened at all. Dumb, dumb, dumb.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

You all do realize we're paying for that big, dark, deep hole, that used to be the Library parking lot, don't you? I'm telling you that place is cursed! Don't park there!


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 10:33 p.m.

Just think it's a little scaaarry...


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

Know something we don't? Ancient tribal burial ground perhaps? I too have heard they are way behind on this design.

Go Blue

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

What part of "our city is not flush with cash" does the DDA not get? Its time to tighten our belts and live WITHIN our means - that goes for the DDA. Quite frankly, its time for a clean sweep. All those that are living in fantasy land need to be relieved of their positions, starting at the top with the mayor and his groupies right down to the DDA debacle. These are the entities that have our city in a stronghold and they are strangling every last penny out of every venue they can get their hands on. It reeks of self perpetuation and that's about it. No real value to the city residents.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

That's how the DEMOCRATS work. They pick your pocket a penny @ a time until it's all gone.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.

Holy Batman! Well, that does it. I taught my horse to drive (a cart, you crazy A2heads) There's nothing that says I can't park my horse at a meter, is there? OR!...And this is the better option, I just won't go anywhere in downtown A2 where you have to pay to park. This is really going to help downtown businesses, isn't it? Perhaps next, they'll be asking for your first-born. EGADS. There needs to be some serious action taken here.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

We all are.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:02 a.m.

"There needs to be some serious action taken here." ----- Action by whom, Juliesw? When elected officials abdicate their powers by granting them to non-elected bodies, then who is (politically) responsible anymore?


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

As a consumer, I have always thought of parking fees as "a cost associated with shopping or dining out". Parking rates have gotten to a point where I will think real hard about shopping or dining in Ann Arbor; if I have to pay for parking. Far too many options that allow for free parking are available.

Bob Katz

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:11 p.m.

Plymouth is only 1/2 an hour away. Free parking, better and more affordable restaurants. I recommend Compare as well as many other places. Ann Arbor restaurants are overrated and overpriced and the parking fees are a joke.


Sat, Jan 7, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

Dexter is only 10 minutes outside A2...pleasant ride.... REALLY nice people. Great restaurants. I personally like Aubree's Pizza...nice parks.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

Canton has great eating places too.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:54 p.m.

Will there be any changes in the motorcycle or moped parking?


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

Now a $12 deli sandwich will cost $15 at Zingerman's Deli if you throw in parking. That is not value folks.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

This is a no brainer...just boycott downtown...with out their parking $$$$$ to fund geo thermal boondogles and the library " bunker " ( which may or may not live to see it ) ...the DDA will get heat plus from the downtown merchants and hopefully back off , but I woulden't count on it ...this is after all Oz.....


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

C'mon down to Ypsilanti where the shops are funky, the food is fabulous, and the people are friendly.Plus the parking is reasonably priced or free in some lots! And merchants, we have lovely historic buildings in which you can open up your restaurant or shop. Our rents are reasonable too. C'mon, check us out.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

Plus if you don't want to drive downtown Ypsi? They have a few AATA to get you downtown and on your way. Especially since they are a block away from the main street area and a library to boot.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 4:54 a.m.

... Washtenaw county. Sorry, I hit the wrong button.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 4:52 a.m.

Downtown Ypsi is starting to humm - in basically three blocks square they've got a large bike shop, a novelty and candy store, a hobby shop, several quality clothiers, a hardware store, a rock shop, several vintage and antique shops, seven great independent restaurants ranging from a classic coney, Beezy's Diner, The Tap Room, Dalat, and Haabs. A killer BBQ is due to open this winter yet and a Italian Bistro to follow this spring. A few blocks north east is Depot Town and within a few blocks in any direction are some other great and well established coffee shops and family restaurants. And yes, we even have the sole surviving adult entertainment business in Whastenaw

Billy Bob Schwartz

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

this space....but not nearly so genteel and gentrified!

Left is Right

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 1:41 a.m.

Agree. Ypsi is what downtown AA was 25-30 years ago. Funky. Quirky. Interesting.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 12:20 a.m.

The people in Ypsi are quite friendly, Marshall, and the police have a more proactive approach to keeping the criminal element at bay downtown. Depot Town, the Farmer's Market and Riverside Park are also quite inviting.

Marshall Applewhite

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 12:04 a.m.

The people in Ypsi are friendly?!? Haha, I sense someone's nose growing a bit longer.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

I'm comin' over, Ypsi!

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

This just re-enforces my decision some time ago to stop shopping downtown.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

This is a dumb move. Do you know how few cities have a thriving downtown? Very few. Time and again people cite the high cost of parking as the number one reason they no longer shop downtown. And what does the DDA do? Increase the parking rates. Why is the DDA raising rates? Because City Council keeps taking the DDA's money earmarked for the continued viability of downtown for its the general fund debacles. Whether you think the DDA is obsolete or not is beside the point....the money winds up paying for City council mistakes and mismanagement anyway. There will come a time soon when the effects of these parking rate increases (i.e. pseudo user fee/tax increases) will begin to erode the cachet of downtown.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 11:57 p.m.

You may be right but right now downtown A2 is pretty much thriving, so people must not care. The great thing is we don't have to go there.

Jon Saalberg

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

Wow. What a surprise - an unelected group, accountable to, who knows, raised rates based on what? Studies that told them rate increases were necessary? Anything? "DDA officials said the increases are needed to keep up with maintenance costs and an increasing financial obligation to the city." It would be great if the DDA could provide documentation backing up these claims. And on a related note: is there any information on how these costs stack up, compared to other similarly-sized cities?


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

Ryan? I hate to disagree with you on this one. But if you are visiting the capital building for instance, they have parking in the area that is pretty reasonable. Most times if you know how to use their bus system, you can get around pretty cheap. As I always say? When in Rome? When we visit other cities we try to use mass transit because parking is difficult at best. Good luck Ann Arbor. Another reason we moved closer to Canton.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

The DDA only gives a small percentage of parking fees to the city--they spend the rest. On what, who knows.

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:26 p.m.

From a previous story: According to data provided at Monday's meeting, parking in downtown Ann Arbor is competitive when compared to Lansing, East Lansing, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. Hourly structures: Ann Arbor — $1.20/hour (in 2012) Lansing — $2-$2.50/hour current Grand Rapids — $2-$4/hour current Kalamazoo — $1.25-$2/hour current Hourly lots: Ann Arbor — $1.40-$1.60/hour (in 2012) East Lansing — $1.30-$1.60/hour current Kalamazoo — $1.25-$1.50/hour current Hourly meters: Ann Arbor — $1.50/hour (in 2012) Grand Rapids — $1.50/hour current The DDA's comparisons don't show data for communities like Ferndale, Birmingham and Royal Oak that charge between 50 cents and $1 an hour for hourly meters. At least Birmingham and Royal Oak also provide free parking incentives to lure visitors downtown. <a href=""></a>


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

why not make it $5 an hour and get over with it. What's going on? Where is all the money going? Most towns are max 50 cents an hour - how do get comped by the stores for a meter? Time to shop somewhere else.


Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 3:58 a.m.

No offense intended, MjC...I was just sayin'.... : D


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

There really is no place to shop in AnnArbor. All of the good stores were eliminated a long time ago. It's mostly restaurants now.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

Hey Ypsi - Careful, I'm from Inkster! :-)


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 12:14 a.m.

Clownfish, you're kidding, right? Boulder is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and some of the most incredible natural beauty to be found anyplace in the country. 40 min. outside Boulder is Rocky Mountain National Park. 40 min. outside Ann Arbor is Inkster. Comparing Ann Arbor to Boulder, in any metric other than &quot;most people completely out of touch with reality,&quot; is a joke.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

Clownfish, Columbus (the smaller and least touristy of the places you mentioned) is 7 times the population of Ann Arbor. You use Chicago as an example of parkin when comparing to Ann Arbor, or someone else's post that most TOWN parking is less than a dollar? Ann Arbor will never be Chicago; it'll just be charging what they charge and you'll get much less for it.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

Now, now. I knew someone would have to drag Art into this. What about that giant parking abyss, that used to be the Library parking lot? Elaine. Art feeds the soul. Take a class.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:57 p.m.

Chicago parking rates hit upwards of $18/hr Boulder Colo- $1.25/hr Columbus OH, downtown- $2.00/hr

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

Probably want to buy more ugly art.

Guinea Pig in a Tophat

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

&quot;DDA board member John Splitt gave an update on the 700-space underground parking structure, which is expected to open in time for the Ann Arbor Art Fair in July.&quot; From <a href=""></a> &quot;The deck...originally was expected to open in August 2011. But by late last year, due to a delayed start, project officials said it wouldn't be finished until December 2011 or January 2012.&quot; July 2012, almost a year behind schedule. At least Fifth street is supposed to open soon. I would be very sad if JG went out of business due to this mess.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

&quot;Under the new parking agreement, the DDA has unilateral authority to set parking rates and enforcement hours.&quot; Lest anyone forgets, members of the DDA are appointed, not elected, so they're not directly accountable to the voters &mdash; yet they now have &quot;unilateral authority&quot; to take more money out of our pockets. In other words, if you don't like these increases, tough.

Ron Granger

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

This is another good reason to walk, bike or bus to your destination. Just watch out for the motorists who are angry about the parking rates, and the pedestrians!


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 11:55 p.m.

Right I would ride my bike but the bike parking is pretty abysmal.

Aaron Bookvich

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

Another reason to NOT go to Ann Arbor unless I have to.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

Downtown Ypsi does do a great job for the holidays. They are having a Chinese New Year festival at the end of January if you want to park free and have a good time to boot.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 5:28 a.m.

Enjoy the cost of gas? As long as you don't live downtown, I'd have to imagine you use less gas going elsewhere. Just think of the MPGs it takes for downtown traffic. Stop lights are much worse than interstate highways at sucking fuel. My wife and I tried for 2 years to keep going down town AA because &quot;everyone else did.&quot; Now, we do everything in our power to never go near downtown. AA kind of sucks.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 12:07 a.m.

Hut, there are plenty of free events, &quot;unique&quot; shopping, restaurants and clubs in places like Brighton, as well as other areas of Ann Arbor that aren't downtown, and if you think the destination visitor, someone who's going to spend 20 or 25 minutes in a car to get to wherever they decide to go anyway, won't choose someplace else over downtown A2 you're seriously mistaken. There's a certain captive customer base downtown for sure, but is a &quot;if you don't like it here spend your money someplace else&quot; attitude toward destination visitors really what you're going for here? Traffic congestion, escalating crime, inconvenient parking and now grossly inflated parking costs -- all this stuff adds up, and the downtown business owners will be the ones to pay the price.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

You mean another reason to take the bus to A2 :-)


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

@hut hut, I'm confident the extra driving to either the State and 94 or the Ann Arbor-Saline and 94 intersections will save me money over paying several extra dollars just to park downtown, let alone the inflated prices for sub-par goods and services.

hut hut

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 8 p.m.

Pleas enjoy all the restaurants, clubs, free public events and unique shopping where you live. Also please enjoy the cost of gas as you drive to your alternate destination.

Dog Guy

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

&quot;In a meeting that lasted a half hour, the DDA's governing board voted unanimously on a series of rate hikes.&quot; So what did they do the other 29 minutes?

Ryan J. Stanton

Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

Read to the end. The story offers a full recap of the meeting, including reports from DDA officials on the underground parking structure project and Midtown Discovery.


Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

Occupy the DDA Or I am going to start riding my horse to work...


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

They'll charge you triple for picking up the poop &amp; then use it for free on the community garden