You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 5:56 a.m.

Ypsilanti DDA may push for Saturday parking enforcement in downtown

By Katrease Stafford


The Rocket co-owner Eli Morrissey said he has observed a parking issue in front of his store.

The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority is considering recommending enforced Saturday parking in hopes of combating overnight, long-stay parking and to increase the number of spaces available for possible business patrons.

Former DDA Community Development Coordinator Jake Albers proposed the Saturday parking that, if implemented, would be enforced from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This would include meter enforcement as well as time limits on some parking spots. However, any changes to parking first must be approved by city council. Parking is currently enforced Monday through Friday.

DDA Executive Director Tim Colbeck said the recommendation came about as a result of a parking study recently conducted by the DDA.

"We’re trying to be really proactive because right now, based on what we found in the studies, we have an adequate amount of parking but we have new businesses opening, buildings being renovated, and we fully expect at some point parking will be more of a bigger issue," Colbeck said. "This is an attempt to get ahead of that. That way, nothing hits us by surprise."

Colbeck said the DDA supports the recommendation.

"Particularly in areas where we've got kind of a residential mix," he said. "The residents will come in and snag up the premium parking spaces. (Parking enforcement) frees up parking for the businesses. I can't say we'd be against it."

Colbeck said the idea behind implementing Saturday parking isn't because the DDA or city is seeking more revenue, but it could boost parking revenue by 15 percent. There are approximately 1,530 public parking spaces within the DDA's three districts, which encompass the downtown area, Depot Town and West Cross Street.


The DDA may recommend enforcing Saturday parking.

File photo

In fiscal year 2011-12, the city received $310,924.25 in parking-related revenue. Parking revenue and expenses are controlled by the city and placed in the general fund.

Colbeck said the area businesses would not be the only ones who benefit from the enforcement as those who live in the area would benefit as well.

"Obviously there would be an uptick," Colbeck said. "I can definitely say the plan isn’t to generate more money for the city, but sometimes that will be an after effect. No one is looking at parking as a income generator. It would make parking more effective and allow it to be maintained better."

Mayor Paul Schreiber said he thinks the idea of enforced Saturday parking might bode well for businesses in the area.

"The goal would be to have a parking system that sustains itself and also provides better parking service to people that frequent the businesses," Schreiber said. "I think what that would do is it really wouldn’t affect much other than from stopping people from parking in spots that a business would like to have. I think it would be good for business."

Council Member Pete Murdock said at this point, he isn't "for or against" the recommendation, but he said issues have been raised related to parking.

"What happens I guess is on some Saturdays it just gets filled up and there’s no parking for customers," Murdock said. "I think that was the issue there. As we get more and more apartments down there, it would be more residential parking permits issued."

Eli Morrissey, co-owner of The Rocket at 122 W. Michigan Ave. in downtown, said he is supportive of the recommendation.

"Ever since we opened, I've always thought there was a parking issue," Morrissey said. "One of the big issues here is that a lot of the business owners and employees park on Michigan Avenue. They definitely need to have Saturday enforcement not only because of the residents. Saturday is the largest day in volume of sales for us."

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

First of All, you do see lots of parking issues on saturdays, because people are too lazy to park in the parking areas surrounding the area, causing a jam in front of the stores. There is plenty of parking... on either side of Michigan Ave behind store fronts. This IS a move to generate more money for the City, nothing else. The only thing to result from this is screwing the RESIDENTS more than already. We pay an annual parking fee, yet still have EXTREMELY low parking availability. I live on the 400 block of Cross St. where during the week it is usually very empty, yet we still can't park within 4 blocks of our home?? Because even with a resident's parking pass you can't park at any of the 100 meters surrounding the area between the hours of 6am and 6pm. ( all spots are metered- they have NOT provided a resident area for the streets they covered in meters, some residents have spots on their street, of which are taken) We pay an annual parking fee too... for nothing, we still have to pay the meter if someone is in our driveway, of which we have to have a pass to park in. Saturdays and Sundays we can park near our home without racking up more charges for the city. The businesses parking areas are plenty and working just fine. NO REALLY. I know because I walk past them on the way to my car that must be parked far from my home. If you're going to enforce on the weekends, ammend restrictions so that residents can park within their own block without penalty. The Parking Stickers CLEARLY MARK what block your vehicle is registered to. Quite frankly the restricitions on parking have already gone too far and adding more would bring even the most even-tempered resident to jump the parking enforcement douche as he SITS BEHIND RESIDENTS CARS< WAITING FOR METERS TO GO OUT. Premium Parking for Businesses? How about ANY parking for residents whom PAY THEIR TAXES to this city!


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

The City of Ypsilanti does one thing very well, generate revenue from parking enforcement. Considering that the DDA Board is made up of local business owners, it doesn't surprise me that they are all in favor in increasing parking revenue. How else are they going to keep the money coming in so that they can award themselves facade grants to increase the value of their property?

Linda Peck

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

I take it from this article that the downtown meters on Saturdays are not being monitored at present? I had no idea. Here I have been putting money into the kiosks.

Linda Peck

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

Sorry, I am so uninformed and thought this was about AA. I have gone many times and appreciated the apparently free parking in Ypsilanti.


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

City of Ypsi is so overwrought and vastly under budget, pretty soon they'll be charging and enforcing parking in your own driveway...


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

THEY DO! I have to have a parking permit to park IN MY DRIVEWAY on Cross St.


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

"Overwrought?" What the heck does that mean in terms of the city? So quick to dump on easy to make yourself look dim.


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

I can't believe that they haven't been charging for parking on Saturdays. I can see not charging on Sundays, but Saturdays when businesses are open? Or have they been charging but not enforcing? Either way, it makes no sense.


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

I believe that during the week after 6 PM and on both Saturdays and Sundays there is no charge.

Ron Granger

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

"The residents will come in and snag up the premium parking spaces. (Parking enforcement) frees up parking for the businesses." Sure - encourage people to live downtown - because everyone says lofts are cool - then make it hard for them and their guests to park on weekends. It sounds like they have a parking problem. A DDA's standard reaction is to "charge more!!" That does not solve the problem.


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

There is a parking garage and a huge lot behind the bus stop that can house all of the guests and residents of the loft areas. Freeing up the street parking in front of the businesses that rely on weekend sales would be a valuable move for local business owners.


Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

Sounds like those making money off of renting lofts will have to provide parking for the residents and guests.

Jim Osborn

Mon, Oct 29, 2012 : 11:19 a.m.

This is a good idea, especially for premium parking on the street in front of businesses. If they are being taken by weekend visitors to residents who live in third floor lofts, preventing easy access to stores by customers, then then this will limit them on Saturdays. This idea is similar to what I proposed when I a student adviser on the UC San Diego parking commission. My proposal was to have meters that charged only a penny so as to limit the amount of time but still keep the spaces free. I believe that this was for the handicapped spaces.