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 Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 6 a.m.

Ann Arbor City Council to vote on extending downtown parking meters until 10 p.m.

By Ann Dwyer

Thumbnail image for parking_meter.jpg

The Ann Arbor City Council will vote on a resolution Monday that would extend the operating hours for downtown parking meters beyond 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The resolution would be an alternative to the city adding new meters in areas outside of downtown, city officials said.

According to the resolution, "The Downtown has changed dramatically over the past 25 years, with much more evening commerce and activity due to a marked increase in the number of restaurants and entertainment opportunities. 

Yet, the hours of parking enforcement has not been changed to keep up with the change in customer needs, as vehicle turn-over at the parking meters is just as important to businesses operating after 6pm as it is to businesses who operate only during daytime hours."

However, some merchants fear that extending the parking meter times could cause customers to rethink coming into downtown to shop and dine.

“It’s hard enough to keep up with the mall,” said Susan Little who owns the Michael Susanne Salon in Kerrytown. She suggested that the city offer free parking for holiday shoppers via a guest opinion published Friday on

City Council member Sandi Smith, D-1st Ward, who is sponsoring the resolution, sees it as a way to help potential customers.

She says that it will open up short-term parking that is often taken up by employees of the downtown businesses. “They might park there at five or six o’clock at night, put in a little money, and then stay until two in the morning,” she said.

According to the resolution, 100 % of on-street meters were filled during evening hours versus 68 % during daytime hours, "demonstrating the need for evening parking enforcement as a tool to encourage parking turnover."

The resolution also includes a provision for net revenues from parking at the former Y site on East William to be directed to the city's budget instead of the Downtown Development Authority's budget.

The DDA's parking system is budgeted to generate $18.2 million in revenue in the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Parking expenses are forecast at $7 million.


Woman in Ypsilanti

Tue, Dec 22, 2009 : 12:23 p.m.

I certainly think that it would be really helpful to encourage employees of area businesses to park in the structures. It has been a long time since I worked in the evenings downtown but back when I did, I parked in the structure for free because by the time I got off of work (3am), the pay booth was unmanned. At the time, I was making minimum wage and wouldnt have been able to afford to pay for parking. I think giving free evening parking permits to employees of area businesses would really help. Otherwise, I can't say that this would deter me from eating or shopping in Downtown Ann Arbor in the evenings. Even though the metered parking is free, I am not the sort to be bothered looking for a space so I usually park in a structure or lot. Still, I do tend to spend more of my evening time in Ypsilanti and the free parking there is part of why.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Tue, Dec 22, 2009 : 8 a.m.

oh. good. grief!... and grief is the appropriate term. however (!), everyone who thinks is -entitled- to a couple or three bombs. this is one. but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Jill Damon

Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 7:41 p.m.

Mayor, council, DDA are you listening? I'd come to speak at council tonight, but like most downtown merchants, I'm working at my shop tonight. Is it a coincidence that this is coming to a vote when it's the hardest possible month for most downtown businesses to come to a council meeting? Can you make downtown any less friendly? AA folks...are you listening? This article mentions that more parking money is being funneled away from downtown (DDA budget) and into the city's budget. This is just one more in a long series of services and funds being stripped from downtown. If you want a vital downtown, please speak up...LOUDLY!


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 6:38 p.m.

Rotten. Horrible. Greedy. Imperious. Foolish. Block-headed. Vote 'em out!!


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 4:35 p.m.

Only if they work more than 8 hours a day.


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 4:33 p.m.

Won't the meter people need to be paid overtime if they are working later?


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 2:45 p.m.

Stop complaining. No one is going to make a decision NOT to go downtown becasue of parking meters. The city needs money, they increase parking fees, it's pretty simple.


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 2:40 p.m.

I think this is a valid idea, but only if A2 lowers parking fees. This is in no way intended as an assist to business, its intent is to raise revenue. A2's parking is already too expensive and unfair. Too many meters in front of residences. Home owners can park in front of their home in some areas but not all. Ann Arbor is a rich person's town. If you are not fairly well off you can't live there and its expensive to even visit. Its because they spend too much on frivolous non essential programs and when there is a shortfall, they go after the essential services and blame the U of M. They don't need to raise revenues, they should cut spending and get out of areas where they do not belong. Its like California.


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 12:36 p.m.

I think it is a good plan to increase revenue to the city. Those who so dramatically oppose it, sorry but I believe its just bad business sense to not extend the hours. Plenty of other cities have parking into the evening. In addition there is some middle ground that can be taken, for instance, how about extending until 8 or 9 pm instead of 10? Or reducing the amount charged per hour. When I drive around on a Friday night or Saturday, I cannot find any spots and I have to drive round and round in a parking structure in hopes of finding a spot. This just goes to prove that the situiation now is not ideal to begin with. I already avoid looking for parking when and if I can. Why shouldn't the city and its citizens capitalize on the missed revenue opportunities ands maybe improve on the number of cars that just take a spot all night. If you really want to fight about a horrible parking situation, lets band together to do something about the aweful structure parking at our very own University Hospital. Its gonna be alright, change is ok. Cheese gets moved sometimes.

delete this profile

Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 12:33 p.m.

my post should read "now" not "not" they're crying broke.

delete this profile

Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 12:17 p.m.

I hope Sandi Smith enjoys her time on council because she will not be reelected if this passes. Over 70 thousand for a PROPOSAL for a piece of art at the new court building, millions for a new parking structure, but they're not crying broke. This town is becoming a joke.

local guy

Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 10:02 a.m.

I'm not absolutely opposed to this, but I think making the decision in this manner is unwise. What's the purpose of this increase? Is it sound policy? Shouldn't this be done by the DDA and not Council? And why shift monies from the Y lot to the City's General Fund when it was the DDA who paid for the Y to be razed and it was Council who caused the property to be undeveloped and then waste our money in the way it ended up providing the dorm housing at issue there? As to meters, extending the time on the meters makes some sense so that there's more turnover on the street and that restaurant employees don't take the prime spots for the night. I think extending the hours until 8 will do that trick. But do we really know how much of a difference this will make and is a blanket policy the way to find out? Again, 10 p.m. seems awfully late to feed a meter. We're not NYC. Also, I'd like to do this a manner that doesn't risk harming our local downtown merchants. We don't want to encourage people to stay away from downtown. That's just putting a bullet to our heads! We want to encourage people to come to our downtown. I think the parking model used in Birmingham sets a great example for us to explore FIRST. In Birmingham, there are meters everywhere, but the first two hours in any lot are FREE! Thus, no one ever has an excuse not to come downtown!!! Long-term parkers still pay and meters are truly for the short-termers. Let's think this through and not act in a short-sighted revenue reaping way. If people stop coming to our town and just go to the malls, then in the long run we'll just net less revenue --- much less revenue. We'll be a ghost town.

Blue Eyes

Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 9:43 a.m.

Parking meters after 6:00 PM and weekends. That settles it, I'll do my shopping/dining somewhere other than downtown Ann Arbor. There are plenty of other communities around Ann Arbor with great downtowns, restaurants and stores as well as the malls - all with FREE parking!

Mike D.

Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 8:51 a.m.

On second thought, why not switch to a pre-pay ticket system in structures? That way there's no, "Oh, I come to this booth to pay? Let me find my much is that? Can I pay in pennies?" I park in giant a structure in L.A. where there's only one exit, but there's never a line because you have to pay for your parking at a machine before you go to your car, and when you get to the exit you just pop in your ticket and it opens. I sincerely believe people wouldn't mind garages if not for the horrible wait to get out.

Mike D.

Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 8:47 a.m.

The real problem with downtown is that the garages are a nightmare to use. They are set up without enough exit booths, and the attendants are terribly slow to process cars. It routinely takes half an hour to get out on Friday and Saturday evenings. I wouldn't mind parking in a structure if it didn't mean my car and I would be held hostage there. If the 4th and William structure can't accommodate more exit booths, give workers and incentive to process cars quickly. Measure their average time to process cars, and base their performance evaluations (and continued employment) on acceptable scores. You'd see those lines just fly through, and people wouldn't be so scared to park there. Oh, and ban Buicks, which seem perpetually to be driving at 1 mph up to the 6th floor.


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 12:33 a.m.

Doing this extended meter thing is only going to annoy people when they get tickets for going over the limits by a few minutes and get tickets. The city wants to build up downtown and keep merchants, etc, so keep the place friendly for everyone, and don't do this kind of thing. The city council is very naive here in A2, and they cannot leave good things alone. The city building was fine, so was library parking. They certainly don't need foreign art. All of the lawyers working for the city and any on the council as well as other elected state officials should be instead figuring out a way to get the U to pay more towards the city. The Pfizer building needed to go to the private sector or the U needs to pay taxes for such research facilities that it makes money on. Then the city would not have to nickel and dime the good citizens of this fair city for meters. All street parking should be free all of the time. Liberate the streets from parking meters. That'll stimulate business, commerce, and tax revenues.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 10:17 p.m.

Could the news please do a follow up story on whether or not council decided to table the resolution tomorrow night or not? The Chamber of Commerce asked them to do so. A follow up would be really nice!!!!!!!

Ann Dwyer

Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 5:48 p.m.

For a little more info, Sandi Smith had mentioned that monthly parking permits are available in structures at a discounted price. Here's the link for that: And you can do to the DDA website to look at parking studies. Here's the link for one:


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 1:56 p.m.

This sounds like an idea that should be discussed further as it makes a lot more sense than expanding the number of meters (especially into residential areas). I am wondering about the position some people are taking about not going into downtown if the parking time is extended. For those of those who will do this, what do you currently do if you drive downtown and do not find a free after-hour meter spot? A) Drive around endlessly until you find one B) Go home or drive somewhere else where there is parking C) Say it's not your lucky day and park in a pay lot The Downtown merchants will be only losing the people who follow the first behavior.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 1:07 p.m.

Council member Smith...I hope this isn't the only reasoning for your support... What do the employees of downtown do during the day for parking? 2 hours for dinner in AA is very tight timing quite frankly so if you are going to do this the hours should be extended. What will you use the increased revenue for??? The new underground parking structure is adding a ton of spots away from some prime parking so i guess, if need be, I can park there for long-term and walk.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 12:23 p.m.

Living on campus, I frequently take advantage of free parking after 6pm to grab a bite to eat in the campus/downtown areas. Without free parking (and the addition of meter maids,) I'll be taking my business towards the mall or down Washtenaw.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 10:40 a.m.

Don't want to run to pay the meter? Park in a structure. NO big deal, what's so hard about that?


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 9:47 a.m.

"Budget Revenue: $18m; Expense: $7m". Not correct. The last audited statements show actual Parking and Deck Improvement Revenue: $14m; Expense: $15m (July08-June09). Your figures suggest DDA is a giant money-maker when this apparently is not true.

A Pretty Ann Arbor

Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 6:02 a.m.

Hey townie...I have scored an on street park every night this week and often get one where I have to pay up until yes I get one all the time. Not usually right by where I need to go, but close enough. I still think Council woman Smith is wrong and has some fuzzy math problems. The other day while I was waiting to get into the parking lot behind Conor O'Neils - I saw at least 3 restaurant employees (2 from real seafood - the other not known) get into their cars and leave the lot - they were not parking in front or beside the restaurant - they in fact were contributing by parking in the lot. I often park in the lot there when I need to do several things in that area during the day. I see employees coming and going from the lot from many of the area business's. I would like to see the study that produced these fuzzy numbers. Who did it, who funded it, sample sizes, weather factors, time of day, what day of the week, how many different people participated in the taking of the samples? My guess is this doesn't exist!


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 12:36 a.m.

Dj vu all over again. Back in the 90s the Ann Arbor Main Street Area and State Street Associations joined forces to get the City of Ann Arbor to stop the practice of making meter parking after 6 p.m. a violation. It was badly hurting business during the evening hours. The policy was rescinded.

John Galt

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 11:32 p.m.

All the more reason to avoid going to downtown Ann Arbor. I can eat and shop elsewhere without the fees.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 11:26 p.m.

When have any of you outraged individuals ever, I mean EVER, scored an on-street parking space downtown during the evening? 99.999% of those driving into town for dinner, a movie or a concert will end up in a structure. Sure there are some out-of-towners (or local masochists) who still go through the fruitless ritual of circling for a street space, but most people know it is pointless and head straight for a structure or a managed surface lot. You are already paying to park downtown in the evenings, so why the outrage?


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 10:49 p.m.

this is just another way to tax people. this isn't about turning over parking faster, it's about writing more tickets to the tune of at least $10 each.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 9:38 p.m.

Very good point. So don't run back to a meter. Use a parking structure. No metering.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 9:09 p.m.

'100% of on-street meters were filled during evening hours versus 68% during daytime hours, "demonstrating the need for evening parking enforcement as a tool to encourage parking turnover."....' To me this demonstrates it's more popular to come in the evenings when it is free... and you'll get 32% less people in the evenings when you extend the hours to 10pm. If we come in the evenings it's to make a quick grocery or take-out pick-up or to stay longer than 2 hours... if I get a babysitter I want to enjoy a long evening out - which doesn't include running back to the meter in the middle of a meal.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 9:05 p.m.

The $ city is $ broke, and all $ this ridiculous $ extension does is to $ tax us even $ more. There is no $ other issue $ at hand $ here. It's all about $$$$$$$$. Don't be $ fooled by any $ of the fan dance $.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 8:42 p.m.

After reading the story and the comments, it seems quite clear that simply increasing the times that the meters are enforced is a bad idea. The vast majority feels that this will tangibly impact downtown businesses in a negative way. I think that the time that the meters are enforced could be lengthened until 10:00, but other stipulations need to be included. Perhaps a per-employee credit should be offered to each downtown business to allow the business to assist the employees with parking fees. Perhaps shorter meters, such as 30 or 60 minute limit meters, should be added near the businesses that desire quicker turnover. Perhaps these shorter turnover meters are the only ones who enforcement time is extended until 10 pm. A cool idea was offered up by tlb1201 - Valet parking for downtown businesses. I'm going to expand on it... I can see a cool system developing that would have valets at strategic corners downtown. The valets could have walkie-talkies with drivers who are in the lots and could thereby quickly notify a driver to return with a vehicle. (Drivers would also be posted at the strategic corners to take the cars to the lots.) A customer could even start shopping at one strategic corner and then have their vehicle returned to a different strategic corner so that they could shop downtown from point A to point B. Offering a service like this would greatly enhance the downtown experience and provide an advantage that the mall does not. Coffee and hot chocolate could even be sold at the corners during the winter months by the valets. If done right, someone could make some money off of this idea and create a cool business.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 8:17 p.m.

This is a very bad idea in today's economic climate. One can understand the need for revenues, but this is shortsighted, as it will have a negative impact on many downtown businesses and in the long run this will also result in loss of money for the city. The main business at that time is food and entertainment--who is going to want to run out to put in more money into the meter when they are at a concert or having dinner? This is definitely counterproductive.

scooter dog

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 7:13 p.m.

minimun wage in michigan is $7.40 per hr,not $ 4.65


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 7:02 p.m.

Great another way to tax.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 6:59 p.m.

arrgghh!!! can you say gouging? this is only going to push people away from downtown in the evening.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 6:36 p.m.

When I decide to go downtown in the evening I have choices to make. If I'm going to be there a while, I choose a parking structure. Always a spot available, no time limit, cheaper rates, weather protection, and usually not far from where I'm going. NOT a difficult or daunting decision. If I'm going to be there for only an hour or so, I look for an on-street spot. However, I try this option knowing that finding one is a long shot (yes, on-street spots are 100% occupied in the evening, and empty ones are empty for maybe 10 seconds). It's extremely likely that there will be a lot of driving around looking for a spot --- possibly it's more driving time (and walking time) than if I'd gone straight into a structure. Deciding on street parking is NOT a no-brainer decision, it's a gamble. If I'm going to pick up something, like takeout from Parthenon, the easy decision is to park illegally close to a corner, dash in and out, and take my chances. Very high chances of success. Easy decision. I'd like to have a couple of other choices available, particularly mass transit. I live not too far from a Park N Ride lot and would love to have frequent bus service from there to downtown. I don't do it now because the schedule for those lots is really inconvenient, but when I've been in other cities it was usually the option of choice. Helloooo, DDA? Subsidize cabs at the parknride lots? Work with AATA? Bottom line: I don't see why the fuss. Use a parking structure. Shop at businesses that reimburse your parking expenses --- the Art Association, Aunt Agatha's, Conor O'Neills, Blue Nile, West Side Books, Downtown Home and Garden... And, parking rates are NOT $4 per hour as said above! It's 90 cents for the structures, $1.10 for surface lots, $1.20 for street spots. Half hour times are an option. The biggest bite would be if you use a flat-fee lot ($2 or $3, unlimited hours) for a really short trip. From the comments above, it sounds like some people have done this and generalized it to all downtown and campus parking.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 6:13 p.m.

Well, I'm glad that only the ultra wealthy workers downtown will most likely bear the brunt of this...I mean...afterall...minimum wage is $4.65 anymore...these young people are rolling in the dough...after all, tuition, food, clothing, etc...are not expensive either!


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 5:31 p.m.

And you expect to entice me to shop and eat downtown more often??? Forget it!! This is an insult to anyone who wants a vibrant downtown. No longer will I even bother - not with meters crying "FEED ME!!" day and night. A greedy downtown of horrors.

A Pretty Ann Arbor

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 5:03 p.m.

I think Sandi has some fuzzy math issues!! Also Grumpy - the division street was mentioned because they are putting in parking meters there and cutting the street down to two lanes, probably one lane eventually. If they are going to stop invading neighborhoods in near downtown by passing this new resolution then they need to rip up all the meters they just started on Division. Division didn't need any work...I wonder how many millions this cost us out of our tax payer dollars and yet we still have a bridge that is falling down. Stadium bridge is falling down, Hill street is caving in and Miller looks like it has the chicken pox, but by all means lets rip up a perfectly good street to make room for more parking meters. I wonder how many decades it will take of quarters and dimes to repay all of that unnecessary road work! Gotta love fuzzy math ROI that the city has!


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 4:31 p.m.

I find it unbelievable the council is even considering RAISING TAXES in this economic climate. The over-whelming amount of comments that oppose this resolution state the residents in the city are intelligent and able to use common sense. It doesn't seem to be the case with our elected officials, though. This will benefit absolutely nobody! More expensive for people to come and spend time in this lovely downtown. And fewer customers for the local businesses. This is nothing but a cop-out by our elected PUBLIC SERVANTS who can't come up with a way to balance the budget. And several people have pointed out the obvious problem with having employees who will have many challenges due to this proposed change. Its incredibly offensive to think our council is willing to screw over the very people who put them in office. Give me a break! I think I'm going to be at the meeting on Monday and let my feelings be known. I hope we can all do the same, and find out who deserves to get fired at the next election.

Emma B

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 4:25 p.m.

If they are actually primarily concerned about turnover then they better increase the number of 15- and 30- minute meters when they extend enforcement to 10pm. As a student on campus who likes to have her student friends from out of town visit her for dinners-- it's going to be really hard to convince my friends to drop by for dinner if we're going to have to pay for parking too. I don't own a car and am forced to use the AATA for transportation around Ann Arbor, which is generally inconvenient (especially when it comes to grocery shopping) because routes are geared towards traveling to and from Ypsi. Why not extend parking enforcement but also increase the number of park-and-ride buses from free lots? That way those who can afford to pay for parking late into the evening have that option and those of us living on minimum wage have an option as well.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 3:59 p.m.

A2's parking structures are nice, they even have art work in them and they are cheaper than street meters. The meters should be for people to make a quick trip in and out not for parking at 6:00 and staying until 11:00. As I said in another post above, many of the businesses downtown want the extension in order to spur turnover. That is why meters were invented.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 3:46 p.m.

Downtown? A nice drive thru on the way to other, easy to deal with locations. Depending on where one lives-head to Green Oak Twp, Westgate on Stadium, Arborland, etc. The "Mall" isn't the only choice anymore. Looks like Scio Twp. is poising themselves nicely for the future as well. Thanks officials for making my decisions about shopping and hanging out so much easier: and there is always the comfort of just staying in.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 3:08 p.m.

Hmmm, concerts would be interesting. Especially at places where there is generally a line to get in and get a good spot, like when a popular band plays at the Blind Pig. Plus, there are times where you're not allowed back in once you leave so you wouldn't be able to move your car or feed the meter. Even shows at the Ark, Michigan Theatre, Hill, etc would be a problem. Especially with a 7-7:30 start time and the show not getting over until 11.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 3:05 p.m.

@townie54 Where do those full down town eateries get their money to pay their taxes?


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 3:04 p.m.

To: townie 54 When referring to out of town yuppies that "don't contribute"? I would like to note that when they come to ann arbor and buy local products and services that provide jobs and keep our economy going, some might feel that is not a negative thing. Have a great weekend.

Sara K.

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 3:02 p.m.

I am a longtime Ypsi resident and have spent a lot of time and money in Ann Arbor over the past dozen years or so. Bookstores, restaurants, coffee shops, clothing stores, toy stores, bars, brew pubs, movies at the name it. While I understand the need to create additional revenue for the city, the city council is seriously misguided to even consider this. When the economy is bad, you want to encourage people to shop in your town, not alienate them by making it hard to park in the evening. Not that Ann Arbor seems all that appealing to me these days. Aside from Arbor Brewing,the State and Michigan, the Blind Pig, Encore, Zingermans, and and a few shops and restaurunts here and there...Ann Arbor is increasingly becoming less of a hip, funky college town, and more like Birmingham. Birmingham=Blah. Everytime I turn around, there is a new chain restaurant or store going in. The city seems to have its priorities out of wack: laying off law enforcement and fire fighters while building a multi-million dollar municipal complex. City council members spend thousands of dollars on fancy new laptops that everyone knows they really don't need. Arguing about whether the city should help poor people or fund some public art project. (Answer: the poor people, duh.) If the city council passes this resolution, I will still come to Ann Arbor to shop but I will do it when the bus is running. That means, me and my money will be leaving around ten. But that's okay because I'm sure the Elbow Room, Corner Brewery, or Sidetrack would love to see me and my money.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 2:49 p.m.

I like it.Now the out of town yuppies that dont pay any taxes here that fill the downtown eateries every night will contribute.They can afford a little parking money.They will still come here because its the in thing to do."Aren't we something" attitude.People that live here know where to park for free or to eat where they have free parking.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 1:32 p.m.

Turnover is important. I learned today that the State Street Business Owners Association is in favor of extending the hours of enforcement. Why? Want a quick beer or a burger? There are few places on the street because others are using the free parking while they go to a three hour show or else it's downtown employees taking the spaces that should be left for patrons. 10 PM enforcement works for Royal Oak, another city with a vibrant downtown. This would help push the long term parkers into the structures where they belong and create spaces for the one or two hour visitors.

Sean Eldon

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 1:23 p.m.

From the article: "The DDA's parking system is budgeted to generate $18.2 million in revenue in the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Parking expenses are forecast at $7 million." Before I arrive at any opinion regarding this proposal, I wonder about increases in revenue and expenses should this proposal pass. Is it worth it? Is looking into the Parking budget for comparable cities, such as Royal Oak, to give its readers some perspective on the matter? The Ann Arbor Chronicle posted a piece today that breaks down many of the relevant figures: I appreciate the Chamber of Commerce asking for more time before the council votes on this matter. It seems there's not nearly enough information to arrive at a decision yet.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 1:09 p.m.

This will seriously impact downtown bars and restaurants who do not have 20 minute turnover like the retail sector...downtown doesnt really have a thriving retail sector, its their service sector which benefits from having free parking after 6 so they can enjoy their restaurant/bar stay without the worry of getting ticketed. Besides, the majority of downtown retail is mom and pop businesses that have very limited hours and usually close by 6pm. Its a cash cow for the city on patrons that wont cause higher parking turnover but people running out to put change in the meters until 10, very annoying in a cold weather city I must add.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 1:07 p.m.

Let's please start thinking about ways to make downtown Ann Arbor a more welcome place for people to come and shop locally! Extending the parking meters will only deter people from coming downtown. This is simply a way to TAX the hardworking and locally supportive shoppers and diners that want to come downtown. It takes a few extra dollars out of there pockets and creates a less welcoming environment. Durring these difficult economic times, we should be thinking about ways to encourage shoppers and diners to come downtown! Our current parking enforcement policy includes extremely high parking fines and extremely aggressive parking enforcement. It is embarrassing to be known as the most aggressive parking enforcement city in the state and it scares people from coming to town and spending their money in our local economy. We should be thinking about enforcing our parking laws in a manner that is not so overzealous. Free parking on Sunday is wonderful. Any more creative ideas that we can come up with to make our downtown more welcoming should be considered!! I'm sure the timing of this potential increase was a bit of an oversight since it could be perceived that this is increase is being slipped in during the holidays with little time for comment. I am confident that our City Council will do the right thing and vote this down


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 12:58 p.m.

Just another reason for me NOT to go downtown. Who will enforce the meters. (may-be the laided off fireman can be reassigned!) Sorry Ann Arbor but you lost my business.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 12:54 p.m.

I like the toll idea....all roads leading into town should have toll booths where people can toss in their "access" to town money...even better yet, automate with solar energy! And we can sell the "transit fee" cards that truck drivers use for all of the football fans driving in so the fees would be read as their traveling...oh we could have sooooo much fun with this! And then no one would come into town and it would be so quiet and no emissions to worry about and the carbon foot prints would dissolve and blah blah's all about the money...but I bet Council and DDA officials don't pay for parking now do they!?!


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 12:46 p.m.

Oh for Pete's sake -get a clue mayor & DDA! If the whole experience shopping in A2 was pleasant, I'd spend whatever you asked for parking! I choose to spend my dollars in an environment where everything is convenient for ME - starting with just getting to the stores! Going downtown (which used to be such fun as a kid) has become far too much of a struggle especially in winter; over the years I see that Ann Arbor is no longer even willing to clear those massive snow piles that accumulate over the curb and up & around the meters, and prospective customers need 4wheel drive just to get around on the neighboring streets. I can't even take my elderly parent shopping here for fear of a snow pile injury. Prove me wrong if you disagree. Shopping on snow days is fun, but time after agonizing time when driving towards our main St. stores, the very first thing I encounter is cars sliding backwards down Huron Street at 1st Street- because you don't clear it. I am not willing to wreck my car or see my mom crawling over snow heaps for you, A2. Your fault, not mine that it's like driving on greasy butter around town. I try to keep visiting, but your lack of keeping the roads ice free keeps me away. I work too hard (here, in our city) to want to deal with this nightmare on my days off work -please justify to me why on earth would or should I dump any additional money into downtown? I'm stunned at the idiocy of this smart city. The trees and art are lovely, but the total lack of street maintenance in winter(every street in this city) is pathetic. Back in the 70's(?) the mayor of Chicago lost the election purely because of his lack of snow removal. Same thing should happen here before the city loses yet more revenue, because some of us wealthy folk don't ride green bicycles; we prefer to drive, park, spend lots of money, then drive home - all hassle free. You clear it, we will come. Plain & simple, but you just don't get it, and it only gets worse for all of your merchants & visitors...but it's not bad for me because I am happily driving, parking, and shopping in an area that welcomes me & doesn't require a 4x4 to get there. This comment from me is no exaggeration on the conditions around here, and I'm sure there will be some hurt feelings. Flag me if you want, but flagging will not fix what A2 so desperately needs. I want my city back to what it once was -pleasant and fun. Get a shovel and start clearing the streets, Mr. Mayor.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 12:40 p.m.

CAFR's?! Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports? Did I miss something about how they relate to parking - other than how Real News feels that they may reveal that the city has hidden assets that could pay for parking and other things? If you know something about city assets that the rest of us don't, please bring it to light! Now that would be some real news fit to print.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 12:37 p.m.

Goodmorning, Please know that in my thinking one must priortize these important parking matters. Just last evening (Friday before Christmas) I was taking a walk through Downtown. THE HIGHRISE PARKING STRUCTURES WERE OPEN, WIDE OPEN! Business must have ingress and regress. A coupon printed in the would certainly direct folks to a more pleasant discount parking and direction as to where to conveniently and relaxingly ENJOY AN EVENING of SHOPPING, DINNING, and BROWSING. Please correct me if I am wrong. Are there not twice as many folks in downtown during the day than the evening? I know that until the new facility is opened next to the library we all must focus on the matter and solve! "Sell the issue" and Sell the resolve. Sell, sell and sell! Your neighbor and friend, Dawn


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 12:28 p.m.

The City Council & the DDA are trying and succeeding in killing the golden goose! There is an article on the site right now from complaining business owners about aggressive enforcement driving her business away and now you want to penalize every restaurant by charging after 6:00 PM? Does anyone in the City realize that every Shopping Mall of whatever size has free parking? Ann Arbor is killing off it's business with too high rents and too limited parking. Soon downtown will look like Ypsilanti USED to look. Now Ypsi is getting a lot of specialty businesses that are locating away from A2 for better rents and a lot of parking. I only go to Ann Arbor on Sundays to park and shop and that is becoming less attractive all the time.

Matt Kaz

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 12:12 p.m.

yay, more of our money gone to waste! maybe they can buy some more of those horrific informational signs that are now littered throughout the streets. give me a break. their hours of operation will be extended, and our hours of visiting downtown will be shortened. Someone give us our city back!


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 12:12 p.m.

Free PARKING, FREE HEALTH CARE, everything is FREE. I want to play Monopoly! Why the debate? Just shop at Briarwood, they have everything one needs if not then go to Walmart ( State St & US 12), the certainly have everything except TURKEYS the week of Thanksgiving! Now that is a holiday Thanksgiving, not Christmas. Merry Chritmas to all and to City council Good Night!


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 12:03 p.m.

When studying or doing other activities downtown, I often waited until 6:00 pm to go into town, knowing that I can park my car on the street in peace. I do not need to worry about having to run to my car after two hours deep into a book at ERC, or run back to my car mid-desert to put more money in my meter. What would happen to happy hour business, etc if this is implemented? Instead of a person having a drink and dinner, they may just choose to get that quick beverage and run home. If I have to go back to my car to put in more change especially in cold winter weather, I am going to just hop into my car and go home. There has never been a time where I was unable to find a parking spot in town. Sure, sometimes I need to park in a lot a few blocks away from my destination, but I can still find a spot. I am with many of the other ones commenting who feel the city's argument is just facade. Their true intention is to make more money - they are not concerned about the "local businessman", because if they were, they would allow people to feel confident enough to spend more than 2 hours in town shopping in our wonderful boutiques, getting a little snack, and meeting friends for a beverage and spending lots of money in these businesses participating in these activities without finding a ticket on ones windshield.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 11:53 a.m.

There must be much better ways to open up on-street parking. Ann Arbor does not have enough quick-in-quick-out parking that would make it more convenient and attractive for shoppers to come downtown, day or night. The city needs to differentiate the kinds of parking evailable for short-termers versus people being downtown longer-term for food and entertainment or to work. How about finding innovative ways to make it better for both instead of finding lame excuses to jack rates!? How about more 15-minute and 30-minute meters? How about strictly enforcing time limits? How about finding ways to take away some of the reasons that too many otherwise good citizens turn into rude scoff-laws who think that certain rules apply to them because they are just one person dealing with an inconvenient parking or traffic situation? What about valet parking at night? I'm not sure where you could feasibly set it up downtown, but there have to be many patrons who would pay good money to have someone else deal with the challenges of parking their vehicle downtown. Imagine the convenience of pulling up close to your food or entertainment destination downtown in the dead of winter and paying only a couple of extra bucks on top of parking to have someone else do it for you hassle-free?! And imagine having fewer lost souls wandering around downtown looking for parking, growing more frustrated, desperate, and rude by the second?! Or how about a pay-per-use loading zone to eliminate some of the perpetual gridlock caused by too many who think they can double-park for "just a second" while their able-bodied passengers dilly-dally get in and out? The city needs a better place to pick-up and drop-off passengers downtown. How about making it easier while turning a buck in the process? These two very off-the-top-of-the-head approaches may not be feasible at all, but they are illustrative of looking for ways to actually provide a fee for a possibly useful SERVICE, not gouging people with yet another tax. The city needs a more innovative and business-like approach to to solve problems and to build services that pay for themselves. Isn't that how government is supposed to work? To look for ways to solve problems and to charge taxes only for things that do that?! (Gee, I hope I'm not sounding too much like one of those ugly capitalists who are so unpopular in Ann Arbor!) How about building a reputation for service and innovation in government, instead of growing the old one about Ann Arbor having terrible parking and money-hungry enforcement and taxation policies?


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 11:48 a.m.

I received a "survey" from the DDA yesterday regarding this issue. I bet the dinner guests that come in from out of town are gonna love leaving the Chop House in the middle of their meal to go out and feed the meter or the people attending a function at the's not about the additional $4/hr in the meter that will fill the coffers, it will be all about the parking tickets for expired and over limit that will fund the next round of foolish spending...ya know the old saying..."at least I'd like a kiss first before ya..... me" And Sandy Smith is talking out of her hat. Most downtown employees are at work already long before the meters stop charging...or they show up after. And most "guests" prefer the ease and security of lot or structure parking rather than street parking...


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 11:42 a.m.

@aataxpayer, our downtown store [been in the same place for 75 yrs] does give our customers parking stamp validation for the structures, we also give meter customers quarters for the meter. Why don't you question the ridiculous spending habits of the DDA and the city? Over $700K for the signs all over town that are either confusing or useless. There is a sign put on the corner of Miller and Ashleigh directing people to if someone is coming in from back roads, they darn well know where downtown is. There are a number of "i" flat board signs that I can only assume are meant to be "you are here" signs with NO INFORMATION. They're all blank. And now we're getting an underground structure when most of the time the added on structure at 4th Ave & Williams is never full...


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 11:30 a.m.

First of all, let me say that I think there is plenty of parking available downtown, system-wide, so my comments are in that light. The issue is lack of turn-over on the street. I recall testimony in front of City Council and the DDA, from downtown merchants in favor of the new underground parking structure, about how they were losing customers because the customers had no place to park. Well, from the anecdotes I heard, the folks that complained about lack of parking were not talking about a lack of spaces in the structures. What they really wanted (in my opinion) was a space on the street, right in front, or close to the place they were going. When hundreds of downtown cooks and servers put a few quarters in the meter at 5pm and leave their vehicles there until the end of their shifts, there is no room for customers to park on the street, and we get these anecdotal stories about there being "no place to park downtown." Perhaps the barkeepers/restaurateurs/merchants need to get with it and help their employees get to work by other means, or work out something with the DDA to get them into the structures at a reduced rate. Creating more turnover in the evening will help counter the perception of many people that there is "no parking available downtown." There are two ways to do this with the meters. One, we can charge for parking until 10pm. Or, two, we can simply enforce a two-hour time limit, with no hourly fee. A time limit enforced until 9 or 10pm would help with the dinnertime, on-street parking turnover issue, but the other half of this matter is the need to generate revenue for the City's coffers. Time-limit violations alone would not generate as much revenue as those violations PLUS the hourly fees.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 11:30 a.m.

We definitely avoid downtown because of parking unpleasantness, the expense. It's not worth it. Pain in the... DDA is a parasite, they need to incentivize people showing up and spending in this economdy, not drive them away.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 11:25 a.m.

Imagine how much less successful an event like "midnight madness" would be if folks coming downtown had feeding a meter on their minds. The other consideration besides downtown merchants is the downtown churchs that have lot's of activities going on Mon - Sat and often in the evenings. For some elderly folks, this increases the challenge of participating in non-Sunday activities in a downtown church or going out to eat at a certain establishment. I guess we all need to increase the size of our quarter roll stash we keep in the console of our vehicles. This is seemingly a small thing but for someone who is 80 years old, trying to step over a snow bank in January to insert quarters into a frozen meter, it is not only deterrant but a risk to park along our streets.

scooter dog

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 11:21 a.m.

Why stop at 10 pm if the brain dead council wants to drive away people like they propose to do lets charge for parking 24/7/365.Or set up toll booths on all streets leading into the city and charge to enter.Council is so out of touch with the people who put them there it stinks

Somewhat Concerned

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 11:19 a.m.

Why don't we charge everyone $4 every time they want to shop or eat downtown? That will raise a little money, and every time we need more money, we can just raise the charge. We'll get even more money, until people stop coming downtown as often they once did. Then we'll get some abandoned spaces, a few more chain operations, more action in the chain stores and restaurants out in the strip malls, and soon we'll look like Toledo, and Des Moines, and Greensboro, and Tulsa, and Allentown, and Mobile. To speed things up, we could raise property taxes. Wait! We're already doing those things. We need some new ideas to hasten the decline of downtown and of Ann Arbor as we know it. Council members, put on your thinking caps.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 11:18 a.m.

Attached is a copy of the email I sent to the council and mayor this morning urging them to vote no on the proposed parking meter resolution. I suggest anyone else who feels strongly about this issue do the same. Contact information for council members and Mayor Hieftje is available at: * * "Dear Carsten, Mike, Mayor Hieftje, and City Council Members: I am writing to express my strong disapproval of the proposed resolution to extend operating hours for downtown Ann Arbor parking meters beyond 6 p.m., which I understand is scheduled to be presented for vote by the city council at Monday night's meeting. While I appreciate the city's need to generate revenues in light of the current economic climate, I am concerned the resolution, if passed, will have a chilling effect on many of our downtown merchants and, by extension, cause substantial long-term harm to our community. Our local businesses and unique downtown environment contribute significantly to our quality of life, are one of the biggest attractors to people considering a move to our region, and are a primary reason why I choose to live in Ann Arbor relative to another part of the country. I do not support any proposal that makes our downtown less attractive to local residents or out-of-town visitors, particularly when so much free parking is available outside of town. As an Ann Arbor voter and property owner, I believe there are other ways to find the solutions you are seeking. Please vote NO on any and all proposals to extend parking meter times in downtown Ann Arbor. Thank you."


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 10:46 a.m.

Just another reason to take business to other areas! DUNB, DUMB, DUMB!!!!


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 10:42 a.m.

Let's install parking meters at Briarwood Mall and every other strip mall in the City limits.

Ryan J. Stanton

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 10:41 a.m.

The Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce is asking for a postponement of the resolution because it was added to the agenda late. Kyle Mazurek, the chamber's vice president of government affairs, wrote to council members on Friday: "Given that its now the holiday season and many are traveling, and given that this resolution was not uploaded to the Citys website until today (Friday) at 11:57 a.m., the Ann Arbor Chamber respectfully requests that you postpone consideration of this matter to a later date. All interested parties should be given sufficient time and opportunity to examine it. Its implications for the downtown area business community should not be taken lightly. This Council clearly values public input. For consistency and fairness sake, lets not now stymie it by hastily considering this matter."


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 10:40 a.m.

Why doesn't the city learn how to manage the money it does have?

scooter dog

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 10:39 a.m.

Just another nail in the coffin for ann arbor downtown.Lots of quality eating places OUTSIDE of downtown that offer FREE PARKING.Greedy Greedy Greedy

Jon Saalberg

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 10:36 a.m.

She [Smith] says that it will open up short-term parking that is often taken up by employees of the downtown businesses. They might park there at five or six oclock at night, put in a little money, and then stay until two in the morning, she said. Does the honorable councilperson have any proof to back up this claim?We must remember that this is the same group that thinks it's a good idea to build a $59 million dollar parking structure when Ann Arbor doesn't fill its existing parking structures. Why resort to common sense now? Downtown Ann Arbor is a great destination that becomes less so with every hike in parking fees.Has the city/Council/DDA ever done a survey of visitors to see what their feelings are about Ann Arbor's high parking rates?

Joel Goldberg

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 10:28 a.m.

"The Downtown has changed dramatically over the past 25 years, with much more evening commerce and activity..." A reasonable person might agree but then draw an opposite conclusion from the data: free parking after 6 has helped evening-oriented businesses to thrive downtown over the years, while meters and tickets put downtown's daytime businesses at a competitive disadvantage, causing them to gradually disappear. Hmmmm...

Jim Osborn

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 10:04 a.m.

Yes, indeed. Why is this being brought up a few days prior to Christmas?It seems as if they wish to sneak it by. $3 does raise the cost of a quick happy hour beer at Arbor Brewing. It doubles it. It makes a store bought one seem much more reasonable. Last time they tried to charge for Sunday Parking, Fr. Tom Firestone of St. Mary Church got almost all of the downtown churches to go against it, calling it a tax on churches. It failed.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 10:02 a.m.

Either I'm confused or a few of the previous posters are. What's with the multiple cracks on the council person not being able to read? It makes perfect sense does it not? Meters are currently free after 6P. Someone gtes there at 5:30, puts 50 cents in and leaves it there til 2AM. What am I missing here? Sounds like parking generates millions of dollars for the city. You are against that yet you want more cops on the street. Fuzzy math. It would be nice to be able to pop into Starbucks, MDEN, or a restaurant to pick up a take-out order, but there is never any storefront parking so you have to drive up to the top floor of a parking deck. Pain in the neck. And what does the Division Street comment have to do with anything. Sounds like a previous grudge that is off topic. If the issue is that we need more parking and they are adding spots to Division, then what's your beef? Makes perfect sense. Perhaps the author of this article can clear up the confusion here. Seems like a bunch of cranky people waking up on a Saturday morning looking to complain about something. Add me to the list!


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 9:55 a.m.

Just another reason to not go into town, nickel and dime us to death, another way to tax the public. I only go into town on Sundays when it's free. Lost another customer, sorry.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 9:45 a.m.

I would like to point out to the councilwoman and the council that people who work downtown at night are residents and taxpayers in this city, not second-class citizens because of where or when we work. Nor can we leave our jobs several times every evening to feed meters or, worse, move our cars. Nor can we take public transportation because AATA stops running long before we finish work. I resent city council's and the Downtown Development Authority's intention to punish the very people who are most responsible for making downtown as prosperous as it is. (And why isn't this proposal on the public council agenda? And why is it being brought up on the Monday before Christmas? Apparently the council doesn't want the public to know what they're doing.)


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 9:23 a.m.

During the holidays, the city of Birmingham (metro Detroit) offers two hours of free parking during the day, any time, without need for validation of any sort. The city should at least facilitate something along these lines during the holidays.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 9:16 a.m.

Help customers? This is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Could you suck any more joy out of us during the holiday time? I am a first ward resident...this stinks.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 9:14 a.m.

I'm just wondering how many people actually would decide not to spend an evening in downtown A2 because now they'd have to spend an extra $3 or so on parking. Somehow I can't really see someone choosing to go to the mall on a Saturday evening, rather than our vibrant downtown, just because parking is free.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 9:05 a.m.

It would make more sense if cars we charged for every block they drove downtown. The Council could sell pre-paid cards from which fees could be drained for every intersection a vehicle drove through. Perhaps the technology exists to continuously drain the cards for every minute a vehicle spends downtown.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 9:02 a.m.

What a load of baloney - to "help" customers? Really? You have to be kidding. This is another tax increase of sorts. AND, this is why THIS customer doesn't park in downtown at all anymore. In fact, I do go there unless I have to - and this is why. The city is in my pocketbook every single second I'm there. Not the businesses to provide something in exchange (and pay the city in turn). Wow - Ypsi is better than this!

Go Blue

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 8:54 a.m.

Enough is enough! Its time to get real. Why not just close up the entire downtown area and get it over with instead of wrenching out dollar after dollar from the shoppers that are really trying to keep our local businesses alive. Get it over with now and we can all just stick to the mall where parking is F R E E or online where even shipping can be F R E E. What part of "E N O U G H you have bled us dry" does city council not understand? I say take a pay cut, start cutting back on the big, nonessential actions that money is being tossed at. This is a time to C U T E X P E N S E S so people can afford to shop and keep our local businesses alive not the opposite. Why is it that when finances get short, the answer is always to go back to those that pay? We can't go to our employers and demand more money - why then should the option exist for council to blatantly continue to hike fees? Learn how to work with the funding you have like the rest of us and quit trying to stick your hands deeper yet in our pockets. Must be time for a new, far more realistic and sensitive to the public, regime to come on board.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 8:47 a.m.

This is a better idea than blanketing residential neighborhoods with meters. City residents will know where to park for free downtown. This is a way to get some money off of visitors. Royal Oak has meters until 10 and has a flourishing downtown.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 8:28 a.m.

Why do they need to nickel and dime us more -- In the world of business, when one business unit asks for more money, its supported by a logical plan and a business case. In this case, it sure sounds like greed and opportunistic behavior. Not too long ago, I was sitting in my parked car when one of the parking meter attendants wanted to give me a ticket - I had to step out of my car and fight back! This lady then insisted that I move the car from that spot - it felt like I was dealing with the Gestapo! Are you reading this, Sandi Smith?

K Thompson

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 8:21 a.m.

Hmm... parking behind Kline's for FREE during the holidays.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 8:20 a.m.

Please, anyone who loves downtown Ann Arbor and has an opinion about this problem is encouraged to attend the A2 City Council meeting next Mon. night Dec. 21st. It starts at 7pm. Please come and voice your concerns!! If the city council and DDA will not save the small, unique businesses, we"ll have to do it ourselves.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 8:19 a.m.

On its face, a reasonable resolution, but the article raises questions for me. The resolution is introduced as an alternative to expanded locations for metering of on-street parking. For how long would it be considered an alternative or more directly is this just a temporary stop-gap? If metering moves into an area where residents have permits for extended on-street parking, will the permits still effectively override the metered restrictions? If the metering moves into areas proximate, but not in the DDA area, who pays for the servicing of the meters? Separately, I infer from the article and comments that downtown business owners want more people downtown and more potential revenue. A successful example of a pedestrian friendly downtown is Boulder, Colorado's Pearl Street. There are many potential solutions in that example that could exist here on a Pedestrian Main Street with traffic routed around on Division, 4th or Ashley.

Mike Nowak

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 8:04 a.m.

I totally agree that adding more meter time in the evening is a bad plan for downtown businesses. Just enforce the two hour limit as someone suggested.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 7:41 a.m.

With most of the downtown businesses struggling to stay alive, could the Council find a way to make them LESS competitive? YES! Extend parking enforcement! Take away the 4 hours a day that they can be on an equal footing with the malls. The crazy part of this is that most evening guests DO pay full fare in the supervised lots. This resolution is all about driving away those who don't come down very frequently or come in from out of town... these are the folks who help the businesses make their margins. This same resolution was passed in the early 90's and downtown business dropped over 20% INSTANTLY! I know because we had a successful business that suffered greatly until the Council changed its mind a few months later. It was the bad press from angry customers, not the pleading of the local business owners that finally got through to the Council. Let's not do this again.

Ann Arbor Resident

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 7:35 a.m.

Free Sunday parking should also be elminated. I really never understood why Sunday = Free Parking. It would increase reveune to the city and create additional parking lot attendant jobs/work hours.

Jim Osborn

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 7:20 a.m.

Alan Goldsmith is so correct- "What part of "Two hour time limit' doesn't she understand?". Changing the 2 hour limit to extend until 10 PM, and actively enforcing it, will achieve her stated goal. Mark these meters and spaces with stickers and signs stating "2 hour limit until 10 PM" Why should and why does the DDA get so much money? They seem to have little accountability and act as if it is their money and not taxpayer money. Change the agreement so they get a smaller percentage of the meter cashflow. I still remember a $4 million project that redid all of the sidewalks around Borders bookstore and 6 months after they were finished, it looked the same. Instead of nice European square pavers, just ugly cement that they had before. Reducing lanes on streets such as Division and 5th street impedes traffic flow and discourages spur-of-the moment trips to the downtown area. These are the only fast way to get across town. With pedestrians crossing the street, the right and left lanes are often blocked by drivers wishing to turn left or right. That left the center lane open. Now it is being removed,causing traffic to come to a stop. I like to ride bicycles, but the mayor wants to create these lanes that benefit very,very few at the expense of 99.9% of the majority. I never see bicyclists in the winter.


Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 6:49 a.m.

At least the ravenous meters could be avoided in the evening. I know of groups who used to meet downtown during the day and due to the parking situation, are meeting outside of town where the parking is free.

A Pretty Ann Arbor

Sat, Dec 19, 2009 : 6:31 a.m.

So I guess that means they are going to re-do all the work they just did on Division where they are getting rid of a driving lane to create a parking lane - rip it all out and make it a driving lane again? Come on they just want more money - a huge amount of of that revenue comes from a lot of people that come in here from OUTSIDE of the city for a night out. By all means lets make it less attractive to come to Ann Arbor. My friends that live in other cities are learning to hate Ann Arbor...I am constantly asked "why are they doing ---insert project name--- in Ann Arbor." Many of them have told me they no longer like to come to town for dinner or walking around. Some feel nickle and dimed to death, especially since the new "parking machines" eat money but often don't give credit, and getting parking tickets in areas where they have often parked and never had an issue. And oh let's not forget they aren't as safe as they once were either. Yesterday I was slightly bullied by someone begging for money - I think he thought he could make his physical presence so close to mine - make me give him money...hardly - I a bulldog. But my friends have told me they don't feel safe here like they used to either. So here is my wish list to the city: 1. Promote downtown as a fun and great place to visit to outsiders. Stop riding on your high horse and actually find out what is going on downtown at night...who is here, how they got here, whether they feel safe, where did they park, etc. I am not talking some $100,000 study by some fancy consultant either. Figure out a way without spending crap loads of money. Put the police back out on the streets so our visitors and residents alike feel safe. A lot of new crime is 1:1 on the street, there is a reason for this...they know they can get away with it. 2. STOP all the ridiculous work on roads like Division where you are squeezing the street, making more on street parking when there are other streets that really need help like off the top of my head HILL street (which I drive on every day) between Greene and S. Main - dear god this is a mess. A two block area with more than 100 pot holes...come on health, safety - welfare - the city is responsible for our safety, not revamping a perfectly good road into a squeezed parking nightmare. 3. THINK before you act - don't just cave to the wills of your fellow council have brains USE THEM. Don't alienate the people that come into town every night by raising the time. You are already installing right now - new meters, will you now take the new meters out? Will you make Division back into a 3 lane street? Agh Frustrated in A2