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Posted on Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Construction under way for new AATA bus pullout on Washtenaw near Arborland

By Julie Baker


Construction takes place on Washtenaw Avenue between Pittsfield Boulevard and Yost Boulevard to build an AATA bus pullout. In 2009 the Arborland stop discontinued its service and since then buses have been stopping in Washtenaw Avenue, delaying traffic to drop off and pick up riders.

Joseph Tobianski I

Construction is under way on a new bus pullout on eastbound Washtenaw Avenue, east of Pittsfield Boulevard and opposite of the Arborland Center.

The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority formed an agreement with the city of Ann Arbor for the project in April. The project is meant to improve the Washtenaw corridor, the busiest corridor in the AATA system with more than 800,000 trips taken annually between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, according to the AATA. Many riders transfer between routes 4 and 7 at this location.

Arborland previously had a major bus stop and transfer station in its parking lot until July 1, 2009, when the shopping center ended the AATA’s lease on the station. The closing of the Arborland bus stop affected an estimated 1,000 bus riders per day after 30 years of use. At the time, AATA officials said the main issue Arborland had with the bus stop was the 150 parking spots being used by commuters, according to a previous report.

The project costs about $154,000 and will be paid for with federal stimulus money granted to the AATA.

During the construction of a bus pullout, the Washtenaw and Pittsfield stop on the south side of the street for routes 4, 7 and 22 will be moved to a temporary stop located about 50 yards west of Pittsfield Boulevard, according a service alert from the AATA. It is recommended that riders needing an accessible stop use the bus stop located on Washtenaw about 50 yards east of Huron Parkway.


Ann English

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 12:39 a.m.

So that's what is going on with the edge of that parking lot for Dollar Tree customers and others; I had guessed whatever it was, it was temporary. As long as not too many bus passengers have to cross Washtenaw to get to the south side. I don't know how long ago it was, but parking in front of Hiller's used to be more difficult than it was today; parking spaces could be hard to find. I think, even with the rebuilt Marathon gas station, that it's possible to get to Hiller's from Marathon just by driving on the pavement beyond Marathon's property; no need to get back on Washtenaw in order to get from one to the other.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 1:50 a.m.

Actually they are closing up that area of Dollar Tree to add another outlet to that strip mall. Not adding a place for buses. Although thats not a bad idea though.


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 10 p.m.

and they do all this at Christmas Time.go figure!!!


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

Why didn't AATA purchase Arborland when it was sold for a measly <$10 million dollars. They could created a hub for their entire flee there. We all know they make a killing from our property taxes that would have enabled them to do so.


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

They should have incorporated a transit center and park and ride at the county service center when they did all that construction. Another good spot might be where the old juvenile detention center was on the eastern edge of county farm park.


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

Excellent! Good job to AATA and the City of Ann Arbor! Too bad they couldn't have closed one of Arborland's entrances in the process. Hopefully Arborland's management company will be canned.


Tue, Nov 15, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

They already punished themselves through their astoundingly short sighted actions.

5c0++ H4d13y

Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

Yes. Punish a private business that provides jobs to 100s of people in the county for doing what they felt was best with their own property.


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

This area obviously needs a true park-n-ride commuter lot with an integrated, off-street bus stop. The idea that riders should become pedestrians who cross this extremely high-volume traffic corridor is lunacy, just as is stopping buses in traffic lanes. That takes money, of course, but might it not make the most sense to negotiate a new lease with Arborland to allow for bus transfers and some number of parking spaces? Perhaps another of the areas' underused stripmall lots might work? At the end of the day, safety either is or is not a priority -- and this compromise demonstrates the answer!


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 2:28 p.m.

Yes the AATA should have known the lease was up, but my biggest problem has always been with the Arborland management. To want to put out AATA after 30 years when parking spaces was never an issue was an act of selfishness; remember riders and drivers alike are their customers and to pit one against another was callous, same as their actions at Maple Village. This is the same selfishness that prevails in the rest of corporate and political America today.

5c0++ H4d13y

Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 4:42 p.m.

How incredibly selfish to use their property that they bought and pay taxes on the way they want. What do they think this is? A free country!


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 2:57 p.m.

From what I understood, AATA tried to negotiate a new lease that would appease everyone. Borders was the one who complained the loudest because they wanted more people in their store. Sadly they messed with their customers who use buses and this was the point AATA was trying to make. More customers would come into their store not drive to get what they needed. Sadly Borders didn't count on one thing. Back lash. I loved Borders but knew they were barking up the wrong tree.


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 12:08 p.m.

Julie, I'm missing something. I thought a bus pullout was the "extra lane" over to the right where the bus could stop without blocking a lane of traffic. Am I right? If this bus pullout is for the east bound traffic, how does that help passengers heading from Ypsilanti to Arborland? And after reading Jamie Riddle's comment, I wonder if there will be park and ride spots in the strip mall between Pittsfield and Yost. Could you find out for us? Thanks.

Jim Osborn

Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 11:47 a.m.

This was poor management by the AATA. They knew that their lease was up, and had no plan. Stopping traffic on busy Washtenaw is close to immoral. I can see why Arborland would not want to have their lot turned into a park and ride, IF it filled up their lot and customers could not park. But this is not the case, and th additional people could bring in additional customers. Poor management on both sides. I'd bet that the management of Arborland is not local.


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 8:26 p.m.

Actually what happened was Arborland came under new management who did not want the bus stop in their mall. They tried to negotiate but the new managers thought it brought crime and tarnished their reputation (even though a good portion of their employees ride AATA to work at Arborland). AATA was forced into the current situation.

Jamie Riddle

Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 11:40 a.m.

This is good news to hear. Too bad Arborland put a stop to the service. I don't see an issue with the 150 parking spots being used since they now have the vacancies where Circuit City and Borders were. Even when those businesses were there I don't recall ever seeing the parking lot completely filled. I have an idea for Arborland, reconstruct the parking lot in the complex where Starbucks is, since they don't have busses through there anymore.


Mon, Nov 14, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

Borders had the issue, not anyone else. Now that Borders is gone AATA should try to renew this lease. Otherwise, I agree, great news to hear that a new area is going to be installed.