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Posted on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Hundreds of UMHS employees hunt for parking spots after opening of new Mott hospital

By Kellie Woodhouse

In Ann Arbor, parking has long been considered a nuisance.

The aversion to city parking experienced by those working and visiting downtown is shared by employees of the University of Michigan Health System, who often arrive at work 45 minutes to an hour early in order to find a spot within walking distance of the hospitals.


The new C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital.

Joseph Tobianski |

Since the December opening of the new C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital, about 290 employee parking spaces located at the Mott parking structure have been turned into visitor parking.

Because of the switch, 290 additional employees have joined the more than 1,000 UMHS employees who park at satellite lots near Fuller Foad and the Pfizer complex at North Campus and the Michigan Stadium lots at South Campus.

Those employees take a 10 to 15 minute bus ride to the hospital. Buses run on a 10-minute cycle.

"Obviously with the new hospital opening we had to anticipate the additional growth with patients coming there," said Stephen Dolen, executive director of U-M Parking and Transportation Services.

"There's still capacity in our system (for every employee to park), it's just not as close to the Hill where they used to park," he continued. "The capacity that's available is more out on the fringes."

With the December parking reorganization parking has become so tight that even employees with permits that allow them to park near the hospital have to hunt for parking.

"We’ve called it a hunting license for years," said Katie Oppenheim, president of the U-M Professional Nurse Council. "Nobody is guaranteed a spot."

The university gives four types of passes to employees: Gold, Blue, Yellow and Orange. Gold permits run $1,531 per year and allow employees to park on the lower floor of structures adjacent to the hospital. Those permits are in short supply and high demand. Blue permits, at a cost of $648 per year, also allow employees to park at nearby structures. Yellow permits, for lots within walking distance of the hospital, cost $149 per year. Parking for the fringe lots is $73 per year.

Oppenheim said nurses with blue permits have begun arriving 45 minutes early to their 7 a.m. shifts to ensure parking near the hospital.

"If you work at 7 a.m. you shouldn’t have to be at your parking spot at 6:10 or 6:15 a.m. in order to get a spot and be at work on time," she said. "It used to be that if you weren't there by 6:30 you might not find a spot, now it's much earlier than that."

Also in December, UMHS changed a long-standing policy of allowing night shift staff to park in visitor lots as long as they paid visitor rates. Those staff are no longer allowed to park in visitor lots, even if no spaces are available in nearby employee lots.

"That's a problem with people who have to come in urgently at night who have always been given permission to park in visitor parking," Oppenheim said. "Now you can't park there no matter what."

When Mott first opened in early December, Dolen and his parking crew were helping direct staff to parking. The first few days, employee parking near the medical center was chaotic but affected employees soon adjusted to the new routine, Dolen said.

"It was a big change and there was a little bit of confusion," he said.

"Some have been really good about it," he continued. "Others ... parking is an emotional thing and some folks have not appreciated it, definitely."

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

I completely missed this article or I would have commented earlier. I work at SPH; our parking has disappeared because of employee parking spaces turned into visitor parking spaces. My husband and I carpool, and I was always able to find a spot at 7:10. No longer. I parked at Palmer for a week but that's a slightly scary walk in the dark - crossing Washtenaw underneath the pedestrian bridge and going up walkways/stairs surrounded by bushes and trees. Instead of dropping my husband off at the business school, driving to Palmer, and walking to SPH, he drops me off at SPH and drives to the business school where there is plenty of parking. I feel far safer walking to the business school in daylight than walking from Palmer to SPH in darkness. The truly scary thing is that we PAY to do this!


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

Yes, parking should have been increased as part of the hospital project. Ironically, the medical center is where underground parking (with security measures) would have made sense. So many of the problems have been addressed above, I just add a few measures that could be adopted quickly to at least provide a little help. 1. Provide security by campus security officers and cars at outlying parking lots, including the Pfizer lot, between 11 p.m. and midnight to protect p.m. shift workers. 2. Double the number of buses that shuttle workers from outlying lots to the medical campus. There's no justification for doubling the time (from 10-15 minutes to 20-30 minutes or more) that it takes to go from car door to hospital door. 3. Stop villifying workers who need to go right from work to pick up a child at daycare. They can't take a bus from daycare to home because there aren't child and baby seats on buses. Unless the worker picking up a child lives within walking distance of the daycare setting, the worker must drive. Bussing to work makes sense for some people, but many can't do it for many reasons, such as daycare, second jobs, not living near a workable bus route, etc.. I also agree that creating a (temporary, at least) surface parking lot on the unused Maiden Lane and Broadway property would be a faster way to develop parking than it would to construct another multi-level parking structure. The property owner may even welcome leasing the dormant property. Stop blaming the victims. The blame goes to the top, those who were aware of and those who approved the project. Don't let the mistakes at the top have a "divide and conquer" effect in which someone who isn't a nurse attacks nurses. Whether unionized or not, all middle class workers need to support each other. Otherwise, it could be a situation such as "First they came for the" ...., but I wasn't a .... . .....When they came for me there was nobody left to help.


Wed, Jan 25, 2012 : 6:03 a.m.

It's not just the 290 spaces that were eliminated, it's also the approximately 500 new employees working in the new hospital, who also need to park somewhere. So it's not just an extra 290 people looking for spaces, it's closer to 800. This article also makes it sound like people have adjusted and the situation is now stable, which is not the case. I work in one of the research buildings (several blocks from the hospital) and park in the structure at the corner of Glen and Catherine streets. Two months ago, I was able to arrive at 8:40 and find a spot. By early January I was having to arrive by 8:25. Last week the structure was full by 8:20, and this week it's filling before 8:15. Every time someone doesn't get a spot, they come earlier the next day, and cumulatively this keeps pushing the time at which the structure is full earlier and earlier. This trend shows no sign of stopping any time soon. BTW, I do live in Ann Arbor, and have tried taking the bus to work. Unfortunately, between the half mile walk from my house to the nearest stop and the fact that there is no direct bus to the medical center from where I live, taking the bus means my round trip commute time increases from 40 minutes to 2-3 hours.


Wed, Jan 25, 2012 : 12:17 a.m.

Oppenheim says "you shouldn't have to arrive at 6:10am for a 7 am shift". Why not? If that's the way it is, then deal with it. Quit, car pool, take a bus, park on the fringe, or move to Ann Arbor and pay property taxes. If I live in Lansing and work at the U of M, I guess I shouldn't have to drive for two hours?


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

Quitting isn't an option for some of us, as we need to work. Taking a bus also isn't an option - it would take me over an hour each way.

Lindsay Edick

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 9:23 a.m.

It is nice to see a forum where UMHS employees can voice their feelings about parking on the medical campus. I feel extremely strong about the inadequate parking system. It is wrong that we have to pay for parking, ride on buses with DANGEROUS drivers wait for the buses in the rain for long periods of time, stalk fellow employees to get a spot in the lots. I have witnessed several altercations in the parking lots because people are fighting over the spaces! That is ridiculous!!!


Wed, Jan 25, 2012 : 12:51 a.m.

But it's a good place to work and have a job isn't it?


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 5:56 a.m.

It definitely impacts the patients too! I had an appointment last month at 10:00am at the main hospital for my newborn and I could not find a place to park in the structure (lot A I think). I went around and around (top to bottom) for about 20 minutes. I finally had to call and say that I was stuck in the structure and could not find a spot. They told me that I would have to reschedule if I could not get there in the next 10 minutes. So I waited, with my spots (it was very crowded, people getting very aggressive when someone was pulling out of a spot) and ended up rescheduling the appointment. I was not going to go park somewhere else and take a bus with a newborn (no car seats in buses). I am dreading going back this month...I live only 15 drive minutes away from the hospital, but I plan on leaving a good hour before my child's appointment so that I can find a parking spot.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 3:26 a.m.

High and mighty nurses being forced to not have parking spots right next to the door? How dare they get grouped with the rest of "general population".


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 10:18 p.m.

High and mighty nurses? You can not be serious.

Left is Right

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 3:04 a.m.

No university administrator is going to spend a penny more than absolutely necessary for parking. Where's the glory in building a parking lot as opposed to a new research building? And naming rights don't command such a high price. (Imagine the Stephen M Ross Parking Deck--on par with the John C Mackie Rest Area) The bright side, however, is the coming collapse in federal research funding. We'll be able to "repurpose" many of UM's buildings as parking decks.

Left is Right

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

Well, it would seem that one solution is not to issue parking permits to anyone living within two miles of the Medical Campus. They can walk, take the AATA, ride a bike, or get a ride. There are many options other than driving.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 1:45 a.m.

It's true, staff is not permitted to pay to park in visitor lots. They will turn you away.

Rod Johnson

Wed, Jan 25, 2012 : 1:41 a.m.

Maybe I'm thinking of different lots--we're not talking about the big decks by Taubman, are we?

Left is Right

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 3:40 a.m.

In the dental school lot, for example, you'll be fined $25 if you park there and you're not a patient.

Rod Johnson

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 12:12 a.m.

I don't understand--are you saying that if someone who has a blue permit enters a visitor lot and is willing to pay normal rates they'll be turned away? That makes no sense. I've done that very thing many times.

Rod Johnson

Wed, Jan 25, 2012 : 1:41 a.m.

Heh... better go on the run.


Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 10:16 p.m.

Boy, are you in trouble now! I hope Rod Johnson is your nom de guerre.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 11:31 p.m.

Less talking, more walking.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 10:52 p.m.

Bus are great but do they run to daycare ? No. Do UofM pays for the overtime in daycare that, in AA, are closing realy early : no... I start paying the parking fee so I will free around 45 min of usefull working time instead of hunting for a parking spot, now I am back to square one but my paycheck is not... And the bus every 10 min? You are not riding them, put a good 20 min to wait then had 15 min to a commute that take 10 min by car

Kai Petainen

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 10:39 p.m.

What a fantastic article in support of the new Fuller parking lot. Oh wait... that's a transit center and not a parking lot. So it's not being built for these people, as it's being built for the people who will come in by train and visit the city. But, if there is a section for staff and visitors in that parking lot, then the staff will fill it up, and then the staff will fill up the visitor section too. Which means it is a parking lot for the hospital. But wait, would that not imply that someone is engaging in some marketing or false advertising? This article just gave us proof that the parking lot is for the hospital, and not for the train station. Sad, how a hospital (being of health), wants to build a parking lot beside a river. Solve the spill that ran past your noses and I'll support your parking lot.

Kai Petainen

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 4:13 a.m.

here's why that spill matters. it was unsolved and it went near that area. although authorities would stare at it for hours, they couldn't solve it. what does that tell me? it tells me... that when the next spill comes ... then i don't have confidence that they'll solve it. and if you place a parking lot near the river, what assurance do i have that it won't happen again and what assurance do i have that it will be solved? put that spill in the official environment report and solve it... and then i'll have confidence that this won't happen again. in the mean time... if you build a parking lot right beside the river, then it's a prime spot that is waiting for a spill.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 9:08 p.m.

I agree with Sam. UMHS takes no responsibility for their growing empire. I just don't get it, biggest employer in town--Why aren't they required to open up new large lots (stacked up/ underground you name it) new buildings=more workers =more lots. The numbers they plan for are ridiculously low. How many UMHS workers are temps? They charge them the same huge parking money and get no benefits. If they work nights there's no transport. I know two temp workers, one with a U of M degree and the other who had to retire early after over two years of rave reviews but no permanent hire. It's downright shameful and happening under our noses while we bump along all the messed up roads UM traffic causes but doesn't have to pay for. Have a great day everyone and thank your UMHS day to day lower wage workers. We almost need a parking charity for all of the cleaners and office workers who get no respect!


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

I have read over the comments and I do not disagree that more employees should be taking the busses and/or other means of transportation. However, for most, we cannot afford nor do we want to live within the Ann Arbor city limits where arriving to work via alternative means is possible. I, for one, live in Ypsilanti. I actually have researched using the AATA buses in order to go to and from work, however it doesn't run late enough for me to get home. I work afternoons (2:30-11pm) and while I can get into work (even though it seems it would be an almost 2 hour ride with all of the transfers), the bus quits running at 8pm. I would never be able to leave. That actually seems to be the case for most of us that work late shifts. Most of the parking remedies offered by the hospital are catered to those who work on days. They tell us to park in the old Phizer lots or on Plymouth Rd. and to take a shuttle in. That would be fine for those on days, but for those of us who arrive to those lots late at night after a long days work, it feels very unsafe for us to be walking across the large, dimly lit lots at night. This is especially true since the bus only stops NEAR one edge of one of the doesn't actually run to the Plymouth Road lots at all. Being a single female, I do not want to get mugged while walking back to my car after work. What's even more frustrating is that those who DO work on days don't even use the outlots--instead they would rather park close to the hospital where it's convenient for them. This leaves us afternooners no choice but to hunt for our spaces. It's really a pathetic situation and a parking structure needs to be built about in Glazier way?! Make that a huge 6-8 story garage. NOW we're talking!


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

More than 70 comments on parking, and only one comment (mine) on President Obama's upcoming visit to Ann Arbor on Friday. What more can one SAY about parking in this town, except that it is not THERE.


Thu, Jan 26, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

@Rod If you say so.

Rod Johnson

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 12:13 a.m.

You're just a better class of person than the rest of us, I guess.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

Where will the protesters park?

Sarah Parviz

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 7 p.m.

I LOVE taking the city bus, I ride the 18 as well and would like to see service between 9am and 3pm to the hospital and even another bus added - it is cheek to cheek on the 5:12 bus at Mott.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 6:56 p.m.

I worked there in the 1980s and witnessed a couple walking up "the hill" from a parking structure to the "Old Main." There was a woman walking beside them and I thought they were having a friendly conversation...until a purse was swung, a shirt was ripped, and the husband of the couple had to push the other woman away....all because of a parking spot. I will never forget that one. When I worked there, I was told by my supervisor when the parking fee was first implemented, it was $75...a year. People threw a fit, so it was dropped to $50...only to escalate to the current fees. My sons also work there and I often talk to them on their way in....and the story is repeated over and over..."Driving around mom, waiting for a place to you in a bit." It is a hassle, always has been a hassle, but as I said in another post regarding another U-M topic...if the U-M is going to spend money on ANYTHING...spend it on more parking and lower the cost.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 6 p.m.

The gold permit guarantees the holder a spot 24/7. The MCard ID guarantees that all AATA busses are free. I take the 18 from Miller Park and Ride whenever the weather is too bad to ride my bike. Takes 15 minutes to get to work. Maybe 20 to 25 to get home. No reason to pay $600 or so for a parking sticker. For me, its a $600 raise I get every year, thanks UM.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 6 p.m.

@ Goober, don't you know the only thing valued at UMHS is the patient's Insurance/Medicare/Medicaid number that is required for payment.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

A wonderful job of planning on the part of all involved on this project. As a former program and project manager, this issue is totally unacceptable. To lose sight of an issue that affects valued team members is a terrible mistake.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

Another reason to get more buses going in the Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County area. No surprise here. With big comes even bigger. We use AATA for a lot of things. Very nice to have and no parking headaches.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 5:14 p.m.

My wife works at the hospital. It is very stressful driving around the structure looking for a spot only to find that it is full. Then she has to get out and drive to the lot. The truly sad thing is that she pays $600 for a structure pass that she can't utilize 1/2 the time. It would be nice if U-M would either have pro-rated the parking pass cost or waived it until they figure some things out. It would great if the nursing union would take this issue on for its members, but they are too busy fighting Wall Street I guess.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

I am not surprised you pushed that one into the fray. Parking for pay. Interesting. They want more money and you are asking them to toss in a parking pass? Interesting to see what UM vs Union does. I gave up snow days to keep my pay. What is your wife willing to give up?


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

Perhaps they could have some parking in Forest Hills Cemetery. They could just pull off to the side of the drives in there in some designated areas.

Rod Johnson

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

Pave the Arb! :)


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

Finding parking as a patient is no easy chore either. They closed one on the patient lots and made it all employee parking. Now if you are lucky enough to find a spot, it will be on the top of the parking structure and it will take you nearly 10 minutes to find it. If there are no spots then your only alternative is valet parking.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

I use valet for a lot of things. Especially to keep someones job. Valet is a good service.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.

I get most of my medical care at UM. Since the day the new hospital opened, every appointment has required a ridiculously long search for parking. Did any planning go into this project? Currently I have only one physician outside UM, but I do not need this parking hassle and I've decided to look into moving as much of my care as possible to St. Joe's.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

Boy, they sure do need a parking gara..*COUGH, COUGH*, ahem, train station.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

Exactly your coughing point. Drop off right in front of the UM hospital. Glad to hear you are feeling better.

Tom Whitaker

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

Much of the medical center parking crunch is due to the lack of foresight when they built that parking structure next to the Cancer Center, and chose, as a cost-saving measure, to not build it with the capacity to add more floors on top. UM does now have vacant land in the complex at Ann and Zina Pitcher streets, where the Kresge research buildings were recently demolished. This would be the ideal place for an underground parking structure if that's what they really think they need. (It's kind of a shame they've torn down so many apartments where their employees could have lived and walked to work.) But better yet, instead of investing tens of millions in more parking structures, why not buy a couple dozen charter-style coaches and set up commuter bus routes for Medical Center employees from and to Ypsilanti, Chelsea, Dexter, Saline, Plymouth, Brighton, Pinckney, etc.? Seems to me they could purchase and operate buses for many, many decades before even coming close to the cost of building and maintaining a parking structure. Charge the employees the cost of a Yellow or Orange parking pass to ride. Have free UM wifi, and maybe a coffee and tea concession onboard. Employees would arrive at work on time, and stress-free. Use the double-decker style like the Megabus and double the efficiency on popular routes. Stagger work start times so the buses can make more than one run per day. Apply for grant money from the Feds and State for providing a sustainable alternative to automobiles, reducing emissions, and preserving infrastructure. This could be up and running in a few months--not the 1-2 years it would take to build a parking structure.

Joe Kidd

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 4:17 p.m.

No surprise here. The U has always been lousy to employees in regard to parking, especially at the medical center. Right from the start you wonder why your employer is charging you to park at work. Also the parking fees are the same across the pay scales and so the very well paid do not have as much of a burden of people at the lower end of the scale, and the very very well paid who can afford a gold permit also get premium close to work parking spaces. Why isn't parking assessed on a percentage scale so that the employees with lower pay are don't have such a huge bite out of their pay? Also, if you are lucky enough to work in buildings where you do not have to buy a permit, like the medical center offices at Briarwood, you automatically get a $500 + raise due to the free parking. For such a "diversity" minded university, it sure seems like class discrimination against most employees.

Joe Kidd

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

Compound I prefer my emergency surgeon is already on duty and not away from the hospital.

Rork Kuick

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 5:46 p.m.

It is the people driving who should have to pay for the construction and maintenance of the parking facilities. Folks not doing so are "rewarded" by not having to pay.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 4:24 p.m.

I agree for the most part, but on the otherhand, I'd hate to have the person who is supposed to be doing my or a family member's emergency procedure running late looking for parking. (assuming they are the ones who can afford the gold passes)


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 4:07 p.m.

Yup. This should get these employees out of their cars and into riding bicycles from their various area's of where they live. Oh, we'll have a commuter rail service from, what was it mayor, Brighton/Howell? And you're sure that a majority of employees coming into town to work at the hospital live in these area's? Sorry tree huggers and the like, the car is king. You're not going to change this behavior any time soon, or in the forseeable future either. People enjoy the freedom that the car represents, and, as its been shown numerous times over, even if gas hits $5 a gallon, people will still drive and adjust their budgets accordingly. Best the city can do is understand this, build the Fuller St. Station and find easier ways in and out of town instead of that parking lot called Fuller road from Maiden Lane to U.S. 23 and that two-lane road. Still, think of how much money the city could make from idling cars!

Ron Granger

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

Why didn't the U of M build an underground parking structure on site? Maybe they thought they could sucker the taxpayers of Ann Arbor to shoulder the cost? In order to build like this, most businesses (and this hospital is just a big corporation) would be forced to provide adequate parking in order to get project approval. The University doesn't care about those rules and laws - they do what they want with no regard.

Marshall Applewhite

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Oh the insanity!


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

Parking near medical campus has sucked for years. My rules are to get in before 9 and never schedule a morning appointment thinking I'll return to work and find a spot to park. UMHS really needs to address their parking situation for both patients and employees. I'm fortunate to be able to choose UMHS or St. Joe for medical coverage... I'm seriously thinking of switching to St.Joe because UMHS is getting too big. There's a typical 3 month wait for any new/referral service. IS UMHS really worth it?

Rod Johnson

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 12:19 a.m.

I have encountered some long waits for referrals but never anything like 3 months. I've had two in the last three months, and got a call back within a day, an appointment within a week. I imagine this varies by specialty, but to say 3 months is typical seems like it's overstating the situation. It would be interesting to find out whether anyone tracks this though.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:05 p.m.

"Those employees take a 10 to 15 minute bus ride to the hospital. Buses run on a 10-minute cycle." That's just hilarious. The 10-15 minute ride is accurate if you're commuting to and from the Glazier Way commuter lot and the other lots on Fuller between the medical campus and Glazier. If you're commuting to Crisler during peak hours, expect it to take more like 20-25 as those 30 foot coaches navigate through central campus traffic. 10 minute cycles? Ha! The spill-over into the commuter lots is evident. A year or two ago you could arrive at the Glazier Way lot as late as 10-11am and still find parking. These days if you show up at that time you're SOL. Similarly, Crisler used to have a huge number of empty spaces at any time of the day. Not so much anymore, and if things continue the way they are, that lot will be filling up on a regular basis as well.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

It sounds to me like the only people spending lots of time looking for a spot are the ones who insist on being able to walk from their car to the hospital. Is it such a hardship to use a satellite lot and take a 10 minute bus ride in?


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

I do work at the University, but I live about 2 miles from work, and so I walk, or ride my bike, or take an AATA bus. I agree that that if the satellite lots also fill up, and/or the University buses that serve them are running full, that's a real problem. I'm surprised that happens. @Kurtis S, I'm not sure how your posts are related to mine. My point was that it sounds like it would take less time to park in a satellite lot and take the shuttle bus than it would to crawl through traffic and a garage looking for a parking place, and then walking from the garage to work.

Kurtis S

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

The times are when they state the parking structure is full.

Kurtis S

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

Here is what Parking and Transportation send back. • Ann St. Parking Structure 7:45 am • Catherine St. Parking Structure 7:50 am • Palmer Dr. Parking Structure 9:10 am Ann and Catherine St parking is a good 10 minute walk. Catching a bus adds additional 20-40 minutes commute (one way). Also reminder, if the bus is full, they will pass you by then you have to wait another 10 minutes. I have tried a good portion of these methods.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

Do you actually work at the University? If you do have you tried to find parking during peak morning rush hour? The closer walking distance lots fill up very quickly very early in the morning, leaving only the satellite lots open for those whose work day starts later. The problem is those satellite lots also fill up, and have been filling up earlier and earlier in the mornings over the past few years as the University continues to shrink employee parking while they expand.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

I am glad that the union president is worried about her memebers being able to park. This is not a union issue, and if they had wanted it to be, they missed their chance. Contract negotiations where not long ago.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 8:05 p.m.

So you think the nurses should have special privledges when parking compared to other employees if this was brought up at negotiations. Why do you think the nurses deserve better rates for parking and healthcare as compared to other non-unionized employees? It's comical you bring up the waiting for parking, because I love watching nurses wait for the elevator when going up or down a floor. I bet not only would they be happier people if they started taking the stairs, their health care cost would also decrease.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 4:40 p.m. called me and wanted my opinion for this article. You are right - this is not a purely union issue and, yes, we did bring parking up during our recent contract negotiations. I also stated, when interviewed, that we (UMPNC) have pushed back a lot when getting calls from our members. Grant Winston in Parking Services has been working with us to try to help some of the issues. This is a problem for everybody....

Dog Guy

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3 p.m.

Considering the gift of a park magically transformed into parking garage and another a million dollar gift for allowing A2 to rebuild bridges for its stadium, the U of M should grant tenure to Professor Hieftje, WhD. (WhD being Wheeler-Dealer.)


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

I worked at U of M for a bit, and part of why I quit (besides the pay and that I didn't get in when the 401k match was good) was the quite expensive parking fee, plus.. literally, no place to park. You could as an employee with a expensive parking permit- look for a space for hours, even in the outlots. Not how I wanted to spend my day as a professional.

Rod Johnson

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 12:23 a.m.

Look for a space for hours? I have a blue permit and have never been unable to find a space. Is it really that bad outside the hospital area?


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

Do you really think $12.46 per week is 'quite expensive'? That's an employee's out of pocket cost for the Blue Pass. The real cost (that can't be given a monetary value) is the added stress and time paid by employees.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

How about using that big vacant lot at Broadway and Maiden Lane for parking until the owners figure out what to do with it? That might be the most profitable venture for it for at least the next few years. It'd be less of a hike than many workers are already making. Better park-and-ride coordination with UofM and/or AATA buses would make the most sense though. The UofM should mine their employee database to see where large clusters of out-of-town workers are and go from there. That should be very cost effective if they do it right.

Rod Johnson

Tue, Jan 24, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

One of the reasons we're saddled with the Fuller Road station is that it was offered as an alternative to building a new structure in the Maiden Lane neighborhood. I'd like to see that decisions revisited, since between the failed development and the University, that immediate neighborhood has been pretty much destroyed anyway.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

this couldn't be more transparent. u/m wants our parkland forever (75 years is a fairytale and longer than many of us will even be around to enjoy our public spaces) and, oh dear, hieftje isn't holding up his end of the bargain. ann arbor voters are not just ready and willing to pony up to the u/m yet again. in fact, they have an opposing opinion and a strong one. guess hieftje ought to be worried about his job at the u/m if this one doesn't go through. therefore expect loads of patronizing harping from the mayor and his band of fools. they all have too much to lose.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 6:06 p.m.

If he would just call it what it is a parking structure for U of M and we were selling the land, with an option to later buy development rights for a station and 18% of the spots,I think people would feel a lot better about it then they do now with him calling it a train station despite there being no plan for the station in the current plans.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

you all do a lot of running around in that "park" now?


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

Your parkland, your vacant land, your $$. If you haven't noticed lately, U-M is BIG BUSINESS, and like all BIG BOX stores, they expand and multiply until they finally implode on themselves and self-destruct. I may be long dead before it happens, but it WILL happen.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Stupid, U-M - really dumb. A lot of these hospital employees have kids, who need to be left at day care providers. An extra half-hour or more at each end of the day for these folks trying to get to work - I don't think I need to explain this situation any further.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:10 p.m.

What is AATA doing to solve this problem? Sounds like there is a need and working people have money to pay full bus fares.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

Epengar is correct and if you live withing easy walking of one of the routes its great. I had to leave a car at the gas station at Huron and Dexter-Ann Arbor Road and was able to get a bus across the street that went directly to the hospital. Too bad they don't have more of those direct routes.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

I often take the bus, #18 from Miller P&R, and lets see, 1) it's free, 2) it's almost always on time in the morning, afternoon there is a +/- of 5 minutes and 3)it's faster than if you have a pass because it drops you off by the doors. I have thought to myself that it's crazy that people with paying jobs and benefits ride the bus for free, and then you see the 15 yr old kid trying to get to school or elderly having to put thier money into the machine, doesnt make sense.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

AATA has several special routes specifically designed to get commuters to the hospital. Also, the University pays the AATA a very large sum so that all University employees can ride the bus to work for free using their University ID.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

AATA used to have a schedule between the Miller/Maple Park & Ride that got the buses to the hospital at about 5 after 5:00 pm and then about 20 minutes later. That was good for the people who got out at 5 pm. Now it comes before 5 pm so it misses all of those getting off at 5 and they wait until about 5:15pm and the bus is standing room only.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

is any analysis being done? Likely, many UMHS employees come in off the highway-why can't they do a 2 level park at the ALREADY EXISTING lot at Plymouth Rd and 23 and run a shuttle into the hospital complex. Doesn't the UnIv now have some space at the old Pfizer site[very large]-can't they expand some parking in that ALREADY EXISTING area and shuttle in?


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

That Plymouth Rd.-US23 lot may be on State property and the U just leases it. Not sure. But you certainly would think they could free up more of the Pfizer parking as well as increasing the shuttles.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

Don't worry, there were plenty of "Gold Parking" spots.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 5:13 p.m.

You might be joking but to set the point straight-Gold spots are few because only the higher ups in administration get those. Anyone can apply but only certain types of upper levels get approved. And then they pay for the privilege. Not even all the docs get them. And the higher upper ups even have private parking.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

I don't think it's appropriate to say, "The university gives four types of passes to employees..." and then go on to describe the prices at which they are sold. The permits are issued, not given.


Mon, Jan 30, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

I would go a step further - they are sold, not issued.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Yes, definitely the wrong word used. They also put the part of parking that they pay themselves on your check stub like it is a benefit that they are paying you. You end up paying your employer to park in THEIR lot in order to provide services to their customers.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

I'd love to see the hospital have some kind of program to encourage employees to live in AA. Then more could walk or bike or use AA public transportation rather than driving+shuttle bus.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:41 p.m.

Not all of us want to be crammed into a city situation. That is why we choose to live in the country. Cleaner air, less congestion and stress, more nature, lower taxes, lower housing costs, etc., etc. I assume the "program" you suggest would include some kind of monetary reward. Still not worth it. When I worked at the U I used the park & ride. That worked for me.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3 p.m.

They could pay their rank and file enough to live in AA... nah...


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

Between the parking situation and highway congestion (especially US23) I have asked myself that same question. One possible reason is the high cost of living in AA. Also, their spouse may work outside AA so they choose to live somewhere between the two jobs.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

Don't be ridiculous every person that works downtown can't possibly live downtown! There aren't enough houses or schools downtown. There isn't even a full size grocery store downtown! And what about people who have to travel for their jobs? They still need a car anyway. Not everyone can live like a hippie and try biking through the snow in a suit to work!


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

It's not just is patients, too. Next to impossible to find parking. And when you do, look out. You're goimg to pay dearly for it.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

Patient parking is $2 when you get your parking ticket stamped at the clinic.

Kurtis S

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

it's too bad UM doesn't have a strong leader in the dept of Parking and Transportation Services to strongly address this major issue (since it doesn't look like it was addressed when they built the new MOTT with NO parking spaces!!!) It's like building a football stadium without any parking spaces. If you go to the hospital as a patient, I hope no one get's the nurse who is VERY frustrated and emotional from 'hunting' for a parking space! You got to love the UM hospital who wants you (Nurse, Doctor, Paramedics, etc...) to provide patient care after an emotional trauma. AND yes it is emotionally traumatic looking for a parking space. Dolen should be required to park in MOTT structure every day between 7:30am-8:30am. Better yet, he should be required to be at work at 8:30am and also be required to park in MOTT structure. Then maybe he'll understand.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

they need some civil engineering or other students to do a plan-many health employees work10 and 12 hr shifts-3 day/week. If they got a well designed park/ride system with shuttles from the periphery, these employees would use it. An extra amt of time to shuttle in would be very little hassle due to the fewer number of times required to do it . Plus, the certainty of knowing WHERE you CAN park and a shuttle will be there removes the stress , that currently exists. Here I sit in my home and see and hear helicopters overhead bringing patients in, using the rooftop.....certainly the right planners can construct a parking/shuttle scheme on the ground so that many of these snags can be reduced.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 6:49 p.m.

I wonder if the UofM can use the Pfizer lots


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

emotional trauma? i hope the medical professionals who serve me are not so weak as to be mentally scarred by looking for a parking spot


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 1:02 p.m.

Isn't any different than anyone else who can't find a place to park whether you have a permit or not. We do the same thing M-F often having to pay to park.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

The car park for the Arboretum is also filled up. Too bad if one wanted to visit the Arb.

Patty Bradley

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

It's not just UMHS employees that are affected. I work at UM near the hospital, and since the new hospital opened, I have to get to work 1/2 hour earlier to get a spot near my building because the hospital employees are now parking there. Engaging in "the hunt" adds a lot of stress to my mornings.


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 11:54 a.m.

Also, the buses fill up now & employees trying to get to work, or home, may have to wait another 10 - 15 minutes for the next bus. That's a bad situation for those left standing in the cold/snow/rain/dark for 30 minutes, or more . . .


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 11:53 a.m.

I just hope none of those employees driving around in circles looking for a spot are caught idling.

Sam Smith

Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 11:49 a.m.

And this is the real reason we're going to have the Fuller Road Station. Sorry U of M you'll have to come up with a different solution to your ugly Fuller Road parking structure on park land. You should have thought about parking before you expand and build. I can see it now... the U of M is tax free, they get the Fuller Road parking structure, then charge the employees much much more to park there and finally charge patients much much more to pay for this. And if someone should use a train, where are they going to park? Can you imagine the traffic congestion in that area? The Fuller Road station is the only solution?


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 8:38 p.m.

And the train won't even stop in Chelsea or Ypsilanti


Mon, Jan 23, 2012 : 11:24 a.m.

They should built a parking structure on City land using federal money, say it is a transit station, and do it without voter approval!