Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Proposed Graffiti Ordinance


Our City Council has proposed an ordinance that would impose large fines on property owners with graffiti on their buildings. The proposed ordinance was sponsored by Council members, Teall, Hohnke, Taylor and Greden. A copy of the ordinance is attached.

This is simply a bad ordinance. Most building owners probably don't want the graffiti. They probably see themselves as the victim of vandalism. Now they will also be the victim of this ordinance. Will the city expand the concept of penalizing the victim to include larceny, and assault? Will the motto of Ann Arbor be: “If you can't pay the fine don't report the crime”?

The literature on crime and graffiti does not support the claims made for the ordinance.

Click Here to read the entire article

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Greenway for Bloomington, Indiana

The Bloomington, Indiana "Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation & Greenways System Plan"  (click here) and B-Line Trail information (click here).

Friday, November 14, 2008

What Will Ann Arbor Look Like in the Future?

We currently have an important opportunity for input on what Ann Arbor will be like in the future, as the city is on the verge of approving changes to the Ann Arbor zoning ordinance for downtown. Many of the proposed changes could have an impact on surrounding neighborhoods. The zoning and parking amendments are the first of three documents that are being amended that are going to have an effect on downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. 
Click here to read article.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ann Arbor Brownfield Redevelopment: Environmental Cleanup or Developer Subsidy?

The requirement that a site be cleaned up before it is redeveloped is a result of the Love Canal disaster in Niagara Falls, New York. Hooker Chemical had used an abandoned canal site as a toxic waste dump for many years. When they sold the site to the City of Niagara Falls, it was disclosed that Hooker Chemical had used the location for disposal of toxic waste. Hooker Chemical stipulated in the sale contract the city would assume all future responsibility. The city built a school on part of the site and sold the rest for residential development.
Click here to read article.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

$47,000,000 for City Hall

A $47 million city hall. This is what the mayor and council majority want us to get instead of things like help replacing sidewalks, replanting trees or more help for human service agencies. Click here for architectural plan and budget. Can we afford it? Read Councilperson Sabra Briere's speech. Costs continue to climb: click here. More ...

Click here to see what Mike Anglin, Vivienne Armentrout and Ed Amonsen have to say about asking citizens about spending millions on a new city hall.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Beautiful Greenway Built in 2 Years, 3 Months


Ann Arbor has an opportunity to create a Greenway in the Allen Creek corridor and recapture the rich history that existed at the turn of the century. This video shows what a determined city half way around the world did to create excitement and eliminate serious environmental problems for their citizens.

Byoung-Suk Kweon, Ph.D. joined the UofM Faculty in the Fall 2007, moving here from Texas A&M University. She provides a short introduction (click here) for this amazing project completed over a 2 year, 3 month time frame! 

For a larger version of the film click here. Video courtesy of Seoul Metropolitan Government.

Majora Carter, a MacArthur awardee, gave a presentation last year about another greenway--the South Bronx Greenway

Atlanta's greenway: The Beltline and it's connection to The Silver Comet trail system.

The proposed Ann Arbor Greenway

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Is Booze the Answer to Golf Woes?

About a year ago Ann Arbor was awarded a new Class C liquor license. The council committee formed to review applications is expected to make a recommendation at the January 7, 2008 council meeting. The finalists are Everyday Cook, a Kerrytown business owned by Mary Campbell, and the city golf courses. ... The golf “crisis” may be more about creating a justification to sell off Ann Arbor park land than about stemming a tidal wave of red ink. More ...