cdzombak + annarbor   169

The North Maple Cycle Track |
By building a protected cycle path along North Maple Road between Jackson and Miller, Ann Arbor will fill a glaring gap in its transportation infrastructure and significantly improve the quality of life for its west side residents.
annarbor  infrastructure  cycling 
25 days ago by cdzombak
Interrogating NIMBY Folk Wisdom. Or, Thoughts on Parking. | -
Let me get this straight… part of the reason you’re closing the store is some of your customers didn’t have enough parking nearby? Your store is less than 200 feet from a parking structure with 281 spaces, and less than 500 feet from another parking structure with 984 spaces. There are over one thousand parking spaces within shouting distance of your storefront, and that’s a “sparse” amount of parking? What amount of parking would be enough?
annarbor  parking  transit  transportation 
7 weeks ago by cdzombak
Mayoral Preview - Ann Arbor Observer
Finally, Eaton charges that crime is more prevalent than folks know. "In the Fourth Ward, there's a house near Allmendinger Park where last year the police responded to seventy-two calls. There were two overdoses there. One was fatal. There are guns, knives, and assaults. There's drug sales and drug use."

Soon-to-retire police chief Jim Baird emails that's not quite accurate. "[O]n the west side of the City near Allmendinger Park, we had 25 calls for service last year, not 72," he writes. "Six calls were related to some type of criminal activity, and there were none classified as weapons offenses."
a2council  annarbor  crime  safety 
8 weeks ago by cdzombak
Unbuilt Ann Arbor | DOWN
Over the years a number of projects have been proposed downtown that, for one reason or another, never came to fruition. The clear lens of hindsight shows us that ultimately some of these projects were probably doomed from the start and the city is probably better off without them. Some might have been wonderful additions to the built environment. In most cases we’ll never know. Below is my top 10 list of unbuilt projects in downtown Ann Arbor.
annarbor  architecture  urban_development  history 
12 weeks ago by cdzombak
Library Redo? - Ann Arbor Observer
The last millage faced well-funded opposition led by political activist Kathy Griswold. "I am not opposed to improving library services downtown," she emails, "but would be opposed to more than 2 mils for library services." That's the current authorized level, though due to Headlee limits the library's currently collecting only 1.89 mills.

“I'm not opposed to improving the library, just to paying for it!”
annarbor  library 
march 2018 by cdzombak
Nowhere to grow but up? Ann Arbor grapples with solutions to its high-rise problem
I call the anti-development crowd anti- because I’ve never seen them be for anything or take any proactive steps to encourage whatever development they’d like. They just say “no” to everything.
annarbor  density  housing  affordability 
november 2017 by cdzombak
Four years later, the Ann Arbor Chronicle is still weird and wonky — and it’s growing » Nieman Journalism Lab
From 2012:
For four years, Mary Morgan and Dave Askins have been the change David Simon was waiting for.

The married couple’s website, the Ann Arbor Chronicle, doesn’t just cover the planning commission, as the Wire creator once suggested bloggers never would; it covers the taxicab board. It doesn’t just publish local election results; it publishes fact-checked 13,482-word summaries of the fifth-ward city council candidate forum, 10 days after the event took place. Morgan, Askins, and seven paid freelancers contribute. On a busy day, the Chronicle posts three stories; on a slow day, it posts nothing.
annarbor  journalism  newspapers  a2council  a2chronicle 
september 2017 by cdzombak
Does Ann Arbor need a stronger relationship with Detroit?
wouldn't it be neat if we had, say, a functional regional transit system?

detroit  annarbor 
june 2017 by cdzombak
a2geeks discussion on Ann Arbor's I-net municipal fiber replacement project
This project is to replace the institutional fiber network (I-net) that Comcast built for government units in the city as part of the franchise agreement in the early naughts. State law no longer allows negotiation of franchise agreements on the local level like that, and the original agreement did not specify that the city would own the fiber, so when te agreement is up in 2018, Comcast will be taking the fiber back. The city is leading an intergovernmental project to reconnect the sites served by the iNet to a new fiber network that would be owned by the city. this is a point-to-point network that does not directly connect to the Internet although most of the institutional partners (such as AADL) use iNet fiber to deliver high-speed net access to satellite locations via downtown locations that have fiber links to ISPs, mostly merit.

So, there is no residential or commercial component of this fiber project. It’s networking between government buildings. I’m not sure of the state of the law here in Michigan, but in many states it is no longer legal for municipalities to build networks for residential and commercial use due to telecom lobbying at the state level.

The small edit I’d make to Eli’s excellent summary is that iNet access has been extended to support municipal contracts, e.g. Republic Parking for networking to the parking structures, and Ann Arbor SPARK (if I recall correctly; I’m not 100% sure if the SPARK incubator traceroute goes through this network, but I think it does).
annarbor  a2council  fiber  internet 
april 2017 by cdzombak
From Michigan to South Dakota – Medium
After we shut down The Chronicle, I decided I wanted to spend the next chunk of my productive life continuing to work as a local journalist — because I want to earn my keep in a way that makes the place where I am living better. I have concluded this is probably no longer possible in Ann Arbor. And continuing to do the work to find out something interesting, without having an effective and solvent means of telling other people about it, is fraught with frustration.

So, in a week or so, I am moving to Madison, South Dakota — also a university town, population around 7,500. For now, Mary Morgan will remain in Ann Arbor, forging ahead with the work of the CivCity Initiative, a nonprofit she founded and now leads.
More often than not, I think, a solid local journalist, wherever they might practice their craft, can help folks bend towards their best.
friends  annarbor  newspapers  journalism 
january 2017 by cdzombak
As "work from home" loses its luster, Ann Arbor coworking grows
By contrast, Workantile has found its niche over the past four years by embracing a model quite different from Tech Brewery's startup-focused, incubator-inspired style. In the early years, Nelson says, "Workantile didn't know what it was for." The high-ceilinged Main Street building offers ample desk space and a few small, enclosed rooms for meetings or conference calls, but it didn't really have office space to offer startups.

"Part of it was ceasing to think about it as a workable space," Nelson says. "It was more, 'What makes this a workable community? Let's foster that community and make sure they have a space to be in.'"

and hey, I'm in the photo!
annarbor  coworking  workantile 
october 2016 by cdzombak
Football, fall foliage make Ann Arbor, Mich., hard to beat - Chicago Tribune
A2 is great, but affordable housing and economic segregation are nearing a crisis level — by which I mean, irrevocable damage will be done if something drastic doesn't change soon. And there are local political factions devoted to making sure A2 stays overwhelmingly rich & white. It's a nice place, but things aren't all sunshine & rainbows.
august 2016 by cdzombak
The Promise of Commuter Rail to Detroit | DOWN
Although it’s a mundane, fact-of-life type of service in many metro areas, the prospect of being able to take a low stress and efficient train ride into downtown for work or for play is pretty exciting here in Southeast Michigan. Let’s hope the RTA Master Plan continues to evolve and that the powers that be see the light in working on a route to downtown Detroit from Ann Arbor.
annarbor  michigan  detroit  transit  rta 
august 2016 by cdzombak
An Insider's Guide to Ann Arbor's Best Food - Bon Appétit
I moderately disagree that some of these are the absolute "best" but they are all good choices.
annarbor  food  coffee 
july 2016 by cdzombak
Making voting harder to try to get you to vote | Sabra Briere
This year we are going to experience a significant change in elections – one filled with intended and unintended consequences. Unless stopped by a lawsuit, Michigan election law has eliminated straight-party voting. TAnd that has implications beyond my imagination.

I’ve been analyzing the possible effects for several months, ever since the governor signed the law eliminating straight-party voting in January. I’m not alone – but the impact from this decision has yet to be felt, so it isn’t in everyone’s thoughts.

On Thursday, July 7th, Ann Arbor’s City Council will consider whether to ask voters (on the November ballot) to eliminate partisan elections for local (Council/Mayor) elections. If the Council places this charter amendment on the ballot, and the voters approve it, there will be unintended consequences of this act, too.
voting  elections  annarbor  michigan  a2council  politics 
july 2016 by cdzombak
WordPress, Twitter, the Elks Club: 10 new routines at a news startup » Nieman Journalism Lab
In the two months since Ann Arbor became the nation’s newest no-newspaper town, there’s been lots of talk about its status as ground zero for the new ecosystem of Web-native niche outlets. But I wanted to know: In a business that’s always been oiled by routine — midnight press runs, 6 a.m. broadcasts, 11 a.m. news meetings, 6:30 deadlines — how will tomorrow’s hyperlocal news professionals structure their day? So, a few weeks after the Ann Arbor News folded, I spent a morning with its most established successor, the one-year-old, online-only Ann Arbor Chronicle, to get a sense for the future of the newsroom routine.

(Sept. 2009)
annarbor  journalism  newspapers  a2chronicle  friends 
july 2016 by cdzombak
Ann Arbor Votes
This local voter resource is a project of The CivCity Initiative, a nonpartisan nonprofit working to build a more informed, engaged community. We're glad you're here!
june 2016 by cdzombak
Board approves seeking EPA Superfund cleanup for Ann Arbor dioxane plume |
ANN ARBOR, MI — Ann Arbor City Council members informally agreed Monday night to have the city's Environmental Commission review whether the city should seek a federal Superfund cleanup of the Gelman dioxane plume.

At the same time, Ann Arbor Township's Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution in support of petitioning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Superfund status for the toxic plume spreading through the area's groundwater.
annarbor  michigan  water  dioxane  pall_gelman_plume  superfund 
april 2016 by cdzombak
The Backstory: Water, water everywhere
Ann Arbor founders Elisha Rumsey and John Allen settled near two bodies of water, the Huron River and what was later named Allen's Creek. This surely was not an accident. They needed water for drinking, bathing, cooking, and a trade route. As was always the case, where there was water there was life - or in this case, a brand new town.
annarbor  water  history 
march 2016 by cdzombak
Transportation Commission: A Proposal for Ann Arbor « Linda Diane Feldt
I was the Chair of the Pedestrian Safety and Access Task force, that turned in our final report September 2015. One of the recommendations in that report was to have a more permanent place in the city to advocate for pedestrian issues. … there was general agreement and encouragement to form a new commission, that would deal with transportation as a whole. …

… The following is a possible charter for a Transportation Commission for Ann Arbor. It is a working draft, now in its seventh draft form after lots of input from many sources.
annarbor  transit  transportation  infrastructure 
march 2016 by cdzombak
City of Ann Arbor Deer Count Increases Over Previous Year
The City of Ann Arbor completed an aerial survey of the deer population on February 18, which resulted in 202 deer counted. The last survey conducted in March 2015, counted 168 deer.
annarbor  deer 
february 2016 by cdzombak
Expertise vs. Emotion at Ann Arbor City Council |
it takes great chutzpah to think you know more than the experts in the field.
annarbor  a2council  politics 
february 2016 by cdzombak
Michigan Today » You can ring my (Pretzel) Bell
A treasured hangout is coming back to downtown Ann Arbor after an absence of 30 years — the Pretzel Bell.

In early January a band of investors announced plans to open a new restaurant under the old name at the northwest corner of Main and Liberty, just a short block from the original, in the property long occupied by the Parthenon restaurant, more recently by a short-lived Latin-American place called Lena & Habana.

How much will it be like the old Bell? The proprietors — a group comprising Michigan alumni and restaurateurs — aren’t saying yet. In any case, they’ll be working with or against a powerful current of nostalgia.

Like any city, Ann Arbor has had its share of favorite haunts that rose and fell with the times —Hangsterfer’s, Joe Parker’s, the Orient, the Wolverine Den, Drake’s, the Village Bell, Bicycle Jim’s. But the joint with the longest legend was the Pretzel Bell.
annarbor  history  umich 
january 2016 by cdzombak
Urban Informatics Ann Arbor 2015
Urban Informatics Ann Arbor is an unconference to connect people working in this emerging field at the University of Michigan and in the Detroit metropolitan region. In the unconference tradition, there will be no set program, and participants are encouraged to bring their questions, problems, or projects to share during participatory sessions. Topics of interest include:

- Mapping and spatial analysis of urban phenomena conducted with desktop or online GIS
- Citizen interaction design of technologies for participation, and knowledge creation
- Ubiquitous urban information is the use of innovative information technologies to create pervasive computing environments - or the city as a computer
- Analysis and visualization of urban data from traditional and new sources, including administrative datasets, big data, social media, and others
- Creation of open data and application programming interfaces to facilitate analysis and unlock public value
- Modeling to better understand urban systems
- Implementation discussions encompassing social entrepreneurship, intrepreneurship, design thinking, and collaborative planning and governance
- Examination of legal and policy issues including privacy, copyright, open licensing and public safety
- Debate about “smart city” concepts, examples, and technologies
annarbor  umich  cities 
august 2015 by cdzombak
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