Ypsilanti Citizen News Sidetrack

City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

Planning Commission weighs in on train platform

The Planning Commission approved the platform to be anywhere on the west side of the tracks between Cross Street and Forrest Avenue. Photo by Christine Laughren

The Planning Commission approved the platform to be anywhere on the west side of the tracks between Cross Street and Forrest Avenue.
Haabs

Group votes for Rice Street parking

By Christine Laughren
Apr. 16, 2009    ·    9:44 a.m.


The Ypsilanti Planning Commission approved language Wednesday evening recommending the commuter rail platform be placed on the west side of the tracks to facilitate commuters parking in the Rice Street lot. 


In a 5-1 vote, with Daniel Lautenback dissenting, the commission approved the platform to be anywhere on the west side of the tracks between Cross Street and Forrest Avenue.

The decision was made based on the ease of access to the Rice Street lot, the potential for overflow into residential areas around the Maple Street lot and a higher level of existing services on the west side.

“I think the west side of the tracks would provide for better traffic flow for a circulator transit system to and from campus, the hospital, downtown as well as for the denser residential areas,” City Planner Richard Murphy said at the outset of the discussion.

However, the recommendation also states City Council should facilitate and take into consideration the results of a detailed parking and traffic study before it makes its final decision.

“We do need to say that we do need a professional study here to get more information to come up with reasoning behind this other than our gut feeling,” Planning Commission

Lautenback said he had similar reservations as far as the uncertainty or knowledge of any clear plan. He said after the meeting he thought there was more opportunity to grow on the east side.

“We are making a decision in the absence of any information,” he said.

Gary Clark, vice-chair of the commission said parking is something the community needs to think about, but he also said the issue is more than parking. He said recent grants awarded to the Freighthouse, the farmers market and the general accessibility of the west side of the tracks also needs to be considered.

“This is about trains, its about our history,” Clark said. “The parking we will be able to study and work out but we cannot put it on the east side of the tracks and ignore what Depot Town is.”

Several Depot Town merchants and building owners spoke against the potential the platform would be on the west side. Carolyn McKeever, who owns three buildings in Depot Town with her husband Gary said she is afraid the small businesses will not be able to survive if customers are unable to find parking.

Fantasy Attic Costumes owner Bill Brennan said there is a huge flux of shoppers that come to his store in the weeks leading up to Halloween. He said the good amount of available parking was one of the things he considered when he decided to move to town from Ann Arbor last summer.

“I could loose a significant amount of business,” he said of a possible platform on the west side. “I would like to stay here I just don’t know if its going to be feasible.”

Michigan Department of Transportation, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and Amtrak are planning for a three-year commuter rail pilot scheduled to stop in Depot Town October 2010. It is believed the service would likely start with four or five trains daily as well as a couple stops on Saturday or Sunday.
The train is also expected to stop in Ann Arbor, Detroit Metro Airport, Dearborn and Detroit.

According to a memorandum sent out by Murphy SEMCOG’s goal is to have 1,000 daily riders during the pilot period. “A preliminary ridership estimate by Amtrak forecasts 184 trip-ends (departures and arrivals counted separately,)” the document states.

Murphy said he thinks the community should be looking at this beginning step.

“We should look at this point as a getting off the ground point with the service and figuring out exactly how it works and doesn’t and how it is going to expand from four trains a day to up to 12 or 15 like they are hoping, or just cease running,” he said. “And the city should make the commitment to re-examine it and see what needs to be done at the end of the pilot period to make the changes.”

McKeever said she was happy the commission made “an attempt at a decision,” after the meeting.

“And yes, a study is necessary and I’m happy about that,” she said.



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