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wolverine

New Parking Structure Rumor

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So I was talking to my friend who works at Pierpont Commons, and his boss (who manages the restaurants in that building) said that the University was planning possibly a new parking structure that would be built on unused land on the fringe of Mitchell Field. This is a replacement for all the surface lots lost to new buildings on North Campus. Currently the closest parking to the heart of North Campus is either blue streetside parking on Bonisteel Blvd or the visitor's lot by the Walgreen Drama Ctr which I think only has 150 or so spaces.

If this rumor is true, I hope it will be orange parking for students, but I doubt that would happen. I have no idea how big it would be. But there's a ton of space over there for a new structure. Everybody seems to use the athletic fields closest to Huron Towers, not the ones near the river which is where I'm guessing this would go.

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While I agree that North Campus could use more parking alternatives (housing costs being what they are in Ann Arbor pretty much dictates that Michigan will be a commuter campus for a minority + faculty), a parking structure down by Mithell Field added to the surface lots that are already down there would interrupt the percieved greenbelt/recreation space along the Huron River. It's an unusual asset in this country to have such an extensive park system along the waterfront through an urban area.

It seems to me that the University holds a great deal of land around North Campus, and while I'm sure they would like to reserve some of that for campus expansion, they might consider one of those parcels, perhaps away from transition spaces and natural areas to build this structure. Or perhaps they would even consider turning the lot in back (front?) of the School of Architecture into a parking structure. That area has to be high enough above the bedrock/watertable right?

Either way, I would think they have better options than this.

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Putting it behind the architecture school would be nice (since I park there alot after hours). It was once an issue since that lot would flood at times, but with the construction of a new detention pond that rarely happens. It was once rumored a structure would go there as well since the architecture school handed out surveys to students in the A&AB asking whether they felt a parking structure was necessary on North Campus. Crowded bus conditons, and filled parking lots came to mind and most students did feel it was necessary for another structure. I don't see an LRT system getting built in AA anytime soon so more parking on North Campus is probably necessary. The decision to put a parking structure in that area is probably based on the fact that it is halfway between NC and the med campus, serviced by commuter buses. It may not necessarily be on the Mitchell Field Grounds, but possibly across the street where that gravel lot is.

Reguardless, my friend called me this morning saying the bus stops were overcrowded and to drive up to NC. I did, and had to circle the A&AB lot a few times before a spot opened. I thought I was going to have to park in the Hayward lot and walk a mile, hopefully in time for my exam this morning. Something has to happen. If that means more buses with express routes, or some other sort of transit sytem, that would be great.

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