Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Public Forum: Fifth and Division Improvement Project

13. May 2008 • Nancy Shore
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The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has spent several years studying ways to accommodate traffic demands along Fifth Avenue and Division Street while also addressing community needs for sustainable transportation.

The DDA has developed a comprehensive improvement plan for the two corridors. You can read more about the plan here

The plan calls for adding bike lanes and parking on Fifth Ave. and Division Street in order to enhance conditions for pedestrians and cyclists while also offering parking spaces for cars. There are also other proposed enhancements.

The DDA is interested in hearing public feedback about the proposed Fifth and Division improvements plan as a first step before bringing a recommendation before Ann Arbor City Council to move ahead with this project.

Here are the details:
Fifth and Division Public Hearing
May 14, 7pm, City Council Chambers, 100 N. Fifth Avenue, Second Floor

If you have any sort of opinion about this project, please come and voice your views.



  1. FYI, there is an article about this project in the Ann Arbor News Today


       —Nancy Shore    May. 13 '08 - 06:40PM    #
  2. 2 lanes with parallel parking on Huron? I’m envisioning the ugly backups during busy hours while traffic in one direction stops completely while somebody wiggles their way into a parallel space.

    What’s the reduction in traffic capacity when you go from 4-lanes without on-street parking to 2-lanes with parallel parking?


       —mw    May. 16 '08 - 12:11PM    #
  3. mw, where do you see the info about 2 lanes on Huron? Everything I see says 5th and Division, and the article says that Huron planning has been separated. I see a bit about conceptual drawings of Huron on the DDA website, but that doesn’t seem to be part of the current planning.

    I think this would be a big improvement. I’ve heard several people complain, or worse, laugh at, our bike lanes to nowhere. I know I’d feel safer on my commute if I had a bike lane for more than 1 block on fifth.


       —Chuck Warpehoski    May. 16 '08 - 02:53PM    #
  4. “mw, where do you see the info about 2 lanes on Huron?”

    The DDA link is to a page titled:

    “Huron, Fifth & Division Improvements”

    There you’ll find plans for the Huron changes, including:

    http://a2dda.org/downloads/SD_Current_Layout_20_2.pdf

    Scroll down, for example, to the block between 4th and 5th streets.

    “I think this would be a big improvement. I’ve heard several people complain, or worse, laugh at, our bike lanes to nowhere.”

    Personally, I’m not a fan of the combination of bike lanes and parallel parking (due to the potential for car-door crashes).


       —mw    May. 16 '08 - 03:13PM    #
  5. Yeah, the Huron plan was floated briefly last year, then vanished. I assumed this was due to the Pfizer announcement—didn’t know about the MDOT plans.

    The plans do make me a little nervous, though it does feel like there is a little squeeze room along those corridors. I can see some of this being implemented, but for example I’m not sure those traffic islands in Huron will make it to reality?

    The plans for Division are really not that bad—the sections s. of William could certainly be narrowed without a lot of trouble. The narrowing n. of Liberty is a little more worrisome, but could work as long as the speed limits and light timing is kept. I agree it would help to have at least one side of that intersection easier for pedestrians to cross.

    The changes to sb Fifth are more troubling IMO, especially if combined w/ the Huron plans (they do seem to have been developed completely independently of one another). Fifth could be narrowed between Liberty and William, sure. But north of Liberty? There just is not a lot of room.

    (Note the apostrophe in “Tio’s” on the Huron plans. Giggle.)


       —Young Urban Amateur    May. 18 '08 - 08:25PM    #
  6. Slate.com has a video about America’s Stupidist Bike Lane I think the bike lane on 5th between Williams and Packard might also be in contention.


       —Chuck Warpehoski    May. 28 '08 - 01:58PM    #