As of last Thursday, there are big changes beginning near the Ann Arbor Downtown Library. Fifth Avenue from Liberty to Williams is now closed, and will remain so for at least a year. The northern section of the Library’s porch is closed, and handicap access has moved to William Street (with a new incline that ends across from the automated door). Bike hoops are now near the flagpole. So why are all of these changes being made?
At present, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is building an underground parking deck on the Library Lot site, which is the cause of the immediate (and ongoing) disruption. However, the top of the lot has been – and remains – under discussion. Several months ago, the League of Women Voters hosted a public meeting about possible uses for the Library Lot. At that meeting five, five-minute proposals for potential development were presented, followed by an hour of questions and answers. The League’s intent was to keep the city council apprised as to what kinds of development Ann Arbor residents were interested in seeing.
Part of the issue, as discussed in our previous blog Plannning for Green Space in Arbor, No Walk in the Park, is over whether the land should be used for commercial development or for greenpsace or other public purposes.