Tuesday, January 09, 2007

interview with Eli Cooper, trasportation program manager

AANews published a light-weight interview with the guy in charge of transportation in Ann Arbor. There is not a lot of content here, but it is nice to see him introduced as "the man at the city who is charge of trying to get people out of their cars". Maybe he should have been at the negotiating table when we forked over 400 free parking spaces to Google.

There are a couple quotes worth commenting on.

Many times after Ann Arbor City Council meetings, some of the council members will get in their cars and drive two blocks for a late-evening meal.
If we don't see an LtE flat out denying this, then we really need to reconsider how council is representing us.
Street cars?
Possibly within five years. "God willing,'' he says.
The idea is to have rails put in underground on a street like Liberty or Washington and then covered with pavement. When a streetcar is not in use, the cars can use the lane. He said it would cost $50-$60 million to start it up.
It's likely that some of this cash would come from grants and not city coffers. Still, we were surprised to find street cars to be a priority. Since they will have to deal with the same traffic as AATA service, it seems even a paultry $10 million to support the Link would go a lot further in addressing cross-town transit.

Cooper also recommends express buses for Park & Ride lots. He says the frequent stops make for a long journey that deters potential park&riders. Might we also suggest a coffee shop at P&R lots that sells product that can be consumed on the bus?

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