In the News

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If U-M bars were Parks & Rec characters

Ever wonder which Parks & Rec character your favorite bar resembles? Sure you do. Now, if only they'd tell us which Walking Dead character our local cell phone outlets are most like.


The Blind Pig: Andy Dwyer
A bit of a hike from campus, but its the place to catch up with the local music scene, order a pitcher and maybe win back your ex-girlfriend over a game of pool. Mouse Rat would definitely bust out a moving rendition of “5000 Candles in the Wind” here.

Read the rest of this must-know information here.

EMU gets $3.26 million gift for special ed, music therapy programs

Eastern Michigan University was handed a $3.26 million gift from long-time supporters William and Delores Brehm. The philanthropic couple are dedicated to growing the university's special education programs and have, over the years, donated more than $8 million to the school.


"Dee Brehm, herself a graduate of EMU’s special education program, says that their objective is to help train special education professionals and researchers who will lead the way in supporting people with disabilities as well as those who can benefit from music therapy."

Read the rest here

Ann Arbor becomes vacation destination for Chicagoans

So, over the last couple of years we've seen enough of these stories to conclude that Chicagoans... or at least Chicago writers and bloggers... think Ann Arbor is a nifty weekend getaway for those who need a break from the Windy City.


"As your resident Virgin Traveler, I am ashamed to admit that this is my first entry about the never-ending charm, incredible food choices, and the sense of community that exudes from this college town.

Home of the University of Michigan, and a historical town in its own right, Ann Arbor is an intoxicating mix of the old and new. An old-fashioned spirit runs through Main Street, yet the vibe and energy of trendy restaurants ensures a sense of youth and exuberance."

Read the rest here.

U-M opens a medical library without books

Technology is helping to reinvent the way we interact with libraries. U-M's Taubman Health Sciences Library just under went a a $55 million overhaul... and major rethinking of how it functions best.


"Hundreds of thousands of books were moved to an offsite location and are available on demand for delivery, and by becoming "bookless" the school said that frees up space for medical student education. The facility on the school's Ann Arbor campus officially reopened over the weekend."

Read more here.

Does Michigan have too many counties?

There should be a point where we ask: "Why are we doing things this way?" If the answer is, "Because that's the way we've always done it" then we should probably be talking more seriously about change.

The Detroit Free Press looks at what it means that Michigan has 83 counties yet California, with three times as many people, has just 47.


"Michigan taxpayers could save hundreds of millions of dollars by redrawing the state’s oldest political boundaries and reapportioning responsibility for government services on a different basis, the practical obstacles to doing it are enormous."

Read the rest here.

The case for narrower traffic lanes

Though the concept might be a tough sell in auto-obsessed Michigan, studies show that wider traffic lanes are less safe than narrow lanes - especially in urban settings.


"Given the empirical evidence that favours ‘narrower is safer’, the ‘wider is safer’ approach based on intuition should be discarded once and for all. Narrower lane width, combined with other livable streets elements in urban areas, result in less aggressive driving and the ability to slow or stop a vehicle over shorter distances to avoid a collision."

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor's robot city

The University of Michigan has opened Mcity, a  $6.5 million, 32-acre simulated urban and suburban environment where self driving cars and mechanical pedestrians run wild.

Okay, maybe not run wild. But it does make you wonder when they'll open WestWorld.


"The University of Michigan opened Mcity, the world's first controlled environment specifically designed to test the potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies that will lead the way to mass-market driverless cars today."

Read the rest here.

The case for converting street parking to bike lanes

Businesses often argue that if a city converts street parking to bike lanes they will financially suffer. Unfortunately, study after study shows that simply isn't the case.


"But here's the thing about the "studies on possible economic impacts" requested by retailers on Polk Street, or really wherever bike-lane plans emerge—they've been done. And done. And done again. And they all reach a similar conclusion: replacing on-street parking with a bike lane has little to no impact on local business, and in some cases might even increase business. While cyclists tend to spend less per shopping trip than drivers, they also tend to make more trips, pumping more total money into the local economy over time."

Read the rest here.

In a related article - there's a great piece in Treehugger about the inappropriate way bikes are held to the standards of cars. You should read it here.

Favorite quote:

"In the meantime, the vast majority of provincial resources around lawmaking, education and enforcement should be directed towards motorists, whom a recent report found were “at fault” in 93 per cent of collisions with bikes in Metro Vancouver.

Expecting both drivers and cyclists to play by the same set of rules is like equating shotguns with water pistols. Let’s not lose sight of the real weapons on our streets."

Ann Arbor named top Swim City... again

Who says being land locked is a disadvantage? Ann Arbor recently got named the top swim cities in the USA. Eat it Pismo Beach!


"Ann Arbor’s has the largest percentage of top USA Swimming athletes per population and the second-highest number of pool facilities per population of any city in the country. More than 60 Olympians came through the University of Michigan’s swim program, including 2012 Olympic champion Tyler Clary and fellow gold medalist Tom Dolan."

Read the rest here.

Tennessee travel writers fall under Ann Arbor’s spell

In case you were wonderin’ what out-of-towners think about Ann Arbor, feast your eyes on the enthusiastic words of praise a pair of feature travel writers have to say about our community.


But, residents say many other reasons keep them in Ann Arbor. Students graduate and never leave. Young families like the vibe and point to job opportunities, recreational green spaces, thriving farmer's markets, and community activities. Retirees call it a comfortable, walkable city and note the strong medical institutions. Ann Arbor has more than 100 arts and entertainment venues.

And, as the 5.6 million travelers who visited last year can attest, this city is really fun.

Read the rest of the gushing here.

Ann Arbor's record setting $100M office sale

If you want an indicator of how much office space is in demand in Ann Arbor, consider Oxford's $100M office acquisition.


"It's hard for me to put into context," said Andrew Selinger, market analyst for Oxford, "but it's probably one of the defining deals of Ann Arbor real estate history."

Read the rest here.

Regional airport shuttles could start in Spring 2016

It's a start. Yeah, Ann Arbor already has an airport shuttle bus (such as it is), but the expansion of such a system around the region is the first step in developing regional transportation. Or so The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan hopes. Note: A shuttle proposal between Ann Arbor and downtown Detroit is also in the works.


In addition, the request for proposal includes an addendum seeking optional proposals for express bus service from Ann Arbor to Downtown Detroit with a stop in Wayne County. Ford said the airport service is the priority, but the RTA also wants to use the request to gather information about a possible future connection between Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Read the rest here.

Purple Rose Theatre ad features Jeff Daniels & Timothy Busfield

Having friends in high places helps when you're an arts organization. The Purple Rose Theatre Company is celebrating its 25th season and founder Jeff Daniels appears along with Timothy Busfield in an ad promoting the theatre company's long-standing commitment to drama.

Check it out!


Every outdoor movie screening in Ann Arbor & Metro Detroit

One of the great conundrums of summer is whether to enjoy the warm weather or indulge in a night at the movies. Outdoor movie screenings give you the best of both worlds and Thrillist has put together a calendar of what's playing where in Ann Arbor and metro Detroit.


"Remember when you used to look up movie times in the paper? Or actually called Moviefone? Or searched in a bunch of different places to find out what outdoor summer movies where playing? Yeah, all of that sucked, but we’ve finally solved the last one by rounding up every single outdoor moving showing in the D, from now until August, and put ‘em in one handy calendar..."

Check it out here!

Ann Arbor Commuter Challenge winners announced

Okay, so it's not the Tonys. Or the Emmys. Or the Oscars. But in terms of lowering humanity's carbon footprint, getDowntown and The Ride's Commuter Challenge is a heckuva lot more important.

250 local area organizations and businesses encouraged their employees to walk, bike, bus or carpool to work in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. In a more perfect world, events like these would warrant red carpets and press calls. So who won? Click the link below!


The following organizations got the highest participation in their size category (and the highest avg commutes if a tie) and therefore are our winners:
Winners of the 2015 Commuter Challenge

Extra Small: Ghostly International (100% participation, 48 avg trips/employee)
Small: Bivouac (100% participation, 22.4 avg trips/employee)
Medium: SmithGroupJJR (68.3% participation)
Large: Arbor Research Collaborative for Health (77.7% participation)
Extra Large: Zingerman's Community of Businesses (12.9% participation)
All winners will win worksite parties! 

Read the rest here.
Check the stats here.
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