Earlier this evening, I attended the Old West Side Association’s fall meeting.  Joe O’Neal, owner of O’Neal Construction in Ann Arbor, discussed plans for the proposed Allen Creek Greenway (’Central Park’).  Although the planning is still in the earliest phases of research and development, it appears as though there is growing support for the initiative.  O’Neal mentioned the Friends of the Ann Arbor Greenway’s desire to create two new nonprofits: the Allen Creek Greenway Foundation (lobby and advocacy) and the Allen Creek Greenway Land Trust (purchase and operate land). 

“The first step in creating the Ann Arbor Greenway is to establish the first public greenspace park in the downtown area. We propose that this park be created at the City-owned parcel at the corner of First and William streets. However, the powerful Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has been lobbying City Council to create another huge 6 story parking garage on the First and William site. Contrary to DDA claims, a recent analysis shows that existing parking garages are under-utilized, even at peak periods. Quality of life for the residents of Ann Arbor won’t be improved by having even more unused parking garages cluttering the skyline. But the creation of the first urban greenspace which would become the keystone of a three-mile Greenway for all to enjoy would enhance the quality of life for everyone who lives, works, and visits here.” Friends of the Ann Arbor Greenway