Our continued efforts to make our concerns be heard in a respectful, thoughtful and professional manner is making an impact. We are being heard and actions are being taken. Please help us stay this course to get to the answer we believe is the right one… a bus yard does not belong in between our neighborhoods. We will have specific action items available to activate your support later this week but please remember to note these upcoming events:
- May 16th City Council meeting – we will be signing up for public comment to generate more awareness.
- May 19th Regents meeting in Grand Rapids @3pm- we have two speakers confirmed and a small group committed to attend.
- May 30th Memorial day parade – visible presence and table at the event.
- June 1st Construction Party – Think bulldozers, dump trucks and earth movers. More to come around this event.
- June 16th Regents Meeting in Ann Arbor. We will work with the University planning team to ensure that we can accommodate everyone this time around.
5/10/16 email response from President Schlissel to our letter sent to the University planning team on 5/5/16:
Dear Ms. Delaney and Ms. Aldrich:
Thank you for writing to me and sharing your additional concerns about the Transportation Operations Center project.
I am committed to fully evaluating the input from you and your neighbors and further analyzing important data before making a recommendation on the next steps for the location of the project. Our initial planning clearly lacked input from those in the neighborhoods closest to the proposed location, and we are working to improve the process going forward.
It is good to note that the communications of Mr. Baier, Mr. Kosteva and Ms. Gott have been helpful. They are also providing regular and accurate feedback to me and other senior leaders. I have asked the three of them to be in touch with you this week to discuss the concerns you raised in your message to me.
I can assure you that we are exploring all facets of this project and are doing so in good faith. Our thorough re-examination includes engagement with you and your community, as well as with outside experts advising us on many of the issues that have been raised, such as air quality and noise and traffic impacts. We are evaluating a variety of options for the project, including different building configurations and utilization of other site locations. Once this phase is complete, we will share the results of our study.
All of these efforts started with my announcement at the March Board of Regents meeting that the project would be placed on hold, permit requests would be withdrawn, and further engagement with neighbors would occur. Each of these has happened.
At that meeting, I also asserted my hope that we can work through the issues we face in partnership. Please know that my team and I are fully committed to doing so. I’ll follow up with the team to ensure we continue to share information and develop a good process for discussion of next steps when we know more.
Mark S. Schlissel
Please see our Response sent on 5/10/16:
Good morning President Schlissel:
“The considerations_4-29-16.pdf document is weak and defensive. It is a classic case of trying to rationalize a decision, rather than a careful, balanced evaluation. Many of the claims are not supported by evidence…it is not a rigorous, defensible document. And it is certainly not useful for decision makers to make an informed decision.”
“I can imagine future planners, architects, landscape architects saying: ‘Who put that bus facility on such a high profile site? What a shame: they could have done much better, and now our options are limited.’ This is important, because this is stating the interests not of the neighbors, but the long-term interests of the university itself … putting the bus facility there is myopic and short-sighted. If they did some more rigorous, thorough planning for North Campus, they would quickly come to the conclusion that the bus facility shouldn’t go there.”