City of Ann Arbor – Ann Arbor, MI

Ann Arbor Downtown Parking Study

Parking in the Michigan city of Ann Arbor was a contentious issue. The city required no on-site parking for new development within its downtown and maintained 5,770 public spaces that had years-long wait lists for monthly permits. Some believed parking was in short supply, while many longtime residents strongly opposed adding any new parking.

By quantifying existing conditions, Nelson\Nygaard reshaped and clarified the impassioned debate over whether downtown has too little, too much, or just enough parking. We developed recommendations for a comprehensive parking policy, informed by intensive stakeholder outreach and feedback.

Strategies included creating commuter bus service, installing smart meters, and expanding on-street pricing into evenings. Two pilot programs were also suggested: a parking benefit district, which directs meter funds to beautify downtown, and a public valet service.

All recommendations were adopted unanimously by the City Council.