The University Record, July 9, 2001

Forest Avenue parking structure opens with Garage Jam

By Diane Brown
Facilities and Operations

George Bedard and the Kingpins perform at the June 29 Park ’N Party to mark the opening of the new Forest Avenue parking structure. (Photo by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services)
Construction took less than 18 months, but many more months of planning went into making the new Forest Avenue parking structure a reality. On June 29, officials from the city, University, Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and various political groups mingled with area residents and motorcycle buffs to open the new structure. Dubbed the Park ’N Party: A South U Garage Jam, the event included a few brief speeches, an official ribbon cutting, free food, a motorcycle display and parade, and a spirited performance by a local band.

Henry Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations, joined with Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje and DDA Chair Rob Aldrich to thank planners, neighbors, staff and faculty for their energy, patience and assistance in making the joint venture among the three entities a reality.

“We have a parking crunch on campus,” Baier said. “On behalf of our faculty and staff, we thank the DDA and the city for this partnership.”

U-M provided funding for about a third of the project—$5.9 million—and in exchange will receive a third of the parking spaces. The 277 U-M spaces will be earmarked for parkers with blue and gold parking permits.

The spacious, well-lighted structure includes many safety-through-design features, including white walls and ceilings, which brighten the parking area, and a stairwell surrounded by glass to provide visibility. Structure entry and egress are controlled by automated vehicle identification (AVI) technology, which will help keep traffic moving at rush hour. Attendants will assist hourly parkers.

U-M permit holders should contact Parking Services, (734) 764-8291, to obtain an AVI device for structure access. These are the same devices that are being tested this summer in U-M gold lots.