College Place street closing is dead

September 17, 2007 by  
Filed under News

EMU Pease Auditorium

EMU backs out of controversial plan

(September 17, 2007) Eastern Michigan University has notified the City of Ypsilanti that EMU is withdrawing support of the closing of College Place in front of Pease Auditorium. In a letter to the City of Ypsilanti, EMU told city officials they were deferring commitment to the project until EMU completes their own Campus Master Plan.

The closing of College Place was very controversial and had been opposed by business owners on Cross Street as well as residents of the both neighborhood associations bordering the planned project. It was also opposed by a number of EMU faculty as well as EMU student government.

City officials said that they were not surprised by Eastern pulling out of the project and said that other street scape improvements on Cross Street would continue. One project still moving forward is the new ‘historic’ street lights along Cross Street which are expected to cost nearly $100,000 in taxpayer money.

Brian Vosburg, DDA Director, said there were a number of other projects planned for the area. In the Depot Town district new stamped and stained concrete crosswalks are to be installed, planters are to be removed and replaced with rain gardens, and a pedestrian gate at the railroad crossing is to be installed. Vosburg said along west Cross Street from Depot Town to EMU, new crosswalks with stamped and stained concrete are to be installed as well as new parking lane bump-outs.

Comments

3 Comments on "College Place street closing is dead"

  1. rodneyn on Tue, 18th Sep 2007 8:38 pm 

    Ding! Dong! The switch is dead! The wicked old switch is dead!

    A bad idea in an obsolete plan finally passes away years after the plan’s pages yellowed into near illegibility on a shelf in Welch Hall. I would personally like to express my sincere thanks to former Mayor Farmer and the City administration for their near competence in managing this project to this satisfactory resolution – and for Mayor Schreiber’s astute decision to let this one go.

    On the other hand, the DDA plans to install “antique” streetlights along W. Cross St. is a bigger concern. Why is the DDA still spending major money on streetscape improvements (no matter how desirable) when we are being asked to approve an income tax to right the City’s fiscal ship?

    Also, has anyone asked how much damage those “antique” streetlights will cause to the ability of the Sherzer Hall telescope to see into the night sky? No one asked either when the downtown lights went in, and they cause tremendous light pollution, despite “after-the-fact” modifications.

  2. egpenet on Fri, 21st Sep 2007 2:03 pm 

    The LEAST the City/DDA can do for the students is to help improve the streeet scape, pedestrian safety and help bring the east edge of the campus “into” the community more. We LOVE EMU and welcome the students. We want them and their parents to feeel they are safe, can get a great education and can have a life while they are with us in Ypsilanti.

    As for light pollution, there’s so much now that you can hardly tell if the moon is out or if it’s just another low-flying 747 from Willow Run coming/going … only the god awful roar gives it away.

  3. rodneyn on Sun, 23rd Sep 2007 12:09 am 

    We love living close to EMU, and as a Midtown neighborhood resident, I am well aware of the pros and cons of bringing the campus and its activities more “into” the community. A beautiful streetscape of decorative concrete and fake antique streetlights will do nothing for EMU or for our neighborhoods if it is accompanied by a huge tax bill on the students and faculty. Whatever benefit accrues from the streetscape will be more than offset by the damage done by a city income tax.

    As for the light pollution, proximity is everything. Light intensity decreases at a rate equal to the square of the distance. The downtown streetlights cause tremendous light pollution, but similar fixtures along W. Cross would be more devestating to the Sherzer Hall telescope because they would be much closer to the telescope site.

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