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September 05, 2001 - Image 77

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-05

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The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Wednesday, September 5, 2001- 7F

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AATA,

'U'

seek

merger; student
drivers protest

ALEX HOWBERT/Daily
High ftnes and scarce parking in Ann Arbor make the possession of a car tiring and
frustrating experience for many students.
garking tickets Can
amount quickly n

The possibility of a proposed part-
nership between the Ann Arbor
Transportation Authority and the
University bus system, the two main
transportation services used in Ann
Arbor and on campus, struck contro-
versy amongst student bus drivers
who fear their jobs might be in jeop-
ardy.
Transportation and Parking Ser-
vices Director Patrick Cunningham
said the agreement would allow the
University to save up to $150,000
per year in operational savings, as
well as purchase new buses and will
hopefully make the transportation
system between North and Central
Campuses more reliable and effi-
cient.
Under the a potential partnership,
AATA and the University would
combine services for overlapping
routes on campus, but the University
buses would remain in operation.
In an internal transportation
department memo from Administra-
tive Manader David Miller obtained
by The Michigan Daily recommends
AATA begin by running little-used
Nite Owl, late-night and weekend
routes.
The memo also suggested that the
daytime Bursley-Baits route be the
first high-volume route to transfer
service to AATA.
University Chief Financial'Officer

Robert Kasdin called the Universi-
ty's bus system "a redundancy of
AATA" and said a partnership would
"be good for the environment,
reflect the University's commitment
to partnership with the community,
save capital expenses and ensure no
loss of jobs for full-time employ-
ees."
Kasdin added that the partnership
would be gradual over a three- to
four-year period, during which the
University can pull out at any time.
But University bus driver Marisa
Arnold said AATA "is seeking to
zap the strength from our system."
"This is part of their grand
scheme to monopolize Ann Arbor,"
she said.
Some drivers said the main conse-
quence of a partnership with AATA
is the loss of service to students.
Widespread AATA bus use might
mean fewer stops on mornings when
students need to go to class and no
late-night service on the weekends.
Cunningham refuted the possibili-
ty of less stops and locations. "It is
our goal not to reduce service, but to
improve it," Cunningham said. "We
have the Nite Owl that goes till 2
a.m., and the AATA would also have
to operate until 2 a.m."
Cunningham also said the waiting
period between bus arrivals, will
remain the same or will be

DAVID KATZ/Daisy
Students bus drivers fear they will no longer be able to greet other students onto
buses if the merger between the AATA and the University is completed.

By Jacquelyn Nixon
Daily StafflReporter
Despite the availability of bus ser-
vice on campus, LSA senior Tara
Edwards said it's more convenient to
dve her car to classes. She knows she
t s a risk by parking her car at
meters, and sometimes she lets her
parking tickets accumulate.
"I've spent between $200 and $300
since my sophomore year on parking
tickets,"Edwards said. "There is
nowhere to park by the MLB or Frieze
Building, where the majority of my
classes are."
Inrecent years, city parking statistics
*w September and March - the
beginning and end of the regular acade-
niC year - have a higher number of
tofwed vehicles as a result of outstand-
iig parking tickets.
Ann Arbor Parking and Street Main-
tenance Manager Mike Scott said the
city collects $2.4 million a year alone
on outstanding parking tickets and stu-
dents contribute significantly to the
city's revenue.
dwards said at one point she had
outstanding parking tickets but
only jet a few weeks go by without
payiitg them.
4it-just happens today I got one,"
Edwards said yesterday. "I put quar-
ters in the machine and it didn't
work. The time didn't go up. I just
left my car since I was late for an
exam."
LSA freshman Mark Worthley
the lot in front of Mary Markley
Residence Hall, and said despite the
parking tickets he's received, it's nec-
essary to have a car because he lives
out of state.
"Everyone wants to have cars to
drivdhome for the weekend," he
said.
City Administrator Neil Berlin
CLOSINGS
iued from Page 6F
remotely located businesses, the
stores have had an incentive to fill
new customer niches: The Michigan
Theater offers independent films
other theaters do not, and Urban Out-
fitters fills a clothing niche absent at
Briarwood.
Inthe coming months, change will
lerate in the State Street neigh-
b ood. The Downtown Develop-
ment Authority recently approved an
18-month, $5 million "State Street
Area Streetscape Revitalization Pro-
jeit' The project, which will affect
State, William, Washington, Maynard,
Thompson and Liberty streets, will
include new lighting, widened streets,
NAKED MILE
tnued from Page 2F
'There weren't that many people and
it' too bad it go so popular outside of
the students," said LSA sophomore
Josh Zorger. "A few people made it
through. Not as many people as before,
but it's still cool to have the whole
campus out"'
Zorger said that despite the lack of
r 1ersat this year's event, he believes
tRU'ile will go on.
"I'll do it maybe in two more years,
when I'm a senior ... maybe. I think it
would be fun. It would be a trip," he
said.
Although some students were not
esnecially annreciative of the presence

said Ann Arbor currently has one
employee who surveys license plates
for outstanding parking tickets and is
not planning to hire any additional
staff.
Ticketing employees also have the
power to impound a vehicle if they
find while writing a ticket that the
car already has several outstanding,
Scott said.
In February 2000, 98 cars were
towed as a result of outstanding
parking tickets, with that figure
increasing to 178 by March, accord-
ing to city parking statistics. State
law dictates that a car can be towed
after accumulating six or more out-
standing tickets, Scott said.
"The city of Ann Arbor has gone
to a system where we have gotten a
writ of execution and can tow after
four or more," Scott said. The city
was able to ak for this writ as a
result of its population size and park-
ing capacity. Scott said the Main
Street area is a major ticketing area
because of shorter time limits on
meters.
- In order to retrieve a car after it
has been towed, outstanding tickets
and an administration fee must be
paid in full at the Ann Arbor police
department.
"They have to go to the towing
company to have their vehicle
released and pay the towing
charges," Scott said. "MLB or Frieze
Building where the majority of my
classes are."
In recent years, city parking statistics
show September and March - the
beginning and end of the regular acade-
mic year - have a higher amount of
towed vehicles as a result of outstand-
ing parking tickets.
Ann Arbor parking and street main-
tenance manager Mike Scott said the
city collects $2.4 million a year alone.
new trees, and the conversion of some
one-way streets to two-way traffic.
Although the changes promise to
expand the retail presence of the
State Street area and stabilize the
business environment, many of the
small, traditional stores of Ann
Arbor will be missed. For every new
Bruegger's to arrive downtown,
there is a Drake's that will have to
be closed.
"It was a great landmark," Pohrt
said, recalling his own memories of
the campus sandwich shop. "I once
went in there and had a cup of tea
with the poet Gary Snyder - a
friend of (Jack) Kerouac's - and
Snyder suggested it be put on the
national registry of landmarks,"
Pohrt said. "We didn't do it, and I'm
really sorry."
students decided to remain bundled up.
"If hundreds of students ran when it
was snowing, I have a hard time believ-
ing (that the cold weather played a fac-
tor)," she said, referring to a frigid
Naked Mile in a previous year.
"I do think that the awareness cam-
paigns are making a difference,"
Brown said. "I also think that the sig-
nificant police presence made a differ-
ence."
Student volunteers were on hand to
keep the crowd under control, some-
times clearing a path for runners to fol-
low.
"We just want to make sure that the
people will avoid molestation and just
enjoy their jog," said Kinesiology
senior Jeremy Miller.
The Naked Mile afforded businesses

improved. "The bus stop time has to
be as short or shorter and we have to
be able to stop at all the places we
have currently," he said.
To prevent the outsourcing of
their jobs to the AATA, student dri-
vers also filed a petition with the
Michigan Employment Relations
Council to form their own union.
In order for the motion to pass
without the consent of the AATA,

MERC has to approve an employee
election. MERC should reach its
decision of consent by mid-June.
Assuming MERC approvesvthe
election, a majority of employees
who vote in the election must vote in
favor of unionization in order fot:the
union to be formed,
__- Compiled by Daily StaffReporter
Maria Sprow from Daily staff
repwris

Smokers unite for annual 'Hash Bash'

By James Restivo
Daily Staff Reporter
In December 1970, John Lennon, Yoko Ono,
Alan Ginsburg and other popular political activists
came to Crisler Arena for a freedom rally in sup-
port of John Sinclair, a Michigan resident who
was sentenced to 10 years in prison for bossession
of two marijuana joints.
Several members of this rally decided that on
April 1 of the following year, they would all con-
verge on campus for a national "smoke-in." This
event, which is now known throughout the Univer-
sity and the country as "Hash Bash," will celebrate
its 30th anniversary Saturday.
The main event will take place on the Diag from
"high noon" until 1 p.m., when there will be
numerous speakers and activists, said Master of
Ceremonies Adam Brook.
Speakers include Keith Strout, a marijuana
reformer; Elvy Musikka, one of eight people who
can obtain marijuana legally in Michigan for med-
ical reasons; and activist leaders John Sinclair and
Chef Ra.
Although the event will take place on the Uni-
versity campus, Brook said it is a community
event and is predominantly attended by non-stu-
dents.
"Though the University controls the Diag, this
is a city event, not a University event -- it just
happens to take place on campus," Brook said.
"This is an up-from-the-people event that doesn't
require a permit except for amplified sound."
The University is responsible for approving
Diag utilization permits, but officials do not sup-
port the event.
"The University does not approve of the Hash
Bash," said University spokeswoman Julie Peter-
son. "We are in support of free speech and expres-
sion so we will not be shutting the event down -
but we will be enforcing the law."
Brook said he expects up to 10,000 people from
around the world to come to the Diag this week-
end, depending on the weather. Saturday's forecast
calls for temperatures reaching 70 degrees with a
chance of rain.
In past years, the event has been categorized by
students and visitors smoking marijuana on the
Diag. Ann Arbor's penalty for marijuana posses-
PROJ ECT
Continued from Page 6F
Holman added that although he believed the plan will
the downtown area, additional steps need to be taken in <
for State Street to measure up to its potential, inclu
adding a greater variety of merchants to the area.
"I think there is a lot more that needs to be done in tern
an active effort to attract the kinds of businesses that you
in that area," he said. "To get the kind of mix of busin<
you really have to work at that and then go after them:'
SPRING CLEANING
State Street isn't the only area that will be seeing impi
ments. Within the next four months, many roads will bt
off from traffic as part of the Annual Resurfacing Prog
and Downtown Street Resurfacing project.
The projects are part of the Capital Improvement I
which will be in effect from now until 2007. Thel
includes street improvement, but also focuses on buil
improvements, such as an additionlto the Guy C. Lai
Municipal Building, otherwise known as City hall.
parks and the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport will also rec
funding from the project, which is projected to spend al
$300,000,000 in the next five years.

sion is a civil infraction punishable by only a $25
fine, but because the University campus is state
property it is governed by state laws.
"If you are coming out, don't smoke any pot on
the Diag," Brook said. "People usually think it's
going to be a small fine, but are surprised when
they are hauled off to jail."
Marijuana possession on campus is a misde-
meanor with up to a $2,000 fine and one year in
jail, said Diane Brown, spokeswoman for the Uni-
versity Department of Public Safety, who added
that DPS is planning increased patrols for the
event.
"We need to staff to ensure the safety and well-
being of people on our campus," Brown said. "We
need to ask people to recognize the laws that gov-
ern our campus."
Organizers of the Personal Responsibility
Amendment initiative drive will also be on cam-
pus this weekend. The initiative is an attempt to
legalize personal use of marijuana and to use
funds currently being spent fighting drug use on
education and treatment instead.
Michigan State law mandates that for an initia-

tive to end up on a ballot, petitioners must receive
300,711 signatures in 180 days, said attorney Ore-'
gory Schmid, author and director of PRA Mli'hi-x
gan.
The drive will start tomorrow and will utilie
and recruit volunteers to obtain the required num-;
ber of signatures by Oct 3.
"This affords people who are already g6ing to
smoke marijuana a lawful alternative to obtaining
drugs without ever meeting a drug dealer," Schmfid:
said. "We just allow the private use of homegrown'
marijuana away from kids, cars and the public."
Schmid said this new initiative will take the
stigma away from marijuana,
"Instead of sensationalizing it so it is a'f rbid-
den fruit that kids can't wait to try, we wadt to
make it boring," Schmid said.
Brook suggested that anyone who is coning to
Hash Bash to express their personal views shoutd
be careful while taking advantage of their personal
freedom.
"If you really are going to consider smoking,
marijuana is civil disobedience," he said. "Come
out and be as civil and disobedient as possible,"

ABBY ROSENBAUM/Daily
People gathered on the Diag this spring to celebrate the 30th annual Hash Bash. While smoking on the Uiag ls
illegal, that did not prevent many from smoking marijuana to commemorate the day.

have two lanes going one way, it's going to go faster than one
lane," she said. " But (while the bridge is under construction)
there is not going to be very many opportunities to get in and
out of the city, and (Glen) will be a major route:'
Currently, Lawrence and Thayer streets are being resur-
faced. Several other streets, including Glazier Way on North
Campus, are also experiencing improvements.j
Next week, construction will begin on six other streets, all
off campus.
Later in the summer, traffic delays can be expected on
East Jefferson Street, John Street and Monroe Court near
State Street, which will all be resurfaced.
Don Todd, the project manager of the Annual Resurfac-
ing Program and the Downtown Street Resurfacing Pro-
ject, said there aren't many problems associated with the
construction.
"We've been doing it long enough to be abe to work with
the individual property owners and residents to make it pret-
ty painless," Todd said. "I send everyone a letter a week or
two in advance to let everyone know how we're doing the
parking and construction."
Todd added that parking is not a problem because resi-
dents are allowed to park their cars in construction areas any
time as long as they are parked in front of their own house
and they are available to move their cars.

9'.j

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