Savitski says if he had a magic wand, he would fill the storefronts left vacant by the closing of Borders and Michigan Book & Supply. He thinks that the neglected stretches are encouraging the uptick in aggressive panhandling. But he also is quick to talk about what he loves about the Arcade. He calls the almost century-old, glass-roofed corridor connecting State and Maynard "a slice of Paris, Milan, Vienna, right here in Ann Arbor."
AAPD officer Kevin Warner, who was walking through the Arcade at lunchtime recently, used to be one of the downtown beat cops. Though he now covers a much larger area, Warner says he still knows all the Arcade shopkeepers and has given many of them his cell phone number.
With summer coming, Warner is glad the cameras are in place. "When the temperatures are in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, we're slammed," he says. "More people out on the streets, more people consuming alcohol ..." Stay tuned.
[Originally published in May, 2012.]