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Dangerous Thayer to State St. Walkway?

Question Corner: March 2020

by Tim Athan

From the March, 2020 issue

Q. Who, if anyone, is responsible for maintaining the small walkway from the rear of the Thayer St. parking structure to State St.? Hundreds of people daily, myself included, use this narrow passageway-families and most everyone else departing the car park for Ann Arbor shopping, dining, the State Theatre, etc. The walkway has been narrowed in the past by a tall metal fence that reduces the width to three feet or so, walking further hampered by a lineup of large, smelly plastic garbage bins, and broken, uneven pavement that remains dangerously covered with ice and snow in winter, and inches of standing water after heavy rains. It seems that some oversight and attention to this desirable connective "avenue" to the heart of Ann Arbor are necessary and would be greatly appreciated by so many of us.

A. The U-M parking structure's back door exits onto a pedestrian alley that runs north-south from Washington St. to the parking lot at the Bell Tower Hotel (now fenced off after problems with vandalism). The east-west connection to State St. is owned by the Taste of India's landlord. The restaurant uses it as a utility area for trash cans.

The landlord had locked the walkway at State St., but a city fire inspector disallowed that. Taste of India has reported the paving problems to the landlord, and repairs are planned for the spring.

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