Ann Arbor launches pilot program to allow businesses to convert parking spots into patio space

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PAUL BRADY PHOTOGRAPHY / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock.com

Ann Arbor City Council approved a pilot initiative proposed by the Downtown Development Authority which would allow downtown businesses to utilize curbside parking spots for outdoor dining, retail sales, or overflow customer space.

The program, which could run through October, is adjacent to a program launched earlier this month, in which Ann Arbor began closing off select streets from vehicle traffic to encourage outdoor shopping and dining. The closures begin at 2 p.m. Friday through 8 p.m. Sunday and will remain in effect until Aug. 23.



However, the pilot program would make it so businesses could utilize the extended space all week long, so long as they request a meter bag and submit it to the DDA, along with the proper permits, insurance, and cost — which, at an early estimate, could be $50 per parking spot. The city administrator has been approved to oversee the creation of the program's permit process.

According to MLive, the DDA suggested of revisiting the possibility of maintaining the repurposed parking areas without closing streets to traffic once the pilot program has ended.



City Council is expected to meet on July 6 to discuss the piloting of additional “healthy streets” throughout the downtown area to improve social distancing amongst cyclists and pedestrians.

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