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Re: E-M:/ Criticism and replies about the Ann Arbor Greenway proposal

Roger Kuhlman <rokuhlman@yahoo.com> wrote:

> It is just not true that there is virtually no cost
> for building the proposed Ann Arbor greenway.
Roger, please point out where I have ever said that this can be done at "virtually no cost."
What I actually said is that it will be cheap to acquire land as most of it is already owned by the City.  And that the rather modest development and repair costs can be covered by existing park millages that can only be used for these purposes (not for land acquisition).  Operating costs for a park used for passive recreation (that is, without expensive buildings or pools, etc.) are also modest.
> First there is the direct cost $X which no advocates of the proposal are not willing to > make firm estimates. Then there is the money the city of Ann Arbor forgoes by
> not allowing buildings and parking lots to be constructed on greenway land.
One of the three sites we'd like to use for a Greenway park has been proposed as a site for a parking structure that will cost the public $25-30 million.  That's costly.
The University of Michigan Business School study of the Greenway proposal concludes that it will more than pay for itself, largely due to increasing the amount and value of development near the Greenway.
In my view it's a bonus if the Greenway turns out to cost little or nothing when all factors are considered.  The primary considerabion is the tremendous non-financial value that can be achieved by establishing the first downtown parks containing greenspace, and providing a way to bike and walk without competing with car traffic.
Doug Cowherd
Chair, Sierra Club-Huron Valley Group

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