The Connector Workshop @ the AADL on June 18th

On June 18th the community of Ann Arbor is encouraged to join together at the downtown Ann Arbor District Library to discuss the lastest news about The Connector project.

The Connector project is "a developing plan for high-capacity transit in an arc from northeast to south Ann Arbor, connecting major destinations including downtown, University of Michigan campuses and medical center, and commercial areas."

Everyone is invited to attend the workshop and give insights, ask questions and provide feedback. The workshop will run from 4:30-8:00 pm will be broken into several portions:

4:30-5:30 pm Open House
5:30-6:00 pm Presentation
6:00-7:00 pm Breakout Groups—Connect The Connector
7:00-7:30 pm Presentation
7:30-8:00 pm Open House

"The open house portion of the workshop will feature displays on the various modes of travel under consideration and route options. Project staff and representatives from the organizations collaborating on the project will be available to further explain the displays, answer questions and record comments. The presentation will provide a brief overview of the project to date. The breakout groups will be an opportunity for the public to review segments of The Connector route and make specific comments and provide input on a variety of options."

For more information about the project please contact Chris White, TheRide/Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, 734-794-1850, cwhite@theride.org.

It's Bike to Work Week!

This week is Bike to Work Week, and this Friday May 17th is Bike to Work Day!

Celebrate with Ann Arbor by riding your bike to work and logging it in the commuter challenge. On your way home from work, stop in the library and check out a book about bicycle repair, building your own bicycle, staying safe while bicycling, the joy of bicycling, or a story about bikes to read to a child!

Ann Arbor's Get Downtown program also has a lot of helpful resources for the local biker, such as tips for commuting, maps of bicycle trails and places to park your bike.

For those of you who prefer to celebrate Bike to Work Week outside of downtown Ann Arbor, the library has plenty of books featuring maps of bike trails throughout southeast Michigan and Washtenaw county.

May is National Bike Month!

What better way to celebrate the return of warm weather than hopping on your bike and going somewhere? May is National Bike Month, so get your tires checked and peddle away!

Not sure where to go? Check out Washtenaw County Bike Rides : A Guide to Road Rides In and Around Ann Arbor for local trips. If you're a bicycle commuter, it's important to keep up with maintenance for those daily treks. Essential Bicycle Maintenance & Repair or The Urban Biking Handbook : The DIY Guide to Building, Rebuilding, Tinkering with, and Repairing Your Bicycle for City Living can help you with that. Looking for something comprehensive, covering maintenance, skill, and rules of the road? Try Effective Cycling. For the serious cyclist, take a look at Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die : Biking Experts Share the World's Greatest Destinations.

Commuters, don't forget to get involved with Ann Arbor's getDowntown program!

City Of Ann Arbor 2013 Sustainable Ann Arbor Forums: Planning for Change In Our Community: Transportation Options

Thursday April 18, 2013: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This fourth and final Sustainable Ann Arbor Forum on Transportation Options.

Speakers include:

• John Hieftje, Mayor, City of Ann Arbor
• Erica Briggs, Project Manager, Clean Energy Coalition
• Nathan Voght, Economic Development Specialist, Washtenaw County Office of Community and
Economic Development
• Eli Cooper, Transportation Programs Manager, City of Ann Arbor
• Michael Benham, Strategic Planner, AATA

Detroit News Fine Arts Writer Michael Hodges Discusses Michigan's Vanishing Train Stations: Architecture, History And Sense Of Place

Wednesday November 28, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

In this lecture and slideshow, Detroit News reporter Michael H. Hodges discusses the functional and stylistic evolution of the train station over the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the range of styles architects employed to both tame and exalt rail transportation.

Hodges' new coffee-table book, Michigan's Historic Railroad Stations photographs and profiles 31 depots (including Ann Arbor) across the state.

Michael will also sign copies of the book (which will be for sale) following the event.

Bus riders! TransitTime + has added AATA's The Ride to its app

The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority just announced that the award-winning app, TransitTimes + has added Ann Arbor to its list of more than 50 cities that provide details about their transportation modes to this popular app.

Now you can easily locate The Ride's bus schedules, the location of your particular bus and its arrival time, or map out and save a route to a new location.

To see how easy this app is to use, check out TransitTimes' YouTube channel here.

For more information about this app and to see the growing list of U.S. and international cities being added all the time, click here.

Let the Bridge Work Begin - Big Project Next to the Big House

You've been winding your way through the single-lane situation on East Stadium, eagerly anticipating the next phase in the Ann Arbor Bridges project. Well, the wait is almost over. Beginning in November 2011, the Ann Arbor Bridges Reconstruction project will begin.

The Project Update Press Release details, concretely, every phase of the project. Leaving no cone unturned in their effort to keep citizens informed, the city will provide updates on the website throughout the reconstruction.

And speaking of the Big House, Sparty sends his best.

National Train Day

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Today is National Train Day, a celebration of national rail travel sponsored by Amtrak.

Locally, Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje and the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers will celebrate National Train Day with coffee and donuts. Mayor Hieftje will read a proclamation from the City in support of train travel and present it to the conductor of Amtrak train #351 heading to Chicago.

The Ann Arbor District Library has a wonderful collection of materials train-related. Here is a small sampling to help you celebrate:

The Train set in Paris 1944, starring Burt Lancaster, is an exciting film about the French Resistance and a German colonel trying to steal a vast art collection.

Strangers on a Train is the film noir Alfred Hitchcock classic.

Orient Express: the Life and Times of the World's Most Famous Train is about the luxurious European train operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagon-Lits.

Blood, Iron, & Gold : How the Railroads Transformed the World chronicles one of the greatest technological feats of the 19th century.

China’s Great Train is about the building of the great “Sky Train” the world’s highest railway that goes to Tibet.

Clang, Clang, Clang Went the Trolley

Goodbye TrolleyGoodbye Trolley

While browsing through old newspapers and listening to the radio at our archive this afternoon, I caught part of a 2006 interview with Hugh Martin, composer, lyricist and arranger of such classics as "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "The Boy Next Door" and "The Trolley Song" from the great 1944 musical Meet Me In St. Louis. Martin, who died last Friday explained that he was browsing through an old newspaper at the Beverly Hills Library when he saw a photograph of a trolley with the caption, "Clang! Clang! went the trolley"...and three hours later the song was done. In his honor, and because my love of old musicals, libraries, newspapers and photographs just collided and I can't help myself, here's a photograph of an old Ann Arbor trolley. May it inspire you to write the next great American song.

Thanks to Site 3 of the Downtown Historical Street Exhibits Program there are several photographs of old Ann Arbor trolleys to choose from. And if songwriting isn't really your thing, we have an entire book on the subject.

Ann Arbor Connector Open House

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The public is invited to attend the Ann Arbor Connector Open House on Monday, Nov. 15 in the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch Multipurpose Room. There will be two sessions: 3:30 p.m. ~ 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. ~ 8:00 p.m. to discuss the the Ann Arbor Connector Feasibility Study. The information session will highlight the various transit technologies that are feasible including bus, bus rapid transit, streetcars, light rail transit and personal rapid transit technologies. And there will be plenty of time for comments and Q&A.

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