More than two dozen U-M faculty, including a past dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, have petitioned President Coleman to consider this course of action. Four decks of concrete for cars doesn’t advance U-M’s sustainability mission, and the cost of the project works out to about $44,000 per parking space, roughly four years’ undergraduate tuition. With the same total sum, U-M could boost bus service, provide local funds for a train station, and retain more to spend on things like financial aid.
A strategy of perpetual parking expansion may have made sense in the Interstate era. It doesn’t make sense today, from the perspective of economics or ecology. By choosing cheaper, less polluting, and more effective alternatives, U-M has a chance to demonstrate the “Michigan Difference” and renew its commitment to be “leaders and best.”
It's really great to hear an urban planning take on some of our local issues.