Putting an “I Support the Troops” magnetic ribbon on your car is one thing, but having wounded vets transported through your neighborhood is quite another

OK, I may well be overreacting, but I just read an article about some Ann Arbor residents who are up in arms over the temporary use of shuttle busses to transport wounded soldiers through their neighborhood, on their way to and from the VA Hospital, and I feel obligated to fan the flames of outrage. Here’s a clip:

…Residents along Glazier Way in Ann Arbor say they’re growing tired of the steady stream of shuttle buses coming and going between the VA hospital and Huron Hills Church — a situation they say is eroding the integrity of their otherwise peaceful neighborhood…

I don’t want to go off on yet another rant about, “those people of Ann Arbor,” but, Jesus Christ. I cannot fathom having the gall to complain about a shuttle bus full of wounded or otherwise struggling soldiers – that stops running at 6:00 PM, by the way – and how its presence interferes with the “integrity” of my otherwise idyllic neighborhood. Sure, the thought might occur to me, but I can’t imagine ever being so heartless, and just plain stupid, as to say it. Here these men and women made incredible sacrifices for our country, and this is how we repay them – by complaining that the busses they take to have their prosthetics fitted cause us distress… I wonder if it’s the noise of the bus, or just the fact that it’s a reminder of the unpleasant fact that people are being killed, maimed and broken psychologically so that we can continue driving our SUVs and living in our sprawling suburban enclaves.

For what it’s worth, I wasn’t going to write about this, until I got to the following quote by the head of the Glazier Way Association:

“If this is allowed to stand in one of the more affluent neighborhoods in Ann Arbor, then no neighborhood is safe.”

Yes, I’m sure that folks in Detroit, who are going to be sending their kids to schools with 60 kids in a classroom, are looking to Ann Arbor’s Glacier Way community, terrified of what might be coming their way.

[Filed under “Ann Arbor Problems”]

update: OK, it looks as though maybe I was overreacting here. From what I’m now being told, these shuttle busses are for the hospital staff, and not patients. It still rubs me the wrong way, but I suppose it’s not as horrible as I had at first thought. Compared to the troubles that a lot of others face in our neighborhoods, though, I don’t see how this really rises to the level of a real problem… At any rate, if people would like to have me remove this post, just let me know. I’d be happy to do so… Let’s put it to a vote, shall we?

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  1. LisaD
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Er… not really wounded soldiers. Staff – a little less dramatic. But still… 329 comments on A2 News?

    My favorite comment was this: “Here we have two non-taxpaying entities conspiring on a revenue-generating project without even consulting the people in the neighborhood or, apparently, without considering the zoning requirements.” Who knew the Veteran’s Administration and a Church were so interested in revenue?!?

    I must admit, though, I like it when issues like this don’t split among the usual ‘left/right’ divide that people seem to think is so solid…

  2. Kristin
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Truly not a story about vets at all, just nuisance traffic, but topically this lends itself to all sorts of satisfying finger pointing. I also think this is less about Ann Arbor people and more about old people. They’re very focused on defending their resources.

  3. Posted July 29, 2011 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    There is nothing in this article to suggest that the resident’s complaints have anything to do with with who is riding in the vehicle.

    This is some whiny old people complaining about traffic.

  4. Edward
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t aware that it was only staff riding the shuttles. Is that really the case?

  5. Knox
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Also relevant:


  6. Mr. X
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    If it weren’t for finger wagging, Kristin, some of us wouldn’t get any exercise at all.

  7. Posted July 29, 2011 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Honestly, Mark, the greater outrage here should be that the VA is using federal funds to pay a religious institution for parking space.

    I realize this happens all the time, but what this amounts to is government support of a religious institution, an institution that, by that way, does not pay tax on the space that it rents to the VA.

  8. Posted July 29, 2011 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry, the biggest outrage should be at how absolutely ridiculously stupid the van looks.

    Who designs this shit?

  9. Anonymous
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    From a Facebook comment on this post:

    No Mark-it is as terrible as your initial instinct told you it was. The concept that ‘affluent’ communities somehow deserve a better way of life than the rest of us (the housing association’s assertion, not mine) is just atrocious. ”sorry mr. richperson, how dare we use the roads before 6 pm”. No, this is not a vet issue or even a traffic issue. This is a class issue.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    And, you’re right Pete. The eagle head should be bigger.

  11. Posted July 29, 2011 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Yes, and there should be a life size 3D reproduction of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the top of the van.

  12. someone
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    “If this is allowed to stand in one of the more affluent neighborhoods…”

    This should be the first accidental discharge that starts the class revolution. THIS IS HOW THEY THINK, FELLOW PLEBES!

  13. Posted July 29, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Yeah, that “affluent” comment makes me want to start knocking heads around. What next? Traffic in Burns Park or Arbor Hills?!?!?!!? I’m going to stop worrying about whether or not any of my kiddos is having trouble this summer & immediately start worrying about the Glacier neighborhood.

  14. Anonymous 2
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the affluent people of Glacier Way,
    and I didn’t speak out because I couldn’t afford a home there.

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    My heart literally bleeds for these people and their struggle for basic human rights.

  15. Sandy D.
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    If your heart is literally bleeding, Anonymous 2, I hope you get yourself to a hospital quickly.

    The shuttle bus looks like it was designed by the people who did the Colbert intro.

  16. Posted July 29, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Traffic data for the stretch of Glazier around Wolverhampton shows 1900 vehicles passed during a 24 hour period in 1997. In 2004, 4500 cars were counted over 24 hours west of the Huron Parkway intersection on Glazier . Assuming a bus actually goes by every 10 minutes for 12 hours a day, this amounts to a less than 5% bump in traffic from the 1997 levels.

    My point this: why did we let a street get named “Wolverhampton?” As a community we were asking for something like this to happen.

  17. dragon
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    “I detest what you drive, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue driving”

    Freedom has consequences.

  18. Christine M
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    On the Arborparents email group they have been ranting on and on about this whole entire week. I think there is one jerk who thought, I’m going to complain and that stirred up the entire thing. I liked the comment about the biker group knowing where they are going on their ride this weekend.

  19. gary
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    don’t think for a second there wouldn’t be the same outrage in ypsilanti if this was happening in the normal park neighborhood.

  20. Suzie
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    hahaha, it’s all so great. Vehicles, driving down the road! Outrage!

    Ben, thank you for the traffic data – that is a great perspective. But thank you even more for this: “My point this: why did we let a street get named “Wolverhampton?” As a community we were asking for something like this to happen.”

  21. Posted July 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink


    I just call it like I see it.

  22. Chairman Meow
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    “Wolverhampton” is actually German for “Guzzlin’ Xanax.”

  23. EOS
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m thinking we should all join the bikers and drive back and forth through the stretch of Glazier around Wolverhampton as much as possible for the next few weeks.

  24. Kran
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    You people don’t know how hard it is to be wealthy. If you did, you wouldn’t make these jokes. With wealth comes responsibility.

  25. Eel
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    An animatronic eagle should be on the roof, screaming and perpetually picking the organs out of the guts of a terrorist. And the bus should blast heavy metal.

    And, for what it’s worth, I think there are a lot of people around the world who are tired of our American buses rolling through their neighborhoods.

  26. Posted July 29, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Agreed with EOS. I remember once somebody posted a post to FB, indicating that Bill Riley or Riney or whatever was parading up her street, dressed as a leprechaun. I envision something like that or perhaps we are all naked.

  27. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted July 29, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Oh my god, someone agreed with EOS!

  28. Posted July 30, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I know, right? I just think a parade of MM.com folks would be super sweet.

  29. Christine M
    Posted July 30, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I live in Normal Park. I think if someone took the time and money to open a HUGE hospital like the VA and they drove vans through the neighborhood we would mostly be thrilled at the new revenue to the city.

  30. Bertie Mccarthy
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Has anyone followed up on how these poor people are doing? I can’t imagine what it must be like for them, having to know that public transportation is right outside their homes.

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