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Old 04-24-2017, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,759 posts, read 65,587,794 times
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In some discussions today, it is interesting the varied opinions on the best Detroit Suburb. There were probably as many "this one is the best" as there were people. It so much depends on personal preferences and priorities.

However worst suburb was more consistent. Inkster was the clear winner in our discussion and everyone seemed to be in agreement.

What do others think? Is Inkster the worst Detroit Suburb?

Pontiac got the honorable mention in our discussions, but I am not sure Pontiac even qualifies as a suburb.
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Old 04-24-2017, 01:17 PM
 
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Yes. Inkster has insanely high crime, no schools and no redeeming qualities to speak of. It's an incredibly depressing place with violent crime on par with the worst parts of Detroit and Flint.

I can't think of anyplace else that is close. River Rouge? Wayne is getting pretty bad these days. I still don't think they're within spitting distance of Inkster.

Romulus is pretty bad in terms of quality of life, but doesn't have the levels of violent crime that Inkster does.

Pontiac is definitely it's own city. Especially considering that it's the county seat of Oakland.
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Old 04-24-2017, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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Inkster was kind of built out of racism and poverty. During the times when blacks weren't allowed to live in Dearborn, but chose not live in Detroit, they had to move to Inkster. So of course, like many areas of Detroit, Inkster fell into crime and decay when nearby factories closed or downsized. Pontiac was affected by this as well, but the main difference between the two cities, I think, is that Pontiac is in a better location and has better resources to bounce back.

Pontiac has a nice sizable downtown area, a few pretty big vacant areas that can be redeveloped (and some already have), and has easy freeway access. Inkster doesn't really have much of anything to build on other than being a commuter suburb. Even if was a perfectly safe and fine suburb, it'd be pretty boring and uninteresting. In that view, I'm more optimistic for Pontiac than I am for Inkster.

Other than that, the only other "worst" suburb I can think of is Highland Park just because of how much the city has suffered. It pretty much is an extension of a Detroit neighborhood and is pretty indistinguishable aside from the different colored street signs. Though what's interesting about HP is that it would directly benefit from the northward migration of investment occurring in Downtown Detroit. So it could still easily turn around in the not to distant future.
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:53 PM
 
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I agree. Inkster is the worst. My dad actually grew up there, and by the late 60s it was going downhill. When I was visiting the area in March, I had my four year old grandson with me. I drove through Inkster. My grandson said, "Drive the car faster grandma. This place is scary!" I have a friend who lives in River Rouge. I will not go there at night. It's a close second in my opinion. Unfortunately, I can't think of anything positive to say about either city.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,931,470 times
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Before even reading your post I had clicked this with the intention of coming here to write "Inkster" - so yeah, Inkster.
  • Pontiac isn't nice, but it's not awful. It has its quirky charm, the Downtown has better days ahead, and some of the homes there are beautiful.
  • Highland Park isn't.. really a suburb.. but even if it was, it's at least near things that don't suck. It's 2 miles from Midtown, 5-6 miles to SE Oakland County and its amenities, it sits along Woodward. Don't get me wrong, it's bad, but it has potential at some point in the next.. 50.. years..
  • Hamtramck, again, not very suburby, but regardless, it's surprisingly awesome. I wouldn't ever move there myself, but it's a cool town.
  • River Rouge is pretty bad. Actually now that I think of it, River Rouge may rival Inkster, and due to the refinery and proximity to other heavy industry you could convince me it's worse, but crime there is probably half of what you'd get in Inkster.
So yeah, when I think of the worst suburb, Inkster immediately pops into mind.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:40 PM
 
979 posts, read 1,116,246 times
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Royal Oak Township - a small square mile that was all but forgotten

Romulus - unless you like living off the end of runways with 500+ departures per day

River Rouge - due to the proximity of heavy industry and poor air quality

Inkster - housing stock overall seems to be in good shape but like said schools are a mess, although in some ways think it may be a better option for some than many of the neighborhoods in Detroit

Highland Park - not sure if it really fits into the true suburb category, however Highland Park appears to be somewhat of a potential blank slate that could in theory become another hipsterville in the next 5-10 years and be kind of like what Corktown was a few years ago. If New Center area fills in more then you've got the Boston-Edison thats already in relatively decent shape.
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Detroit
3,671 posts, read 4,802,456 times
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Inkster probably takes the cake. That's the one suburb where most people in Detroit would refuse to move to. Crime is just as bad the only difference is it's boring af. Literally nowhere to go in Inkster. Do they even have events there in the summer? The way Inkster people show up to all of Detroit's events/ amenities (Greektown brawl) it seems like there is nothing going on out there in Inkster.

Ecorse and River Rouge is pretty rough as well.

Hamtramack btw isn't really that bad at all. It's densely populated and pretty diverse with alot of storefronts within walking distance. I wouldn't mind living there. It's kind of a cleaner version of SW Detroit.
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
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Heh. I did actually quite literally forget about Royal Oak Charter Township, which is sad, since I live 3 miles from it, but there I go - making your point.

Oak Park or Ferndale should really consume the remaining 0.5 mile township. Probably 20% of it is occupied and used industrial land, so it's just tax money for limited services (many of which are already shared anyway). The 250 kids that live there already go to Ferndale schools, so.. nothing lost there either, at least for Ferndale. Some of the housing stock is good, but much is garbage as it was constructed in the 40's with a 50 year lifespan in mind, but in the case of Ferndale you've got a hot city that's already built out and could benefit from some developer using their newly acquired open space for some trendy gentrification. The center of the township is only 1.5 mile from Downtown Ferndale. People at 13 Mile in Royal Oak City are that far (or more) from Downtown RO and it's still a desirable area.

That being said, crime is pretty high compared to Ferndale or Oak Park, and the demographic is much more impoverished than the two border cities, so I understand the hesitance. You've got two towns with median incomes probably in the 45-55k range and the township probably more in the 30-35k range. There would be so much push back from residents at such a measure. Taking in the southern part should've been part of the requirement for taking in the nicer, northern part that Oak Park consumed in 2003 or whatever.

But regarding the topic - Inkster is still worse, simply because there's really not a future in which I see Inkster becoming more desirable. Like Highland Park, RO TWP may someday reap benefits from proximity to things that don't suck.
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:56 AM
 
4,719 posts, read 8,565,820 times
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Inkster is served by four different school districts, all of which assumed portions of the former Inkster Public Schools zone (which didn't even control the entire city of Inkster, just the majority of it - see this map http://www.cityofinkster.com/352/Schools showing the former Inkster Public Schools area compared to the city limits, shaped like a box):
  • Wayne-Westland Community Schools
  • Westwood Community Schools
  • Taylor School District
  • Romulus School District

See below for info on individual schools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DTWflyer View Post
Inkster - housing stock overall seems to be in good shape but like said schools are a mess,
There are schools in the Inkster city limits. They were not the schools in the Inkster Public Schools

They are:
The former Baylor-Woodson Elementary School (which was controlled by the Inkster School District) is now used as the Burger Baylor School for Students with Autism, a special school operated by the Garden City School District (the school district's territory does not actually include any parts of Inkster!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Digby Sellers View Post
Yes. Inkster has insanely high crime, no schools and no redeeming qualities to speak of.

Last edited by Vicman; 04-25-2017 at 07:07 AM..
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:12 AM
 
5,114 posts, read 4,813,838 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Pontiac got the honorable mention in our discussions, but I am not sure Pontiac even qualifies as a suburb.
I used to work in downtown Pontiac back in the late 80's/early 90's. The downtown was an upcoming entertainment district back then, but there were neighborhoods which were pretty much controlled by local gangs and drug dealing was rampant. Pontiac got much worse during its fiscal crisis of 2009 through 2013, when several GM manufacturing plants were closed permanently, housing values crashed, local tax revenue fell, and state revenue sharing dried up. At the low point Pontiac's city services, including its police force, pretty much shut down. At that point, it probably exceeded Inkster as worst suburb. Since then, things have gotten better for a variety of reasons, but Pontiac is still the hole in the doughnut that is Oakland County.

And yes, Pontiac qualifies as a Detroit suburb. It's another urban hub that got engulfed by residential sprawl from Detroit.
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