U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Michigan > Detroit
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-01-2008, 12:21 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,293,137 times
Reputation: 1864

Advertisements

Bluefly please reconsider your flawed (and partly uninformed) views.

The fact that downtown Detroit has those spoke roads radiating from it that DIRECTLY connect downtown to city neighborhoods and suburbs from the following directions - southwest (Fort Street), west (Michigan Avenue), northwest (Grand River Avenue), North (Woodward), Northeast (Gratiot Avenue), and the East (Jefferson Avenue) - MAKE IT AN IDEAL HUB OF A RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM for the metro area.

You stated:

"Detroit does not have such a core. DC was planned (what a concept!) and already had basic dense urban infrastructure in place to support mass transit. Detroit - even the city itself - is spread out, making walkability an option for only a relative few. Certainly demand would build density, but there has to be something to draw that demand more than a train line."

Detroit does have such a core. In fact at their population peaks in 1950,
Detroit's population density was 1,849,568 people/139 sq mi = 13306/sq mi
Washington DC's population density was 802,178/61 sq mi = 13150 people/ sq mi

So there were very similar in density.

In addition you stated:

"Detroit - even the city itself - is spread out, making walkability an option for only a relative few"

This is where you are ignorant. You know nothing about Detroit neighborhoods. They may not be built up like Manhattan or Brooklyn, but they are indeed walkable. Granted most of the housing is single-family housing, but there are many, many neighborhoods that have (or had) apartment buildings, and 2-, 3-, and 4-family flats. In addition, there are MANY neighborhood commercial districts that once served as mini-downtowns that had department stores, pharmacies, grocery stores and the like that made the neighborhoods very pedestrian oriented.

I live in the Warrendale neighborhood, which is predominantly single-family houses. My house is a 3/8 of mile walk to Warren Avenue, which has (or had) a plethora of (dive) bars, bakeries, pharmacies, banks, grocery stores, and other businesses. And I am only 5 blocks from the city's largest park (Rouge)!


My point is, if rail transit was brought down the "spoke" roads, it would encourage investment to the core and the neighborhoods along the routes because it would make getting to Downtown really fast and easy.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-01-2008, 02:29 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,293,137 times
Reputation: 1864
In a later post, Bluefly says

" think if someone living in Royal Oak or Berkeley could hop a train to their job in Troy or Southfield, transit would catch on as viable option that could then expand into Detroit. If Detroit builds a transit line that doesn't actually go anywhere middle class people go, it will never expand beyond that."

Maybe the middle class who live in these lame, character-challenged suburbs will be encouraged to move themselves and their businesses near the transit line if it is built. All of the residential neighborhoods along Woodward, with the exception of the neighborhoods immediately south of 7 Mile have some incredibly unique housing from turn of the century houses, duplexes, and two-family flats in the neighborhood around Northern High School to streamline moderne Apartment Buildings in the Palmer Park Apartment District.

The following are links to some of these neighborhoods.

North End

Palmer Park Apartment Building Historic District

Moss Avenue Craftsman With Cobblestone--Highland Park MI on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/71288712@N00/2371715147/ - broken link)

http://www.ci.detroit.mi.us/historic...arden_park.pdf

Boston-Edison - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://www.ci.detroit.mi.us/historic...kinson_ave.pdf

New Center Council* |* Housing


What has to happen is a drastic reduction in crime, reduction in property taxes, and improvement in education for people to start moving back, as well as rapid transit.

Last edited by usroute10; 05-01-2008 at 03:38 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-01-2008, 02:51 PM
 
24 posts, read 78,854 times
Reputation: 10
As of 2008, Woodward ave is a dead strip below 8 mile. There are too many traffic lanes in my opinion. Maybe in 20 years, but you are just throwing away your money right now.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2008, 06:21 AM
 
11,145 posts, read 14,226,116 times
Reputation: 4209
Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
Bluefly please reconsider your flawed (and partly uninformed) views.

The fact that downtown Detroit has those spoke roads radiating from it that DIRECTLY connect downtown to city neighborhoods and suburbs from the following directions - southwest (Fort Street), west (Michigan Avenue), northwest (Grand River Avenue), North (Woodward), Northeast (Gratiot Avenue), and the East (Jefferson Avenue) - MAKE IT AN IDEAL HUB OF A RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM for the metro area.

You stated:

"Detroit does not have such a core. DC was planned (what a concept!) and already had basic dense urban infrastructure in place to support mass transit. Detroit - even the city itself - is spread out, making walkability an option for only a relative few. Certainly demand would build density, but there has to be something to draw that demand more than a train line."

Detroit does have such a core. In fact at their population peaks in 1950,
Detroit's population density was 1,849,568 people/139 sq mi = 13306/sq mi
Washington DC's population density was 802,178/61 sq mi = 13150 people/ sq mi

So there were very similar in density.

In addition you stated:

"Detroit - even the city itself - is spread out, making walkability an option for only a relative few"

This is where you are ignorant. You know nothing about Detroit neighborhoods. They may not be built up like Manhattan or Brooklyn, but they are indeed walkable. Granted most of the housing is single-family housing, but there are many, many neighborhoods that have (or had) apartment buildings, and 2-, 3-, and 4-family flats. In addition, there are MANY neighborhood commercial districts that once served as mini-downtowns that had department stores, pharmacies, grocery stores and the like that made the neighborhoods very pedestrian oriented.

I live in the Warrendale neighborhood, which is predominantly single-family houses. My house is a 3/8 of mile walk to Warren Avenue, which has (or had) a plethora of (dive) bars, bakeries, pharmacies, banks, grocery stores, and other businesses. And I am only 5 blocks from the city's largest park (Rouge)!


My point is, if rail transit was brought down the "spoke" roads, it would encourage investment to the core and the neighborhoods along the routes because it would make getting to Downtown really fast and easy.
1. I know that Detroit was originally designed to feed all of the spoke roads into downtown. It WOULD be an ideal hub architecturally. The problem is that the economic center of the region is not there anymore. You could send a hundred rail lines into downtown, but a rail cannot create demand on its own. There has to be an economy.

2. You're talking about Detroit 60 years ago. TODAY, Detroit does not have a core. When white flight occurred, Detroit was abandoned by the middle class and never had much of a reason for a downtown to begin with. DC's urban core was sustained by the federal government during white flight and remained the economic epicenter of the region in a way that Detroit never did. I don't understand why you're giving me stats from the 1950s at the peak of industrialism. We can't live in Detroit's glory days. Industrialism's not coming back. It's time to move on and accept that Detroit is a regional economy much like Los Angeles.

3. Please don't call me ignorant. I know that neighborhoods can be walked. I've walked many of them. With few exceptions, most are beyond the distance most people would comfortably walk. Perhaps you have never lived in a truly walkable city to know the difference. I don't know.

All I'm saying is that the money and political power are in Oakland County. Get Oakland hooked on transit, and you'll get Detroit transit. Build a bunch of rail lines down roads built for another era to a downtown that has only neglible importance to the region (despite my deep desire to see otherwise), and you'll kill the possibility of transit in metro Detroit.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2008, 06:29 AM
 
11,145 posts, read 14,226,116 times
Reputation: 4209
Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
In a later post, Bluefly says

" think if someone living in Royal Oak or Berkeley could hop a train to their job in Troy or Southfield, transit would catch on as viable option that could then expand into Detroit. If Detroit builds a transit line that doesn't actually go anywhere middle class people go, it will never expand beyond that."

Maybe the middle class who live in these lame, character-challenged suburbs will be encouraged to move themselves and their businesses near the transit line if it is built. All of the residential neighborhoods along Woodward, with the exception of the neighborhoods immediately south of 7 Mile have some incredibly unique housing from turn of the century houses, duplexes, and two-family flats in the neighborhood around Northern High School to streamline moderne Apartment Buildings in the Palmer Park Apartment District.
Aside from bashing suburbanites and perpetuating the city-suburb divide that has paralyzed this region, I don't understand your point.

I never said those neighborhoods don't have unique housing. You all seem to think I'm bashing Detroit. I love Detroit. Those are some gorgeous neighborhoods along Woodward. Nevertheless, that housing has been there for the past 50 years and it hasn't lured the middle class yet. I doubt a rail line that does not fully integrate the urban suburbs will. The People Mover certainly didn't.

I use DC as an example because it has a modern subway that was built into an existing city, unlike NY or Boston. DC's subway took 30 years to build and the extension of the green line into the poorest neighborhoods was the last to open in (I believe) 2003. The first red line opened in the 70s. The reality is that, no matter how nice neighborhoods could be, the middle class has to use transit so that, hopefully, maybe in 20 years Detroit could have a thriving transit system throughout the city itself. It's just not the place to start in that particular city.

Last edited by Bluefly; 05-02-2008 at 06:41 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2008, 09:44 AM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,293,137 times
Reputation: 1864
Bluefly stated:

"You could send a hundred rail lines into downtown, but a rail cannot create demand on its own. There has to be an economy."

Just as the construction of freeways made possible the development of Troy and Southfield, by making it very convenient to get to those suburbs by automobile, rapid transit can make possible the development of downtown Detroit by making it very convenient to get to downtown by means other than the automobile (to avoid all of its hassles - traffic jams, gas costs, insurance, etc).

See, those suburbs don't need rapid transit (besides maybe an infrequent commuter rail line), because they were never densely built up and were built completely around the automobile, while downtown Detroit and its neighborhoods were moderately densely packed, and were developed around transportation via STREETCARS.



Bluefly stated:

"I doubt a rail line that does not fully integrate the urban suburbs will. The People Mover certainly didn't."

A rail line that does not integrate the "urban" suburbs can work. (But a rail line along Woodward extending to Ferndale and Royal Oak would work even better) The People Mover doesn't work because it does not connect Detroit's outlying neighborhoods to its downtown (which is what this light rail will do). It only connects certain destinations within one small neighborhood (that neighborhood being downtown).

Besides the People Mover was NEVER meant to be a stand alone rail line, but was supposed to be the terminus of a comprehensive rapid transit system that would connect the suburbs to downtown, (but was never developed because the suburbs DIDN'T WANT RAPID TRANSIT).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2008, 10:41 AM
 
955 posts, read 1,983,986 times
Reputation: 401
Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
Just as the construction of freeways made possible the development of Troy and Southfield, by making it very convenient to get to those suburbs by automobile, rapid transit can make possible the development of downtown Detroit by making it very convenient to get to downtown by means other than the automobile (to avoid all of its hassles - traffic jams, gas costs, insurance, etc).
Well, here are the stats. There are 80,000 people who work downtown. This is not much more than would attend a Lions game. It is not inconvienient to get downtown. I know. I used to drive through Detroit morning and evening. There was not traffic until I got to 696 going north.

If the rail is only to 8 mile, look at the proportion of those 80,000 people who actually live in the city. There just is not this overwhelming need and the subsidy to pay for it from Wayne County coffers is just not there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2008, 12:03 PM
 
11,145 posts, read 14,226,116 times
Reputation: 4209
Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
Bluefly stated:

"You could send a hundred rail lines into downtown, but a rail cannot create demand on its own. There has to be an economy."

Just as the construction of freeways made possible the development of Troy and Southfield, by making it very convenient to get to those suburbs by automobile, rapid transit can make possible the development of downtown Detroit by making it very convenient to get to downtown by means other than the automobile (to avoid all of its hassles - traffic jams, gas costs, insurance, etc).

See, those suburbs don't need rapid transit (besides maybe an infrequent commuter rail line), because they were never densely built up and were built completely around the automobile, while downtown Detroit and its neighborhoods were moderately densely packed, and were developed around transportation via STREETCARS.



Bluefly stated:

"I doubt a rail line that does not fully integrate the urban suburbs will. The People Mover certainly didn't."

A rail line that does not integrate the "urban" suburbs can work. (But a rail line along Woodward extending to Ferndale and Royal Oak would work even better) The People Mover doesn't work because it does not connect Detroit's outlying neighborhoods to its downtown (which is what this light rail will do). It only connects certain destinations within one small neighborhood (that neighborhood being downtown).

Besides the People Mover was NEVER meant to be a stand alone rail line, but was supposed to be the terminus of a comprehensive rapid transit system that would connect the suburbs to downtown, (but was never developed because the suburbs DIDN'T WANT RAPID TRANSIT).
You're just missing the point. They didn't just build freeways and "poof!" suddenly everybody wanted to try out these new fandangled automobiles. There was a demand waiting for the infrastructure to support the surge in automobile lifestyles that was fulfilled by the freeways.

There is no seething demand in metro Detroit for transit. People are fine without it, as horrific as the metropolitan area has become as a result. It's great to be a booster of the city and say, "Look at all the cool stuff!", but the middle class is not ready to make that jump yet. Ergo, they (suburbanites with the money) will shut down regional transit again - UNLESS it proves useful to them. Troy wants to build a walkable downtown. It's not that outrageous to start it in South Oakland County and work it into the city. The city/suburb collaboration worked out great with the Super Bowl because the suburbanites had a vested interest in it and were able to help make it a world class event.

I don't get why you're fighting this so hard. It's common sense. The altruistic solution would be to build a bunch of glimmering rails through the city and wait for the people to get on board and ride them to.... ? It'd be a People Mover disaster waiting to happen again - empty car after empty car.

Think of it - 80,000 people work downtown. How many would use this train downtown? Perhaps 20,000 a day at most? 600,000 people ride the Washington, DC Metro each day and it still struggles financially. How would 20,000 - or even 60,000 - riders a day support a system that doesn't go where most people need to go?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2008, 01:48 PM
 
Location: West Bloomfield
418 posts, read 1,655,339 times
Reputation: 128
I haven't read many other replies, but wanted to give my experience with a light rail system. Dallas started one about 10 years ago. At first, it only went around downtown and a few surrounding areas of the city. 10 years later, it goes WAY out to the suburbs and has become invaluable to the entire city.

Prior to the light rail, Dallas only had a bus system, and not many people wanted to take it. The rail is now packed, and services the entire city as well as the millions of suburbs.

I don't think it's such a bad idea, if there are plans to expand it in the future. I think Detroit seriously needs a mass transit system.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-02-2008, 03:12 PM
 
24 posts, read 78,854 times
Reputation: 10
here is another reason why this light rail is a waste. have u ever been on the people mover? other than game days, deserted with some bums. people in palmer woods and sherwood forest will not like the crime increase beacause of all the lowlifes coming up on the rail and stripping copper.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Michigan > Detroit
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top