Does Detroit Have a Bright Transit Future?

Jon Zemke ponders the many possibilities for building a world-class transportation network throughout metro Detroit.

"Metro Detroiters have harbored metropolis jealousy for generations. The kind that manifests itself in statements like,'If only Detroit could be more like Chicago...' or Toronto or San Francisco.

These statements usually pop out when we're contrasting those city's bustling urban canyons to our Quickstop strip malls. But the comparison isn't set in stone. In fact, 20 years from now Woodward Avenue could become the envy of cities across the nation, a vibrant, dense and well-traveled corridor whose main feature is the 21-mile light rail line that connects Pontiac to Detroit.

Similarly, a commuter rail line connecting Motown to Tree Town (Detroit and Ann Arbor for the uninitiated) would connect U-M to WSU and Tiger Stadium to The Big House. Whether it was the exchange of academic ideas, weekend visitors trading cultural experiences or daily work migration, the proposed Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter line would transform both cities and all points in between. Local leaders from both public and private sectors are pushing forward these two projects in hopes of reversing Detroit's car-bound legacy.

Comprehensive mass transit has been essential to developing the density and vibrancy in New York, Boston and Portland. Even cities as unlikely as Phoenix and Salt Lake have begun to see what mass transit can mean for their communities. Metro Detroit, unfortunately, has been lacking since its leaders yanked the streetcars off Woodward 50 years ago."

Full Story: The Future Of Metro Mass Transit

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $50.
$369 includes free shipping!

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.
$55.00