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  #101  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 2:07 PM
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Could've fooled me on the congestion part. I've had some poorly timed trips through Detroit where I caught traffic around 5pm and would have pulled off the freeway for an alternate route if the surrounding area didn't dissuade me.

I would have thought the big reason was that most of the white-collar jobs are closer to where the executives actually live in Birmingham, Royal Oak, etc., since they probably don't get the same benefits of locating in a Downtown core as you would in other metros.
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  #102  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 2:23 PM
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Could've fooled me on the congestion part. I've had some poorly timed trips through Detroit where I caught traffic around 5pm and would have pulled off the freeway for an alternate route if the surrounding area didn't dissuade me.

I would have thought the big reason was that most of the white-collar jobs are closer to where the executives actually live in Birmingham, Royal Oak, etc., since they probably don't get the same benefits of locating in a Downtown core as you would in other metros.
Well, yeah, Metro Detroit has rush hour congestion; it's a relatively prosperous region of 5 million. It has worse congestion than, say, Cleveland or Buffalo.

But you aren't gonna get epic rush hour jams like in Toronto, and most of the congestion is suburb-to-suburb rather than city-suburb, and it's mostly right around rush hour.

And yeah, most of the executives like in/around Birmingham/Bloomfield and work in nearby office parks instead of downtown. At the least, not enough commute downtown to make commuter rail viable. There are two huge freeways + eight-lane Woodward Ave. heading from the favored quarter to downtown.
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  #103  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 3:51 PM
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Is expressway congestion in metro Detroit really nonexistent?

I wouldn't know, but I'd much rather hear from someone who, ya know, actually lives there.
It's not as congested as other cities, but in recent years I've found I-94 between downtown and the airport to be annoyingly congested while I'm trying to catch a flight. When a commuter rail does materialize, the connection between downtown and the airport will likely be the priority.

There are a couple of proposals for how to revive commuter rail service. One is to use the tracks that currently support Amtrak's Wolverine line to have an hourly commuter service between Ann Arbor and the Amtrak station in Detroit's New Center area. The state would build a station in Wayne (I think) and airport passengers would take a shuttle from there to the terminals.

Another proposal is to revive the commuter service between Toledo and Detroit via DTW. This one actually started out as Toledo's idea, to create a service between Toledo and DTW. However, the tracks that would be used for the Toledo proposal are the ones that lead to Michigan Central Station. I read that somewhere recently that in order for this to happen, about a mile of tracks would need to be rebuilt leading into the actual station terminal at MCS, but otherwise the track are there. They'd also need to build the stations at DTW and Toledo. But the bottom line is that there wouldn't need to be a lot of rail construction or right-of-ways built to run a commuter rail service.

The discussion about congestion in Detroit always conveniently omits the fact that the reason there is not a lot of congestion is because the region has dedicated close to 100% of its transit infrastructure spending for the past 5 decades to road expansion. Detroit used to have terrible traffic.
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  #104  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 5:12 PM
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There are no active train tracks anywhere around downtown.
i forgot that the Dequindre Cut tracks were removed and the ROW turned into an MUP.

that will be a significant problem for any potential commuter rail restart in detroit.

MCS is more than 1.5 miles from campius martius and detroit's sad little amtrak station is all the way up in new center, nearly 3 miles away from campus martius.

those are some pretty long "last mile" distances from the center of the action in the CBD.

the closer you can get your commuter rail station to the heart of the CBD, the more likely it is to be successful.
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  #105  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 5:21 PM
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The "sad little Amtrak station" has plans for major upgrades and the M1 rail will take you directly to CM from there.
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  #106  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 5:31 PM
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i forgot that the Dequindre Cut tracks were removed and the ROW turned into an MUP.

that will be a significant problem for any potential commuter rail restart in detroit.

MCS is more than 1.5 miles from campius martius and detroit's sad little amtrak station is all the way up in new center, nearly 3 miles away from campus martius.

those are some pretty long "last mile" distances from the center of the action in the CBD.

the closer you can get your commuter rail station to the heart of the CBD, the more likely it is to be successful.
I don't think these are really issues. If there is a commuter service to the Amtrak station then that would just spur more development around New Center, which was meant to be a jobs center in its own right. The Fisher Building in New Center would be Detroit's second tallest building right now if it had been completed as planned. Likewise, MCS is set to anchor an employment district as well.
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  #107  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 5:34 PM
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^ exactly, and if Canada ever gets their high speed rail going MCS is in a great position to connect with it as well.
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  #108  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 5:42 PM
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I don't think these are really issues. If there is a commuter service to the Amtrak station then that would just spur more development around New Center, which was meant to be a jobs center in its own right. The Fisher Building in New Center would be Detroit's second tallest building right now if it had been completed as planned. Likewise, MCS is set to anchor an employment district as well.
You don't think it's an issue that the train station is three miles from the employment hub?
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  #109  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 5:49 PM
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You think a transfer is somehow a severe issue?

Don't commuters in NYC go through some insane obstacles/several transfers with commuter rail.
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  #110  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 5:50 PM
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You don't think it's an issue that the train station is three miles from the employment hub?
No, I don't.
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  #111  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 5:54 PM
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You think a transfer is somehow a severe issue?

Don't commuters in NYC go through some insane obstacles/several transfers with commuter rail.
Sometimes this site is truly an exercise in unreality.

No, obviously, a 3 mile gap between a transit station and employment should pose no obstacle whatsoever, especially in a region with no transit orientation, no major road congestion issues, where employer subsidized parking is the norm, and where people routinely object to walking 50 ft.

And yeah, obviously NYC's main commuter hubs aren't located in the densest, most job rich portions of Manhattan, they're really hidden in the swamps of Jersey...
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  #112  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 5:56 PM
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The "sad little Amtrak station" has plans for major upgrades
that's good to hear. what an embarrassing testament to the pathetic state of rail travel in america the current station is.

a metro area of 5M people ought to be able to do a lot better than that.



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Originally Posted by The North One View Post
the M1 rail will take you directly to CM from there.
according to google, the Qline from the amtrak station to CM is 17 minutes. that's a rather long streetcar ride after someone has already spent however many minutes on the commuter rail stretch of their journey.

it's not undoable or anything, but the more convenient (and less seats) you can make transit, the more likely people are to use it. if there was a way to get a commuter rail station within a half mile of CM such that people could just walk to their final destination downtown, that would be a much better arrangement in my opinion.
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  #113  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 5:57 PM
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No, I don't.
Well then let's get some commuter service going. There were literally hundreds of daily riders back when it went right downtown, and when the region was far more centralized, no doubt this service along a slow-moving freight line from nowhere to nowhere will be a can't miss and should rival the Yamomote Loop in no time...
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  #114  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 5:58 PM
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No, obviously, a 3 mile gap between a transit station and employment should pose no obstacle whatsoever, especially in a region with no transit orientation, no major road congestion issues, where employer subsidized parking is the norm, and where people routinely object to walking 50 ft.
Still don't get your point.
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  #115  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 6:23 PM
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And yeah, obviously NYC's main commuter hubs aren't located in the densest, most job rich portions of Manhattan, they're really hidden in the swamps of Jersey...
That actually may be something good.
It makes me think of people who're so proud to have a subway station every 100 yards in Central Paris, which is actually annoying cause it has to contanstly stop as if you were disabled, with no legs, AND hypocritical, cause people in Central Paris are well-off and hardly ever venture in the subway.
They can afford Mercedes cabs on a daily basis, for every single of their move, like it's hilarious and despicable. They don't want any car, they only pay for chauffeurs to drive for them.

All that load of hypocrisy in wealthy cities... Eww, gross.

We've always said the Parisian RER network was the best design ever, cause it actually gets pretty much the entire metro area connected, and yes, it effectively assumes that people do have legs, up to the disabled in wheeling chairs who can now use it cause it's even been developed to be accessible to anybody.

It is better to skip spoiled central areas and get the suburbs connected by rail, so they can fight the establishment based in the central city more effectively. That's my feeling about this.
You guys in 'Murika may not know about that essential thing yet, you will be aware very soon as they are in NY already, apparently.
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  #116  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 6:24 PM
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I highly suggest anyone who cares to learn more about Detroit watch the PBS Documentary called America: Reframed Detroit 48202. It really does a great job explaining just how Detroit fell so far, and it's quite pessimistic about its ability to recover in a meaningful way.

I don't think a lot of people know just how devastating the closure of all the auto factories was, or just how toxic the racial dynamics were/are in Detroit. We've probably all seen those melted down, abandoned company towns in Appalachia that essentially dried up when the mines closed, right? Detroit is basically a huge version of these company towns. The work is gone and the monied populace is gone, so there is no tax revenue to provide the basic services that neighborhoods need to remain attractive.

The foreclosure crisis ravaged Detroit and led to way more abandonment and demolition that I ever realized. The city declaring bankruptcy led to a whole generation of city workers (majority African American) losing their pension and whatever stability they were able to obtain. Downtown and Midtown are booming, but there has been little spillover and little investment in other neighborhoods, and it's unlikely there will be in many of these places. It's just incredibly sad that America not only let this happen to one of its great cities, but in many ways caused it.

Suburban Detroit has a ton of money, and it is somewhat encouraging to see the Dan Gilbert's of the world at least trying to invest back in the city. But things appear utterly broken in Detroit- politically, economically, racially. From an urban development perspective, much of the city lacks the appeal that other run down cities have, as much of the housing stock is pretty similar to that of the inner burbs, and there is no transit or even much in the way of walkable neighborhoods. Outside of Midtown and Downtown, are there any viable commercial corridors or business districts? Other than people who are interested in investing in the city just because they want to, why would someone choose to live in a non-core (Midtown and Downtown) neighborhood in Detroit? I hate to be a downer, and I honestly would love nothing more than to see the city and its people healthy and prospering. Almost all of my mom's family migrated to Detroit from eastern Ohio and West Virginia in the WWII years- lived in the city (and a couple aunts in Hamtramck) and worked industrial jobs until saving up enough money to move out to working class burbs like Warren. I love the area, but it's increasingly tough to feel like any real sizable comeback is possible for much of the city.
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  #117  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 6:32 PM
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Sometimes this site is truly an exercise in unreality.
Ohh the irony, cry some more.
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  #118  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 6:34 PM
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Oh yes we know, everybody who's seen a thinkpiece or half witted documentary is an armchair Detroit expert who knows just about everything. I encourage you to be the same way!
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  #119  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 6:41 PM
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That actually may be something good.
It makes me think of people who're so proud to have a subway station every 100 yards in Central Paris, which is actually annoying cause it has to contanstly stop as if you were disabled, with no legs, AND hypocritical, cause people in Central Paris are well-off and hardly ever venture in the subway.
They can afford Mercedes cabs on a daily basis, for every single of their move, like it's hilarious and despicable. They don't want any car, they only pay for chauffeurs to drive for them.

All that load of hypocrisy in wealthy cities... Eww, gross.

We've always said the Parisian RER network was the best design ever, cause it actually gets pretty much the entire metro area connected, and yes, it effectively assumes that people do have legs, up to the disabled in wheeling chairs who can now use it cause it's even been developed to be accessible to anybody.

It is better to skip spoiled central areas and get the suburbs connected by rail, so they can fight the establishment based in the central city more effectively. That's my feeling about this.
You guys in 'Murika may not know about that essential thing yet, you will be aware very soon as they are in NY already, apparently.
Paris is a good example of why commuter stations don't need to be in the middle of the prime Central Business District. I think Gare du Nord is the busiest commuter station in all of Europe, and it's not exactly smack dab in the middle of a cluster of corporate HQs.

In NYC, Grand Central is close to the Park Avenue investment banks and hedge funds, but Penn Station is the busier station - busiest in North America - and until recently it was located in a corporate dead zone.
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  #120  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2019, 6:45 PM
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Suburban Detroit has a ton of money, and it is somewhat encouraging to see the Dan Gilbert's of the world at least trying to invest back in the city. But things appear utterly broken in Detroit- politically, economically, racially. From an urban development perspective, much of the city lacks the appeal that other run down cities have, as much of the housing stock is pretty similar to that of the inner burbs, and there is no transit or even much in the way of walkable neighborhoods. Outside of Midtown and Downtown, are there any viable commercial corridors or business districts? Other than people who are interested in investing in the city just because they want to, why would someone choose to live in a non-core (Midtown and Downtown) neighborhood in Detroit? I hate to be a downer, and I honestly would love nothing more than to see the city and its people healthy and prospering. Almost all of my mom's family migrated to Detroit from eastern Ohio and West Virginia in the WWII years- lived in the city (and a couple aunts in Hamtramck) and worked industrial jobs until saving up enough money to move out to working class burbs like Warren. I love the area, but it's increasingly tough to feel like any real sizable comeback is possible for much of the city.
You should just stick to speaking on Pittsburgh because you don't know much, lots of neighborhoods that SSP deam so un-urban have had some of the highest property value increases and fill with new construction and renovations, there are numerous neighborhoods with great urban qualities outside of Downtown that look nothing like the inner suburbs. There's tons of new jobs flowing into the city both blue and white collar, FCA is opening a massive new plant, Waymo is testing/making cars in the city, a major investment bank which aggressive plans for mergers and growth is building a headquarters, the city is a leader in fintech, tons of new startups, Ford's tech campus plans, it just goes on and on and on.

You're projecting your feelings and emotions on what you think should be happening and what you'd think would appeal to you and it's just not a universal truth.
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