MetroTimes journalist Sandra Svoboda raises troubling questions about planning, or lack thereof, for light rail down Detroit’s Woodward Ave. Have privately mustered funds for the project actually been committed? Only “in dialogue,” and M1 leader Matt Cullen isn’t talking. Does the City have a plan for getting money to cover operating costs? Well, it might soon, and it’s not talking either. Does regional transportation planning agency SEMCOG have any contact with any of the actors? “I’m encouraged to learn [Detroit] is putting together a plan,” says its transport chief. “No one has said anything to us yet.”
On a more encouraging note, Grand Rapids transit advocates are planning a free concert, called “Bus Revolution,” to kick off their campaign for a millage funding service improvements and Silver Line bus rapid transit. The festival will take place, fittingly, at the city’s Rosa Parks Circle.
Even as highway widening continues apace in many exurban areas of the state, increasing numbers of Michigan communities find they can live better by reducing the number of lanes on the road.
House Republicans’ deep cuts to federal transit programs could mean trouble for Michigan initiatives, depending on what unfolds in the Senate.