Residents voice concerns over MDOT Streetcar Project

Public hearing on M1 rail project


Photographer: WXYZ
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Posted: 03/01/2013

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - We heard from a lot of angry residents who live in the area.  And they say when that streetcar gets put in it’s not going to be accessible, reliable, and it’s definitely going to be a safety hazard.

When the new Woodward Avenue Streetcar rolls out it, the electric cars will operate on tracks, tracks that are essentially small ruts in the road, but large enough that a bicycle tire could fall into the gap.

“My personal concern is that I’m going to get killed,” said Joe Aasim.  Aasim voiced his concern at a meeting The Michigan Department of Transportation held at the Detroit Public Library tonight.  The meeting was to address comments and concerns residents have about the new Woodward Avenue Streetcar Project.

“Who is going to pay for it when my bike falls in the rut when someone said hey, I’m going to put this rut here knowing that you could probably hurt yourself,” asked Aasim.

When we asked MDOT they acknowledged the safety concern.  Their answer is for bicyclists to re-route to adjacent routes on John R and Cass Ave.

“Some of that bicycle traffic provides safe alternatives and the more experienced riders may choose to still ride on Woodward,” said Jon Loree, the MDOT Project Manager for the Streetcar Project.

Other residents worry about how well the system will integrate with the current bus service.

“This needs to make sure that it’s a positive supplement to that system and not a distraction or somehow a threat to that system,” said Megan Owens.  Owens is the Executive Director of Transportation Riders United (TRU).  They are Detroit’s nonprofit transit advocate.

Those who spoke in support of the streetcar are hopeful it will one day help Detroit have a mass transit system.

“It was certainly needed in this region for individuals to get around whether they want to work, school.  Or shopping,” said the first Detroit resident who spoke at the meeting tonight.

MDOT is still taking comments about the Streetcar Project from the public until March 14.

To learn more about the project or send your comments to MDOT, visit their website at: http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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