Monday, July 11, 2016

Map: New Detroit Regional Master Transit Plan 2016

New bus route map for greater Detroit area It's still (looking at this map) a shockingly sparse transit grid in the suburbs. I'm guessing that no more need to transfer between systems going between city and suburbs is the -only- real change, plus maybe more frequent runs on some lines. Still looks like the Woodward corridor is the only part of suburbia with a meaningful level of mass transit (and bike lanes, and walkable retail districts, and all the other cool kid stuff). That, and the infamous "opt out" community of Livonia is still a conspicuous gaping hole in the grid, save that gray north-south line (what, Farmington Road, I'm guessing?). Part of the problem, no doubt, is because feasibility of mass transit and feasibility of high-density development are mutual prerequisites, so there's a bootstrap problem for converting a whole metropolis from car-dependent to mass-transit-feasible. I worry about that, because extrapolating current trends, "suburban ghetto" is probably going to be a real thing at some point in the 21st century. Getting a unified system is an important baby step that is probably necessary before taking the 5,279,999 additional steps needed to become a real city with real transportation options. Hopefully at some point Michigan politics will evolve to the point where the mass transit issue can be framed as something other than an almost charitable gesture from society to the "deserving carless" such as the elderly, differently abled, students, etc. I don't see the yes campaign for the upcoming ballot proposals playing that gambit (transit as menu item other than car); instead they seem to be opting for pulling the usual voter heartstrings for deserving-carless ("walking man") narratives, or else appeals to business case for higher level of workforce utilization. Since I'm assuming the people running the campaign have researched the opinion climate and therefore know what they're doing, I'm still a bit pessimistic.