Posts made in November, 2017

Detroit Can Be Dangerous to Drive Through

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Recently, the New York Times wrote up an article on a topic that I think deserves more publicity, so I’m going to do my part and publicize away. The topic was bike riding in Detroit.

Now, I’m not a native of Detroit, I’m only there on occasion, but I think that article is spot on, both in how it talks about downtown and in the enthusiastic recommendation for biking.

For most people, Detroit is synonymous with urban decay. It’s all buildings tumbling down and violent streets. It’s true that for a while Detroit was in pretty bad shape, but the city has definitely turned a corner.

As the writer details, much of the downtown has been renovated in recent years, and the streets are now filling back up again as the crime evaporates and more people get out to enjoy all the great sides of Detroit.

One thing this city definitely needs is more bikes. Bikes are becoming a big deal in a lot of cities around the country. Many cities are expanding their bike lanes and encouraging both drivers and pedestrians to get on bikes and ride the city instead of driving or walking.

I’m glad to see Detroit doing so much to keep up with the other big cities, and I’m glad to see it getting so much press.

The truth is, there’s a lot of dysfunction in Detroit still. There’s still plenty of poverty and plenty of areas that need this level of renovation and reinvestment. The streets can be full of potholes. There are a high number of accidents, from your standard two-car collision to trucks and buses. There are potholes that need to be fixed and buildings that need repair. There’s a lot of work still to do.

But there’s a lot that’s already been done, and Detroit deserves more credit for that. From the low points a few years ago when the city declared bankruptcy, there’s a lot of promise now. We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re at least on the right path.

And part of that path involves bikes. By keeping up with investing in bike lanes and investing in bringing more people from the suburbs into the city, it shows there are finally people in the city who understand how to make it grow and revive again.

With so much infrastructure and such a great history of innovation and creativity, there is so much room for Detroit to grow into a great city again, a different city perhaps from the past, but still a great city. It may never be the powerhouse it once was, it may never have the population it did in the past, it may never be one of the first names on anyone’s lips for big American cities, but it can still be its own sort of great city all the same.

And a big part of that will be getting creative and engaging with these new bike lanes and bike rides.

I hope everyone will make the effort to get involved in those. The city needs it.

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