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Transit madness

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On more than a few occasions in recent years News Hits has stared slack-jawed at Mayor Dennis Archer as he declared he couldn’t wait for the day that traffic jams are a regular occurrence in downtown Detroit. We understand wanting to see life returning to this once bustling burg, but the lack of vision displayed by the mayor is nothing short of monumental.

That lack of leadership gnaws at Grosse Pointe Park resident Karen Kendrick-Hands, co-founder of a group called Transportation Riders United: “We have no local political champion of public transit. Neither Mayor Archer, Gov. Engler or any of the southeast Michigan county executives have stepped up to the plate on this. Around the country, regions get state-of-the-art transit when their elected officials step forward and demand it. Ours haven’t and don’t care about those of us who either must or would choose to use transit, if it were upgraded.”

The latest outrage is the Michigan Department of Transportation’s plan to extend I-375 south of Jefferson to within one block of the Detroit River, crippling the possibility of creating a commuter rail line running from downtown to northern Oakland County. Kendrick-Hands calls it a $100 million boondoggle.

She’s urging everyone who’s interested in sane transportation policy to attend one of the public hearings MDOT’s holding on the project today at Christ Church, 960 E. Jefferson, Detroit. The first session begins at 3:30 p.m., the second at 7.

To learn more about TRU, contact Kendrick-Hands at 313-885-7588. As for Mayor Archer, we urge him to remember that old adage that warns people making wishes to be careful, ’cause they may just come true. The train’s leaving the station, bub, and you need to get on it.

News Hits is edited by Metro Times news editor Curt Guyette. He can be reached at

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