Detroit's top 10 urban planning blunders (and 10 successes) 

Page 11 of 21

click to enlarge LEE DEVITO
  • Lee DeVito

Blunder: Running the QLine along the sides of the road
As excitement grew in the late 2000s for a 9.3-mile light rail line on Woodward, the only question was, should trains run in the center of Woodward or along the sides? A 2011 governmental environmental impact study advocated running trains in the median north of Adams Avenue. This would entail less disruptive construction, fewer hazards for bicyclists, more on-street parking, safer fire truck access, greater pedestrian safety, fewer automobile collisions, and fewer obstructions. But M-1 Rail, a private investor group, wanted curbside stations and threatened to pull funding if they did not get their way. In December 2011, the federal government decided to support bus rapid transit rather than rail. M-1 Rail seized the opportunity to pushed through the 3.3-mile, side-running QLine, ultimately obtaining some federal funding anyway. Today, the QLine runs along the sides of Woodward, and every hazard and delay discussed in the environmental impact study has manifested exactly as predicted.

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