Close call

Dec 13, 2000 at 12:00 am

Here’s a tip for those tearing their hair out trying to get Detroit’s Public Lighting Department to fix broken traffic lights: Tell them you are a newspaper reporter and that a car nearly ran you down because of a faulty “Walk/Don’t Walk” light outside one of the city’s fabulous new casinos. It worked for News Hits’ compatriot Aaron Warshaw.

Here’s what happened: After lunch last week, Warshaw — aka Metro Times listings editor—was walking back to our world headquarters to write What’s Happening, the section of the paper that tells readers where to drink, dance and laugh in metro Detroit. At the corner of St. Antoine and Lafayette — where the Greektown Casino sits — Warshaw waited for the signal allowing him to cross. When it flashed the white “walk” sign, Warshaw stepped into the street and was nearly creamed by an oncoming car. After exchanging stunned expressions with the driver — whose bumper was about 2 feet from Warshaw’s bod — our precious listings editor noticed that the driver had a green light.

Something was obviously screwed up.

When Warshaw called the lighting department to complain he uttered the following key phrases: “I work at the Metro Times,” “nearly killed,” “faulty crossing light,” followed by what we suspect was the clincher, “outside the Greektown Casino.” The notoriously slow department reacted with astounding speed, and the light was fixed immediately. And thank goodness. We can’t risk having Warshaw roaming a city with broken traffic lights. Without him, readers, the Metro Times wouldn’t have a What’s Happening section and you wouldn’t know where to go for fun in metro Detroit — or how to get your problems with the city resolved.

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]