Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Troy Michigan transit center update

Since I wrote about it one year ago, in "Detroit in Underdrive," I hadn't paid much attention after the Troy Michigan City Council voted against seeking funding from the Federal Government for a inter-modal transit station project (rendering, left) on the city's border with Birmingham.

The proposed set up is to serve a now Amtrak railroad station on the border--the train is entered from the Birmingham side, the intermodal station would provide connections to the tracks from both sides.

(I lived in Troy from 8th to 12th grades, and then for a couple summers when I was in college and when I was in high school the Grand Trunk Western Railroad still provided commuter railroad services comparable to how MARC works in Maryland and DC.)

It turns out that in the November election, the anti-transit Mayor of Troy was recalled, but this was after the City went ahead with the project after another vote overturning the Mayor's decision.

See "Groundbreaking set for Troy transit center" from the Detroit Free Press.  From the article:

The groundbreaking is to come after years of debate on the project, most recently by former Troy Mayor Janice Daniels, elected a year ago on a platform of opposing the transit center and any federal grants to pay for it. She was recalled in the Nov. 6 election.

Daniels maintained that it was wrong for a community to accept money "from a federal government that is trillions of dollars in debt," especially for a center that she said was unneeded in her auto-centric town. Some of the ballot language calling for her recall cited her opposition to the transit center.

"I haven't changed -- I still oppose that," Daniels said several days after the election.

Daniels was unmoved late last year when Gov. Rick Snyder called the project "good for Michigan" in a letter to her. And she led the opposition when a slim 4-3 majority on the Troy City Council overruled her to approve the scaled-down version of the project. The original would have cost $8.4 million, would have been larger and included more landscaping and energy-efficient features.

It's no wonder that progress in sustainable transportation promotion takes so long, because it's usually the result of this kind of constant backward and forward movement.

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