Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has recently expressed the desire to expand the QLine streetcar system in the future. Mayor Duggan also stated, “If I had been mayor about a year earlier, it would have been a dedicated lane down the middle the street.” The mayor’s comments came at a news conference pertaining to a streamlined fare system for the DDOT and SMART bus systems. Although Duggan took office four years ago, it was six months after M-1 Rail had already finalized the design for the streetcar system.
As of late July, 30 cars were ticketed and 7 cars were towed for blocking the streetcar tracks since the QLine’s debut. In response to the slowdowns and delays caused by these inconveniences, Mayor Duggan said, “I would not do this weaving, in and out of traffic. We’re going to have to get that kind of cleaned up.” Duggan also envisions expanding the line up to Ferndale with a dedicated lane up Woodward Avenue, if the funding were available.
The mayor brought up a future streetcar line running east from downtown on Jefferson Avenue. “Someday I’d like to see us build one down the center of Jefferson. Those are all things that we’re working on.” Think313 published an article a couple of months ago designing a future streetcar system for Detroit, including a line along East Jefferson Avenue. Our line went past the bridge to Belle Isle, ending at Van Dyke by Alden Park Towers and the West Village neighborhood.
East Jefferson Avenue Slimming
East Jefferson Avenue is undergoing a slimming process in order to calm traffic and increase safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Similar to Michigan Avenue in Corktown, a bike lane is taking the place of one driving lane on each side. The nine-lane avenues that cut through the city made sense during the height of Detroit’s population of 1.8 million people, but these streets can now afford to lose a few driving lanes in place of bike lanes and a dedicated transit lane.