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Connections to downtown/midtown

Quick connection from Corktown to Downtown and Midtown as alternative to walking, bikeshare and e-scooter.

Photo of Mark Poll

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As an office resident of the Factory at Corktown, I have traveled after work to dinners and events around Detroit. A quick connection is needed between Corktown and Downtown/Midtown when Ford's campus is established.  I have used scooters and walked, but most commonly used ridehailing or driven and parked in these neighborhoods.  Future employees may want to live in Detroit and utilize a quick connection, whether fixed-route AV shuttles, Q Line public transit extension or other mobility solution.

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Photo of Alina J Johnson

Paid parking downtown is already a problem. This will also need to be addressed but like you, I use whatever method available from walking, driving partway, to using the PeopleMover, and (slow) QLine. Hey, whatever works....but I need it to be quick! The PM/QL aren't here in Hubbard-Richard (or Corktown)...

Photo of Peter Dudley

There are several options for parking near Ford's Michigan Central Station (MCS).
During Ford's four-day MCS Open House (June 2018), the former - (long-trackless) MCS Coach Yard became a temporary parking lot for thousands of visitors. If this area becomes a permanent parking lot, an old tunnel running across West Vernor Highway could be adaptively-reused to connect the lot with the former - MCS Boiler Room, located under the station's Carriage Entrance (aka Cab Stand). The tunnel might provide a safer alternative for crossing busy West Vernor, especially during winter months.
I believe the long-vacant MCS Mail Room, located under MCS Tracks 1 through 10 (southeast of the Passenger Subway pedestrian corridor), provided parking for station employees after Railway Mail Service / Railway Post Office (RPO) operations ended in 1967. All of the space under the 1914 MCS Viaduct is currently-controlled by Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), I believe.
Another parking possibility: The Albert Kahn - designed 1933 Roosevelt Park Railway Mail Service Annex, more-notoriously-known today as the former - Detroit Public Schools Roosevelt Warehouse, was included in Ford's $90 million MCS purchase. This view (included in the attached link below) looks southeast from MCS's East Entrance.
Ford has cleaned-up the interior of this structure, which was gutted during a 1987 fire. The building's outer walls are intact -- I hope they will eventually house a new enclosed parking structure.
The bridge (foreground) connects MCS's East Entrance to the station's former - (inadequate) parking lot, where DEPOT LOOP streetcars arrived and departed until 1938 (there's an idea for M-1 RAIL!)
The bridge crosses a depressed-descending driveway leading to the station's former - Mail Room, located under ten of the station's parallel passenger platform tracks (out-of-frame, right).
Just inside the East Entrance, the Elevator Lobby features six elevators leading to the office floors above. The Arcade (a vaulted corridor lined with long-empty storefronts) connects the Elevator Lobby with the station's centrally-located Ticket Lobby.
Conveyor belts, running through tunnels crossing under 15th Street, once connected the MCS Mail Room to the Annex (moving sidewalks, anyone?)

Photo of Peter Dudley

Today's Campus Martius Park is surrounded by M-1 RAIL tracks, supporting the Woodward Avenue QLINE streetcar service. In effect, northbound QLINE cars diverge from this "trolley - traffic-circle", while southbound cars (from north of Campus Martius) converge back into this counter-clockwise pattern.
I hope M-1 RAIL will build another QLINE - style route, diverging from Campus Martius along Michigan Avenue, stopping (or terminating) at a rebuilt light-rail station (adjacent to Michigan Central Station's East Entrance), where DEPOT LOOP streetcars once arrived and departed from December 1913 until October 1938.
Until then, most MCS employees and inter-city rail passengers arrived and departed via streetcar. The DEPOT LOOP was the first streetcar line to be abandoned by Detroit's Department of Street Railways (DSR).
The MCS streetcar terminal included a long, covered-curving platform. The Elevator Lobby (just inside the East Entrance) included six elevators leading to the office floors above. The Arcade, a vaulted corridor lined with shops, led from the Elevator Lobby to the Ticket Lobby, located at the center of the station's public areas.
Click on the attached link, to see "the rest of the story".

Photo of Alina J Johnson

Michigan Avenue, Fort, and Lafayette are I believe our greatest options in getting downtown quickly. If a low-cost, fast (!) option could be made on those lines we would be able to at least get to the downtown area, and from there, onward.

Photo of Peter Dudley

M-1 RAIL QLINE - style street-running systems are useful, but inherently-slow. The Woodward Avenue streetcars make twelve station stops in c. three miles, stop at all red traffic signals, and don't exceed the 30-mph speed limit.
Admitedly, the QLINE has as much to do with development as transit. Ten years ago, real estate interests referred to the Woodward corridor, running between Fisher Freeway (I-75) and Edsel Ford Freeway (I-94), as "the dead zone". The mere announcement of QLINE construction eventually resulted in today's re-branded Midtown Detroit.
I like the idea of public transit and mass transit, but those phrases are a hard-sell in our auto-centric town. The QLINE is a useful local streetcar, but it will never qualify as true RAPID TRANSIT (a concept that is almost-unknown around here).
My rapid transit definition: Public systems running at 80 mph (minimum) between widely-separated stops, where connections to local transit options (M-1 RAIL, Detroit People Mover, DOT / SMART / FAST buses, etc.) are available.
My entry in the City:One Michigan Central Station (MCS) Challenge includes preserving a barely-existing double-track commuter rail right-of-way, running between MCS and the soon-to-be-reopened (and renamed) Joe Louis Arena (JLA) Parking Garage. The garage is located adjacent to the current JLA Detroit People Mover (DPM) Station, which will also be renamed.
Once this right-of-way is officially-preserved, a functioning commuter rail link could be inaugurated between MCS and the 40-year-old garage (which features a never-used rail passenger terminal). This pilot program could eventually include additional commuter rail service, expanding outward from MCS in all directions, running alongside existing railroads.
If the proposed closing of John C. Lodge Expresway (aka Aretha Franklin Freeway) south of the Fisher Freeway interchange occurs, commuter trains could eventually terminate in the freed-up space under Cobo Center (recently-renamed TCF Center).
Here's the link to my entry:

Photo of Mackenzie Fankell

Hi Mark Poll Thank you for your post! I am a Michigan Central Station Challenge facilitator. I understand that it can be very frustrating when trying to use public transportation to get from Corktown to Downtown Detroit. There is definitely a big need for improvement. The Propose stage of the challenge is coming up soon. I encourage you to try to collaborate with others to come up with a proposed solution! Here are some other posts you might find interesting from others with similar concerns: Bryce Watson Justin Bennett Lisa Shaw Brian Nash Alina J Johnson 

Photo of Elizabeth Durden

Hello MacKenzie, I have an idea to improve commuting between Corktown and Detroit too. I'm looking forward to the purpose phase so I can meet many more innovative, dynamic individuals to share my ideas with.

Photo of Alina J Johnson

Hi, I'm looking to partner with others for this challenge. Contact me and let's talk, maybe collaborate!

Photo of Elizabeth Durden

Hi Alina, am I included in your partner request? I didn't want you to think I was ignoring you, but I wasn't sure your request extended to me. I recieved an email from you and Mark too.

Photo of Elizabeth Durden

Absolutely, I would I've been wait for someone to ask me.