If you're going to put Michigan Central on the map you've got to be able to GET there - and this proposal would have the same effect for a great many places along its route. That applies especially to the areas west of the M-10 Highway, where a subway line would spark a big increase in commerce and development, with new construction and businesses coming in, along with opportunity to regulate for greater inclusion as well as increased livability and property values. It would also place the Ford research facilities at the center of a new attraction for the entire Detroit Community, and a big tourist draw.
This plan arose about two years ago in my musings about intercity rail development which I frequently attempt to delineate on the Google Earth platform. Michigan Central is singularly well suited for this kind of development, dating as it does from the golden years of American rail expansion. The extreme brilliance and versatility of the station's design stem from a period when this kind of expertise reached to heights as yet unequaled again in the Western Hemisphere. So we have a valuable gift at our disposal, from the days of stiff-leg derricks and steam shovels, to benefit all the aims which are now so much discussed, with a near-infinite degree of increased ease.
The Michigan Avenue Subway segment is part of a larger proposal consisting of two subway lines converging at and radiating from a central Cadillac Square station hub. The initial 1.8-mile segment, representing about a fifth of the envisioned buildout, would be extensible from both ends, as needed, and would provide an auspicious start on achieving a safe, fast and comfortable high-volume system of transit mobility for Detroit. The central-hub-and-spokes configuration would allow quick, high-volume transfer capacity, to enable the most convenient transit for the most passengers. A storage and maintenance facility large enough to serve the initial segment could be achieved by excavating the entire Cadillac Square underground station concurrent with construction of the initial 1.8-mile line.
Now posting and entering here this proposal earlier explored in the Explore Phase, without moving immediately to further the design: specifically that of the the Cadillac Square staging - intended to undergo repurposing from the maintenance facility of the first stage, to a central interchange and transfer point in the full buildout - because the proposal does not meet exactly with the parameters of the City:One Challenge, which have been laid out in fuller detail now, or at least insofar as I have finally located them. (I had written somewhere during the Explore phase that I would pursue a detailed design at Cadillac Square for the next round. The staged construction at Cadillac HAS been explored thoroughly enough to know that it's possible though.)
THAT DOESN'T MEAN I'M NOT COMPLETELY CONVINCED THAT THIS PROPOSAL - OF ALL THE RELEVANT CHALLENGE PROPOSALS AROUND - IS ONE THAT SHOULD DEFINITELY BE PURSUED TO THE FULLEST!
Bruce W. Hain October 22, 2019