When the 11th grade girls of Mercy Education Project were asked about mobility in their neighborhood, Southwest Detroit, they identified two key concerns: Getting around safely and feeling isolated from the greater city. Because Detroit is so geographically large and lacks an all-encompassing and dynamic transportation and communication system, these young residents feel disconnected. Mobility Stations look at mobility thought the eyes of youth who are not able to utilize a car, but still need to get around their city, while also contributing to a quality visitor, tourist and worker experience.
Each mobility station will be a well lit, enclosed kiosk equipped with the following:
- Interactive way-finding signs and maps to communicate how far someone is from the next mobility station, Michigan Central Station and Downtown. The routes shown to these locations will take into consideration safety, among other factors.
- Parking options and bus schedules via an interactive electronic screen.
- Local restaurant, retail, entertainment and cultural enrichment information via an interactive electronic screen.
- Other information the neighborhoods within the impact zone would like to advertise to increase tourism and support the local economy.
- Branding and decor that reflects that particular neighborhood's culture, history and values.
- Trash and recycling receptacles.
Safety Features will include:
- A direct line to the police department and/or other emergency departments.
- Reinforced glass or other sturdy material, security cameras and signage advertising each station as a "Safe Spot" for pick up and drop off of residents under 18 years of age.
- Security personnel who patrol the neighborhood through a partnership with the Detroit Police Department.
Around the kiosk would be a central location for third party transportation companies, including:
- A MoGo bike installation
- A "landing spot" for scooters to be picked up and dropped off
- Automotive ride-share (Uber, Lyft)
- A park and ride location, if space permits
Each station will be located within a high-density area in each neighborhood, (Corktown, North Corktown, Southwest). This means a location close to local businesses and organizations that are vital to the residents and neighborhood economy, well lit and maintained intersections, and a location that already has heavy foot and automobile traffic. Not only will this help the station user to feel secure, but will also provide the largest sample of data to be collected in the pilot phase.
Due to past experiences with failed initiatives to combat blight and crime, many current residents are skeptical of new “safe places”. Therefore, it is crucial to have resident input and participation in the development, placement and ongoing success of each station.
The number of Mobility Stations is dependent on funding, however the girls of Mercy Education Project would like to propose three in the impact area as a pilot to determine effectiveness of the idea. One Mobility Station would be placed in each of these three communities: North Corktown, Corktown and Southwest. Each station will create an inviting mobility and information hub within the neighborhood/intersection it is located for residents, workers and tourist alike.