Detroit’s transportation future – a mayor who understands the big picture

July 3, 2015

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan may be considered still “new” in his job as mayor of one of America’s most important cities, but he talks like the old pro he is at understanding money and transportation.

 

A few days ago, I went to see Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in his downtown office. I’ve visited a lot of mayors in that office, and generally they have a large picture of their families in the space behind their desk.  Duggan doesn’t.

Instead, he has a picture of the famous civil rights march down Woodward Avenue in 1963, the place where Martin Luther King first gave a version of the “I have a dream,” speech.

Duggan wasn’t there then; he wasn’t quite five years old. But it shows black and white Detroiters working together, which is what he sees his job as being all about.

I wanted to talk about transportation. I thought he would have been an enthusiastic supporter of the Regional Transit Authority, which is seeking to build special lanes for a special breed of buses that would crisscross the tri-county area and take people to the airport.

But he was lukewarm at best. “They’re talking about a tax for a handful of routes, and so far I have not seen a plan that I think would be likely to be approved by the voters.”

 

Read Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry for the full story by clicking here.

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