Touring Detroit's progress, shortcomings from the seat of a pedal pub

- It's really easy to think that Detroit's downtown is all set -- with all the talk about everything being rehabbed, refurbished and brought back. But there's still a few things out there that, eh, let's just say they can use a little sprucing up.

M.L. Elrick: Does anybody else remember when this was Kennedy Square, when it was all bums and pigeons, taking naps, right in the heart of downtown?

Our FOX 2 cycling team is made of people from the city, people from the suburbs, people who work the streets and people who work the anchor desk. All of us have a different perspective. Some people live quite a ways away, some people live right downtown.

So why look at the city from a peddle pub? Well, because these peddle pubs are a sign that Detroit just might make it. That we're becoming a cool city

Maurielle Lue: "I do feel there's a certain attraction to the city for the young, hip, single."

Derek Kevra: "Campus Martius was a surprise for me. Because I moved away around 2007 and then I didn't come back to downtown until around ... 2012ish. And my wife was going to be working right downtown. ... It was a total shock because she said 'Look, if we're going to move back, I've got to get kind of a feel for where I'm going to be working and what my commute's going to be. I said OK, let's go downtown with low expectations. I didn't even know Campus Martius was a thing now. And it was a very pleasant surprise."

M.L. Elrick:  "What's interesting as someone who used to work downtown to be out in the suburbs and say, 'Man, I wish i worked downtown now.' It used to be the other way around."

M.L. Elrick: "This is like a cross-section of Detroit; there's a place where you can buy a beer for $15 and a place where a rat'll bite you on the ankle. So we're kind of there but we're not there."

Derek Kevra: "I get that, I totally do get that. But, for me, it's kind of like people complaining about construction. People are mad about things being built because it inconveniences them temporarily, when maybe the greater whole is positive.

M.L. Elrick: "Yeah, I don't want crappy roads but I don't want to wait for them to be fixed. Where does that leave you? Nothing."

Deena Centofanti: "It's like they say, i do want to go to heaven, but I don't want to die to get there."

Amy: "I love going down here to see all of the commerce and the people walking down the street. Before when you'd come down here, you wouldn't see another person walking."

Critics, and there are plenty of 'em, think that one of the problems with Detroit right now is that all of the focus has been downtown and that the neighborhoods have been forgotten, but there are other people who think that Detroit's resurrection will be like a drop of water -- there's a splash, there are ripples, and eventually, it spreads all the way across the pond.

Taryn Asher: "You've got to start somewhere. Starting in the middle, and fanning it out. Services have to improve."

It's funny how one of the measures of success is what people complain about. It used to be you could go to Detroit without having to worry about where you were going to park because there were tons of spaces because there was nothing to go to. Times have changed. It's a real hassle to park downtown.

Taryn Asher: "One big sign is there's traffic. We have traffic now. And there was never traffic before. It's great to me."

By the end of the journey, we'd lost a couple riders who had to get back to their lives and their jobs.

M.L. Elrick: "The question I always have about Detroit is: "Are we a city that families can move to?"

Derek: "No. ... Schools. I mean right now it's all charter schools, and things happening with certain subsections of (Detroit Public Schools) that aren't going so great."

We had more deep breaths than deep thoughts. But that's OK. This wasn't about revelations.

I think we kind of came to a conclusion a lot of you have come to: And that's all downtown and no neighborhoods with no good schools, makes Detroit a city that still has a long way to go.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories