Wednesday, December 14, 2011

tom Walsh

The much ballyhooed Woodward light rail plan was always more important symbolically than it was in terms of its actual projected ridership or the construction jobs it would generate.
It embodied the elusive dream that private-sector investment from big names -- Roger Penske, Dan Gilbert, Peter Karmanos and the Ilitch family -- in tandem with support from philanthropic foundations such as Kresge and Hudson-Webber could help ignite an economic rebirth of Detroit along its main artery.
The magic rail spur could connect blossoming dots of legitimate growth, ranging from big new construction projects underway at Henry Ford and Detroit Medical Center hospitals to dozens of small startups at Techtown and spinoffs from the Quicken Loans family of companies in the downtown buildings that founder Dan Gilbert has been buying and renovating.
But now light rail for Detroit looks dead, or at best indefinitely sidelined, a casualty of the city’s alarming fiscal free fall.

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