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Detroit residents, business owners draft petition to halt I-375 redevelopment – WDET 101.9 FM



A group of metro Detroiters sent a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan this week asking them to revisit ideas for the future of I-375 in downtown Detroit. 

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Years of planning by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has led to efforts to eliminate the one-mile stretch of below-grade freeway, and turn it into a multi-lane boulevard.

When the freeway was first built in the early 1960s, it destroyed Black Bottom and Paradise Valley — two historically Black neighborhoods in the city — and displaced its residents. MDOT officials in charge of the “I-375 Reconnecting Communities Project” say they recognize the history of the land, but residents feel like the initial plans aren’t doing enough to repair the history, and many worry the plans will damage the stability of the adjoining neighborhoods. 

The “Re-think I-375 Community Coalition” says in the letter that the current plan will do little for economic revitalization and pedestrian safety in the area. 

“Community feedback has not been taken seriously by MDOT to date, and it is time for the process to be fixed,” the letter read. “We appreciate and welcome the opportunity to repair and improve Detroit infrastructure, but as east side Detroit residents — who use these streets and sidewalks daily — we are telling you that aspects of the current plan are not improvements at all.”

The letter was signed by nearly 500 metro Detroit residents and business owners. 

Other headlines for Wednesday, May 15, 2024:

  • A new report issued by the Education Trust-Midwest shows Michigan students of color are more likely to be enrolled in schools with the highest concentrations of poverty.
  • Detroit’s three casinos reported more than $109 million in revenue last month.
  • The Chief Financial Officer of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has been placed on leave amid an investigation into potentially inaccurate financial reports.
  • Residents in the area around Warren Avenue and Conner Street on the east side of Detroit will be able to hear about the future of their neighborhood at special meetings planned for Thursday, May 16. There will be a virtual meeting at noon and an in-person meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the Samaritan Center on Connor Street.
  • The Detroit City Council has designated May 16 as “Amp Fiddler Day.”

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  • Jerome Vaughn is News Director at 101.9 WDET. His interest in news reporting began when he was five years old, after his mom bought him a yellow Panasonic ball and chain radio.

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