Remember the Coming Detroit Trolleys? Well, You Can Forget About Them

The Wall Street Journal brings the dispatch that Detroit has changed its mind, and is abandoning its plans to build a $600 million light rail in the  city. Sic transit gloria transit. See Mattew Dolan, No Trains for the Motor City, Wall St. Jour., December 16, 2011 — click here.

Instead, Detroit now plans to use buses to transport people to their jobs in the suburbs. Which brings to mind an interesting prophecy. Back in 1944, Detroit Mayor Edward J. Jeffries was testifying before the Congressional Committee on Roads, and in response to a question, said: “I am not sure whether bringing people [into the heart of the city] more expeditiously and quicker [by freeways] than they have ever been able to get in before will not be the ruination of Detroit.” “By this Jeffries meant that the proposed highways which were designed to make the center more accessible to the periphery, would also make the periphery more accessible to the center. As a result more people would move farther away until there is nothing left [in Detroit] but industry — a development that would bankrupt the city (and devastate its central business district).” Robert M. Fogelson, DOWNTOWN: ITS RISE AND FALL, 1880-1950, At 117.

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