This year’s Detroit Policy Conference takes place March 1 at MotorCity Casino Hotel, and the agenda is all about civility and putting aside our differences to help move Detroit forward.
On this episode of the Daily Detroit Happy Hour podcast, we talk with two people closely involved in putting the conference together.
The one-day conference will feature more than 60 speakers, including keynote addresses from Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, and Wes Moore, CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, a New York nonprofit tackling poverty.
On the show, we discuss why the conference’s theme is so important to Detroit in 2018, what we learned from the Detroit 67 project and how MASH Detroit has handed off the baton on its eastside location and is currently scouting for its next neighborhood location. Plus, Stoudamire tells us what “social capital” means and why it’s so important.
Registration for the conference is still open. Daily Detroit and the Happy Hour team will be there providing coverage. Stop by and say hello at our podcast table!
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Thanks as always to our pals at Podcast Detroit for the support.
If you listened to our recent episode on Amazon’s snub of Detroit (and you totally should), you’ll recall that the inclusion of Indianapolis among the 20 finalists for its HQ2 project was the topic of some surprise. Well, one of the reasons they made it was their efforts to develop 50 miles of Bus Rapid Transit and other improvements.
So we sent our correspondent Shianne Nocerini down to Indiana’s capital city to talk with Brian Luellen, vice president of public relations for IndyGo, the city’s transit agency, to find out what that city is doing right and compare and contrast our own (mostly failed) efforts here in Detroit.
“There’s been conversation about the need for enhanced transit for central Indiana for decades,” he said. “There was finally some private sector support, which helped catapult the conversation forward.”
That might sound familiar to those of you who followed the story of our own mighty QLine.
Have a listen above. Here’s a rundown of the conversation:
7:25 — Luellen discusses how Indianapolis got its transit talks going about 10 years ago, including the Central Indiana Task Force
8:50 — We break down the support from the private sector
9:30 — Luellen discusses the Indy Connect initiative and private sector funding, plus the legislative history, and the 2016 ballot initiative that helped (mostly) fund IndyGo
11:30 — We break down some of the funding specifics, and compare it to local opposition to our own stalled Regional Transit Authority plan
12:47 — Luellen discusses Marion County service improvements, its hub-and-spoke system and how funding agreements in neighboring counties will change things
15:00 — On the public’s response and feedback to IndyGo’s scaled-back plan and how Indianapolis is the fastest-growing city for number of households without vehicles
18:00 — Jer points out that a quarter of Detroit households also don’t own cars and how our policies “institutionalize poverty”
19:40 — How transit “was a big selling point for Amazon in the site selling process”
20:25 — Will Indy’s transit plan actually help its citiizens and deliver on promises to deliver an economic boost? Luellen says Indianapolis is struggling with the “suburbanization of poverty” and the movement of jobs to the exurbs, though its downtown — like Detroit’s — is a vibrant employment cluster.
22:45 — We talk about not letting perfect be the enemy of the good, and the hub-and-spoke system that Indy is using
24:20 — Luellen discusses the long-range vision and $400 million price tag to build out the BRT system, plus the $54 million in annual income tax revenues to help cover operating costs
26:55 — Luellen on the projected economic impact of IndyGo’s transit plans, including plans for a before-and-after survey on the economic impact of the Red Line
29:15 — We bring it back home to talk about transit updates here in Detroit. Jer points out how our QLine — “the streetcar that leaves much to be desired” — pales in comparison to IndyGo’s BRT plans. Shianne discusses how BRT has helped economic development in Cleveland.
Our guest on the Happy Hour this week could be consider Detroit cultural royalty, if there is such a thing.
Around the Daily Detroit office, we often joke that the shirts that say "Detroit Hustles Harder," to be more accurate, should have said "Detroit Hustles/ Side Hustles / Other Hustles / Weekend Hustles Harder." Because it seems like the people who are doing things in the D are always wearing many hats.
We were honored to have Melody Baetens, a woman of many talents and who is one of those people who wears many hats.
Sven Gustafson hits on a variety of topics in this wide-ranging interview. What it's like to play shows in Serbia. What are some of the restaurants to look for. Is there a restaurant bubble? And how there's so much going on in Detroit but fewer people to cover it.
You can find Melody here on Twitter: https://twitter.com/melodybaetens
And don't forget that Small's is serving Paczki bombs (we get into those on the pod) this upcoming Tuesday: https://www.facebook.com/smallsbar
And here's here Detroit News author page: https://www.detroitnews.com/staff/26633/melody-baetens/
As always, if you like the show, don't forget to subscribe for free in your favorite podcatcher of choice. Here's a link to iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-daily-detroit-happy-hour/id1168444594?mt=2
And thanks to Podcast Detroit: http://www.podcastdetroit.com
What is the state of Metro Detroit's transit system? Where do we go from here? Will there be a ballot proposal in 2018? What about universal fare cards? What improvements have been made?
That was all covered at Transit Riders United Annual Meeting which had a program about the State of Transit.
There are a lot of questions around something that's pretty critical topic to address for the future of the City of Detroit and the region. We don't have all the answers, but Sven's guests do share with us what is happening now.
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