A main road leading from Detroit to Grosse Pointe Park has been blocked off this winter by mounds of snow – an image that recalls the blockades built to keep out black Detroiters a half century ago.
Grosse Pointe Park is dumping excess snow on Kercheval at the border of Detroit, occasionally blocking access to the suburban community’s entertainment district.
“It’s distasteful; I couldn’t believe it when I saw it,” Francis Moore, who lives in Detroit near the border, told me.
But Grosse Pointe officials said the mound of snow was placed there because the road was already blocked off due to a broken water main beneath Kercheval near Alter. Despite blocking off the street again a few days ago, city officials said Kercheval has been reopened, and it’s passable when there isn’t a mound of snow in the way.
The snow mound also happens to be where developer David Cotton wanted to block off Kercvheval to construct a building and spruce up the retail area in Grosse Pointe Park.
Whatever the case, the mound of snow comes at a sensitive time for Grosse Pointe Park, where the police department reached a reform agreement Wednesday after officers were humiliating a mentally impaired black man.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.