GP Park residents express outrage over blockade at Detroit border

Grosse Point side of the farmer's market.
Grosse Point side of the farmer’s market.

Dozens of angry residents demanded answers from the Grosse Pointe Park City Council on Monday for quietly building a new farmer’s market that blocks off a historic east-west route at the border of Detroit on Kercheval near Alter.

It was the largest crowd to attend a Grosse Pointe Park council meeting in years, officials said.

“I moved here because it was progressive,” one resident told council members. “And this is very anti-progressive and makes me feel like I made a huge mistake about where I decided to live.”

Detroit side of the farmer's market.
Detroit side of the farmer’s market.

Some Detroiters and even Grosse Pointe residents are calling for a boycott of Park businesses.

“We hear Grosse Pointe loud and clear: They don’t want us hear,” Bob Collins, who lives near the border in Detroit, said. “So we’ll spend our money in Detroit.”

Monday’s meeting drew Grosse Pointers who expressed outrage that their community would block the sixth road along Detroit’s border at Alter, saying it sends a message that the community is intolerant.

“Many of us young professionals who recently chose GPP as the place we want to raise our families expressed a sense of embarrassment that our new city has chosen to erect a symbol that tells Detroiters they’re not welcome,” Grosse Pointe resident Graig Donnelly.

Some council members acknowledged they handled the closure poorly and pledged to involve residents next time.

Mayor Mike Duggan has been largely quiet about the controversy but said he doesn’t like that Detroit was never consulted about the plan. The city is still investigating whether the Grosse Pointe Park built the farmer’s market on land that belongs to Detroit because of an anomaly on historic maps.

During the winter, Grosse Pointe Park occasionally blocked the same road with mounds of snow.

The road closure comes at a time when the community is still trying to overcome a police scandal in which white officers were humiliating a mentally impaired black man.

Steve Neavling

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.

  • Jim meyers

    The original master plan is more progressive than anyone can imagine. It was used in numerous closed door city council meetings to gain unanimous approval for the street closing. ‘NET ZERO GAIN TO ALL NEW PARKING SURFACE RUN OFF. The real problem stems from the city managers approach to transparency. For those who are truly interested the real and approved master plan it can be found published on face book at J M Land Designs. Pay special attention to the pedestrian and bike first perspectives. The closing is really about making it bike pedestrian only, closed to all automobiles every weekend for community and entertainment thus the a master Plans title. The Grosse Point Park Entertainment District.

    Signed,
    Jim Meyers

    Author of the plan.

    • BobNB

      Why? Why make a major thoroughfare pedestrian only? Where has that worked, ever?

      • Oberyn_Martell

        I would agree with you if it was still a major thoroughfare. This is not some heavily traveled artery by which masses of visitors access GP. This is mainly used by GP residents to get downtown. The area between GP and the plant is sparsely populated. There isn’t some huge draw coming from that direction giving patronage to GP. You’re kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

        • BobNB

          Yeah, but don’t get too caught up on the ‘major’ adjective. That’s not what’s critical, from a good planning standpoint. It’s a through-street and a traditional American central business district. Permanently closing such streets is hardly a novel idea, but it hasn’t caught fire because it does not work. Why? Well, simple logic: you don’t need to remove vehicles to encourage pedestrians. Pedestrians move about on sidewalks. What you need is attractive things along the sidewalks– a good mix of retail, residential, and other uses, all shaded by trees and made generally attractive and safe (GP Park was already well on its way to accomplishing this, and frankly its energy would be best spent on getting developers to build things on the few empty parking lots along the strip). Look at other cities. Busy vehicular streets with narrow little sidewalks have no trouble getting steady pedestrian flow as long as the street offers useful/attractive things to walk to. In central Rome, there generally aren’t sidewalks, just a network of cobblestone alleys between the buildings. They are the only way for pedestrians to go from place to place, but they are almost all open to vehicles. Vehicles travel slowly down the lanes, avoiding the pedestrians. The vehicles and the pedestrians exist in extremely close confines together. Mayor Pro Tem Theokas cited Stone Street, one of the narrowest NYC streets which is a remnant of old ‘New Amsterdam’, but apparently did not take away any lessons from the 99.9% of NYC streets that were wide open to traffic and absolutely teeming with pedestrians. The ingredients that make them so are many– attractive/safe sidewalks, mixed use and low vacancy rates, and transit-oriented development (the vast majority of people are getting to their destination on foot). There are all sorts of interesting policy measures GPP could take to increase the above ingredients in its downtown area, which has good urban bones (not to mention, thanks to location, the potential to be very well transit-connected to downtown Detroit and the other Pointes in the future), but they chose the most obtuse one, and one logically unconnected to achieving its desired end (which we all applaud).

          There is some evidence that slowing/calming traffic, to make the street easier to cross, attracts and assists pedestrians (i.e., if you have young kids, you’d be more willing to bring them there on foot/stroller, and everyone is more willing to cross the street to go to other businesses if they don’t need to wait 90 seconds for traffic to clear), but there is no evidence to show that closing the street attracts any more people (and in a metro area that is car- and not transit-geared, you might actively hurt your prospects, because most people drive in, grab a parking spot, and then walk).

          In sum, blocking vehicular traffic is at best an extraneous measure cloaked in superficial overtures about encouraging pedestrians, and at worst, it is counterproductive for most central business districts. That is what I was getting at, and why, setting aside ALL of the politics, PR effects, and psuedo-hurt feelings, this was STILL a terrible move.

          • Oberyn_Martell

            Then let’s go back to my original point. It really isn’t up for debate that this area is for the most part supported by GP residents. In other words it’s not drawing from all over the Metro Detroit area to be viable. However, even if it was the point I will make still stands. You can drive all the way into the commercial district and park. You say people like to drive in to park and then walk well that is still completely possible and not at all difficult for GP residents and really for visitors either. This isn’t a complex system of cobblestone back alleys. It’s a pretty cut and dry city grid. You aren’t required to park a mile away let alone 100 yards to access the district.

          • BobNB

            So if you could, please pinpoint the exact benefit provided by putting the sheds in the middle of the street as opposed to developing one of several parking lots nearby into the market square. And more generally, what’s the benefit of keeping cars off of Kercheval?

          • Oberyn_Martell

            I couldn’t at the moment. Only time will tell if it was a poor decision or a good one. We can tall agree though that the choice of those crappy looking barns was poor.

    • BobNB

      Jim, for everyone’s benefit, here’s the link to your design https://www.facebook.com/JMLANDDESIGNS/photos/pb.236760619781027.-2207520000.1406775171./237185783071844/?type=3&theater

      While I obviously object heartily to the notion that closing the street to pedestrians is good, I’d like to say that your original plan had more integrity from an urbanism standpoint– with a couple issues. A solid T-stop, as you designed, is a tried and true urban street plan, and would look better than the home depot sheds. But GPP would still be harangued, perhaps rightly, with the question of why the T-stop was at Wayburn and not over at Nottingham or near the two public schools just past there (a seemingly good fit, as it calms traffic around the kids and would create a buildable plot for the GPPPS). The other issue, which I am sure you heard about, it blocking off the historic facades and entrances to the extant buildings on either side of Kercheval by awkwardly placing a new building between their two facades. It could be made to work, but it would look weird, unavoidably.

      Anyway, thanks for sharing your perspective about how things are unfolding. Also a question: where does the vehicular access end in your design? At Lakepointe? It is not very clear.

  • Lorenacha K’uychiy

    Its easy assume racism, its harder to think about the real economic impacts that GP is facing. Detroit has more than deteriorated over there.

  • Gary

    Only if they would get this worked up about the city they live in…

  • Marc Wigle

    Maybe Detroit should put a farmer’s market on Jefferson at the GPP border.

    • Dust Buster

      no can do….many slave owners were farmers. so, people dressed like farmers would be too painful and harken back the slave days. joann watson would lead a march with pitch forks and torches to chase them damn farmers into the river and take back that land

  • new_detroit

    I’m glad we’re starting to see GPP residents come out against this. I think the pro-blockade contingent we see commenting on these posts live far away from the rerouted traffic.

    It’s plain dangerous driving down the narrow rerouted residential streets now. They just weren’t built for heavy 2 way traffic. I wonder if there’s been an increase in accidents as people try to get by each other with about 6 inches to spare.

    Also happy to see local residents take a holistic view of how this blockade represents their community. As stated before, I’m new here and it immediately came off as shameful and regressive. Glad others are angry about how this (and some of the vocal commenters here) represent all of us.

    • tmda

      I’d be more happy, as someone who lives in GPP .25 miles away from this, if Kercheval was closed off on the other end at Nottingham with another traffic circle/turnabout/whatever, and all street parking from Wayburn to Nottignham was taken away.

      I can’t tell you how many accidents I’ve almost been in coming north/south on a street other than Maryland (which has the street light), because one needs to basically creep out into oncoming traffic to see what the traffic situation is on Kercheval, due to the cars parked on the street. Cars on that stretch of street, regardless of where they are coming from, are bad news.

      Furthermore, this is a great opportunity for Detroit to do something very beautiful and very unique with the court Grosse Pointe Park created from them. Inadvertently, of course, but GPP has a great opportunity to spur collaboration with Detroit on this, and could extend a great show of good faith by spearheading a project in the court on behalf of Detroit.

  • A.L. Cadillac

    Keep repeating with the Mayor/City Manager and maybe if you say it enough times, like magic, everyone will believe it:

    “Grosse Pointe is NOT racist”
    “Grosse Pointe is NOT racist”
    “Grosse Pointe is NOT racist”

    Let us know how that works out for you. We know the truth.

    • Dust Buster

      i know thats right. once i drove through gp in my truck and the police told me to check the bulb in my turn indicator. then, i took off and kept going and a few miles later this kid jumped out in front of my car then i blacked out. i still have night terror, anxiety, sweats and mood swings but im working on it

      slowly on the mend
      s. utash

  • FredDave

    If Grosse Pointe Park and Detroit would work together
    to create a farmer’s market spanning Kercheval on both sides of Alter, it might
    be a catalyst for new commercial and cultural development on the Detroit
    side. Grosse Pointe Park has new
    restaurants on its side of the border, Detroit has the historic old Monteith
    Library, new tree plantings, and urban farming on its side. The challenge is how to link these to
    create a neighborhood that brings people together instead of separating them. We are all in this together.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      there does not need to be something actually spanning or crossing both to unit. Just things on both sides, that people on both sides like and us. Thats all the need. The link is just the collective movement of thousands to tens of thousands of people.

  • BobNB

    It should be mentioned that, setting all else aside, the barns are ugly and their design and placement do not fit the otherwise lovely district. GP used to be well known for its aesthetic control; many residents are surely peeved about the design. Knowing quite a bit about GP, I think a movement to move or remove them could take hold.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      The could look older and not like stock units from home depot or a modular catalog. They can be new, stay right where they are, but look older.

      But if anything is functional it is a barn. So in that respect I am fine with them also. I surely will not loose sleep over it being too new and too modular.

      • BobNB

        Barns just don’t fit the center of a traditional urban commercial strip of 1920s brick and stone work. Not sure an upgraded model would help the design/planning farce here.

        • javierjuanmanuel

          These houses had barns way back when. Many houses had a post out front to tie horse too. I can think of a bunch of them that are still installed. Many were taken out in the 1950s in order to seem modern, even though the north end of GP was still a few farms!

          These houses near alter are from 1900-1915. Trust me there were horses around that neighborhood when it sprung up.

          Also the barn is for the farmers market, I just think this barn looks a little to new, a little cheap, a little to mass produced. But then I did not buy it, and people go to farmers markets for the food.

    • MickinDetroit

      I may be mistaken, but I could have sworn it was stated before that the barns are not meant to be permanent? They’re Market 1.0. Did I imagine that?

      • BobNB

        Not sure. I hope so. As in, I hope they move them out of Kercheval.

      • tmda

        They are not supposed to be permanent. According to the city manager from Monday night’s meeting, they are on skids right now, and would be moved when a permanent plan comes about.

  • angel grimes

    Got gas at the station on Kerch and Chalmers, cops had all patrons and employees on the floor at gun point. seems they sell handguns there too. Glad for the no-thru traffic man.

  • BobNB

    Steve, what are the six blocked roads, by the way? By my count, this is the fourth.
    Mack Ave: open
    Goethe Ave: closed
    Charlevoix St.: open
    Vernor Highway: open
    Kercheval Ave: now closed
    St. Paul-Brooks St.: closed
    Hampton St: open
    Jefferson Ave: open
    Fairfax Ave.: open
    Essex Dr.: open
    Avondale Ave: open
    Korte St.: closed
    Could you please attribute your statement?
    As a peace offering, GPP should open the other three streets that were previously closed. I will say, though, none of them are thoroughfares. Kercheval was the first thoroughfare they dared to close.

    • muckraker_steve
      • BobNB

        Thanks. I see the map counts Wayburn @ Mack, which isn’t Alter and isn’t a major thoroughfare blockage. And I see it counts Windmill Pointe Drive, but the street is a natural dead end into the municipal park. There is no blockade or anything.
        As for Alter, the closure rate stands at 4/12.

        • tmda

          Furthermore, Detroit was the one to close Windmill Pointe Drive, not Grosse Pointe Park.

    • Dust Buster

      peace offering? wtf are you thinking? nobody outside of detroit bitches abotu where detroit builds a curb or a dam shed the size of a garage. why is it ALWAYS some rabble rousers finding something that nicks their thin skin then demand something to make them calm down…. until the next terrible thing that upsets them.

      how about if detroiters offer gp a peace offering? how about showing a current and paid receipt for your water bill and a recent printout that shows no outstanding warrants. the recent fireworks were a joyous example of culture exchange when a bunch of detroiters ruined it with acting out and gang banging.

      be honest…. if you cant enjoy the noise, explosions and coolness of fireworks for 30 damn minutes without fighting and wilding you have to be a special kind of feral dickhead. in fact i would go so far to say you could do a fireworks show at jackson prison and even those guys wouldnt act like that because they would probably enjoy some old fashioned fireworks

      • BobNB

        ????
        Right, because Detroit has clearly flanked its borders with curbs and barns? What exactly are we supposed to bitching to Detroit about again?
        You are obviously losing your shit. To the extent I can discern what you are trying to say, it seems you are saying that the whole of Detroit owes GPPark something, because, it appears, some Detroiters caused a ruckus at the [GP Woods???] fireworks show on 8-mile [didn’t that result in, like, 1 arrest]? Can you even document that the troublemakers were from Detroit and not HW or GPW or Macomb County? Even if they were from Detroit– so what? Why does the CoD owe GPP something, and what in the world does this have to do with a barn qua street blockade.
        Are you unable to analyze issues one at a time, or are you losing it that severely? Excuse my modest proposal.
        Wacko….

        • javierjuanmanuel

          No just a general peace offering. It could go either way if its the offering that brings about peace.

          Do not act like curbs are more of a thorn in a guy on alters side, when he can walk right over the curb and go get cheap fresh food, as compared the the actual burden of looking at alter driving up to your house, or any of the streets over there its a full on battle zone.

        • javierjuanmanuel

          It does NOT need to be a barn or a curb. If the crux of the argument seems to be no city can change anything old for one, then certainly not anything that effects walking, bikes, cars, buses.

          Detroit has done that many many times with things like plants, parks, new industry etc. It is fine because it is their right.

          They do not need to worry about traffice from dearborn if they want a car plant. They just get to put up a car plant.

          If they want to put in a park and close off three streets, they can, they do not need approval from GP.

          I think people think this is a one way thing. It can only aide detroit, and it can only burden the burbs.

        • Dust Buster

          wow an entire 24 hours and you got one up vote. you win the innerweb

      • A.L. Cadillac

        Don’t feed the ignorant racist trolls from the suburbs.

        • Dust Buster

          punctuation, please francois

  • Marianne Audrey Burrows

    I think Detroiters should take advantage and create a walkable area WEST of Alter on Kercheval. It looks like a few buildings on the other side of Alter are in tax foreclosure right there and might be able to be acquired in the tax auction…

  • Sizz

    Where has that coward Duggan been hiding? Why is he not standing up for the citizens who elected him?

    • javierjuanmanuel

      Is that a joke? He barley has power in detroit because of the EM. If this is a parody account I am sorry I could not tell. He has zero power in other cities and towns. None!

    • BobNB

      True, Sizz. He can make a highly intelligent statement about why this is not okay. A gentle chiding of GP Park leadership that doesn’t alienate anyone should be easy for him to pull off.

      • javierjuanmanuel

        Well fine, he can say something if you mean stand up. But then he also has to point the finger at evil detroiters living in harbor town, the closed development on the river near dickerson, and palmer. The place on dickerson on the river has actual guards!

        Who do you think they are trying to keep out with guards?

        So of course Duggan would need to stand up to people who live in these places, and tell them they are horrible racists, bigots etc.

        Then since he has power in detroit, maybe by force they should open these areas up.

        Do you think he will do that ?

        • BobNB

          You are right to a limited extent, as the gated communities in the D are definitely trying to keep ‘someone’ out. Perhaps they deserve a critique. But, they have put their guardhouses on PRIVATE property, not in the middle of a public street and not right on a political border. This is simply not the same.
          This is a good chance for Duggan to say something that exudes class and calm, but no shortage of concern. Something that will literally persuade GP Park to move the barns. I believe he can shame them softly, and he should. He’s an attorney for gosh sakes, they can accomplish anything with the English language!

          • javierjuanmanuel

            palmer is closed off no guard that I know of, but it there is no non resident traffic in there. You cannot cut through there to get somewhere else quicker.

            Where should the barns go. On mack ?

          • BobNB

            Potential farmer’s market sites: 1) the large surface lots along Kercheval between Beaconsfield and Lakepointe (unless the Park does an RFP to develop these into storefronts, I’d say at least part of this is fit for the marketplace); 2) the parking lot on Kercheval at the border, which has become the turnaround circle… just have the barns face the street (that would be more traditional urbanism, anyway!); 3) the large empty plot at Alter and Kercheval…but they’d have to buy it; 4) empty plot at Vernor and Wayburn; 5) either of the huge empty lots (created by needless city-coordinated demolition) on Jefferson, at Maryland and at Lakepointe, respectively. … Or just put the barns on craigslist and go back to having a street fair that closes the street every Saturday. All of these things are less disruptive, less controversial, and represent better urban planning.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Why has no one mentioned Detroit has many things that are different, and I guess exclusionary and unwelcoming. For instance Vernor is one way in Detroit, but two way in GP. That shows Detroit does not want people going in Detroit, and GP is welcoming of all right?

    Why is no one upset about this. When I drive south and east, Detroit is being racist and hateful towards me !

    • MickinDetroit

      …or that Detroit allowed Chrylser to build a plant across Kercheval a few blocks from this offending intersection, ending Kercheval’s relevance as a thoroughfare? No bus route was changes with this… and traffic is barely impeded. It’s a traffic circle.

      • javierjuanmanuel

        Its exclusionary! It is unwelcoming. As evidenced in steves many articles on this, it is IMPOSSIBLE in a car to turn left or right and go up or down 1/8 -1/4 mile.

        A thoroughfare that is one way ! How is a bus supposed to go south and east! YOU CAN’T TURN, TURNING IS RACE BASED !

        A one way thoroughfare. Sounds like something the black panthers would dream up!

        Nice that they “allowed” as in they spent in todays dollars 700 million bucks-1.5 billion, and employs 3 shifts of 1500 people who all make good money and bennies! Woe is me. Detroit was so nice “allowing it”.

        • BobNB

          Yo, calm down bro.

      • javierjuanmanuel

        streets are not run for buses. If they were this would be a two way street to facilitate more buses! You have to at least attempt to take your terrible ideas to their logical conclusions.

        You just have excuses. No ideas, no morals, no values. You shout essentially how you are better, the world revolves around you, people like you, who vote like you etc.

  • “The road closure comes at a time when the community is still trying to overcome a police scandal in which white officers were humiliating a mentally impaired black man.”

    Nah, we’re over it. You’re not apparently. I suggest therapy.

    By the way, what makes Kerchevel historic? Pretty much every route in GP is historic. It’s one of the many reasons we’re better than you. You should try to remember that last part.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      Good point on the historic part. All of south grosse pointe all the way to cook road is “historic”. You would hear about it non stop if it was detroit and still nice. Its not in detroit, so it is ignored.

      • The author just uses “historic” to make it seem like we’re taking away people’s heritage or something. It’s pretty thinly-veiled, but most people of his ilk will just lap it up.

    • muckraker_steve

      GP for Life, didn’t realize you were speaking for all Grosse Pointers. There were a lot of them who were outraged at the meeting last night. Did you not read the story or attend the meeting?

      • MickinDetroit

        but a handful of vocal folks at one meeting was indicative of widespread outrage?

        By that measure should we all just agree that tea party nutjobs screaming at town hall meetings about obummer care is conclusive proof of the nation’s rejection of ACA?

      • While I think it would be pretentious of me to say I speak for all Grosse Pointers, I would consider my thoughts, or even my very existence, to be the Zeitgeist of the community.

        Sadly, I couldn’t attend last night’s meeting, but I did email a councilman I know personally to him that the shed they erected was “ghastly” and that they should tear it down and build something out of brick. Had I known there would have been so many whiny bitches there, I would have gladly shown up in my madras blazer and asked them if they wanted $5 to wash my car. Of course, most would decline because it’s work, and they’re not interested in that noise.

        As for there being a lot of people there, I would point out that there were a lot of people who were not there, and thus don’t care. Why don’t you understand we can do whatever we want in our city? Why do you insist on waging a war against our “historic” way of life? Did they not let you into South or something?

        Maybe you can tell me who moved to GP because they felt it was progressive? I am going to have to ask for a source on that one. BS aside, I think GP is inclusive and open, but would fall well short of calling it “progressive”.

        • A.L. Cadillac

          A screed that once again reminds us that you are a colossal A**hole.

          • I think you should get to know me.

          • Dust Buster

            more insults and no content. shouldnt you be distributing bottles of water in detroit . or something

        • Dust Buster

          well done indeed.

      • javierjuanmanuel

        Steve I have asked some very progressive folks in the area what they thought about it with in the last month. They were not aware their was a uproar. They are gay a couple and very progressive.

        This is not an uproar at all on the north side of grosse pointe, on the south end people are aware of it being there, only the most thin skinned super aware and white guilt ridden care about it.

        • I agree with your assessment. I haven’t run into anyone who thinks this is a slap in the face to Detroiters. I know people who don’t like it for a few reasons, ranging from aesthetics to inconvenience, but by and large no one seems too opinionated on the issue. That said, as a supporter of this website and the mostly quality journalism it produces, I am inclined to accept a certain degree of hyperbole. It’s clear the author has an ax to grind with GP, for whatever reason, but I still appreciate good writing.

        • muckraker_steve

          That’s a very small sample size, my friend.

      • tmda

        I was at the meeting, I was the first person in the council chambers Monday night. I suppose it helps that I live across the street.

        Anyway, there was vocal outrage from individuals in the council chambers. I didn’t speak, as there was no need for me to do so, but I’d say it was about 50% for total reversal of everything, 15% for “don’t like it, but let’s move forward”, and 35% that were in favor as is.

        People from Detroit primarily made up that 50% group; the split there was about 80% Detroit /20% GPP. The 15% and 35% groups were, when combined, about 90% GPP / 10% Detroit.

        Sorry for all of those percentages, but I thought it the best way to show the blend of the 60-70 people total that were there.

        All that being said, Councilman Grano had great points on how council members are representatives and trustees, and those can be hard to balance; I think that is quite evident in this situation. Also poignant is the fact that these plans had been in the works for eighteen months before there was any outrage / request for change. If the information was so easily seen, why was the call to arms not taken before something was done? It seems as if it would be easier to modify a street closing before it’s done, not after.

        Lastly, I think everyone who is lambasting this move is not seeing the potential for unique and lasting development that the court that Grosse Pointe Park just created for Detroit can bring to the area. If Grosse Pointe Park was smart, they would help spearhead it, as a show of good faith/assistance to Detroit. There is a lot of good that can come out of this, but people have to look past the perceived negative and grasp the opportunity.

  • KellyW

    I’m confused as to why the Detroit and Grosse Pointe residents would choose to boycott the Park businesses. The business owners in the Park, just as the residents, had no choice or vote in the decision to put the wall up, and some, if not most of them, share the same opinions as the other members of the community and surrounding areas. Boycotting local business and uninvolved employers and employees seems like an irrelevant an unproductive way to protest the division of the two cities. I think the community can come up with a better and more efficient way to demonstrate their objections to the blockade with the support of the park business owners and not against them.

    • BobNB

      Correct, they should boycott the farmer’s market. Hell, Eastern Market, the market to end all markets, is ten minutes away. The boycott should continue until the barns are moved and the street reopened. There are a couple of surface parking lots right there in the downtown district– they should move the shanties there, like a proper farmer’s market (for example, look at the Detroit St. market in Ann Arbor).

    • new_detroit

      In a realpolitik sense, the local businesses are in the best position to get the blockade removed. If there are real financial implications to its existence, there will be urgency to remove it.

      Honestly, this will happen without the boycott though. I’m no longer spending my money on that block not because I’m boycotting it, but because I don’t want to scrape up my car or get in a wreck on the detoured streets.

      • KellyW

        Demonstrations of objections to the blockade should align with the reasoning behind it. Boycotting local business sends the message that they are to blame for the situation, and that it’s their obligation to fix it. A better solution would be to find a way to send a message pertaining to the issue of the division of the cities. As for your driving abilities, maybe you should stay off the road altogether 🙂

      • javierjuanmanuel

        thats not the way the pointes work. There are a litany of things they will not let business do, you can only paint your business certain colors from colonial williamsburg collection paint, no open signs that are lit was a huge fight in GPW, you cannot sell spaces in your lot to other business’s, hours are highly regulated, the percent of what you sell for example resale stores are limited to 30 percent used etc. The business owners do not that the power. Trust me if they did, they could paint their store any color they wanted and have massive lighted signs.

  • Dust Buster

    what a joke are the commenters really plants like the free water demand people? all this “progressive” bullshit. oh we want to move over a shed and some curbs…. we had no idea the klan was amongst us…… we now feel like prisoners in our home… we will be listing it asap if they dont tear that shed down.

    how about some of you complainers walk the talk…. yank your little angels out of gp schools and write a check to a nice sub standard dps school in detroit. pack em a lunch and kiss them on the cheek everyday and enjoy the progressive lessons they will learn each day

  • Jyarsch Corbin

    Just trying to show the other side here. I love Detroit, but that border at Alter is not exactly the shining love of motown I love and enjoy. It’s filled with decay, junkies, and gangsters. So, if those Detroiters want to spend money in Detroit, they have to travel a long way in Detroit to do so, or go to a gas station, a family dollar, or an aldi.

    • Jyarsch Corbin

      So, a farmer’s market isn’t a bad idea, maybe get something besides flaming hot cheetos and gas station hot dogs in the diet. It’s also amazing how many Detroiters I talked to that were building the sheds in the first place.

  • BobNB

    That’s not true, Mick. The Park is the most socioeconomically diverse Pointe; the majority of residents orient their daily lives, business, and cultural consumption toward Detroit almost entirely, and the majority are now Democrats. So get with the times and stop quoting history book descriptions about who lived there in the 1950s.

    • MickinDetroit

      Majority? perhaps… by the slimiest of margins. I’ll go with having the cabbage patch makes for socio economic diversity… I’d say the Woods is fast catching up with the fall off in property values there and the Harper Woods portion of the school district.

      “the majority of residents orient their daily lives, business, and cultural consumption toward Detroit almost entirely…”

      which raises a question about why they don’t actually live in a real progressive community like DETROIT instead of pretending GPP is one.

      • Jyarsch Corbin

        Well, The east side in Detroit isn’t exactly asking for progress either. There have been 4 gang beatings of white people in the last 6 months within a 2 mile radius of those sheds. Just playing devil’s advocate.

        • javierjuanmanuel

          Progress and progressive mean different things based on who is saying it to whom. Same with racism, same with diversity. Well according to blow hards, and racists and hatemongers on the left.

          Diversity means female principals or superintendent etc. But no initiative for male teachers. Same with nurses. Same with white people in urban areas. Livonia needs black people or it can’t be honest in the police, fire, parks etc. Does detroit need to hire whites to make things right, and whites get affirmative action? Hell naw. Its all black and they give black people affirmative action!

      • Dust Buster

        well duh because the best and scariest safaris are best viewed while sitting in a nice safe seat inside the tour bus cage. actually stepping outside and trying to hand feed and pet the lions can get you killed

        • muckraker_steve

          Sorry, Dust Buster. You are banned from commenting again. We will not tolerate such blatant racism. I asked you several times to stop the racial taunting. Your comments are over the top and do nothing to further the dialogue.

      • javierjuanmanuel

        they used to. They are all first and second and third generation GP folks who moved from Detroit. Detroit had them, then lost and chased them away.

        You might ask the same, if its so horrible in GP, then do not worry about a road, they are doing these high and mighty progressives a favor.

        You might also ask why there is not a east side farmers market for these same people in detroit? Why do they not start one? Could it be progressive means lazy democrat who will not work, and even if they were given a barn, it would be torched, scraped, tagged etc almost immediately ?

        • javierjuanmanuel

          why even have a barn? Just do it honor system with a money box. Thats what they do out in rural evil white republican areas. Even areas as close as macomb and shelby, there are farmers with produce on the street, marked with prices, you serve yourself and put money in the can.

          How long in detroit till that same table would be empty, and the money box stolen?

          3 hours, tops ?

          • Steven Wright Montgomery Of Co

            LOST SOUL

          • Dust Buster

            so says the foul mouthed hoodrat that uses the n bomb in half your comments

          • Steven Wright Montgomery Of Co

            That’s your problem. You think your included in every conversation. HAHA. SOrry your a LOST SOUL

          • muckraker_steve

            Steven, I want to apologize for the comments that Dust Buster made to you. They were insulting and racist. He will not be commenting here again.

          • muckraker_steve

            Dust Buster, Steven’s comment to you was over the top, but so was yours when you called him a “hoodrat.” I respect your opinions, so please don’t make me ban you. We’re trying to offer an insult-free place for people to discuss issues.

      • BobNB

        By the way, if you took the people of Livonia, Canton, Bloomfield, whatever name your burb and plunked them into GP Park’s political boundaries, there would first be an exodus of half the population back to some exurb where you don’t see any poor folk, and then the other half would build a wall. I bet all the streets would be closed and people would willingly come in from I-94 for everything. Not that GP Park should be judged my the least common denominator of the area’s backward-ass suburbs, but let’s not fail to appreciate that even GP’ers choice of location is significant, and shows a belief (that most of them have) that Detroit is a benefit, and not a burden, to the metro area. You can’t knock people with families, often large ones, for moving someplace right nextdoor to the city where you can enjoy some of the best schools in the state for a fairly reasonable tax rate. I too hope for the day when the conventional wisdom will be send your kids to school in Detroit, but over the last few decades, is there anything wrong with the choice GP’er have made (btw, most of them are NOT rich enough to afford a private school)?

  • MickinDetroit

    “I moved here because it was progressive,” one resident told council members. “And this is very anti-progressive and makes me feel like I made a huge mistake about where I decided to live.”

    I don’t think I”ve ever heard GPP referred to as “progressive”. In fact it’s been, at virtually ever turn, railed against as being 180 degrees away from “progressive.” If you wanted “progressive” might I suggest Ferndale? This person is either lying or was lied to.

    • Jyarsch Corbin

      Which Detroit businesses are you referring to? The one’s in Downtown Detroit, because over on my side of town, there aren’t many optons in Detroit outside of Aldi and Family Dollars…Your typical, trashed out shit with no quality. No one is spending money in the neighborhoods of Detroit. Only Downtown.

      • MickinDetroit

        Yes. because people like Mr. Collins would rather drive into GP than support the corner grocery, restaurant or home goods store. Your observations are the result of the Mr. Collins’s of the world abandoning Detroit neighborhood retail.

        • Dust Buster

          mr collins doesnt want to get gas and shop at the gas station where civil rights icon steven utash got lynched and almost murdered….now he has to avoid klan infested gpp since a news article told him a shed and some curbs were racist. my guess is if he didnt read about it, he would have just drove down there and made an extra 2 turns and did what he probably didnt do much of in the first place

        • javierjuanmanuel

          Noooo. There were stores there. They were robbed, scrapped, stolen from, tagged, taxed, and sued into oblivion.

          There used to be neighborhood shops that were not even on busy streets. People used to be able to make a living running a deli hafl way between mack and eastwarren. Middle class family could support 4-5-6 people, have a house, and these were not even on busy roads.

          They all decided they would rather steal the place blind and go buy whoppers.

    • angel grimes

      Where are they going to spend their money in the city that used to be detroit? Ye Olde Butcher shop closed due to so many break-ins. The Spartan store on Mack near DMC with its spoiled food?

      • BobNB

        ummmmm Whole Foods, Eastern Market, Indian Village Market on Jefferson. And they need not go to GP Park for the restaurants– Detroit’s got that covered. GP Park risks rendering itself irrelevant, cancelling out the commercial momentum it was gaining. Basic urban planning 101 says that barriers are not good for business. They will learn– even without any boycott.

        • Bob, while I agree with your thoughts about barriers not being good for business, I just don’t see this being a barrier. Perhaps, some might see it at a psychological barrier, but the simple act of driving a residential block in either direction does not constitute a barrier to commerce.

          I would also argue that the GPP commercial areas are not dependent on Detroit for their survival. If you observe the block vacancy rate map for 2009 I’ve attached, which I got from Robert Linn’s blog: mapdetroit.blogspot, you’ll see the area West of Alter between Jefferson and Mack is some of the most sparsely populated in the entire city. As well as the Morningside neighborhood. Though, East English Village seems to be holding up well, but they have East Warren for many of their needs. If we were to look at the disposable income of those areas we would find that it is limited, at best. So, you can conclude that any revenue streams crossing the border from Alter are de minimis.

          Hope this helps!

          • Dust Buster

            nooooo dont inject maps and facts and demographics into this. keep it purely emotional. if you keep this up you will get labeled a tea bagger and asked if you got the map from fox news or rush limbaughs site