Grosse Pointe Park blocks Detroit border – again – in violation of pact

Grosse Pointe Park blocks Kercheval at the border with Detroit again. Photo by Aaron Dome.
Grosse Pointe Park blocks Kercheval at the border with Detroit again. Photo by Aaron Dome.

Grosse Pointe Park blocked one of its busiest borders with Detroit yet again, violating an agreement with Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration after Motor City Muckraker revealed in 2014 that the blockade was partially on Detroit property and therefore illegal.

Grosse Pointe Park has found plenty of clever ways to block Kercheval since 2013 – erecting a large pile of snow, delaying work on a water main project and building a farmer’s market in the middle of the road.

On Saturday, Grosse Pointe Park officials blocked the road with a farmer’s market sign, a clear violation of the community’s agreement with Detroit. By law, Grosse Pointe Park can’t block the border by using Detroit property without city approval, which was never sought and likely would never be received.

Mayor Mike Duggan
Mayor Mike Duggan

On Sunday afternoon, Mayor Duggan’s administration wasted no time demanding that Grosse Pointe Park remove the blockade. Less than 20 minutes after we notified the mayor’s office of the road block, city attorney Melvin “Butch” Hollowell received an assurance from Grosse Pointe Park’s city manager that the blockade would be removed, if it already hasn’t, said Duggan spokesman John Roach.

Many Detroit and Grosse Pointe residents criticized the constant road closures as an ugly symbol of intolerance and classism in a suburban community that banned African Americans and Asians from owning property until about 60 years ago. Grosse Pointe Park’s population is now about 10% black.

Snow pile blocking Kercheval in 2013.
Snow pile blocking Kercheval in 2013.

Duggan’s administration launched an investigation in late 2014 and agreed with our findings that the road block was partially on Detroit property. In exchange for removing the illegal blockade, Detroit made good on its promise to clean up blight along the border.

When Grosse Pointe Park missed its November 2014 deadline to remove sheds blocking the road, Mayor Duggan bluntly criticized the community’s leaders.

A shed blocked the border in the summer of 2014.
A shed blocked the border in the summer of 2014.

“It’s obvious we can’t trust the Grosse Park Pointe leaders,” Duggan said. “They don’t mean what they say.”

And on Saturday, Duggan was reminded of that – once again.

Grosse Pointe Park still has numerous blockades along its border with Detroit, but those are legal because they’re on GPP property.

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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.

  • TimeEd

    Are you kidding me, Steve? A wagon and a sign does not necessitate a twenty-word tweet, let alone an entire “investigative” article outlining GP’s history of demographics. Yeah, let’s open a roundabout to traffic while families with children walk the streets to buy produce. Spare your suburban hate for a private audience.

  • Carol Hackleman

    Well what do you know: “Detroit seeks to try out car-free streets”! Seems it is a safe way to promote foot and bicycle traffic. Relax, Steve.
    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/2016/07/01/detroit-open-streets/86627236/

  • bruce

    I think that all the GGP people with “it’s our private park and you can’t come” are a bit of a whiny little bit..h kids. as a matter of fact GGP does get sate and federal funds and part of it is spent on the up keep of the parks no matter what your deranged mind thinks.
    get over it. people use parks and expect to be able to drive on the streets. Turn the street into a mall like some cities do or have your farmer market in your parks but get over yourself

  • bruce

    I think that all the GGP people with “it’s our private park and you can’t come” are a bit of a whiny little bit..h kids. as a matter of fact GGP does get sate and federal funds and part of it is spent on the up keep of the parks no matter what your deranged mind thinks.
    get over it. people use parks and expect to be able to drive on the streets. Turn the street into a mall like some cities do or have your farmer market in your parks but get over yourself

    • Bill

      It does NOT get federal funds or state funds. Federal/state funds do not flow to the Grosse Pointe parks. The parks in Grosse Pointe are paid for entirely by taxpayers in the Grosse Pointes for use exclusively by people from Grosse Pointe.

  • Is that the little red wagon of racial oppression?

    “…in a suburban community that banned African Americans and Asians from owning property until about 60 years ago.”

    Don’t forget Jews and Arabs, too. Also, I am not sure Asians were actually banned. There’s some old Asian families in GP.

    Steve, what are you going to say when someone blows the stop sign and takes out a pedestrian during the farmer’s market?

    • Bill

      He’s going to say that since the guy injured/killed was white, it was no big deal.

    • WiserWords2

      Why would he have to say anything about someone blowing the stop sign? Are you trying to deflect from a story about racism?

      • I bring it up because they wanted to block off the street to make the area a pedestrian mall. There are people milling about every Saturday morning there for the Farmer’s market. Hence why they blocked street during that time. Believe it or not, I don’t think the wagon is going to prevent people from entering Grosse Pointe.

  • guest

    This is only for a few hours for the Farmers Market – traffic is stopped on all ends so the people shopping in the street do not get hit by cars. I am not even saying this area isn’t a problem, but this article is ridiculous and terrible journalism.

  • Gordon Masterstainer

    Steve,

    I have only been to Gross Pointe a few times but they seem like really nice people. I even seen some black kids and maybe a mullato at the Starkbugs havin coffee drinks. They were laughing and having a good time. If you was so upset with the wagon, why didn’t to just move it yourself. Maybe it rolled into the street? In the time it took you to take a picture and call duggan you could moved it. Unless you are a weak ass bitch…

  • Gordon Masterstainer

    Steve,

    I have only been to Gross Pointe a few times but they seem like really nice people. I even seen some black kids and maybe a mullato at the Starkbugs havin coffee drinks. They were laughing and having a good time. If you was so upset with the wagon, why didn’t to just move it yourself. Maybe it rolled into the street? In the time it took you to take a picture and call duggan you could moved it. Unless you are a weak ass bitch…

    • WiserWords2

      What is a “mullato”, a special flavor at Starbucks? How can I find out which families in Gross Point earned their generational wealth illegally?

  • bruce

    well they just don’t want people from detroit in their wonderful park area…. after all they did finally let black people in there didn’t they… when i lived there in the 1960’s they even had a cuban family there

    • GP was/is a lot more diverse than people think.

      • Chris Chouinard

        Wow, thanks for clearing that up for us, guess we should just ignore the census data showing the opposite.

    • Patricia Rivera

      The “wonderful ” parks are for the city of Grosse Pointe Park TAX PAYERS !

      • Donald E. Hodge

        Thanks for clearing that up for us.

        • Patricia Rivera

          You’re welcome

        • Patricia Rivera

          You’re welcome

      • Donald E. Hodge

        Thanks for clearing that up for us.

      • bruce

        well i guess you have never been in a park in a city where you did not pay tax? Part of the funds for your parks comes from state funds and federal funds or did you not know that? When I lived in GGP you needed an ID to get into the park with the pool area but all other parks were open to the public just like they were in Detroit.

        • Patricia Rivera

          Actually and factually…… Grosse Pointe Parks are 100% privately funded …..which means for those who don’t understand……..No federal or state funds ! …..which means PRIVATE PARKS ! Can’t put it any simpler !

  • javierjuanmanuel

    I have not seen such a weak roadblock since boss hog and roscoe p coltrane tried to stop the Duke boys

  • javierjuanmanuel

    I have not seen such a weak roadblock since boss hog and roscoe p coltrane tried to stop the Duke boys

    • Donald E. Hodge

      I don`t think the city was behind this either. It is just to weak. more like someone screwing around than anything else.

    • drbpor

      did Enos help ?

  • Donald E. Hodge

    No……Its not Racism at all ……….Is it Javier? What a bunch of Clowns.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      Its for a market. What race is it keeping out? How does the sign keep out the 12% or more blacks that live in gpp already?

      Look at google maps, look at how many ways there are to get into gpp, and tell me who this stops ?

      When they have a parade on say east warren, is that a way to keep whites from gp out of detroit?

      Isnt vernor or one of the streets in detroit over there a one way street, but in gpp it is two way. Thats racist.

      • Donald E. Hodge

        of course there is all kinds of people from Grosse point park trying to sneak into Detroit By Vernor ave.

        • Vernor is a one-way street on the Detroit side. It only travels in the direction of “to Grosse Pointe.”

          • Donald E. Hodge

            Yeah, I know. Thanks.

          • Bill

            Educate yourself before making stupid comments.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            Well I`s sholy will Mr. whitey. I`s do it just for yall. can yall spare som of dem fancy whitey books yall be using?

          • Bill

            Buy your own books from the $125,000,000.00 that the state just gave DPS.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            I’s just be gitten as much as you givin Mr. Whitey. You da Bess boss fer sho Mr. Whitey.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            I’s just be gitten as much as you givin Mr. Whitey. You da Bess boss fer sho Mr. Whitey.

          • Bill

            Saying whitey is racist btw. It’s just as racist as me calling you inky.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            well, well It took your tiny Redneck brain long enough to come up with that? your Pathetic. Go blow your head off with one of the many guns that you own. Normally a person would have to go to a bowling alley to meet a person of your stature. good luck in Prison.

          • Bill

            Take a grammar class before throwing your pathetic schoolyard insults. You demonstrate your lack of education as you write incoherently. Learn capitalization, punctuation, and the difference between “your” and “you’re” before you try to insult someone vastly smarter than yourself.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            oky doky Whitey. I sho will. Yalls fer sho smarter deem mes. Thank Yall mr. honkness.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            oky doky Whitey. I sho will. Yalls fer sho smarter deem mes. Thank Yall mr. honkness.

          • muckraker_steve

            Sorry for that racist troll, Donald. He’s been banned.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            🙂

          • Bill

            Again, resorting to pathetic racism which is a tacit admission of your argument’s failure.

          • Bill

            LOL. This seems cyclical but your racism is entertaining.

          • Bill

            You forgot the oogally boogally.

          • Donald E. Hodge

            well, well It took your tiny Redneck brain long enough to come up with that? your Pathetic. Go blow your head off with one of the many guns that you own. Normally a person would have to go to a bowling alley to meet a person of your stature. good luck in Prison.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      Its for a market. What race is it keeping out? How does the sign keep out the 12% or more blacks that live in gpp already?

      Look at google maps, look at how many ways there are to get into gpp, and tell me who this stops ?

      When they have a parade on say east warren, is that a way to keep whites from gp out of detroit?

      Isnt vernor or one of the streets in detroit over there a one way street, but in gpp it is two way. Thats racist.