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Sunday, July 25, 2010

What it takes to make a great city? Re-Investment into all intermodal transportation methods in the region.

The Friends of Cushingberry
July 25, 2010
by Richard Clement TFOC

Intermodal is defined in this article as using air, train, bus, boats, trucks, and cars. And for all of these entities to work they need steel, fuel, concrete, asphalt, and people to manage them. Intermodal Transportation used effectively will deliver goods and services between Detroit, Canada, Mexico, and the rest of the world. An investment in this area would create income and revenue to be reinvested into Detroit and the surrounding communities. One example is the creation of a longer runway at Coleman Young International Airport. A longer runway at the airport will allow Detroit to be a major part of the reinvestment into the tri-county region. By constructing a new runway over I-94 and running it along Grand River would be in compliance with the law regarding the graveyards on each end of the existing runway. This would allow for mid-sized aircraft to transport passengers and goods much cheaper. This would also save on fuel costs for residents in Detroit and the surrounding areas of Gross Point Woods, Oakland and Macomb counties.

The property surrounding the runway is in need of a massive upgrade to facilities. The reinvestment into the city will generate jobs by having more access to rental cars, and a gateway for small manufacturing operations and business visitors. Allowing the expansion of commercial international flights from Coleman Young International will bring much needed revenue to the City of Detroit. The result would accomplish the following, equalizing the trade imbalance with our neighbors across the river in Canada and, would allow the City of Detroit to become a major hub in intermodal air transportation business

We currently have a %82-%18 trade imbalance with Canada on bridge traffic in the form of goods and services. Along with the auto industry, the next hard hit group of people is the agriculture community. There are a large number of Michigan farmers that are extremely upset about importing agriculture products such as industrial hemp into Michigan from Canada, while they themselves are not allowed by federal law to do the same thing. Exporting goods and products between Canada and Mexico by air, rail, and truck would bring enhanced revenue to the City in the form of duty taxes and fair trade.

On the water, Detroit is one among many ports within the St. Lawrence Seaway water system (click here). Just like a train, there are some products that are better shipped by large boats. The only requirement for the boats is that they will fit inside of the locks within the system including Niagara Falls and Sault Ste Marie. The St Lawrence Seway is the waterway gateway to Michigan. Michigan is a final point on the waterway or the beginning of the road from Lake Superior or from Chicago and Lake Michigan. Detroit is positioned right in the path of boat traffic coming back and forth from around the world with goods and services. What about taking a high speed boat from Detroit to Cleveland, Buffalo and back? The travel distance would be much shorter and with a nominal fee, boat transportation would be competitive with Air, Bus, and automobile forms of transportation. Getting access to places in Cleveland and amusement parks like Cedar Point would revitalize the entire region. Plus it would be a good summer ride for vacation places along the Great Lakes especially some of these ports in Michigan like Traverse City.

An investment into Amtrak high speed passenger rail between Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, would be a positive enhancement to our city. Fans of the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and other sports teams could come to games at Ford Field in the morning and be home by that evening. That would be a nice day trip for football fans on a Sunday in the fall. College football fans would have a field day travelling between Columbus Ohio to Ann Arbor. No one has to drive and you can party all day on the way to the game. Investment would include a tie-in with the Detroit People Mover system. Between the two large amounts of people and goods can be moved back and forth between destinations.

Our friend George understands the importance of intermodal transportation and it relevance to the re-vitalization of Detroit. He will make sure that local residents are hired for these projects because it always seems that when construction jobs come here, the companies are always bringing in their own work force or outsourcing it to a third and forth party outside the City. Employment and entrepreneurship is a must for Detroit area to restore the revenue that was whittled away when banks and investors started to move businesses out of the City and the Country.

We must have free and fair trade in the air, on the water, on the road, and across the International bridges in Windsor, Port Huron, and Sault Ste. Marie. And the way to do it is to appropriate funds for projects like these and our Federal representatives to get the ball rolling by introducing legislation to get the job done. The Friends of Cushingberry feel that there is so much talent among us in the city that it are our duty to harness and direct this knowledge base for the good of the people. We have enough talent in Detroit Public Schools that could design a new Cobo Hall as a class project for middle and high school. The best design team gets a full four year ride to a college or university of their choice. If they do not finish then they are to reimburse the Investors for funds spent. If they graduate then they must work for the community for 2years and, their loan gets waived. We must educate to stimulate the young minds that are walking around the streets of our city.

After all we have 9 year olds doing Google Searches looking for their favorite music.

No excuses.

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