Those who were hoping for a wave of positive momentum from Detroit’s failed, but strong bid for Amazon HQ2 hit a big pothole on Tuesday. The big four leaders from the metro region—Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson—talked about regional issues at the Detroit Economic Club meeting. In terms of transit—one of the big factors stalling progress in our region—they seemed to be at a complete loss.
According to Crain’s, each leader had different ideas for the next step. Hackel said to wait for autonomous technology; Duggan mentioned that the region’s lack of transit was preventing big companies from coming here; Evans talked about the ridiculousness of waiting for newer technology, and that we don’t have a lot of time to work with; while Patterson casually said they’d need to talk to Oakland County residents for at least a month, and that we don’t need light rail here. (We’re past that)
Evans also mentioned leaving out certain areas if we wanted a ballot measure up for vote in November, but that would need to be decided on quickly.
MLive posted a video with statements on transit from each. MLive also notes that they did seem to agree that infrastructure and insurance rates—especially in the city—needed to be addressed.
Detroit was left out of Amazon’s top 20 picks for a second headquarters. Lack of talent and transit in the region were two of the big factors that kept us out of the running, but many were energized by the cooperation of business and government leaders in the proposal..