Back in the 1900’s, Detroit almost had a subway system. Almost. While Detroit once had a very busy streetcar system, the subway plan never made it to fruition. It’s hard to imagine what would have happened, or what state the system would be in at this point. Instead, Detroit keeps depending on its roads, and mainly cars and buses, to get around.
Artist Jake Berman has created a map reimagining the metro region’s freeways as subway lines. Yes, you can even go downriver! You’ll notice that either towns/cities or landmarks are noted as stops, as that’s the norm in most freeway systems.
Both Van Dyke and Grand River have shorter sections here; that’s because they turn into regular roads. Also, spokes like Michigan, Woodward, and Jefferson are missing, since they aren’t freeways.
Berman, who sells real and imagined maps, says that this is a start of a concept, and mapping out a plan with a more detailed section of downtown would be a next step.
What other major routes should be included and which areas would need more access? Can you imagine hopping on a subway stop on the east side and making your way to the arenas, the airport, Ikea??? While we continue to debate about what a cohesive transit system could look like throughout the region, tell us your thoughts on this map.