Troy opposes transportation investments… again

Troy, the “City of Tomorrow… Today” has been in the news lately with their recent rejection of federal funding for a transit station.

Now Brian Dickerson’s Free Press column, “In Troy, an all-too-familiar fear of the other” drops an H-bomb by calling them “hicks.”

To be a hick in 2011, then, is to be in a state of denial — which is why “hicks” is precisely the right word to describe Troy Mayor Janice Daniels and the like-minded elected city leaders who’ve sent Troy reeling backward in time, grasping for a past that is not so much racist or unsophisticated as it is, well, past.

But their real motive was transparent: the fear that outsiders currently disinclined to visit Troy may do so if enticed by a modern train station and convenient parking, at an incalculable cost to Troy taxpayers and their way of life.

This reminds us of a speech given by Horatio Earle in the late 1890s. Earle led the Good Roads committee for the League of Michigan Wheelmen — the state’s cycling body. He was in Troy to promote government investments in building good roads.

From his autobiography:

One night in Troy Township Hall, in Oakland County, where I was holding a meeting, it almost became a riot. I told them that they showed lack of intelligence, and gave me less consideration than would be shown a man in the center of Ethiopia; that some time they would be ashamed of themselves. And they have been; since then, they have made profuse apology.

The farmers said the muddy roads were good enough for them. They felt they were taxed enough already and they didn’t want city folks, especially bicyclists riding through their community.

Sound similar?

Now to be fair to Troy, Earle garnered the same negative reaction in nearby Royal Oak.

Then again, it’s likely that federal funding to improve the Royal Oak transit station would be greeted with celebration rather than controversy.

We should also mention again that Troy also created a citywide plan for non-motorized paths and Good Roads, now called Complete Streets. That plan also appears to be going nowhere.

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2 Responses to “Troy opposes transportation investments… again”

  1. Aaron D Says:

    Brian said it right; nearly half of Troy’s base is lost in a state of deluded fear; they’re focusing on the unknowns thereby preventing progress.

    It’s obvious at these city council meetings, where citizens are calling for more police protection, while pedaling for amendments that would prop up the old library. Let it be known, I’m 28 years old and I haven’t been to library in years. That’s because I am able to access a library at my fingertips! Accessing a library at my figuretips, now that’s something I call progress.

    And Progress; that is something that was planned for! Hiking the city on foot, one will find greenways in place that were seemingly planned many years in advance; Pedestrian pathways that can statistically breathe new life into city’s core potential, pathways that make the city itself a more beautiful place, pathways that are conducive to the ever popular “green lifestyle”

    Even the train & bus station location was seemingly designed into the city’s infrastructure. Behind Home Depot, Kroger, Target, etc there is a plot of land obviously designed for structural development. While it may be hidden behind some trees, the little gem holds potential.

    And on Birmingham’s side of the tracks; there’s a neopolitan sort of apartment complex, with specialty shops, diners are such.. and low and behold a nice little greenway that connects directly to where the city planned for a train station! [these things, I think were planned for in advance] I think a pedestrian lane that connects those apartments to Troy’s shops would definitely be a profitable investment. See attached link…

    But whats the word at the city council meetings? More taxes, vamp the police force, fortify the old library?

    I think the priority of progress lies solely in taking a “Leap of Faith”. Because I think, thats whats the city designers of yesterday intended; a Leap of Faith that would lead to a progressive future reality that they simply could not imagine.

    Perhaps thats is the problem here; lack of imagination [and holding on to old fears because of it]

    I will say that the fear mongers are preventing me from living a future life here – so I take this sort of personally. I mean how, or even why would anyone want to live in a space where it is un-conducive to their own way of life..

    Again, I’m 28 years old and I am a Bicycle Commuter.

  2. Adam D. Says:

    With the library and train station BS, Troy keeps reminding why I choose NOT to buy a house and live there.

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