Detroit Police Department (DPD), Sgt. Hall
Hall provided latest crime stats for Corktown neighborhood. There were three incidents of robbery,
each occurred during different times and days – two in the morning and one in the evening. A
firearm was brandished in only one case. Also, only one was officially reported. The other two
came to light following that report. One of the suspects is a young black male, about 35 years old,
approximately 5’10” to 6’. One of the victims was taking in groceries. B & E autos have dropped
significantly. Unfortunately, individuals are leaving registered firearms in their vehicles that are
stolen. He also stated there have been major arrests of perpetrators of B&Es and larcenies. DTE
bait cars helped in that apprehension. Sgt. Hall encouraged everyone to check out
crimemapping.com to learn of area crimes. He also stressed the importance of locking car doors
and not leaving any items in vehicles. Too often drivers leave valuables visible in their cars. The
mobile dispatch has been expanded beyond just weekends. Also, more patrols have been added
since the assaults, including under cover. One of the challenges of keeping perpetrators off the
street is the court system awarding them no jail time.
Michigan Ave. Status, Georgina McDonald, MDOT
The current traffic study at Michigan and Sixth, First and 20th are required by the federal
government, to determine if the traffic control should remain as is, be upgraded or removed. If
usage counts don’t justify the lights [controls], government won’t continue to pay for upkeep; and if
the city deems it still necessary, then the city would have to pay. Current counts indicate minimal to
no pedestrians cross at Michigan & Sixth. McDonald stated the timing is ‘regulated’ based on
technology that senses a vehicle and then changes the light. The audience stressed that this
technology does not work; and the timing is so long that it is prohibitive for drivers to use that
corner – and instead detour down Bagley and cross Michigan at a different corner. However, that
light is currently on the list to be removed. A stop sign would be placed on Sixth, but no sign / light
on Michigan Ave. The numbers are actually based on manual counting of pedestrians during peak
hours. It was suggested that a button be added to change the light to allow pedestrian crossing.
The audience also encouraged residents to use the corner so they cannot be included in the counts
to justify keeping the light. McDonald discussed the Department of Transportation’s budget directly
impacted that of MDOT. The cost to upgrade the equipment will be at least $100,000, and even if
there were no need for upgrades there is still cost associated with maintenance that has to be
justified. The current equipment does not meet new standards. Someone suggested contacting
Patel of Traffic Engineering to have traffic light maintained. Michigan Ave is a state road, so Patel
has no justification, since he is city. FYI – Michigan roads are designated M, I and US. The lack of
handicap accessibility at the SE corner of Michigan & Sixth was mentioned. MDOT will look into
this. Georgina McDonald provided her contact information – 313-967-5431 / 1060 W. Fort St /
Carrie Warren, MDOT
Ms. Warren discussed the stated-funded resurfacing of the turn lanes at Michigan & Trumbull that
occurred a few months ago. There is also a plan to remove the pavers and repair the base of the
street in June/July for a cost of $1 Mil. Also looking at how to repair Michigan from Cass to Sixth
and salvage and repurpose bricks when utility repairs are made. MDOT hopes to extend
streetscapes, but the priority is Michigan & Trumbull. There were some concerns mentioned – curb
and sidewalks not addressed on Michigan between 16th & 18th, and there were no trees planted on
those streets. If there is money available, MDT will handle. The cut-through at Church just south of
Michigan & Trumbull negatively impacts the residents, and is no longer needed.
Wayne County Update, Jewel Ware, Wayne County Commissioner
The county has until January to provide plans for the ‘unfinished’ jail, so she will have no updates
until that time [after January 16, 2016]. There is an upcoming Building Authority Meeting. The
county has $100 M to aid with their debt. $80 M was approved in June to accept into the county
fund. $1M of the $24 M surplus will be given to process the outstanding rape kits.
Ms. Ware mentioned that their offices are now in the beautiful Guardian Building, and they do
Department of Neighborhoods, Rico Razo District 6 Manager
Razo stated they had just completed a cleanup assisting a 90 year old resident. He also stated that
Angel’s Nights were successful, and the city wants to focus more on fun for the kids. Razo provided
an update on the Door Bell Camera initiative. Residents need a smart phone, wireless wifi and e-
mail to participate. 30 residents have signed up, but there is room for more.
There have been more than 3,000 nuisance abatement cases citywide. The city is now looking into
including commercial property as part of that initiative. A resident stated that the Cesar Chavez
Academy is abandoned and open and unsafe. Razo will look into it. He provided his contact
Corktown Business Association, Ron Cooley
Cooley outlined the three priorities of the new 501©3: (1) Reinvigorate Roosevelt Park; (2)
Downsize Michigan Ave; and (3) support a Michigan Ave. Rapid transit to Airport, Ann Arbor, etc.
Megan Masson-Minock, LISC
LISC provided a brief summary of an initiative to build sustainable communities that includes
Corktown, North Corktown, Hubbard Farms and Southwest Detroit. These neighborhoods all have
the same goals: safety, education, economy. LISC is looking for projects to aid them in connecting
these communities. They have $25,000 in funding to get groups that boarder each other to work
together and physically connect and include open spaces.
Jamal Harrison, PLA
Harrison provided an update on the lighting project. PLA is 1 ½ years ahead of schedule, and is
already lighting collector streets; and by the end of the year, will include Grand River and all of
Michigan Ave. Service drives will be last. The new lights have a 20 year life span and 30 years of
maintenance free operation. There is currently a five day turnaround to repair. There is a night
crew surveying outages. Because the new lights are more ‘focused’, residents are encouraged to
leave on their porch lights, which cost less than $1/month. If there seem to be intermittent
outages, the system is shut down to re-energize. Additionally, lights that appear to be on a timer or
on all day are in the process of being optimized. It is a power test and includes a two-day all day
burn. There is a delay with underground commercial and residential circuits, and for DTE
conversions. Previous steel poles will be replaced permanently with wood. There has been input
into pole design with some communities, which requires additional money from residents. Because
of the request for additional lights for Halloween nights, some areas were lit prematurely, and lights
were then ‘turned off’ waiting actual funding for upgrades. Downtown is the last area to be lit.
Michigan & Livernois is shut down for two weeks. Alley lights are no longer handled by the city. If
an existing alley light goes out, contact DLPA if your garage or home is accessed via the alley.
Community Advisory Councils (CACs) require signatures of 10% of registered voters in the district to
be created, and then residents can obtain petition signatures to run and be elected to serve on CAC.
A petition is available.
The District 6 Evening City Council Meeting will be [tomorrow] at 7:00 p.m. at Frederick Douglass
Academy for Young Men. All are encouraged to attend.
DPD hosts a Stuff A Cop Car event, collecting new unwrapped toys for families – December 3rd, 8:00
a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Woodward in front of the DIA.
There is a proposed joint Corktown + North Corktown Meeting in January to discuss development
plans for the area.
Corktown Angel’s Nights’ volunteers were thanked for their participation; and McShane’s was
thanked for being the base and providing food for volunteers.
More volunteers are needed to be a part of the community patrol – t-shirts, lights, signs, etc.
Free help is available to assist with clean-ups, board-ups, other labor – from the Community Court
Debra T. Walker