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E-M:/ comments to Detroit City Council re expansion of I-94



 Comments to the Detroit City Council
 Mrs. Juanita Newton, Prof. Charles E. Simmons
 Residents of the Northwest Goldberg Community
 June 22, 2001
 
 Good morning, Honorable Council Members. Thank you for holding this hearing 
and for inviting me to participate. I am Co-Chair of the Committee for the 
Political Resurrection of Detroit, a long time resident of the NW Goldberg 
community which borders on the I-94 Expressway. I am a Trustee of the 
Historic King Solomon Baptist Church in that neighborhood, a member of the 
Board of Directors of the Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, and a 
member of the community advisory committee to the Brownfield Development 
Authority.  
 
 Our organizations are concerned about the proposal for vast expansion or 
Build Alternative of I-94 in a community where at least one-third of the 
population is dependent upon mass transportation and at a time when hundreds 
of new buses are needed for our residents. . 
 
 We are concerned that such an expansion is being considered in a city which 
is in dire need of thousands of new housing stock but will lose hundreds of 
houses if the Build Alternative plan goes forward. 
 
 We are concerned about the impact of pollution during the construction on 
our residents who are low income, senior citizens, children, who are already 
disproportionately impacted by pollution from incinerators, and poisoning 
from lead, mercury and asbestos. 
 
 We are concerned about who will get the contracts, how many jobs will go to 
Detroit residents, and whether they will be paid Living Wages. 
 
 1.  The M/Dot pamphlet states that there are 84 polluted sites between Conner
 and I-96. We have many concerns regarding this statement. Some are as 
follows:
 What type of pollution? What is the range of testing and what is the plan 
for remediation? Does the plan protect the neighbors in the surrounding areas?
 Does the plan include supervision for the trucks that transport the 
contaminants? 
 Will the community and the city be protected from Illegal Dumping by these 
trucks?
 
 2.  We request that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers be called to provide 
the maps of the areas and to comment on the plans. 
 3. Genesis has a petition for approval to build a senior citizens building 
on 517 to 539 Edsel Ford, I-94 Service Drive. The Detroit Book states that a 
Detroit Bagel Factory will be built on Rosa Parks near I-94. How will these 
projects be impacted by the proposed construction under the Build Alternative?
 4. According to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Elijah McCoy Drive 
has not been promised to be changed and the townhouses have not been taken 
off the demolition list (this is an historical site with a marker). We also 
want to save The Music
 Studio. Even if it has to be moved..
 5. We want to know the total plan for the proposed Build Alternative 
construction: i.e. What streets will be closed? What bridges will be 
eliminated? How far will pedestrian residents have to go to cross the 
expanded expressway?  How far will neighborhood motorists have to go to cross 
the expressway under the Build Alternative?
 6. During the many meeting about the new rail system, the transportation
 routes from Metro Airport to Detroit, the extension of the People Mover,
 and the rail system linking Michigan to Canada, Chicago and Toledo, all are 
directed to the New Center Intermodal system. Is there a relationship between 
these facts and the Build Alternative proposal? We are concerned that  New 
Center plans to build at least 735 housing units and Lofts, State employees 
and businesses will cause over
 crowding. This does not include "The Economic Village" planned
 for the Northwestern Goldberg District. We want to se the housing relocation 
plan and the total plan for each district that is along the I-94 route.
 7.  How many parking ride lots will be built and where will they be located? 
 8.  How many ethnic businesses, homes and churches will be demolished:?
 9. What danger is there for vegetation and urban wildlife?
 10. The advocates of the Build Alternative argue that their expansion will 
contribute to community revitalization. We ask for proof. What businesses 
will develop, when,  and for whose benefit?
 11. The advocates of the Build Alternative argue that those who will lose 
their homes and businesses will be relocated at properties equivalent in cost 
and space. Since there is a severe shortage of low and moderate income 
housing in the city, we ask for proof? 
 12. Advocates of the Build Alternative claim that they have had 100 public 
meetings. What was the character of these meetings?  Did they provide the 
residents with information that they could understand? Were the residents 
told about the Build Alternative would take property and businesses from the 
impacted communities? Did the experts answer the questions of the residents?  
This was not my experience when the meeting was held at King Solomon Baptist 
Church about 2 years ago. 
 
 I have lived in Los Angeles County for 7 years and have experienced the 
widening and new construction of expressways. They have never decreased the 
traffic flow nor the environmental hazards but on the contrary, the traffic 
jams have increased enormously and the neighboring communities have been 
disproportionately impacted by the environmental contaminants.  The integrity 
of the communities have also suffered. We believe the prime beneficiaries of 
the highway construction is the concrete industry and the developers, not the 
residents of Detroit. We believe more emphasis should be placed upon mass 
transportation including busses that will give access to the students, 
workers, seniors and disabled of the Detroit community. We therefore oppose 
the Alternative Build plan. 
 
 Mrs. Juanita Newton is Co-Chair of the Committee to Save our Commities and 
Keep them Safe, Sound and Stable. 
 Prof. Charles Simmons is Co-Chair of the Committee for the Political 
Resurrection of Detroit (CPR), member of the Board of Directors of Detroiters 
Working for Environmental Justice; and member of the Community Advisory 
Committee of the Brownfield Development Authority. 
 
 POB 44474
 Detroit Mi 48244
 csim592951@aol.com
  >>

-- BEGIN included message

Comments to the Detroit City Council
Mrs. Juanita Newton, Prof. Charles E. Simmons
Residents of the Northwest Goldberg Community
June 22, 2001

Good morning, Honorable Council Members. Thank you for holding this hearing 
and for inviting me to participate. I am Co-Chair of the Committee for the 
Political Resurrection of Detroit, a long time resident of the NW Goldberg 
community which borders on the I-94 Expressway. I am a Trustee of the 
Historic King Solomon Baptist Church in that neighborhood, a member of the 
Board of Directors of the Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, and a 
member of the community advisory committee to the Brownfield Development 
Authority.  

Our organizations are concerned about the proposal for vast expansion or 
Build Alternative of I-94 in a community where at least one-third of the 
population is dependent upon mass transportation and at a time when hundreds 
of new buses are needed for our residents. . 

We are concerned that such an expansion is being considered in a city which 
is in dire need of thousands of new housing stock but will lose hundreds of 
houses if the Build Alternative plan goes forward. 

We are concerned about the impact of pollution during the construction on our 
residents who are low income, senior citizens, children, who are already 
disproportionately impacted by pollution from incinerators, and poisoning 
from lead, mercury and asbestos. 

We are concerned about who will get the contracts, how many jobs will go to 
Detroit residents, and whether they will be paid Living Wages. 

1.  The M/Dot pamphlet states that there are 84 polluted sites between Conner
and I-96. We have many concerns regarding this statement. Some are as follows:
What type of pollution? What is the range of testing and what is the plan for 
remediation? Does the plan protect the neighbors in the surrounding areas?
Does the plan include supervision for the trucks that transport the 
contaminants? 
Will the community and the city be protected from Illegal Dumping by these 
trucks?

2.  We request that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers be called to provide the 
maps of the areas and to comment on the plans. 
3. Genesis has a petition for approval to build a senior citizens building on 
517 to 539 Edsel Ford, I-94 Service Drive. The Detroit Book states that a 
Detroit Bagel Factory will be built on Rosa Parks near I-94. How will these 
projects be impacted by the proposed construction under the Build Alternative?
4. According to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Elijah McCoy Drive 
has not been promised to be changed and the townhouses have not been taken 
off the demolition list (this is an historical site with a marker). We also 
want to save The Music
Studio. Even if it has to be moved..
5. We want to know the total plan for the proposed Build Alternative 
construction: i.e. What streets will be closed? What bridges will be 
eliminated? How far will pedestrian residents have to go to cross the 
expanded expressway?  How far will neighborhood motorists have to go to cross 
the expressway under the Build Alternative?
6. During the many meeting about the new rail system, the transportation
routes from Metro Airport to Detroit, the extension of the People Mover,
and the rail system linking Michigan to Canada, Chicago and Toledo, all are 
directed to the New Center Intermodal system. Is there a relationship between 
these facts and the Build Alternative proposal? We are concerned that  New 
Center plans to build at least 735 housing units and Lofts, State employees 
and businesses will cause over
crowding. This does not include "The Economic Village" planned
for the Northwestern Goldberg District. We want to se the housing relocation 
plan and the total plan for each district that is along the I-94 route.
7.  How many parking ride lots will be built and where will they be located? 
8.  How many ethnic businesses, homes and churches will be demolished:?
9. What danger is there for vegetation and urban wildlife?
10. The advocates of the Build Alternative argue that their expansion will 
contribute to community revitalization. We ask for proof. What businesses 
will develop, when,  and for whose benefit?
11. The advocates of the Build Alternative argue that those who will lose 
their homes and businesses will be relocated at properties equivalent in cost 
and space. Since there is a severe shortage of low and moderate income 
housing in the city, we ask for proof? 
12. Advocates of the Build Alternative claim that they have had 100 public 
meetings. What was the character of these meetings?  Did they provide the 
residents with information that they could understand? Were the residents 
told about the Build Alternative would take property and businesses from the 
impacted communities? Did the experts answer the questions of the residents?  
This was not my experience when the meeting was held at King Solomon Baptist 
Church about 2 years ago. 

I have lived in Los Angeles County for 7 years and have experienced the 
widening and new construction of expressways. They have never decreased the 
traffic flow nor the environmental hazards but on the contrary, the traffic 
jams have increased enormously and the neighboring communities have been 
disproportionately impacted by the environmental contaminants.  The integrity 
of the communities have also suffered. We believe the prime beneficiaries of 
the highway construction is the concrete industry and the developers, not the 
residents of Detroit. We believe more emphasis should be placed upon mass 
transportation including busses that will give access to the students, 
workers, seniors and disabled of the Detroit community. We therefore oppose 
the Alternative Build plan. 

Mrs. Juanita Newton is Co-Chair of the Committee to Save our Commities and 
Keep them Safe, Sound and Stable. 
Prof. Charles Simmons is Co-Chair of the Committee for the Political 
Resurrection of Detroit (CPR), member of the Board of Directors of Detroiters 
Working for Environmental Justice; and member of the Community Advisory 
Committee of the Brownfield Development Authority. 

POB 44474
Detroit Mi 48244
csim592951@aol.com

-- END included message