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As others see us, 8.5

In the past few years, Detroit has been getting a lot of good press as it rebounds from bankruptcy. So reading this article, which ranked Detroit as the United States’ worst large city to live in, was a bit of surprise for me. I guess in the midst of all of the city’s progress in the past few years, it still has a long way to go.

Photo Courtesy: Brandy Baker, Detroit News

Photo Courtesy: Brandy Baker, Detroit News

Most shocking to me was that Detroit was ranked as the least livable of all the cities surveyed. Has the author of this article been to Corktown recently? Even some traditionally depressed neighborhoods far outside of the city center, such as Brightmoor, are seeing signs of growth.

I was also surprised by how poorly Detroit ranked in the “Local Economy & Taxes” category. But then again, Detroit is still struggling with major tax issues and Downtown’s economic reassurance doesn’t necessarily the rest of the city is doing well.

But still – last? Is Detroit really less livable than Philadelphia and Cleveland? Maybe I’m biased.

Photo Courtesy: Todd McInturf, Detroit News

Photo Courtesy: Todd McInturf, Detroit News

Detroit’s biking culture is also getting the attention of the internet. The Apple ad highlighting Jason Hall and Slow Roll came out a year ago now, but biking culture has continued to grow. According to the article, the annual Tour de Troit ride expects to attract 7,500 bikers this year.

And Detroit’s growing bike culture isn’t just hype – the Detroit Greenways Coalition is making real progress on constructing a 26-mile biking and walking pathway around the city. The pathway would go along the Detroit river, through Southwest Detroit, over the Davidson freeway, and back down to the river via the Dequindre Cut.

Photo Courtesy: Brandy Baker, Detroit News

Photo Courtesy: Brandy Baker, Detroit News

Finally, the Washington Post recently took a look at Detroit’s M-1 rail project and some of the money that’s funding it.

Interestingly, while highlighting some of the ways the project could benefit the city, it also mentioned fears that some people have that the project is a “toy for the well-to-do.” Others on the internet fear that the project may turn into the People Mover 2.0.

Telling both sides of the story is good journalism, but I was surprised how many lines the Washington Post gave to detractors versus how many they gave to those who supported the project. Detroit’s M-1 rail project is historic and has the potential to bring even more suburbanites downtown than have come in the past five years.

People downtown are really excited about the M-1 Rail project, but again, I’m biased. I guess that just because downtown is excited, doesn’t mean the rest of the city is.