Monday, February 29, 2016

No SMART Way To Work

I got a new job a few months ago (which I was so very excited to get), so it was time to plan a new bike/bus route to work. Instead of heading southbound on Woodward to Detroit, I would go northbound to Bloomfield Hills. It seemed easy enough.

In preparation for my first day of work, I looked up the bus route. Unfortunately, I found out that Bloomfield Hills decided in 1995 that it would not participate in SMART’s regional bus system. What?! Strike one. (BTW – See a recent Detroit Free Press article from this past summer, which explains that Bloomfield Hills’ City Commission again voted 3-2 in opposition of participating in SMART. GRRRR!)
Okay. No problem. I took a deep breath and decided that I would take the bus to the last stop in Birmingham and bike or walk the rest of the way. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t work either. Bloomfield Hills doesn’t have any sidewalks on Woodward and I don’t feel comfortable biking on it, where the speed limit is 50mph! Strike two.
I don’t easily give up. There’s got to be a way, right?! I noticed a smaller subdivision next to my new office building so I thought I could take the bus to the last stop in Birmingham and then find some side streets that I could bike or walk on to get me to the office. It made sense but I quickly found that it wouldn’t work either unless some of the landowners allowed me to cut across their back yards. I just don’t see that as a possibility. Strike three.
So two things: 1) Bloomfield Hills – be part of the region and support the SMART bus system. Some people want to get to your community to visit, work, shop, or eat but they can’t because you’re keeping them out. 2) Make your community walkable and install some sidewalks on Woodward.
Luckily, the lease is up for our office space and we’ll most likely be moving to a community that participates in SMART. Only a few more months before I have a SMART way to get to work.