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wolverine

Your Superbowl Experinece...

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So Friday was my first night downtown for the Superbowl. And might I say, its is crazy. There is a lot of great places to eat, and nearly ever storefront is filled with something.

I met up with Allan and we headed downtown to take pictures. A lot of the buildings were lit up, and the lighting schemes were pretty cool. People were definitely happy, and it was unreal to see all the activity. Detroit looked like a completely different place.

I can say it was a positive experience, but for some reason, both Allan and I felt somewhat uncomfortable for the first time ever. Alot of people were really drunk. I know this is somewhat part of the week's festivities, but wow, taking pictures was really hard with white middle aged non residents jumping in front of the cameras acting like idiots. I've been to frat parties and seen much better behavior. Fortunately, Detroiters seemed to be on their best behavior. It was still fun to be around happy people. As long as they are happy, then I'm happy. But wow, it got uncomfortable at times and we sought refuge on parking structure roofs to take pictures

BTW, I'll post pictures if I have time. I'm not sure if Allan will or not. They are worth posting, as it was really hard to get them after 8 retakes where 7 were photos of some drunk person's face LOL

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Detroit was amazing last night. The people I was with were your typical surburbanites who when we got to the city said, "I hope we don't get shot." When we were walking down Congress, theirs opinions changed to, "I love the Big Apple, wait were in Detroit." That just made me smile. There were alot of drunk people, but people were with all smiles. I can not even explain how amazing the city was. People were calling other people explaining, "Dude, I have never seen Detroit like this, It's amazing. Theres like 2 million people down here. And the RenCen, WOW!" Anyone who hasn't been down in Detroit yet for the Superbowl has got to go. Unfortunately I did not get any pictures because my mom and dad were downtown too and they took my camera.

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The first shooting in more than a year, and it just has to take place on Super Bowl eve. Then again, this is what happens when you get a lot of people together in a small area. It increases the chances that something's going to happen. I remember hearing about the Taste of Chicago shootings a few years back, and it seems as if many big events can't go off anymore without some kind of hitch. And on Woodward INSIDE the zone of all places.

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I was about 1 block away when this happened. I saw cops running with their guns out also. I guess it's becoming a super bowl trend...there were fatal shootings in Jacksonville in 2005, and Tampa in 2001 during Super Bowl festivities.

I heard on the radio that the shooter was believed to have been from a downriver suburb. I'm not sure what the exact stat is of crime in the city being relative to people from outside the city, but from what I've heard, it's larger than most metro areas.

Just my $.02

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I was down there tonite. Despite the shooting the night before the place was packed and people were having a ball. I caught a show by the Twisted Tarantulas and it was awesome. I really do hope they continue the Winter Blast and find the sponsors they need. This could quickly become a great Detroit tradition.

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There was a pretty decent crowd downtown tonight, a lot less than Friday, but still an exciting group. Somehow the snow added an interesting atmosphere. It was kind of messy to deal with, but I don't think it was bad enough to deter people form coming downtown. The restaurant waitlines were not too bad either. Many restaurants developed this system where you ordered your food before a table was found for you. By the time you got a table, your food was ready! Greektown was awesome, and it was fun walking through that building with Fishbones. My friends liked the Watefalls. Additionally, the tents downtown were a huge + It was nice to walk in and here live music and get food. The snacks and drinks were great again today, and the prices were not ridiculous. I've paid more for concessions at Michigan stadium. Despite the great planning of business owners and restaurant managers. I'm afraid transit gets an F letter grade from me, and thousands of other people.

Keep in mind, transit should not only be accessble, but capable of moving large amounts of people. Accessibility was not a problem, but moving people... well....

Transit was like living in hell. The shuttle to Northland... wow...jeez. I don't know what to say without blowing into 11 paragraphs of rage. Basically, my friends and I felt a riot was about to beak loose at the pick up area because of the super super long waits. Turns out some of the lines were running in circles. People were really pissed, and everyone was confused, and security did nothing to help. The ill planning of shuttle service, and lack of organization put a check in the failure column of transit services. It left a negative lasting impression, and I started hearing shouts from people that they'd never return. I'm really worried what is going to come out of this.

People need to understand that transit is not a problem in the D on a normal day. But this shows Michigan lacks greatly in succesfully providing mobility to residents and visitors during major events.

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Where do I even begin?

I had a great time with Wolverine yesterday, despite all the drunk suburbanites who were making me feel weird. My experiences over the past two days confirm what I already knew: suburban Detroit residents are their own worst enemy when it comes to the city's reputation.

Tonight was a whole other story. There were less people downtown, most likely because of the rain, snow, cold, & wind. I took the shuttle downtown from Northland. After waiting 45 minutes for the shuttle in the cold and arriving at Fort & Cass, I was ready to leave. The cold and rain/snow was absolutely miserable. I went into a whole bunch of the Super Bowl stores, which look quite poor in their unfinished state. You'd think that they would've at least bothered to slap a coat of paint on the drywall!

I wandered over to Greektown to meet up with a couple friends, where we had a nice dinner. Afterwards it was back to the streets. I was continually harassed by idiot suburbanites who couldn't figure out why anyone would want to take photos in downtown Detroit. I walked around for a while, miserable, as the water soaked through my jacket, and through the three layers of clothes I had on underneath. Eventually I'd had enough, and headed to the Grand Circus DPM station. Upon arriving at the station, I discovered that they were having slight difficulties at the station, but they were promptly being attended to by DPM maintence. I had to wait for about 3 trains before I finally got a spot, so it wasn't too bad. I disembarked at the Fort-Cass Station about 9:20, and proceeded to find the line for the Northland shuttle, which is where the real fun began.

Upon finding the Northland shuttle line, I discovered that the line started at Fort Street and snaked all around the parking lot. Those in the line reported that it would take 3-4 hours to get on a bus. With this information, I began a wait that would last far too long. By 10:30 I was approximately halfway through the line. Around this time, there were so many people that it was mass chaos. Nobody knew where any of the lines were, since the City Airport, Northland, & Wayne State lines were all so close together. People were cutting in front of each other, and nobody really knew where any of the three lines were anymore. Tensions were starting to run high, since no buses had showed up for well over a half hour, and nobody was moving anywhere...we were packed in like sardines. There was nobody there from DDOT to organize the mess. For a while there, it seemed like a riot could've broken out. People were not at all happy...saying that they would never come back to the city again, and complaining about the lack of attention we were being given. So I waited and waited and waited. Finally more buses started coming, but not nearly fast enough. About 11:30 a whole bunch of buses started coming, and the line started to move. We didn't pay anything to get back - DDOT appologized for the inconvenience. I was crammed onto a bus with probably 60 or more people, and we were rushed back to Southfield. I'm not sure what happened, but the shuttle system had a total breakdown, it seems. They definitely didn't plan ahead as far what would happen if more people used the shuttles than they were expecting, and they didn't have any real way to organize the lines. They pushed the use of the shuttles heavily in the media...you'd think that they would've been prepared. The shuttles were a complete and utter failure tonight. The only positive side is that so many people used the shuttles - it just goes to show that people will use mass transit if given the opportunity.

I hate to say it, but so far I'm pretty disappointed in the way how things are going. I don't know...maybe it's just because I'm still freezing cold and my feet are still hurting from standing in line so long at the DDOT shuttles. It just seems like they didn't plan very well.

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Allan, I'm glad you said the above, because I didn't want to say it. Basically, my friends and I had pretty much the same experience and the same thoughts.

I'm sorry to everyone. Sorry to be so negative when it's Detroits time to shine. But you all know I'm not an overly critical person, so if I'm left with a bad impression, many visitors are likely to have the same thoughts.

Detroit could have done better in so many ways, and wouldn't have taken a lot of work. I saw it in this way: Detroit worked really hard to get to a certain point in improvement, and just when it was close to the end, they dropped the ball. They never finished what they started. Stores were left unpainted, buildings weren't lit up enough, streets were a mess, and transit was nothing short of apocolyptic. The shuttle service brought out the hate in everyone. I've never seen so many people be mean in my life. You'd here: "DON'T EVEN THINK OF GETTING IN OUR LINE MOTHERF****R!!! When it was discovered the line was going in circles, people went crazy. Security did nothing. I remember a woman kept asking "Where does the line start? Where does the line start!" A police officer would not respond to her question." The people mover stations were a mess getting into. I guess the concept of gueue line has yet to be discovered in the D. There wasn't any of them, chaos ensued. I'm not surprised shootings happened. The experience was a bit stressful, and you could tell there was some sort of tension in the air. I guess it was because of a mix of two compeletly different types of people. I saw a Detroit man politely try to help a visitor find her way to Greektown. She was at the Broadway Station with her group, which is one stop after the Greektown stop..just a couple blocks away. When he told her the wallking distance was short, she barked back at him practically yelling that she knew what she was doing because of "the map." Then people got angry at her group because they were taking space on a crowded train. These sort of incidents were happening all over the place.

Like I said, I'm really sorry everyone. You know I love Detroit, and the REAL Detroit showed itself well. The restaurants and the shopping were all superb and Winterblast was very enjoyable. But to mean, the Superbowl stores and their lack of decent Superbowl gear, the crappy makeshift units, and the weird vibe I got from "suburbanites" made my experinece not so great. I'll be happy when it's over, and so will my friends, and so will everyone else I've talked to so far that has gone downtown.

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Wow im really suprised by all these posts. Ive been down there three times this week and had a great time last night, although my feet are still cold to the bone. I found everyone to be friendly except for all the middle age white folk who decided to get sloshed. And the people doing this werent the out of towners, they were the suburbanites like you guys mentioned. As for the transit im really sorry. Was that your first time on the buses? Because my experience was positive and well organized and I came away pleased. Im hoping maybe the increased amount of people and weather were the determining factor there and not incompetence. And if people are willing to give up on Detroit because they had to wait for a bus during the busiest week in Detroit history than the werent interested in the first place. Just my take.

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When I went on Friday it wasn't that bad. I got to the Fairlane stop at about 2:30 PM and only waited about 20 or so minutes. The line wasn't that long. I decided to leave at about 5:30 and the wait at the Fort/Cass area wasn't that long either, only about 15 minutes. When I got back to Fairlane though, the line was *huge*. The sad thing is that this is a one time thing, so the city can't plan better for the "next time". It also highlights why we as a region need a much better means of transportation.

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I had a great experience for the entire "Super Week". I was temped to do the whole park and ride thing, but then I thought to myself "Is this thing is coordinated by DDoT". So I parked in Midtown and walked downtown everyday. Granted I did end up walking close to 30 miles in total yesterday (According to my pedometer), but I think it was worth it.

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I am convinced that if we build mass transit the people will come. Im not sure if I would ever drive down again (slight exaggeration).

Picture taking downtown last night was miserable. And the good ones I did get I had to pay the price for with my fingers killing me. I was happy though, I walked by the Michigan Theater and saw that it was open. For the first time I got up in there and took some very cool pictures. That was one of the highlights of my night.

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My first night went so well because I took the train to Detroit, and then just had to make it down Woodward where there were empty buses and plenty of taxis. Allan and I didn't leave until 3:00 a.m and there was no lines at the people mover station, and no line for the Northland shuttle.

But it was Saturday which was so bad. You guys are all very fortunate for taking alternate ways of transportation. The sad thing is, you guys are a minority on that, and we experienced what most people experienced. I guess DDOT didn't picture so many people heading back at once. But you're all right. This is what happens when a region lacks mass transit. And this is probably why Detroit will not land major venues in the future. I hope the articles about this that a sure to come will not poorly reflect on Detroit's image, rather push officials into moving ahead with downtown-suburb light rail systems.

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well, it sounds like these lines are a fudgein disaster.

And if you asked my cynical ass, I would tell you that I wouldnt be shocked if we continued to be mass-transitless 10 years from now.

What the hell, isnt transit supposed to be the #1 priority in cities this size?

The media will have a field day about us supposedly fudgeing it up, i'm sure. However, by watching TV and looking at the photos, it really looks like everyones having a blast.

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the whole process was planned out so well, the only gaffe of the event was leaving the shuttle bus opperation up to DDOT. Anything including that department is a recipe for disaster.

Why are you guys all so negative, my friend and I walked from downtown back to Wayne State in the snow... I was soaking wet, but I still had a great time. Get over it! Detroit looked great! I suggest you put your cameras down and have a little fun.

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Tape, who was supposed to handle the transit? The whole system (city and suburban) is messed up, and that was bound to happen, and just goes to show why better transit is needed.

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the base idea was good with the park and rides, but I really think that they were used faaaaaaaaaaaar more than anyone could have ever imagined. This is where i start to fault ddot. They did not make the necessary on-the-fly changes. As a person who used 3 different park and ride lots, I can tell you that they could have streamlined operations in a few ways.

1. Sell tickets BEFORE you board the bus. It took nearly 15 minutes just to board a bus. This is rediculous. You have people in line waiting. Have them pay before the bus even arrives, give the riders a stamp on the hand or something to show they paid. That would cut down headways in a BIG way.

2. Spread out the fort-cass terminal.

They made some good changes by moving some busses onto other streets, but there is no reason for all busses to stop at a common location. Spread the stop points out on the EW streets.

The bottom line is that the system was used more than anyone would have ever imagined.

And by the way, the savvy traveler used the line-haul busses. No waiting, all the room you need, drops you off at Michigan and Griswold. And an indictment against detroit transit marketing is that only 3 people in addition to my friend and I took the bus downtown.

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Just wondering, do you really believe that if DDOT improved that bus ridership would improve? I don't think the problem is necessarily DDOT (though there is always room for improvement), but the lack of an effective, region-wide transit system. With the lack of transit planning in the entire region to beging with (city or suburb), and the dwindling amount of money the city has to spend on transit, the problem lies more on the lack of regional vision more than it does the faults of DDOT. SMART isn't that effective, either.

When you live in a region that is pretty much apathetic to transit, and has two nearly equally crumby dueling transit systems I think the larger picture points to a regional problem.

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I think a lot of you have the impression that some of us hated the whole experience...absolutely not! I enjoyed all the events that happened. I had fun eating in Greektown. I enjoyed see all the live tapings, the crowds in Campus Martius, and the stores open along Woodward. But you have to understand, that there was a HUGE difference between my experience on Friday and the one on Saturday. My day on Friday went really well, I got down there fast, and got back fast. But Saturday was the worst day because of the weather, and the fact that 2/3 of my time was spent dealing with transit and around pissed off people in line.

I'm hearing people make "you should have done this" suggestions. Well that doesn't help at all. So don't hurl crap at us that we should get over our bad experiences. Sorry, we just did what the majority of people did, and it was supposed at least function adequately. I would have loved Saturday more if I actually spent more time downtown than stuck in lines at Fort/Cass and Northland. All I heard around the dorm today was how pissed off students were who tried to get downtown and spent more time in lines waiting.

But let me say, for what I did experience was wonderful. I have the pictures to prove it, and I can't wait to show you all. Oh, and those pictures came from just one night only. Don't worry, my whole experience wasn't through a lens.

P.S. I'm very happy the Steelers won. All ended well on a good note.

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