The City of Detroit's finances are in such a wreck that in order to save it from completely falling off the cliff, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder could appoint an emergency financial manager, maybe even today, to balance the books and get things back on the right path.
The emergency manager law in Michigan is complicated and controversial because an appointment of one would undermine the elected governing body of the city or school board he or she takes over. Emergency managers, already present in Flint, Benton Harbor and Pontiac, have the power to cancel union contracts, do wide-sweeping layoffs and privatize services in order to meet the bottom line.
People haven't been happy with the law and have lobbed charges of union-busting, racism and voter suppression. For the last year or so, there have been several protests at the state's capitol to repeal the law, but now citizens are taking on a new approach: Traffic jams along some of Metro Detroit's busiest freeways, WWJ reports:
Traffic was slowed almost to a halt along I-94 Monday morning as part of protests over the governor’s decision to appoint an emergency financial manager for Detroit.
Flying over the scene in Chopper 950, WWJ’s Bill Szumanski said three cars were traveling very slowly, less than 5 miles per-hour, causing massive backups on the eastbound side of I-94 near the M-10 interchange.
Szumanski said two Michigan State Police cruisers arrived on the scene. “Both of them did a little sideways — almost a Jim Rockford kind of thing — blocked all lanes. They got out; they started talking to the occupants of the vehicle,” Szumanski said. ”Then, one of the vehicles actually drove around and got away. They didn’t chase him, but they moved the other two cars off to the right side.”
Traffic jams suck and take enough time out of our day already. But I-94 (the main thoroughfare to and from the airport, FYI) near M-10 is a headache even without gridlock. Speed limits are 55 on both roads in a state where the maximum is 70, and it's near a bunch of important, busy exits like the bridge to Canada, routes to downtown Detroit and I-75 north, which takes you to Chrysler's headquarters and other big employers. Not to mention it's always, always under construction.
Intentionally slowing freeway traffic not only is outrageously stupid, but dangerous as well. Because ROADRAGEOMGWTFCANTYOUPEOPLEJUSTMOVEOUTTHEWAYJEEZ, but also because cargo haulers headed along all those routes mentioned above may not make deliveries and such on time. Which, in the long run, could do more damage than these protesters intended.
(Photo via AP)