Detroit Is Swiftly Becoming The Most Expensive City To Drive In

Illustration for article titled Detroit Is Swiftly Becoming The Most Expensive City To Drive In

Owning a car in Detroit is a necessity, but at least it could be a pleasurable necessity. Now it's increasingly a burden. It's no longer a luxury, an enthusiast's hobby, a commuter's way of life or even a pledge of allegiance to the Motor City. Simply put, driving in Detroit is a horrible experience and no one at the top seems to understand this.


If a new proposal from the city's emergency manager is approved, parking tickets could cost $45 a pop for meter violations. Tickets are currently $20; there's a $10 discount if paid early. The new plan calls for $45 for violation with no early payoff option, and an increase to $65 if it's paid late.

That would put Detroit in the same league as Seattle ($44 per violation), Chicago ($65), New York ($65) and San Francisco ($74 in the city center). But obviously Detroit is not Seattle, Chicago, New York or San Francisco. It's still a mostly empty city without the tourist draw of any of those mentioned above, which means most parking violators are probably citizens just trying to go about their day.

Several parking meters in the city are broken, whether not functioning entirely or have other malfunctions (the ones I see most commonly: Either electric ones don't take coins, or the time limit automatically defaults to the two-hour limit and you can't adjust it if you're only parking for a half-hour or so). But even if the city were to fix all the meters, drivers in the city are still screwed.

Let's consider a few other things costly to car owners, such as potholeson every, single road, even the major ones. Ever try driving up Woodward from downtown into Highland Park? Straight-up obstacle course. And you'd have better luck finding a civil discussion in a newspaper comment section than getting the state of Michigan to reimburse you for pothole damages.

Then there's this little issue with insurance rates in the city, and how it's more expensive to insure a vehicle here than anywhere else in Michigan — or the country, period.

Add to that the threat of driver responsibility fees for some scofflaws — at least some of those were repealed because someone finally realized it was an assault on the poor — the high price of gas in the city limits and you'd wonder why people drive at all. You might say just go ahead and use public transit, if only for the fact that our public transit isn't one of the suckiest in the universe.