Good morning! Spring cleaning isn’t just about organizing your closet — it’s happening citywide, from Motor City Makeover to local crews taking over the work of keeping freeways clean after the mayor complained about the state’s subpar work. Let us know if you see any improvements on your commute.

Keep reading for events galore (don’t miss Blessing of the Lowriders or Free Comic Book Day), an international dispute over techno’s origins, another lawsuit against Founders, bright spots and snags in housing news, a farewell to the most affordable EV and more. 

A final housekeeping note: We’re using a new tool to send the newsletter. Let us know if you have any feedback about the changes — we appreciate it!

<3 Team Detour

Detroit in Five

Housing help and snags: The Wayne County Treasurer’s Office announced it won’t proceed with tax foreclosures of any owner-occupied residential properties this year. The county said this will prevent about 3,400 homes from going into tax foreclosure. Separately, the $12 million Detroit Eviction Defense Fund, created by the Gilbert Family Foundation to provide legal representation to low-income families in eviction cases, assisted 6,453 households from June to December last year. The foundation said less than 5% of eviction cases it supported resulted in a bailiff eviction. Those are encouraging stats. Meanwhile, we kicked off a series on the Detroit Housing Commission and found less encouraging numbers from the city’s largest provider of affordable housing. It has a waiting list 80,000 people deep while about 750 (more than 20%) of its units are vacant. (Detroit Free Press, BridgeDetroit, Outlier Media)

Death of the Bolt: Chevy’s smallest electric vehicle was good for drivers and the planet, but apparently not for GM’s profits. The last Bolts will roll off the line this year in Lake Orion as the automaker reconfigures the plant to produce pricier electric trucks, part of a profitability push that also included hundreds of contractor layoffs (with more cuts expected). TBH, the $26,500 Bolt isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s one of the most affordable EVs around. Mother Earth mostly needs people to drive less, but she wouldn’t say no to a broad, rapid shift to EVs. Electric trucks, however, may be worse for the environment than compact gas-powered cars. The Bolt’s demise raises doubts that tax rebates and public investment in battery plants will do much to hasten the EV revolution. (CNBC, Gizmodo, Freep, The New Republic, Canary Media, state Rep. Dylan Wegela on Twitter)

Zone defense: Hoping to create gun-free zones downtown, Detroit City Council last week made changes to a proposed ordinance urging the Michigan Legislature to repeal the state’s prohibition on cities establishing such zones. The latest version of the ordinance by Councilmember Mary Waters was back on the council’s agenda Tuesday, but before any discussion took place, it was sent back to committee. No reason was given. The legal officials have weighed in, saying the matter can only be addressed by the state. Members of the National Rifle Association and Libertarian Party — to no one’s surprise — are opposed to the idea. So were a number of Detroiters who told the council safety should be a citywide concern and not just a priority for a few areas of downtown. (Detroit Documenters, City of Detroit, Freep)

A better bus system? The Detroit Department of Transportation is “reimagining” the city’s bus routes and released a draft plan that includes rapid transit routes along corridors where buses would come every 10 minutes or less on weekdays. The department expects to host a series of in-person events throughout the spring. (Detroit News, City of Detroit) 

➡️ Have a lot to say? Send DDOT feedback on its draft plan. Share your take with us, too — what are your hopes for public transit in the city? Email

So Fresh, So Clean

Detroit de-trashes the freeways

By Malak Silmi
View of traffic on I-94 in greater downtown area of Detroit from inside a car, with long grass on the freeway embankment.
A commute with a view. Photo credit: ehrlif/iStock

It’s been about a month since the City of Detroit began its freeway cleaning efforts — a task the city took over from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) after Mayor Mike Duggan said he was dissatisfied with the state’s efforts at the Detroit Policy Conference in January. 

“I can’t stand the overgrown grass and the trash, I said, ‘Just give me the money and we’ll maintain the freeways in Detroit,’” Duggan said, according to Axios Detroit.

The city entered into a three-year agreement with MDOT and is receiving $650,000 every year to maintain the freeways. The city is required to cut the grass at least twice every season and pick up trash twice a year.

A city spokesperson told Outlier Media that the city began the cleanup process in early April along the freeways and is projected to continue cleanups until October, completing more than the required two. Mowing began on May 1.

Leading the litter cleanup and mowing services are three Detroit-based companies (all past or current city contractors): Payne Commercial Service Landscaping Inc., Motor City Preservation LLC and Fontenot Services LLC.

There may be other improvements coming: The city spokesperson said Detroit signed another agreement with MDOT in March to “talk over the maintenance of the freeway embankments.” 

Cleanup 411:

🌷Motor City Makeover kicks off this weekend in Districts 1, 2 and 3 where volunteers will begin cleaning and beautifying parks, businesses and neighborhoods with free supplies and plants from the city. Cleanups for Districts 4 and 5 are May 13, Districts 6 and 7 are May 20. Sign up to volunteer. (City of Detroit)

​​🗑️ Detroit yard waste collection is back for the season. Find your schedule and learn how to legally throw anything away in our waste disposal guide. (Outlier)

🐝 Some cities are encouraging residents to ditch lawn mowing and other yardwork for the entire month of No Mow May. (Freep)

Culture & Community

🏛️ Techno’s “origin” and the “first” museum dedicated to the music are in Germany — that’s news to Detroit artists writ large and especially those of Underground Resistance, founders of the 21-year-old Exhibit 3000 museum…

🫕 Alpino Detroit brings fondue Sundays and other European cuisine to Corktown; La Ventana Cafe offers up Intelligentsia coffee in Eastern Market (now serving Verna Food sandwiches on Fridays)…

🍺 Founders Brewing Co. said it’s shut down its Detroit taproom due to slow sales — then it came out a former worker filed a racial discrimination suit earlier that day… 

📖 Writer Cheryl A. Head brings story of her grandfather’s killing at the hands of Alabama police into gripping novel “Time’s Undoing”…

(The New Yorker, Freep, Eater Detroit, Metro Times, Penguin Random House)

Get Busy

Woman with dark skin and long dark hair wears paint-splattered denim shirt while sitting in front of a half dozen colorful abstract paintings arranged in a cluster.
Artist India Solomon’s show “Places” opens at Norwest Gallery of Art on Friday. Via Norwest Gallery of Art/Eventbrite

🎷 The classic Afrobeats sound of Fela Kuti will get a Detroit twist as Baba BG & ODÙ Afrobeat Orchestra and Deon Jamar take over Marble Bar on Friday night. $11.

🛻 🪅 Cinco de Mayo Fiesta is a three-day celebration beginning Friday and culminating in a parade on Sunday in Southwest. After the parade, catch the Blessing of the Lowriders at Garage Cultural. Free.

🖼️ India Solomon takes us around the globe with her latest solo exhibition, “Places,” opening Saturday at Norwest Gallery. Free.

🎬 Head to Senate Theater on Saturday for the Detroit International Festival of Animation and a whirlwind tour of contemporary animation in their program running just over 90 minutes. $10.

🤠 Saddle up for a queer square dance, potluck and fiddling galore at Detroit Square Dance Society’s party Saturday at Spread Art. Donate what you can, $20 suggested. 

🗯️ It’s Free Comic Book Day on Saturday! Grab some goodies, and check out the cosplay and sales at Vault of Midnight in Milwaukee Junction, or meet artists and get extra freebies for wearing a costume or donating food during the festivities at Green Brain Comics in Dearborn

🛍️ Keep the arty shopping going at Pewabic Pottery’s student sale and Arts & Scraps’ fabric sale, both on Saturday. Free to attend. 

🖌️ Bring a brush, take a brush. Matterfruit is hosting an art supplies swap this Sunday at Custer Art Studios in the North End. Free.

🍽️ Frame is partnering with Rising Voices for an Asian American marketplace on Sunday showcasing local vendors hawking dumplings, ceramics, beauty products and more. Free to attend.

🎸Legendary Japanese rock band Acid Mothers Temple will be performing at UFO Factory on Monday with special guest My Education. $16.

Written by Aaron, Alex, Koby, Lynelle, Malak, Miriam, Noah and Kate, who got her bike all tuned up for the weekend.

A spooky prediction for the Founders taproom replacement

Kate (she/her) is passionate about journalism that involves Detroiters from the start and helps readers solve problems and find joy in their daily lives. Her favorite Detroit spot to watch the sunset, play soccer, watch the freighters go by and feel a little haunted is Historic Fort Wayne.