The Woodward Line Rerouting map comes from the “Report on Detroit Street Railway Traffic and Proposed Subway” in 1915 (Barclay, Parsons & Klapp). The Woodward lines saw significantly increase utilization between 1904 (12,990,027 passengers) and 1914 (47,457,294 passengers) and the congestion Downtown where all the routes terminated impeded efficient movement of people in and out of Downtown.
The report includes comparisons of other rapid transit systems and what might be best for Detroit as the population was estimated to reach 1,000,000 by the 1920 Census. An underground subway along Woodward like New York’s was deemed unwarranted due to the city’s size and high expense of subway construction. It was also noted that New York didn’t have the same extensive suburban residences as Detroit which made the subway more effective. Chicago’s elevated rail was seen as more feasible for Detroit.