On that same corridor, Bing is using money from neighborhood grants and $110 million in federal stimulus dollars from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to knock down abandoned buildings and clean up the area, among other projects.
"He knows what he doesn't know, and he knows where he needs help," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "He's invited us in as a true partner to help him tackle those issues."
Creating a plan
Late last year, Bing held his first round of community listening sessions for his Detroit Works Project, which will eventually produce a master plan for the city. There was a lot of yelling and many questions about whether people would be forced to move out of their homes if their neighborhoods are shuttered. Bing promises no forced relocation.
But memories remain of two black neighborhoods, Black Bottom and Paradise Valley, that were demolished when the city built the Chrysler Freeway.
"Is the real goal to, in one fell swoop, clear significant portions of land that can then be turned over to developers, and then you can turn over the entire ethnic typography of the city?" asked Horace Sheffield III, president of a coalition of black organizations.
Last week, in a second round of listening sessions, Bing's staff had electronic clickers and a digital survey to take community feedback silently - a way to cut down on the screaming. But the fears were still there.
Anna Montgomery, 57, is the kind of resident Bing will have to win over. She was born in the city, retired from the assembly line at Chrysler and bought her bungalow 30 years ago for less than $20,000.
"I would not be opposed to moving if I was compensated for a lifetime of living in this home," she said. "Well compensated. . . . And it would depend on the neighborhood they are thinking about consolidating us in."
The city has no money to give to people like Montgomery. One of the few things it can offer is a new address - one from its stock of thousands of foreclosed and abandoned houses.
In coming months, Bing will announce a plan. But he's already made one calculation - giving up his campaign pledge to be a one-term mayor.
"It's going to take more than one term to turn this around," he said.