Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes and a handful of attorneys today took bus tour of Detroit to see conditions in the city’s neighborhoods. Lawyers for the city arranged the tour, and they say it will help the judge understand what he’s ruling on during the bankruptcy trial that starts in less than two weeks.
The 58-mile tour started in Brightmoor, went southeast to the Dexter Davison neighborhood, moved through the University district, drove past the new Meijer’s on Eight Mile and then headed to the city’s east side. The bus drove through the Heidelberg Project and Eastern Market, up Woodward Avenue where the M-1 rail line will run and finally to the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Three city attorneys were on board the bus, along with lawyers for three financial creditors and Oakland County. The judge, who did not ask questions, had two staff members with him taking notes.
Passengers got off the bus twice, once at a police precinct and again at the D-I-A where they viewed the Diego Rivera murals and a Van Gogh painting.
City attorneys say the tour included the good, the bad and the ugly in Detroit. They call the tour “eye-opening” and say it should help the judge understand what his decisions during the trial will mean to residents and businesses in the city.
“It was important in our minds for the judge to get context of the evidence that he was going to hear and by going on the tour and seeing the different sites, we believe it provided the context necessary for us to present our case,” says Robert Hertzberg, an attorney for the city.