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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since Ive been posting on this board, I've noticed that everyone seems to have there own perfect vision of what should be done to improve the City of Baltimore. I'd love to see if what I envision is (or has been) envisioned by others.

I thought this would be fun. And who knows....maybe someone would be ambitious enough to actually take our comments here and send them to the Department of Planning.

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Dear Baltimore City Planners,

- Improve the streetscape all around the Inner Harbor (i.e. Pratt, Light and Key Hwy.) Get rid of/flatten the stupid barrier seperating each side of Light St. and Key Hwy. Having a huge stone barrier really doesnt welcome guests at the Intercontential Harbor Court Hotel, for example, to the brand new West Shore Park right across the street. Also, get rid of the stupid barriers seperating the towers on the north side of Pratt Street from the rest of the world. I know you thought that it'd be great to have little, quaint greenspaces for the public all along the street, but its become shelter for the homeless.

- We need a new arena!!! Who cares if we dont have a major, primary tenent. We need this arena just as much as we needed that damn Convention Center Hotel...and you found a way to make that happen. Besides, is the financial windfall really gonna be that great if the Blast have to relocate for a year or so and if the B-rate events we get have to skip over us for a year or two. Im sure the Circus, Monster Truck Racing, Disney on Ice
and WWE will come back when we have new digs.

- Encourage (i.e. damn near force) all developers to put street-level retail in their projects. You've been doing a good job of this of late, but a few projects have slipped through the cracks. No more of that nonsense.


Thats my rants for now....Anyone else?
 

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I wholly agree about a new arena to act as a sports venue and for concerts and other shows. Who knows, it might even yield a NBA franchise or something else to really boost the psyche of the city. Not to mention all the developments that spin off from having a new arena (places for people to eat, shop, hang out before and after such events.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
^Exactly. See Chinatown in Washington. Before MCI Center was built, nobody was checking for that area of the city. Now there are clubs, bars, stores, resturants, residences, offices buildings. A new arena on the current !st Mariner Arena site would fit right into what the city wants to do on the westside.

Somebody needs to get it going.
 

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1.) Please revise the zoning code so that the height of future buildings is not tied directly to the footprint of the structure. Create an area, say between Saratoga Street on the north, Pratt Street on the south, Howard Street on the west, and Fallsway on the east, where developers can go as high as they please. Let the market forces determine height.

2.) Do a real architectural survey and identify all the buildings downtown that are truly historic and worth saving. Then put some real protections in place so that if a bonified historic building is demolished, the developers will pay dearly regardless of the benifit the proposed project will bring to the city.

3.) Syncronize the damn traffic lights. The new system that was installed this year is 10 times worse than the one it replaced.

4.) Bring back the street grid pattern. At one time we had a great grid pattern in our street layout. Now, it is next to impossible to find a street that goes completely through downtown anymore. They are all either cut off, or reverse direction, or built on i.e. Charles Center. The few that are open are next to impassable due to the amount of traffic.

5.) Put more trash cans on the sidewalks. There should be 1 or 2 on every single block on both sides of the street.

6.) Enforce the traffic laws. If someone is stopped in a no stopping area, confiscate the car and sell it for scrap. That will stop em! Keep records. If they do it again, banish them to Washington. ;)
 

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I love what you've all said, so I won't repeat.
Some banishment on window washers along the eastside of Pratt, and Lombard would be nice.
Get rid of the ugly "park" on MLK blvd in Little Lithuania (i think)
Some crosswalks needed on Belair, HArford roads, and Edmonson Ave.
We need a better sycronized -pedestrian- system intervined with the traffic lights on Baltimore, Lafayette, Howard, and definently St PAul streets. Seems that you only cared about people across the street from the harbor, not the rest of downown. From the centerpoint to the HArdRock took me 11 minutes to (Pratt st.) and 28 minutes back (cut up throught water, baltimore etc.)
My 2 cents
 

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More Rants

Do something with Rash Field dammit.

Open up the Ritz Carlton promenade to the public stupids.

Let Ed Hale do whatever he wants at Canton Crossing.

Impose imminent domain over all JJ Clarke projects

Build the red and purple lines, and lobby for the DC green line to connect to downtown.Annex Columbia.

Remove the RO-RO operation on Fort Ave so towers can be built there.

Clear everything south of Canton Crossing to make way for new development.

Nuke Park Heights. (Just kidding, just use several smaller bombs)

Arrest JJ Clarke

Relocate the old folk’s home on Light St

More fountains at City Hall because the current ones look very nice.
 

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Investigate Options for more mixed-income development to replace existing public housing complexes

Redefine SCOPE and work more actively with project 5000

More Bike Lanes

Put an end to the buerocracy when making zoning changes

Use emminent domian on designated main streets

Restore the Public Squares
 

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FIX THE F***ING SIDEWALKS OUTSIDE OF THE CBD AND THE INNER HARBOR. ('scuse me, I needed to get that off my chest)

MORE bike lanes? Where's the first one that you can use downtown without being a track bike virsuoso?

Get the Charles St streetcars running.

Get the Fidelity building occupied.

Use emminent domain a few more times before a strict law is passed to take away properties at 1 Light St, 300 Pratt, the Cityscape area and the Recreation Pier in Fells Point. Put them back on the market.

Get the Red Line running by Christmas.

Make the schools work well enough to forestall seizure next year.

Pay attention to development issues in North Baltimore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
- Encourage new and innovative lighting schemes for prominent downtown buildings.

- Fix the roads all over the city.

- Encourage the development of more hotels. The more the better, seriously. Also, promote more Hilton flags. Marriott has its stamp all over downtown Baltimore. Both Conrad and Embassey Suites would be a welcomed addition to Baltimore's hotel stock....particularly in the CBD.

- Spruce up and improve the streetscape and over all aesthic of Calvert Street. Put pressure of the developers of CityScape. Think of someway to encourage tourists to move north up Calvert and improve the overall experience with retail, brighter streets and buildings.

- Eliminate low-density, single use development in the city (i.e. Heritage Crossing) Nobody moves to a city to be in a suburban community. That endeavor failed from the start. Someone should have had the vision to see a dense, mixed use community bridging the area between the UM Biotech Park and the new State Center development.

- Let bars and clubs stay open past 2am. I know this is being addressed in the new zoning code, but lets make sure it happens.
 

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Is that the piece of I 70 that runs for a mile in W Baltimore and then dead ends?
Thats it. I can't get over how worthless it is everytime I have riden on it.

"Initially the roadway was intended to be the Easternmost segment of the cross-country running Interstate 70. However, heavy oppostion to the road's course through Leakin Park killed the ultimate plans, though not before thousands of residents along Franklin and Mulberry Streets were forced from their homes for the demoltion for this costly project."
http://www.monumentalcity.net/streets/highways/00.html
 

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If you've ridden on it, how useless can it really be? I recognize that it's your opinion, but it's actually quite useful to anyone living in the Woodlawn area. It's also quick access to Windsor Mill, which is a bit of back way into the city for a lot people.

It's already built, the land owned, etc... I think it would be more costly to demolish it, it can't really be costing any money other than the occasional repaving every 10 year or so. Also, 95% of it isn't in Baltimore City, so the Baltimore City planners don't really have that much control over it, I assume.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
IMPROVE THE OVERALL AESTHIC OF PRATT STREET!!! Seriously, its probably the most prominent boulevard in Baltimore, yet it doesnt look like its been updated since the 1970s.

Here's Pratt Street at Commerce Place


Here's Pratt Street at Market Place


In contrast, here's Mich. Ave in Chicago. Notice the wide sidewalks and flowers and trees and new signage that isnt sun beaten
Mich Ave. in Chicago


We should use major U.S. streets like Mich. Ave or Broad Street or 5th Ave. or whatever. Pratt needs to be much more polished and refined.

Here's my plan:

1) Get rid of ALL of the skywalks. No one really uses them, most cities are getting rid of them, there are only a few left in Baltimore...knock them all down. Make those people walk at street level so they can buy things and patronize restaurants, shops, etc.

2) Get flatten those stupid barrier hills along Pratt. The sidewalks on Pratt are probably some of the widest in the city, yet half of it cant be used. Show off those buildings, restaurants and shops. Add some flowerbeds, new lights, benches, mailboxes, garbage cans, etc that are consistent with the new black street furniture recently installed on Charles Street.

3) Install new pedestrian, roadway and traffic lights. For the pedestrian lights, go with the 'Victorian Luminaire and Homeland Pole'. For the roadway lights....we can stick with the current 'Cut-off luminaire and square tapered pole'...just please paint the damn things black. I'd prefer no overhead traffic lights on Pratt, but if installing the D.C., Chicago or Philly style traffic lights is too expensive, then I guess I could deal.

4) Whats up with the trolley lane? Either get rid of it by widening the sidewalk around Harborplace or add an extra lane for traffic or something. That faded orange pole surrounding the Harbor should go though.

5) Plant some trees.
 
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