2017 Free Fall Baltimore New Public Sites Walking Tours

New Public Sites Free Fall Baltimore 2017

New Public Sites Free Fall Baltimore 2017

As part of 12th annual Free Fall Baltimore, New Public Sites is offering three exciting tours – Mondawmin Crossings, Inner Harbor Baltimore Drift, and Druid Hill Reservoir Interchange. The fall 2017 New Public Sites walking tours series focuses on a combination of interlocking issues: pedestrian safety, the state of Baltimore’s water infrastructure, and access to public space.

These tours are made possible with support from Free Fall Baltimore and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Free Fall Baltimore is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) and presented by BGE with additional support from The Abell Foundation, Atapco Properties, Henry and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mondawmin Crossings bannerMondawmin Crossings

October 14, 3-4:30pm Click here to learn more and register

Greater Mondawmin is a collection of strong neighborhoods sharing an array of educational, recreational, and shopping opportunities. Unfortunately, residents are unable to safely walk or bike to our local amenities due to streetscape barriers like the dangerous highways that ring Druid Hill Park and Mondawmin Mall. Mondawmin Crossings will be an interactive walking tour exploring opportunities for improving how local residents connect with our many valuable community places.

Inner Harbor Baltimore Drift bannerInner Harbor Baltimore Drift

October 21, 2-3:30pm Click here to learn more and register

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a celebrated success of waterfront redevelopment, but its spectacular looks disguise a contested past and challenging present. Inner Harbor Baltimore Drift tour participants will discover the real stories of how powerful people, visionary plans, and community movements are still transforming the former industrial wharf into a premiere public space for all.

Druid Hill Reservoir Interchange

October 29, 2-3:30pm Click here to learn more and register

Druid Hill Reservoir Construction Interchange will explore the overlapping embankments and sidewalks to nowhere between the Jones Falls Expressway and the Druid Hill Park Reservoir. The tour will focus on the history of the the park and surrounding highways, and details about the current reservoir construction project. Along the way, we will also share about the community movement afoot supporting pedestrian safety improvements around the park.

Why I support the Baltimore Greenway Trails Network

33rd street median

The Baltimore Greenway Trail Network is an exciting vision for connecting our amazing urban trails and park system into a 35-mile loop around the city. I support this vision and have been working with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and Bikemore to communicate the many exciting traffic calming and public health benefits of the proposal. With their support, last fall I was able to collaborate with neighbors on creating a demonstration public art crosswalk at Gwynns Falls Parkway and Auchentoroly Terrace that called attention to the need for such safety and connectivity improvements.

Rails-to-Trails and the city have begun a long process of engagement to design the Baltimore Greenway Trails Network. Last night I attended the Baltimore Greenway Trails Coalition public meeting regarding their proposal for a multi use path down the middle of 33rd Street. Below are the concerns I heard, plus some facts.

  • Concern: No one tried to inform neighbors about the Greenway Trail Network plan. Fact: Rails-to-Trails has been reaching out to community associations for at least year now. I first heard about the plan in February 2016. Several meetings have been held for both 33rd Street and Gwynns Falls Parkway communities, including last night’s gathering. This is the beginning of the planning process, not the end. Nothing is approved or fully designed. Lets keep on participating!
  • Concern: A median trail will destroy the historic Olmsted plan for boulevards connecting Baltimore’s parks. Fact: over 100 years ago, the Olmsteds’ designed numerous multi-use, tree-lined paths for cities across the country. The Baltimore plan for boulevards connecting parks was never fully realized and quickly compromised by increased car traffic choking off the median green spaces from people who would like to use them. A median trail will in fact help properly realize the Olmsteds’ historic vision for Baltimore.
  • Concern: A median trail will kill trees. Fact: there are numerous examples of historic and modern trails that do not kill trees. The city’s arborist must approve any such design, and the proposal is for a pervious trail surface that will allow the trees to continue to thrive.
  • Concern: The trail will take away green space used by kids for playing. Fact: I lived on 33rd Street for five years with a bedroom overlooking the median. I never saw kids playing because the median is locked off from pedestrians by curbs and dangerous traffic. A median trail will make the space safe and accessible for kids learning to ride bikes, people traveling in wheelchairs, walkers, runners, and cyclists.
  • Concern: The trail will cause an increase in car traffic. Fact: the trail’s many bumpouts and crosswalks will help slow the dangerous traffic on 33rd while giving people more options for commuting without needing a car, thereby reducing traffic.

From 2008-2013 I lived on 33rd Street and wished we could add a path down the middle and calm traffic. In 2013 I moved to Auchentoroly Terrace and now hold similar pedestrian safety and connectivity hopes for our community. Many of my neighbors and I are excited to help support the median trail proposal for the Olmsted-designed Gwynns Falls Parkway. A multi use, center-running trail will help calm traffic and enable our many differently abled neighbors to connect with Druid Hill and Leakin Parks. I’m excited to share this vision with my friends and former neighbors along 33rd Street

— Graham (a guy who likes to hang out on median strips)

Read about the trail network from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy: https://www.railstotrails.org/our…/trail-projects/baltimore/

More facts from BikeMore: https://www.bikemore.net/news/fact-check-the-greenways-trail-network-plan-is-awesome-support-it