The Big Jump is a temporary path accessible by foot, bike, and mobility devices along Druid Park Lake Drive and 28th Street in Baltimore, Maryland. This demonstration project counteracts decades of highway expansion that effectively cut off the surrounding working class African American neighborhoods from the park. As a local resident and public artist, Graham Coreil-Allen collaborated with Bikemore, Baltimore City Department of Transportation, and neighbors on creating signage and stencils along the Big Jump pathway that make it safer for all people to enjoy the cultural and public health benefits of Druid Hill Park.
The Big Jump logo was designed by Danielle Parnes on behalf of Bikemore, with icon input from Coreil-Allen. Coreil-Allen then adapted the logo to serve as pathway signage and wayfinding. The signage features icons representing different active uses, including walking, wheelchair riding, bicycling dog walking, and skateboarding. The vinyl cut signs show motorists and passersby the uses of the Big Jump pathway. To provide wayfinding for people not in cars we also made and sprayed large scale street stencils highlighting pathway primary uses – walking, wheelchair riding, and bicycling. In addition, we stenciled colorful footprint trails that visually lead residents from surrounding blocks to safe access points for the Big Jump Baltimore pathway and Druid Hill Park.
On August 26, 2018 residents, community organizations, and city officials came together for the Big Jump Block Party. As part of the festivities, Graham Coreil-Allen led his New Public Sites Druid Hill Reservoir Interchange walking tour with fellow residents and visitors. During the tour local disabilities rights advocate Ms. Dee spoke about the need for ADA accessible pathways, shared little-known histories of Druid Hill Park, and expressed her support for the Big Jump.
Local residents deserve priority access to Druid Hill Park. The Big Jump Baltimore shared use pathway shows that through low cost traffic projects, public art and community collaboration we can make immediate positive impact on the lives of our neighbors.
Listen: Urban Planning History and Park Access in Druid Hill Park, Graham Coreil-Allen, Maryland Humanities podcast, August 30, 2018
Group photos courtesy of Brian O’Doherty https://www.odohertyphoto.com