Harbor 2.0 planners didn't consult local residents and businesses [Letter]

When Inner Harbor 2.0 was first rolled out, I was appalled that plans called for dismantling the Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse, relocating the Coast Guard cutter Taney to a dumpster area and doubling the size of the Pier V parking garage ("Baltimore's future 'Monday Night Football shot,'" Aug. 15).

Thanks to neighborhood effort and community involvement, those ideas appear scrubbed. Yet such concepts demonstrate a complete lack of concern for Inner Harbor businesses and residents. As far as I know, no one was consulted, including Historic Ships in Baltimore, which has jurisdiction over the Taney and the lighthouse.

Many aspects of Inner Harbor 2.0 are terrific and when implemented will be wonderful improvements. But a bridge? I spent years working for a railroad engineering department, and I can assure you, bridges are problems. I won't go into construction aspects, since I didn't see the one I was involved with built, yet I was involved with day to day maintenance issues.

While a pedestrian bridge over the Inner Harbor could be a tourist attraction, upkeep is costly. A marriage proposal on that structure is a charming idea, but what about potential suicides, muggings and vandalism?

And, yes, watching the bridge open and close for tall ships will intrigue, but just who'll do that job? Drawbridge operators are highly skilled, unionized professionals, and keeping the bridge staffed would be costly.

Much about Inner Harbor 2.0 is great, but before money is spent on certain proposals, the folks of Baltimore must be consulted. So far this has not happened.

No one asked nearby residents and businesses how expanding an ugly parking structure would impact property values. And from what I know, members and officials of Historic Ships in Baltimore and Living Classrooms were never consulted about moving the Taney or the Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse.

I am completely in favor of improving the Inner Harbor, but Ayers Saint Gross and Waterfront Partnership shouldn't be calling all the shots.

Rosalind Ellis Heid, Baltimore

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