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Baltimore City asks residents to nominate new ‘Slow Streets’ locations

Runners, walkers and bikers have been able to exercise at Lake Montebello with a little more room for social distancing since the Department of Public Works closed roads surrounding the lake to motor vehicle traffic.
Runners, walkers and bikers have been able to exercise at Lake Montebello with a little more room for social distancing since the Department of Public Works closed roads surrounding the lake to motor vehicle traffic. (Jerry Jackson)

Baltimore is expanding its “Slow Streets” program and is asking residents to help identify locations across the city that may be good spots to reduce traffic and help promote social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Baltimore City Department of Transportation said in a news release that over the next two weeks some roads will be temporarily closed with a barricade to help discourage cut-through traffic and provide “safer streets for physically distant walking, wheelchair rolling, jogging and biking.

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Slow Streets already has three locations across the city: Druid Hill Park, Lake Montebello and Patterson Park.

The Baltimore City Council passed the Temporary Street Space for Pedestrians and Cyclists Bill in May that mandates 25 miles of Slow Streets in hopes of allowing more space for social distancing and exercise.

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The department said nearly 65 miles have been identified as targets for the new program. The BCDOT will work with council members to gain input and prioritize the 25 miles.

Thirty days after 25 miles of Slow Streets are installed, there will be an evaluation period and residents will be able to provide feedback.

Residents are encouraged to submit their own Slow Streets nominations through BCDOT’s website. Streets will require sponsorship from councilperson in that district, the department said.

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