Keep Baltimore promenade dream alive

In the summer of 1989, the Baltimore Harbor Promenade opened officially. It began with a 3-mile walk from the Canton Waterfront Park and concluded at Rash Field in the Inner Harbor. "The Promenade was designed as a permanent public pedestrian walkway with accompanying landscaping along the harbor's edge. When completed, it was to be 7.5 miles long and reach the Baltimore Museum of Industry." That quote came from Mayor Kurt Schmoke's administration.

The Promenade in 2013 remains public property along the waterfront edges of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, but many questions still remain about its future. A recent article in The Sun relates how the Waterfront Partnership will now be extending to Fells Point and the obvious benefits that will take place because of this move ("Waterfront Partnership extending into Fells Pt.," May 30). However, it is important to point out that the Waterfront Partnership covers only the Merchant's Promenade where the businesses are located. It does not cover the entire promenade nor does it address the question as to where the promenade will end. Will it stop at the Baltimore Museum of Industry or will it go further to the Under Armour property and possibly all the way (as most of us would like to see) to Fort McHenry? The answer to this question should not lie entirely with the Waterfront Partnership or else the people's interest will not be fully represented

In a commentary published two years ago, David Benn proposed a continuous waterfront parkway from Canton to Fort McHenry that would be the "people's park," much like Central Park in New York. Frederick Law Olmsted's idea was to build Central Park for the "common man" to help offset the dehumanizing aspects of city life. Citizens in Baltimore need to understand this treasure that they have as public property along the waterfront and work toward seeing the walkway completed. The Promenade should be under the control of the Baltimore City Planning Department and not assumed to be under the Waterfront Partnership.

Raymond D. Bahr, Baltimore

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