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Readers Respond

Baltimore lacks bike-friendly boulevards | READER COMMENTARY

A pedestrian crosses the recently resurfaced Central Avenue in East Baltimore on a Tuesday morning. File. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun).

I appreciate the recent letter from the co-presidents of Strong Towns Baltimore who speak about the damage done by arterials and highways that were designed to speed people in and out of the city (”Baltimore needs more streets like the redesigned Central Avenue,” Nov. 28). With the declining population of the city and fewer people commuting to downtown, there’s no longer any justification for these one-way paired roads. In fact, they exacerbate the historical realities of redlining and disinvestment in many parts of the city.

Examples of this include Aisquith and Gay streets, West Franklin and West Mulberry streets, Fulton Avenue and Monroe Street, and Curtis and Pennington avenues. There are others, as well. If you drive around the city, you can see that these roads divide neighborhoods and make living along them less desirable than it would be if they were slower moving, two-way complete streets.

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As a matter of equity, the city’s transportation department should study how these roads could be reconfigured to be complete streets so that there can be a long-term plan for converting them to two-way. They could start with Franklin and Mulberry that run parallel to “The Highway to Nowhere.” If these streets were converted to two-way complete streets, new investments in adjacent neighborhoods such as Harlem Park and Poppleton would become much more desirable.

— Brent Flickinger, Baltimore

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