Readers Respond

Edmondson center not always a ‘hot spot’ for crime | READER COMMENTARY

A sign at the entrance to Popeyes in the Edmondson Village Shopping Center says students will not be able to buy from the restaurant during school hours. File. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun).

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott called Edmondson Village Shopping Center a “hot spot” — for crime, I guess — for “as long as I’ve been alive.” He’s 38. Too bad Mayor Scott wasn’t around a few decades before when the “Village,” as it’s always been known, was a hot spot for safe, clean, peaceful shopping, entertainment and family fun. It served as a community center and anchor, and is probably best remembered today for its Christmas lighting, as well as the monkeys in the window of a barber shop in the exact space (now a chicken fast food joint), where five high school boys were shot last week, one fatally.

Dan Rodricks doesn’t mention in his column “Can you blame shopping center for fatal shooting?” (Jan. 5) that the Edmondson Village community has always been a working-class community though, in previous decades, with little violence. Like Scott, maybe Rodricks doesn’t remember or isn’t aware of that history.


But I remember.

I was born and raised in the Edmondson Village community and lived there for the first 18 years of my life. I still live within walking distance of the Village, but I never go there. Why would I? It breaks my heart just to drive past it.


As he does for nearly everything that ails my hometown, Rodricks always pivots to blame many Baltimore bads on Gov. Larry Hogan’s cancellation of the Red Line, the light rail system that was to run directly in front of the Village, never mentioning that 40,000 vehicles pass there every day right now on U.S. 40. Why aren’t they stopping there? How would the years of Red Line construction affect the Village and that community? Local transit buses are probably more prompt now than in my Village days — I used them all the time — though likely less safe.

Even without the Red Line, why are there so many thriving shopping centers only a mile or so past the Village?

— Bernard Haske, Catonsville

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