Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Baltimore

Baltimore’s Super Quick Fix for a Dangerous Road

Local residents finally have a safe path connecting the neighborhoods of Remington and Reservoir Hill. Photo: Side A Photography

Until last month, walking along Druid Lake Park Drive in Baltimore's Reservoir Hill neighborhood was an extreme sport.

With as many as five car lanes, few signalized crossings, and narrow, inaccessible sidewalks, this road was made for driving. Reservoir Hill is a predominantly black neighborhood where half of households don't own cars. But to walk to jobs or stores in neighboring Remington, people had to hike through grass and squeeze next to speeding motorists on the 28th Street Bridge. Crossing the street to reach Druid Lake Park took courage.

Able-bodied people could walk on Druid Lake Park Drive, "but you were taking your life into your hands," said Jed Weeks of the bike advocacy group Bikemore. "If you were a user of any type of mobility device you were just screwed."

This photo shows the 28th Street Bridge before the intervention. Photo: Bikemore
The 28th Street Bridge before the intervention. Photo: Bikemore
Photo: Bikemore

Now the trip is much safer for people walking, biking, or using a wheelchair. Last month, the city installed large plastic Jersey barriers filled with water for ballast, converting one of the traffic lanes to a path for pedestrians and cyclists.

The barriers won't win any design competitions, but they get the job done.

The path runs one mile along Druid Lake Park Drive and extends a few blocks north along Sisson Street, connecting to the Jones Falls Trail in Druid Hill Park.

In the coming weeks, the city will be working with Bikemore and other local organizations to dress up the plastic barriers with art.

The area highlighted in teal shows the location of the multi-use path. Map: Bikemore
The path marked in teal. Map: Bikemore
The area highlighted in teal shows the location of the multi-use path. Map: Bikemore

The project cost about $500,000, according to Bikemore. It's the main project supported by Baltimore's "Big Jump" grant from PeopleforBikes, which assists the city with projects to boost biking and walking over three years.

Council Member Leon Pinkett, III, who lives in Reservoir Hill, championed the new path.

The path will be in place for at least a year before the city evaluates the impact and decides whether to keep it.

"If it works, it’s going to be there until we come up with a permanent solution," Weeks told Streetsblog.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Friday’s Headlines Got Served

Another day, another GOP lawsuit trying to overturn a Biden administration climate change rule.

April 19, 2024

Disabled People Are Dying in America’s Crosswalks — But We’re Not Counting Them

The data on traffic fatalities and injuries doesn’t account for their needs or even count them. Better data would enable better solutions.

April 19, 2024

LA: Automated Enforcement Coming Soon to a Bus Lane Near You

Metro is already installing on-bus cameras. Soon comes testing, outreach, then warning tickets. Wilshire/5th/6th and La Brea will be the first bus routes in the bus lane enforcement program.

April 18, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Charging Up Transportation

This week, we talk to the great Gabe Klein, executive director of President Biden's Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (and a former Streetsblog board member), about curbside electrification.

April 18, 2024

Why Does the Vision Zero Movement Stop At the Edge of the Road?

U.S. car crash deaths are nearly 10 percent higher if you count collisions that happen just outside the right of way. So why don't off-road deaths get more air time among advocates?

April 18, 2024
See all posts