Monday, August 31, 2015

North Avenue - Baltimore

On this glorious late summer Saturday the indefatigable Elijah Cummings stands once more on North Avenue, the ground zero of the unrest in April. The occasion this time: a $13 million street-scape projects on the eastern end of the five mile avenue for the blocks around Broadway (Asquith to Washington Street). Half of his talk was celebration, half complaint that something as this urgently needed repair and maintenance wasn't simply the normal course of action anyway.
SUN photo of Cummings speaking at East North Avenue

By luck or by foresight the city can launch this shovel ready project just after the unrest. North Avenue stands end to end for the problems of disinvested, poor and black Baltimore.

"I want our children to grow up with high expectations," he said. "When we beautify our neighborhoods and maintain them, it's about respect." (Elijah Cummings)
Much of the money is needed for invisible utility repair and the fixing of crumbling pavement. Construction is scheduled to start today.

Together with NDC's streetscape project further west and the resolve of key stakeholders like UB, MICA, Coppin and the Central Baltimore Partnership and with the support of Senator Pugh and Congressman Cummings the stars seem to align to give North Avenue a big boost,  that may allow this once grand corridor to gain back some luster and become the undercarriage of neighborhood reinvestment spanning east to west.

For this to happen, though, the streetscape approach has to be deepened and to be extended to include transportation and land use. The Neighborhood Design Center, CPHA and AIA Baltimore have already met to see how such a bigger, more comprehensive corridor approach could be managed that would achieve systematic re-establishment of viable commercial nodes that are more than pawnshops and convenience stores. The section of East North Avenue from Greenmount Ave to Belair Road is also included in the Mayor's new corridor approach dubbed LINCS. How it will work will hopefully be fleshed out in the coming months.

From NDC's West North Avenue masterplan

In addition to streetscaping and commercial nodes the cancellation of the Red Line calls for strengthened east west transit. North Avenue should be one of those priority transit corridors with transit improved much beyond what is included in NDC's masterplan.

Flickr photo of West North at Pulaski

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA

Sun article about the east end streetscape project
NDC's West North Avenue streetscape project

The infamous corner of Penn and North

North Avenue is dominated by multi-lane automobile traffic
(Photo: ArchPlan)

Abandonment and past glory go hand in hand along most of the 5 mile corridor
(photo: ArchPlan)

1 comment:

  1. انا المهدي المنتظر عصر اخير حاكم على خمس قارات عبر العالم وكلمة عبر عبرة لم له ضمير الان لاحكم الاحد غير عصابات متمردة وتتناحر مع بضها البعض