Vibrant and Walkable Streets Committee
March 23 2017
1138 Hollins St 2nd Floor
Edith Gilliard Canty
Dan Rodenburg welcomed the Committee and reviewed the Committee’s goals and focus.
Bus changing routes and will move to a color system from a number system.
Trash Project Update
At the last Committee meeting the Committee had decided to focus on trash–in the form of regular, coordinated clean ups and an anti-littering campaign–as a major goal of the Committee. This is an issue that arises frequently, and which is also a good organizing tool to get more people involved in the Committee.
We’ve met with Bridget Parlato of Baltimore Trash Talk, who is an artist focusing on environmental education and fun, creative anti-littering events, and anti-littering campaigns. She is very excited to work with the SWP, and we will be meeting with her again to work out solid ideas before presenting them to the Committee and neighborhood associations.
There is a grant due March 31st which provides up to $5,000 for community groups working on cleaning and greening projects in urban areas. Elizabeth strongly encouraged the neighborhood associations to apply. The SWP as an organization will be applying as well, for the trash project. Elizabeth will work with interested associations to connect their proposals to the area-wide initiatives.
Chesapeake Conservation Corps Member
Also as part of the trash initiatives, the SWP applied for a Chesapeake Conservation Corps Member to be placed with the Partnership to coordinate cleaning and greening efforts. This is an Americorps position, and is a great opportunity for a young person between the ages of 18 and 25 who is interested in community outreach and engagement and environmental issues. The stipend ($17,500) is higher than most Americorps positions, and the position is free for the SWP.
We won’t know if someone has been placed with us until late spring early summer, but please spread the word!
Baltimore City Complete Streets Legislation
Councilman Ryan Dorsey will be introducing legislation mandating that Complete Streets guidelines (guidelines that prioritize all forms of transit, not just cars) be implemented in all future projects. Complete Streets is an important part of the SWP Vision Plan. The Committee reviewed the draft legislation and offered comments and questions:
CR: only impact projects going forward, won’t retroactively impact existing issues. What would be the plan for addressing existing dangerous situations. Also how much will it cost and how will it be paid for? Also, could something be done about MLK Blvd?
Bif: resurfacing and similar projects will trigger it so it will have to be implemented then
Roshelle: would legislation mean that resurfacing projects be delayed because they would have to implement Complete Streets? When would they have the community meetings and what would they be about–how can the city be held accountable?
The Committee is generally in favor of the legislation, and then discussed ways to make crossing MLK Jr Blvd safer for pedestrians.
Bif Browning raised the concern that the new Baltimore Link bus routes will change where bus routes and stops are. Neighbors in Union Square are particularly concerned about the Navy route being changed to go down Calhoun St, as it is a narrow, residential street. There is concern that the new bus route will take away 6 parking spots. Residents are concerned because they weren’t notified of any changes from the city. CR suggested attending the citizen advisory board meeting on April 18th, or getting all the neighborhoods involved to write an opposition letter to the city. (Note: the Baltimore Link plan is being developed by the Maryland Transit Authority, which is a state agency which runs the buses).
April 29th Strong City Neighborhood Institute 8:30-3:30pm covers a variety of topics including greening, cleaning, at Baltimore School of Design, Schlonte will be able to give a ride to folks from the area who are interested in attending.
Pigtown Public Safety Presentation March 30 6-8pm Weinberg library at George Washington Elementary School in Pigtown
There were 160 students from Clemson University in the Southwest Partnership area who worked on a number of projects–they were great and the Committee thanked them for their service.
There will be a youth baseball league for boys and girls ages 9-13 starting in Carroll Park April 18th–spread the word! The league is free and equipment and uniforms are provided.