Bal­ti­more — pave it to save it

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - David Pou­los, Sparks

In re­sponse to Colin Camp­bell’s most re­cent ar­ti­cle on road con­struc­tion in Bal­ti­more (“Down­town road work, de­tours ga­lore driv­ing com­muters crazy,” Sept. 24), I can only echo and am­plify his sen­ti­ments that it is nearly an un­ten­able propo­si­tion to drive from place to place in Bal­ti­more in a timely, safe fash­ion.

I re­cently par­tic­i­pated in a char­ity mo­tor­cy­cle ride to ben­e­fit prostate can­cer re­search in­volv­ing 40 mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­asts rid­ing to var­i­ous tourist des­ti­na­tions in the city in­clud­ing Fells Point, the In­ner Har­bor, Washington Mon­u­ment, Cam­den Yards, The Howard Peters Rawl­ings Con­ser­va­tory and Botanic Gar­dens and oth­ers. For­tu­nately, we all sur­vived the 30-mile trip on pub­lic roads un­scathed, but only due to ex­treme skill and dili­gence and a high con­scious­ness for safety of our­selves and the rid­ers around us. Bal­ti­more’s streets are in a dis­grace­ful state of dis­re­pair in­clud­ing pot­holes, an­cient trol­ley tracks that serve no pur­pose, cob­ble­stones that have been hap­haz­ardly re­paired or left fal­low, man­hole cov­ers that are ei­ther worn smooth and sunken four inches be­low grade or raised six inches above it, bridge ex­pan­sion joints wide enough to lose a tire in, bro­ken chunks of con­crete, huge metal plates above con­struc­tion ex­ca­va­tions left six inches above sur­face grade — the list goes on and on.

I chal­lenge the city lead­er­ship to give up their com­fort­able, highly padded and sound­proofed SUVs for a day and trade them for a more pedes­trian mode of trans­port like a mo­tor­cy­cle or small sedan and try travers­ing the city as we did. I guar­an­tee their feel­ings about ac­cel­er­at­ing road resur­fac­ing projects would change dra­mat­i­cally.

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