Now it's no secret that the West Baltimore MARC Station is in a bad part of town. The neighborhoods surrounding it Mosher, Midtown Edmondson and Penrose/Fayette St. are in state of disrepair. Decades of disinvestment have taken their toll. In addition to the residential urban decay there's an idustrial wasteland southwest of the station. This general area was where I-70 was to be extended to meet I-95 but never came to fruition. It was also at this point that I-70 would meet its Downtown spur known at the time as I-170. I-170 was built and when I-70 was killed at Cooks Lane I-170 was rebranded as Route 40 which was Franklin and Mulberry Streets. Locals call this highway "the road to no where" the planners of the West Baltimore MARC redevelopment plan knew this and will call the revitalized highway "the road to some where."
This is the only part of the plan that I take issue with. What ever's done with this stretch of highway should be shelved until the red line's a sure thing. When that time comes (hopefully sooner rather than later) here's what I think needs to be done. The highway should be demolished and all vehicular traffic should be rerouted to Franklin and Mulberry Streets. The highway is underground and will serve as a great tunnel for that stretch of the red line. Above ground, the land above the highway will be brought back to street level and high density TOD will occupy it. It will spur the redevelopment of the highly distressed Franklin Square and Harlem Park neighborhoods.Well that's all for this one, short and sweet. It's much easier to publish posts quicker when you actually agree with what people are doing.