May 4, 2009

"Could you diagram your suggested relocation of the Maryland ramp? Not sure of your location."
- Anonymous writes
Sure. It's shown in blue on the photo map below.

I proposed this a long time ago when I was a city planner, while the city was reconstructing the Jones Falls Expressway. The city decided to rebuild the ramp in the same location as it was before because the engineers thought that there would not be enough weaving distance if the ramp was moved. I showed how the engineers' analysis was faulty but I lost anyway. Yes, the weaving distance would be reduced, but not enough to cause problems, and any disadvantages of that would be more than compensated by the fact that the ramp itself would accommodate the traffic far better.

Now the city wants to squeeze a whole new extension of Martin Luther King Boulevard into this space. How in the world they could pull that off is a total mystery. (I really don't want to know.) It would seem to ruin the whole campus atmosphere the University of Baltimore has been trying to create. Its impact on the Cultural Center (Meyerhoff Hall and Lyric Theater) and the State Center redevelopment are also a question. Perhaps all the new traffic generated by the allegedly "transit oriented" development was the rationale for the MLK extension in the first place.

The property just south of this ramp proposal is used to store postal vehicles - not exactly the most vital use in this area. It could stay if need be, but I don't see why it would.

It's sort of nice to be able to indulge in a slightly long-winded explanation of this.


  1. TOD does not mean extending MLK Boulevard. In fact, as many have requested and has yet to appear on any budget has been the St. Paul St. ramp Closure.

  2. What studies exist of an MLK-I-83 connector as a tunnel?

  3. Has any consideration been given to using N Howard Street as a connecter for MLK to JFX? Seems like a great fit as the street already carries heavy traffic and it would not involve much disruption of current neighborhoods.

  4. A tunnel beneath West Mt Royal doing deep to turn beneath Howard Street and perhaps beneath that street's RR tunnel before turning beneath MLK.