April 18, 2011

Franklin-Mulberry Gateway

Here are some more Google Earth images showing how the interchange of the Franklin-Mulberry Expressway and MLK Boulevard should be downsized and transformed into a new gateway between Downtown and West Baltimore, with the Heritage Crossing community and the Metro West Social Security complex as the linchpins.

Read the whole story at The Baltimore Brew:
The Franklin-Mulberry Expressway is shown downsized to a single overpass over MLK Boulevard, to expand Heritage Crossing.

The "plan view" shows the new roads in yellow. The new east-west street is Franklin Street, relocated as a neighborhood street. The north-south street is an extension of Pine Street from the University of Maryland campus (toward the south, bottom) to Heritage Crossing (to the north, top, at the end of the "hook"). To  the east (right end) is a new connector from Franklin Street onto the downsized expressway.

This drawing eliminates the direct connector road between Heritage Crossing, MLK Boulevard and Pine Street. I then realized a better solution if it is feared such a link would attract too much traffic would be to design the MLK median opening so that only bikes and pedestrians can use it.

Looking west from downtown.

Looking north from the University of Maryland.

Heritage Crossing looks like it's a downtown neighborhood, with the Social Security tower as a pleasant backdrop...

But the "highway to nowhere" and MLK Boulevard underneath it stand rudely in the way. That expressway overpass needs to go, and new urban "people places" put in its place.