Fast Cars and Empty Spaces: Identifying Barriers to Urban Vitality on Highway-Adjacent Corridors in Baltimore, Maryland
Brandes, Uwe S.
Through-traffic to and from a highway is a burden to economic vitality on urban corridors, but it is not an impenetrable barrier. In this paper, I investigate the ways in which the land use patterns that have arisen from a combination of highway construction and the decline of the manufacturing economy can be disrupted and manipulated to change the economic outcomes on two representative streets in Baltimore, Maryland. The literature review identifies common development patterns of streets that feed into highways and the resultant cascading economic effects. Strategies are examined to find best practices associated with revitalizing streets that exhibit the patterns identified in the literature review. I then turn to my study streets to confirm the hypothesized patterns through comparison with a “control” street that exhibits stronger vitality characteristics. Noting the primary limiting factor to be highly underutilized space, I conduct a parking utilization study to determine the amount of empty space in the neighborhood that may not be apparent to the naked eye. My recommendations present short-term, low-cost interventions that would create a more nurturing environment for small businesses on 28th Street and 29th Street in Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood.
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Science, Education, and Transportation Program (E. B. Page and J. Atkin) (United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment., 1989-09)