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Author Topic: Baltimore City streets and arterial highways  (Read 561 times)

cpzilliacus

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Baltimore City streets and arterial highways
« on: August 17, 2018, 11:50:38 AM »

Baltimore Sun: City Council repeals part of fire code to accommodate bike lanes, development

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Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is weighing whether to sign legislation that would repeal parts of the city fire code to allow new bike lanes and encourage development projects, her spokesman said Tuesday.

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The City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve the bill, sending it to Pugh’s desk.

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“Her only stance is that citizens be able to reside safely in their communities,” said James Bentley, a spokesman for the mayor.

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For months, the city’s Fire Department has been at odds with cycling advocates and developers over whether city streets are wide enough to accommodate their projects and large pieces of fire equipment.
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Laura

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Re: Baltimore City streets and arterial highways
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2018, 03:45:12 PM »

Citizen Laura speaking on behalf of myself...

Appendix D of the fire code has been the bane of my existence for 15 of the past 16 months at my current planning position. I am a part of the interagency site plan review committee, and prior to the Potomac Street cycle track, the fire department did not care about street widths at all. They were not a regular part of the meetings. Then, one of the NIMBYs against the Potomac Avenue cycle track did some research and found the 20 foot street width rule for all new projects. Even then the fire department wasn't interested in getting involved until they were forced. Even after the mess with the project being cancelled, then the lawsuit, then the modification plans, the fire department wasn't super concerned. People brought up the hypocrisy with the majority of city streets and alleys being less than 20 feet yet being allowed to have parking on them and demanded that parking be removed instead. The fire department nonchalantly "allowed" for the street to be accepted at 19 feet.

I figured that was it, good, done, and that we'd never hear from the fire department again....wrong. Suddenly, they became a regular fixture at site plan review meetings and denied approval on every project that was build on streets and alleys less than 20 feet wide (for buildings under 35 feet) and 26 feet wide (for buildings over 35 feet high). This happened on infill projects, too, since most infill projects are technically counted as new construction in the city. I even questioned the fire department rep and asked "so why can't this infill rowhome be built if there's already rowhomes on this ten foot alley and that you already have a truck to serve them?" and he said because even though this would be an infill project it counts as new and they are against new construction that doesn't meet the standards. This has left many projects in limbo in a city that is shrinking and could use all of the growth it can get.

Frankly, I think this got a unanimous vote from the city council because it's negatively affecting development projects in every single district from moving forward. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Mayor Pugh will sign it.
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Disclaimer: All comments here represent my own personal opinion(s) as citizen Laura.

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TheOneKEA

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Re: Baltimore City streets and arterial highways
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2018, 06:21:40 PM »

MDOT SHA posted several photos of the resurfacing of the Hanover Street Bridge today.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Baltimore City streets and arterial highways
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2018, 03:10:44 PM »

MDOT SHA posted several photos of the resurfacing of the Hanover Street Bridge today.

SHA? 

They  maintain exactly nothing in Baltimore City.

The Baltimore Sun ran this the other day: Hanover Street Bridge closed for repairs
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Baltimore City streets and arterial highways
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2018, 03:14:17 PM »

Frankly, I think this got a unanimous vote from the city council because it's negatively affecting development projects in every single district from moving forward. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Mayor Pugh will sign it.

New development in Baltimore is a good thing.  I get the impression that the standards in question  were arbitrary.  If there's a street design that really hinders the arrival of fire or EMS, then it  can be discussed as needed.  But  firefighters tend to know the area that they serve (especially their first-due response area), and I suspect they know how to get themselves and their vehicles to the scene.  There are several areas of Baltimore that have narrow streets for as long  as I  can remember (think Fells Point as one example).
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TheOneKEA

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Re: Baltimore City streets and arterial highways
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2018, 04:23:37 PM »

MDOT SHA posted several photos of the resurfacing of the Hanover Street Bridge today.

SHA? 

They  maintain exactly nothing in Baltimore City.

The Baltimore Sun ran this the other day: Hanover Street Bridge closed for repairs

I misspoke. It was actually the MDTA that posted the photos, by retweeting the Baltimore City DOT Twitter account.

More photos appeared today and the DOT stated that the bridge resurfacing is almost complete.
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kj3400

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Re: Baltimore City streets and arterial highways
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2018, 05:01:26 AM »

Bridge resurfacing is done.
I just rode over it on my way to work on the bus. It was so smooth, I hadn't noticed that it was repaved until we got to the end. Now all they need to do is repave the approaches and they'll be doing something.
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Mergingtraffic

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Re: Baltimore City streets and arterial highways
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2018, 02:52:02 PM »

Baltimore city streets are like a museum.  Lots of old signage and original button copy.  Although GSV shows reworking on the US-40/I-170 frontage roads to update things.

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.2929774,-76.6455842,3a,75y,28.64h,85.39t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s8dXTWmd_ZUD_N2aq7KEJDQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
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roadman65

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Re: Baltimore City streets and arterial highways
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2018, 03:54:20 PM »

Baltimore city streets are like a museum.  Lots of old signage and original button copy.  Although GSV shows reworking on the US-40/I-170 frontage roads to update things.

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.2929774,-76.6455842,3a,75y,28.64h,85.39t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s8dXTWmd_ZUD_N2aq7KEJDQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
  Just like you will still find old MD span wire signals there while the rest of the state went mast arms quite some time ago.
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BrianP

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Re: Baltimore City streets and arterial highways
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2018, 04:29:42 PM »

While I agree that the state has been going toward mast arm signals, there are still plenty of wire hung signals outside of Baltimore. 

Although I can think of one relatively new signal installation that is a wire hung signal.  MD 355 at Old Baltimore Road.  That seems to be a temporary installation.
There is construction happening near there.  But that seems to be to improve the intersection with Brink Road just south of there. 

Otherwise I believe new traffic signal installations use mast arms.  And some existing wire hung signals have been converted to mast arm. 
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roadman65

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Re: Baltimore City streets and arterial highways
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2018, 04:57:10 PM »

While I agree that the state has been going toward mast arm signals, there are still plenty of wire hung signals outside of Baltimore. 

Although I can think of one relatively new signal installation that is a wire hung signal.  MD 355 at Old Baltimore Road.  That seems to be a temporary installation.
There is construction happening near there.  But that seems to be to improve the intersection with Brink Road just south of there. 

Otherwise I believe new traffic signal installations use mast arms.  And some existing wire hung signals have been converted to mast arm. 

Yes, you are correct.  Many wire hung installations still do exist outside of Baltimore, however most are being phased out.

Also, with big cities many tend to have their own different from outside the city.  New York, Chicago, New Orleans, and even Omaha both have different signals compared to the rest of the states they reside in.

Yes, but considering that other features of Baltimore was mentioned I would add to that as they are still not rushing or moving to replace the old wire hung signals that used to be the norm from PA all the way to Florida and MD was definitely one of them for sure.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Baltimore City streets and arterial highways
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2018, 12:11:34 PM »

Baltimore Sun op-ed: Stop caving in to Baltimore's bike lobby

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The bicycle lobby seems to have taken over Baltimore. This tiny group claims on its web page to — in essence — control our city government. “We elected a new mayor and a majority new city council,” it proclaims. Given the obstacles they have had the city lay in our streets, their boast seems true.

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Bike lanes have created problems for motorists trying to park on Roland Avenue. On Maryland Avenue, the city has eliminated one traffic lane to create a bicycle lane, making it exceedingly difficult to go to the Inner Harbor. Many motorists now avoid that route by using St. Paul Street, which now is often clogged as well.

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The city has been engaged in a mammoth project on West Mt. Royal Avenue installing a lane wide enough to accommodate two-way bike traffic. In the process, the city has eliminated all parking in the westbound lanes. Disabled people now have no easy access to the offices and businesses along the street. The mail carrier is blocked because the city has taken away his parking space. It is nearly impossible to deliver supplies to offices or provide maintenance services. Apparently to make room for all this the city also took out a row of trees along the median strip, which surely was not an environmentally friendly act.
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