Baltimore Seeks A New Street Vision

Planners and officials in Baltimore are looking to recreate one of the city's major streets as a vibrant tourist and retail area. But opinions differ on how to do it and where to look for examples.

"City planners are being advised to look at grand avenues in Chicago, New York, Paris and elsewhere as a way to determine what is possible downtown and what Baltimoreans might strive for."

But others say these examples do not create a reasonable comparison.

"'Those streets represent the best quality of shopping in America,' said Baltimore Development Corp. President M.J. 'Jay' Brodie of Fifth and Michigan avenues. 'I don't think that's where we are today.'"

"'I think you have to focus much more on this situation,' he told the designers, suggesting that they propose short-, medium- and long-term "interventions" for Pratt Street."

"'We should think of it as: 'What is a Baltimore response to a Baltimore situation?' ... I don't think it's even helpful to think of it in terms of these other situations. ... I don't think our reach should exceed our grasp.'"

Full Story: World's grand avenues shape visions of Pratt Street

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