Enough with the Parking Garages: Baltimore's Inner Harbor Redo Criticized

The first step in the transformation of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a proposed renovation of Rash Field. But one commentator sees the subterranean parking garage included in conceptual plans as more of the same car-domination.

Jeff La Noue has harsh words for the current configuration of plans to revamp Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as a world class waterfront destination. The first iterations of the transformation, the so-called Inner Harbor 2.0 plan, designed by Ayers Saint Gross, proposes a $20 million parking garage to be built with $12-13 million in public funds at the site of Rash Field.

Here’s how a recent article by Sarah Meehan in the Baltimore Business Journal describes the firm’s proposal for Rash Field: “the conceptual proposal laid out in Inner Harbor 2.0 would include a sublevel parking garage topped by a green roof lawn, surrounded by gardens, a beach, playgrounds and a barge pool.”

The problem, according to La Noue, is that the area suffers too much parking: “Baltimore's near waterfront has more high-rise parking spaces than high-rise residential units with waterfront views. There are at least 6 waterfront parking garages, and at least 14 large parking garages within one block of the waterfront. At least 9 parking garages rise to between 7 and 12 stories tall. The waterfront has around 4,500 parking spaces already planned or under construction: 4,000 at the Horseshoe casino and about 500 at Rash field.”

La Noue’s conclusion: “Baltimore's waterfront must be accessible to people who own cars. However, with more affordable, safe, and convenient alternatives, some drivers would be happy to visit the city's downtown waterfront, while leaving the car outside of the city center.”

Full Story: Baltimore's car-stuffed waterfront is poised to keep adding more cars

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