Traffic Calming Project Coming to Washington Boulevard in Pigtown

| August 26, 2021 | 0 Comments

Planning is currently underway for a traffic calming project along Washington Blvd. in Pigtown. The project is a partnership between Pigtown Main Street Design Committee, South Baltimore Gateway Partnership (SBGP), Graham Projects, and the Pigtown community.

Traffic art installed at the intersections of of Washington Blvd. and W. Cross St. and Washington Blvd. and Bayard St. will be the first phase of the project. The project will use SBGP Enhanced Services funds. Pigtown Main Street is seeking a State of Maryland grant to address additional intersections including Washington Blvd. and Ostend St., Washington Blvd. and Carey St., and Scott St. and W. Cross St.

The Pigtown Main Street Design Committee has prioritized traffic calming on Washington Blvd. Pigtown Main Street Executive Director Kim Lane said cars come “racing” onto Washington Blvd. off of MD-295.

This project has been in the works since 2019.

Virtual meetings have been held for this project and a July 10th pop-up event was held at the Washington Blvd. and W. Cross St. intersection to get community input. Lane said this attracted about 70 people.

The two intersections included in the first phase are likely to get sidewalk bump-outs, public art, benches, bollards, and planters. A durable epoxy-type material, which can handle the wear and tear of city streets, is painted on the street and sidewalk. Graham Projects will incorporate a color palette into the design after input from the community. Pink and brown, which are common colors in Pigtown’s branding, will likely be incorporated.

Anyone can go on makeplacehappen.com and add their own artwork and color palette on the intersection.

Graham Projects Founding Principal Graham Coreil-Allen said he likes to meet with the community to get input on historical and cultural traditions that are unique to a neighborhood. Coreil-Allen’s team will take that information as inspiration for the designs. He noted there will be matching colors and motifs at each of the different intersections.

Graham Projects created some preliminary renderings, before meeting with the community, to give a visualization of what it could look like. The final designs will be based on the community input.

Coreil-Allen said the community participation has been “a lot of fun and heartwarming,” and he’s received only positive feedback. Graham Projects has worked on many different traffic calming projects in Baltimore and other cities, and Coreil-Allen said the intersections of Washington Blvd. and W. Cross St. is up there with some of the most difficult he’s experienced.

Coreil-Allen said the goal is to create intersections that don’t hurt or inhibit car drivers, but guide vehicular traffic to abide by the existing laws. “We want to allow everyone to see each other, avoid collisions, and allow more pedestrian crossings,” he said.

“Studies show that pedestrians struck by cars over 25 MPH are more likely to die than live,” said Coreil-Allen. “We want to keep vehicular speeds down to safe limits. In the rare case a pedestrian is struck by a car, the car is going at a safe speed where the pedestrian can live.”

A community pop-up will be held this fall at the intersection of Washington Blvd. and Bayard St. to gather input from the community, as well as students and faculty at adjacent Charles Carroll Barrister Elementary School. Graham Projects is looking to complete the traffic art at the two intersections in 2022.

Preliminary renderings from Graham Projects

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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