Baltimore City Council Bill Would Open More Roads to Pedestrians During Pandemic

Baltimore City Councilmembers have introduced a bill that would close over 25 miles of road during the pandemic and open the space to residents.

It has become clear that during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, parks are playing an extraordinary role in maintaining open space that residents can utilize for recreation. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt virtually all daily activities, more and more cities are experimenting with temporary road closures to allow even more space for exercising residents and pedestrians to continue social distancing. Recently, Baltimore City Councilmembers have introduced a bill that would require one mile of road in each of the City’s 14 council districts be closed to vehicle traffic.

From coverage in Baltimore Brew:

The bill would prioritize streets in neighborhoods with low access to parks or near too-crowded parks, avoid truck routes and hospitals, and prohibit any district from hosting more than 15% of the adjusted roads.

Other cities have already closed large stretches of road. Oakland recently decided to close down ten percent of its road area for the same purposes by launching their “Slow Streets” initiative.