A_P_Dahset t1_je21w2m wrote

That duplex looks pretty structurally sound---I thought the building would have been an eyesore. I wonder how much funding it would take to make the units habitable. Ideally, these would become affordable (or market-rate) housing, given that Hampden is one of the city's more in-demand neighborhoods. I also wonder what Wine Source's math is re: actually quantifying how lack of parking capacity impacts their revenue and how the addition of this lot is expected to improve revenue.

That said, this is the mindset (cars over everything) that Baltimore's generational lack of significant transit & micromobility infrastructure fosters among many of its citizens and politicians; and I hate that for us. It's hard to see this scenario playing itself out in any leading transit-oriented city in this country or abroad.


A_P_Dahset t1_jcfg85d wrote

There might be some validity to this point, as the city's been known to have issues paying its contractors on time.

>"Metra acknowledges that subcontractors are entitled to timely payment on work that has been completed, and while it does not excuse its own late payments, prime contractors are similarly entitled to timely pay for work completed for the City," July wrote. "The City’s continuous failure to make timely payments impacted Metra’s cash flow and availability of capital, and its ability to make timely payment, particular during and on the heels of the Covid pandemic."


A_P_Dahset t1_j9mvv1c wrote

>This is a choice by our lawmakers, not a coincidence. Our tax and infrastructure and zoning system...

This is very true and key to understanding why Baltimore looks and operates the way it does today. Racist public policy and historic disinvestment are real and still felt, but present-day policy choices of our elected leaders (city and state), specifically in regards to taxes, infrastructure, and zoning, exacerbate the impact of those harmful policies from decades ago. We'd be better off as a city if a critical mass of residents kept this idea front of mind and took lawmakers to task accordingly.


A_P_Dahset t1_j7qos8t wrote

>I'm not sure how these products get purchased and approved, but if there's public or in-house comment available, we've never been made privy to it.

Very interesting. Slightly surprised, but not completely, to hear that input isn't sought from teachers on curriculum selection. Thanks again for these details.


A_P_Dahset t1_j7qh5dr wrote

Thanks so much for the additional context. Adds nuance for those of us without kids and/or working outside of the education sector. That said, do you and other educators who feel similarly about the excessiveness of the curriculum have any means of advocating for streamlining it? Is this an issue that's generally tracking with parents? Lastly, does the Kirwan/Blueprint plan address this issue?


A_P_Dahset t1_j7qchjs wrote

>Low literacy and behavioral issues lead to increased prevalence of criminal activity and other associated antisocial behavior. This costs the city of Baltimore billions of dollars a year in economic costs, due to the fact that it takes a person with a lot of grit, determination, and relatively high tolerance of risk to move here, be economically productive, and raise a family, creating a high barrier for the best and brightest (even with Johns Hopkins). This city is relatively will-integrated and deeply affordable compared to the rest of the East Coast. It should be booming and rapidly growing, but it isn’t.

You're correct on this part; strongly agree. But all the other major east coast cities have already been where Baltimore now is. For that reason I think your proposal isn't the most feasible. Instead, Baltimore's elected officials need to unbury their heads from the sand and actually focus aggressively on growth-oriented public policy and investments to address affordable and inclusionary housing, land use, transportation, and real estate tax reform. I realize this might be asking for much, but given all the cities that are eating Baltimore's lunch, should it be?

Baltimore isn't growing because: we're an old historic city with car-centric Sun Belt city aspirations; our leaders resist fundamental principles of good urbanism; and for some reason said leaders find it perfectly okay to charge us double the price of their competitors for shoddy public service delivery. Baltimore really shows no urgency to sustainably attract economic opportunity to the city. While every student here can't become a world-class scholar, a growing city with more businesses of all sizes, that at minimum pay living wages, could provide more opportunities for steady employment and improved quality of life for less-educated residents.

All this to say that a growing city that is more dense, accessible, and economically competitive can help deconcentrate poverty, which can lead to improved educational outcomes. But leadership needs to have a holistic view of the city and the willingness to move beyond status quo at a faster-than-marginal pace.


A_P_Dahset t1_j5sn5cq wrote

I take the DC sub with somewhat a grain of salt on Wiedefeld. Ridership had been falling for a # of years before he joined WMATA, and a big part of his tenure was focused on addressing deferred maintenance, which was painful but necessary. I did think at times that he was conservative in his management as far as not exploring services that other transit agencies offer, like a Night Owl Bus service or late night weekend rail service. Then COVID hit and all bets were off.

FWIW, I think there's a heavy (and likely frustrating) political angle to being Metro GM & having to balance relationships/sometimes wrangle with the Feds, the Mayor of DC, and the governors of VA and MD. Wiedefeld seems like more of a technical person who probably didn't enjoy the political side of the job. Obviously, there will still be politics to deal with in his new role but he's going to have a lot of latitude to shape policy and he'll be well-supported by Moore and Miller, so perhaps a less intense dynamic compared to being head of WMATA. He never struck me as incompetent though.


A_P_Dahset t1_j5qy4yv wrote

When he was GM of WMATA, I would see Wiedefeld all the time on the MARC, commuting to DC from Penn Station. Always found it amusing that a Baltimore guy was running the DC Metro, and doing so via a commute on MARC at that. Humble guy with deep local ties apparently, so I know the city doing well actually means something to him. Conversed with him a couple times and he even got to telling me about how his grandfather, a sailor, founded St. Ann's Church at 22nd St & Greenmount Ave, after surviving a storm at sea where he pledged to work for God if God saved him.

That said, didn't see this pick coming, but agree that it leans good. With his background in airports and transit, I imagine that more multimodal investment will be prioritized at MDOT. It's a definite upgrade from Pete Rahn who was a highways guy that served as transportation secretary in Missouri and New Mexico, before Hogan brought him to Maryland.


A_P_Dahset t1_j38bosv wrote

Ha, I think it might be slightly bad writing with not enough commas used, lol. I actually took it as three things---infrastructure and quality of life grouped together, in the sense of infrastructure condition being a quality of life indicator. So maybe it should read: Scott said his top three priorities are public safety, the environment, and infrastructure & quality of life...?


A_P_Dahset t1_j15yrvq wrote

>You’re now moving into moving goalpost territory. We weren’t talking about food deserts. You went on some BS rant and I called you out on the plot holes in your narrative. You then tried moving goalposts and gaslighting. So that where the confusion came from. Below I’ve copied and pasted your direct quote to help with your confusion:

I'm not the one confused or ranting, but I'm sure you do fancy yourself as having "called out" something. The goalposts haven't moved; keep up. I cited weak economic policy and population loss as factors in Baltimore's relative lack of amenities, and simply used the food sector (i.e., restaurants and grocery stores) as an example, given the title/theme of this thread. Accordingly, food deserts are an indicator of the availability of grocery stores (again, one of the amenities that I originally cited), as the most common outlet for fresh food, though of course one can have other options.

In raw numbers, the city is shrinking on account of a mass exodus of low income residents. There's ample civic discussion about the ongoing loss of residents, as I'm sure you're aware. The population was lower in 2020 than in 2010, and lower in 2021 than in 2020. Since 2010, there's been a negligible (1%) increase in # of households on account of single, higher-income new residents moving in. Ideally, many of the people who are leaving would be able to stay and contribute to the city growing (in terms of both raw numbers and households), assuming they saw some measure of value in remaining in the city, which isn't the case at the moment.


A_P_Dahset t1_j14n0bb wrote

I noted that Northwood isn't the L; Greektown is close enough. Nowhere did I state about grocery stores that [absolutely] "none want to come here," so I don't know why you quoted that.

Decipher the nuance: again, in a shrinking city, grocery stores are choosing to operate in select areas, particularly those that happen to be growing, which bodes better for profitability. Within a one-mile radius of Canton Crossing you can find Safeway, Sprouts, Harris Teeter, Target, and Di Pasquale's Marketplace; in Cherry Hill and Sandtown, nothing. Grocery store operators do not want to come here in the numbers that we wish they would; the food deserts of East and West Baltimore, and city gov's tax credit to induce operators to the city reflect this fact. Ultimately, these are for-profit businesses in a free market, so they make location decisions accordingly; it is what it is. I imagine they would find a growing and more economically competitive Baltimore, more attractive.

Two things can be true at once: grocery stores opened up in more affluent, growing neighborhoods, while less affluent, shrinking neighborhoods do not have as many and struggle to attract grocery stores. Not sure what the confusion is here.


A_P_Dahset t1_j12tq5a wrote

>Dude a giant just opened up in Locust point last week.. Northwood Commons by Morgan got a Lidl…they opened the Streets Markets in Greektown and Charles Village a few years ago.

I do "even live in Baltimore" and your comment supports my point. These are all stores that opened up in White L neighborhoods where population is growing, with the exception of Lidl which opened up in NE Baltimore near a growing university campus, where there is a middle-income black population. Meanwhile food deserts abound in East and West Baltimore where the city is shrinking.

Do you track that lack of access to fresh food is a major issue in Baltimore City? At the same time that the Giant was opening in Locust Point, Price Rite in Pigtown was announcing that it would be closing down at the end of this year, much to the community's disappointment. In Cherry Hill, residents are working to create a food co-op because there's no grocery store in the area. The city administers a whole Grocery Store Tax Credit program in an effort to lure operators into the city and it's still a struggle.

>And cool, hip new restaurants open every other day. Do you even live in Baltimore? It a global “post Covid” adjustment. This issue is happening downtowns across the nation.

New restaurants open every other day...and how many survive over the long haul? How much more of a shot at success would restaurants have in a city with a growing population, which translates to a bigger customer base, more demand, and more dollars circulating?

I made no mention of downtown. Poor economic policy and shrinking population are citywide problems that pre-existed COVID. Yes, the pandemic wiped out businesses and dampened demand. In our current post-pandemic recovery mode, people want things to do and places to go---cities with growing populations will have an easier time in providing such amenities.


A_P_Dahset t1_j124hkb wrote

For too long, Baltimore City (and Maryland state) government(s) have had no urgency for economic policy and infrastructure investment geared toward the city's overall population growth and stimulating business demand. As a result, there's a drag on the presence of amenities in this city; and in my opinion, this plays out most vividly in the food sector, both retail and restaurants. Grocery stores don't want to come here & restaurants open today, go out of business tomorrow, and have early closing hours in the interim. It's all pathetic given the city's beauty, potential, and youthful vibe---there could be a booming night time economy here.

All that said, not sure where you live but American Pizza & Wings has really good (non NY-style) pizza...closes at 1AM weekdays, 2AM wknds. Silver Moon 1 is open till 3AM every day...I've heard from a friend that it's good but never personally had it.


A_P_Dahset t1_iwqe8ij wrote

It's possible to get cheap fares but you have to play around in the reservations and keep looking constantly to snag last minute low prices, sometimes even within a day or two of travel---so only works if your plans are relatively flexible. In September I got Bmore to Bridgeport, CT for $37, NYC back to Bmore for $37. Last weekend Bmore to NYC on Acela for $83 and Bridgeport, CT back to Bmore for $56. I might have booked the ticket to Bridgeport in September a week or two out, but everything else was booked within 1 or 2 days.


A_P_Dahset t1_iwgxycv wrote

Gotcha. I can see Philly being less friendly than Baltimore; others have mentioned that as well. At the same time, I had a friend living here in Patterson Park who moved down from Philly, who always talked about how unsafe she felt in PP and in Bmore, as a single woman, compared to living in Philly. I think in both cities violent crime is somewhat concentrated and perceptions of safety depend on how close you are to those concentrated areas, tho in Bmore due to the relative smallness, it's easier to be closer to crime. But I could be wrong, just my personal observation...