Need more proof that Baltimore doesn’t always have its priorities straight? Consider the case of Charlie. He’s just your average guy who enjoys hanging out in the middle of a Charles Village traffic circle and occasionally gets in trouble with the Baltimore Police. Okay, sure, he’s not real exactly, but that doesn’t mean his feelings can’t get hurt!
So here’s the deal: A couple years ago, the city installed a traffic circle at 32nd Street and Guilford Avenue in Charles Village. But some motorists weren’t expecting or didn’t see the roundabout and drove right on over it — creating a whole new traffic hazard. So some enterprising resident — Charles Village-based artist Matt Fouse — stuck Charlie, a man-shaped sculpture made out of discarded metal, in the middle of the circle. Voila! No one drives over the traffic sculpture anymore — and Charles Village has a beloved new resident.
But the Baltimore Police don’t see it that way. They’ve announced that they plan to remove Charlie today because he “presents a hazard to both pedestrians and motorists,” according to the Baltimore Sun. The Sun’s non-scientific survey of neighborhood residents turned up clear support for Charlie. “It helps with community spirit, and I can’t see anything unsafe about its presence there,” Amy Thompson told the Sun. ” I hope that we’re allowed to keep it.”
At the very least, if the city insists on taking down Charlie, they should take down the man-woman outside Penn Station, too — it’s only fair.
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