Have you ever tried to park around Patterson Park? It’s hardly worth it. Even if you’re coming from Roland Park, you might as well walk; it’ll probably take you just as long as circling the block 1,000 times to find a legal space. Last week, city officials presented a new Patterson Park Parking Study, which proposed paving over enough space to add nearly 100 new parking spots to the park. But now some neighborhood residents are crying foul, saying that the new plan will just eliminate green space and bring more cars to one of Baltimore’s favorite two- and four-legged recreation areas.
“[T]he Parking Plan is in conflict with many of the things that we have been trying to do in the Park for years; e.g., eliminate vehicular traffic and remove paved surfaces to increase green space,” writes Jim Kraft, the first district’s city councilmember. The three proposed parking lots would be intended to supplement the pre-existing parking space, which will be necessary (according to the city) once some of the Health Department’s adult day care programs are moved from Highlandtown to the Patterson Park Casino, which would become the city’s flagship senior facility on the east side of town.
The new parking spaces and proposed loop road through the park would ostensibly create improved access, but many neighborhood residents are reacting with predictable (and justifiable) ire. Some of that anger stems from the fact that the plan wasn’t public knowledge until it was already in an advanced stage. “Does it scare you that they already have a ‘formal’ plan and no one even knew they were considering it?,” an opponent wrote on a brand-new Facebook page created to galvanize opposition to the plan.
What’s your take? Would more paving make the park more useful and accessible? Or are more cars the last thing Patterson Park needs?
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