Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has made it clear that the city’s vacant houses, overgrown yards, and other signs of urban blight are unacceptable and need to be dealt with right away. Well, sort of.
SRB just announced the Green Tracks initiative, which is aimed at creating a green, blight-free corridor along the Amtrak rail line that brings passengers into the city. The city has earmarked $3 million for the effort, which will involve purchasing and demolishing some of the most objectionable-looking buildings near the railway. The city has already installed a new sign as the first step in this initiative. (Back in August, we wondered about some of the mixed messages the sign was sending.)
It’s easy to feel cynical about this project. After all, it’s very clearly aimed making train passengers have a better superficial impression of the city, rather than engaging in serious infrastructure work that would actually make life better for city residents. But at least we’ll all get a nicer view when we look out the window of the train, at least.