Tag: grand prix

It’s Hard to Be a Tree in the City


A new study tracking tree density in 20 U.S. cities over an eight-year period (through 2005) found that Baltimore lost tree coverage at around one-half percent per year, a rate nearly twice the average of cities studied. The studied concluded that about the half the trees lost were displaced by pavement or buildings.

In 2010, the city adopted a plan to double Baltimore’s tree canopy by 2037, and TreeBaltimore will plant 6,700 trees in 2012, and plans to plant more next year. The question is, will these efforts be enough to reverse the effects of Grand Prixs and development projects (like the one at Mount Vernon Place)?

For those interested in urban reforestation, there is a website, i-Tree Canopy, a take on Google Earth that purports to survey the tree canopy of a given area. If anyone figures out how to use it, let me know.

City Strikes Five Year Deal on Baltimore Grand Prix


Courtesy of Citybizlist – Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake will announce the details of a new 5-year agreement on Wednesday with Downforce Racing, a motorsport promoter, regarding the city’s Grand Prix Race, according to abc2news.com.

From abc2news.com:

“Contract term — the agreement provides that the race will be conducted annually for an initial five year term beginning in September 2012 and ending in September 2016.

Amusement Tax Lock Box– Each ticket sold will include a 10 percent admission and amusement tax, which will be collected at the point of sale and placed into a lock box escrow account held by a City appointed trustee.”

Read the rest of the story at Citybizlist.com

So Where Are the Trees, Already?!


As you may have heard, Baltimore Racing Development cut down many trees in the city to improve the view of the Grand Prix auto race on Labor Day weekend. As you may or may not have noticed, not a single tree has yet been replaced, despite last week’s deadline for the planting of 198 new trees.

The financially-troubled company has not responded to questions regarding its inability to hold up its end of the bargain. Ultimately, it looks like the city will be forced to replant the trees themselves, spending $100,000 of taxpayer money to do so.

It’s still possible that BRD could turn around and meet the agreement (however late), but if so, will more trees be cut down for next year’s event? Perhaps more importantly, has the city learned its lesson about the relative value of “a tree in the hand?”

More Like "Pretty Good" Prix


An economic study of Baltimore’s Grand Prix finds that the event had a positive economic impact of $47 million. Sounds great until you compare it with the $70 million projection from Baltimore Racing Development last year.

The city made $1.7 million in tax revenues, far short of the $6 million projected, and moot when you consider the $6.5 million the city spent repaving roads (and the trees that were cut down, and the annoyance of road construction).

Still, the race has been deemed a net positive for the city (at least economically), and Baltimore can look forward to hosting the Grand Prix every summer for the next four years.