Community Groups Call for Moratorium on Complete Streets

Today, the Friends of Gwynns Falls Parkway together with the Concerned Citizens of Baltimore called on city leaders to issue a moratorium on Complete Streets – an ordinance adopted in 2018.  Billed as an approach that would change the transportation landscape of the city, Complete Streets is a manual that establishes standards for planning, designing, implementing, and operating infrastructure projects in Baltimore City.

The community groups argue that the manual is to prescriptive and does not allow for enough community involvement and input.  “There should not be a one size fits all approach to Complete Streets”, says Linda Batts, former DPW employee now Secretary of Friends of Gwynns Falls Parkway.  “I was on the inside when this legislation arrived in the city and for quite some time have been pointing out the red flags”.

“Now that some of the projects have been completed, we are seeing the impacts of the rigid confines of the manual”, says Desmond Stinnie of Concerned Citizens of Baltimore – a grassroots group that is currently suing the city over rolled-back recycling services.  “We cannot trade-off transportation efficiency and manufacture more bottlenecks the way these projects are doing”  he continued.  “I think what we are seeing is the result of monumental lack of engagement of the community in the planning process and now we have to go back to the drawing board with everyone having a seat at the table”.

“For an equitable transportation system we must first deal with our public transit system; get it operating more efficiently and then phase in these street re-configurations” says Mary Hughes Vice President of Friends of Gwynns Falls Parkway.

The two organizations are having a joint rally this Monday, September 18th, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. at City Hall 200 N. Holiday Street, Baltimore, MD 21202.  “We hope many of our community members and elected leaders will join us and support us in our efforts” Hughes said.