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City of Baltimore launches "slow streets" pilot program


Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Department of Public Works (DPW) announced a new pilot program that is designed to promote social distancing efforts for essential exercise.

In a statement, Young said the program expands people’s walking and biking options while helping residents “get some much-needed fresh air” in an appropriate space. “I have tasked the Department of Transportation with finding solutions to allow our residents ways of practicing social distancing in a safe environment,” said Young.

After a successful launch of the Druid Hill Park Pilot Program, DOT, in partnership with DPW, has determined that areas surrounding Lake Montebello can further promote exercise activities with safe social distancing protocols. The pilot program will begin on Monday, May 4, 2020.

Through this pilot program, portions of Lake Montebello will close to vehicular traffic so that residents can walk and bicycle safely around Lake Montebello while practicing proper social distancing protocols. Residents visiting Lake Montebello must stay in compliance with social distancing rules of 6 feet.

Steve Sharkey, Department of Transportation Director, said as the weather continues to change, DOT is taking action to help maintain and protect the health of city residents. “This new addition to our pilot program creates more options and opportunities for our residents to exercise as the city works to maintain and protect the health of our residents,” said Sharkey.

“While we have always welcomed walkers and bicyclists to enjoy Lake Montebello, we must practice social distancing and respect the neighborhood,” Acting Department of Public Works Director Matthew Garbark said. “We are excited to partner with the Department of Transportation on the expansion of their Slow Streets Pilot Program which promotes social distancing in a responsible way.”

The following streets have been impacted by soft closures:

Lake Montebello:

  • All roadways circulating Lake Montebello closed, including Whitman Drive and Curran Drive
  • Detour using E. 32nd Street and Harford Road
  • Closure of Curran Drive to vehicular traffic.  Entrances to park are closed at Whitman Drive and Lake Montebello Drive and/or Chesterfield Avenue (options depend on construction contractor)
  • There will be no vehicular access to Lake Montebello Drive.  Neighborhood outlet at Lake Montebello Terrace

Local Access Only:

Residential streets immediately adjacent to Lake Montebello will be utilized for local access only.

As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues, a stay-at-home order remains in effect and residents should only leave home for essential activities.  Residents must practice proper social distancing protocols while out in public by staying at least six feet apart from people not in their household.

For more information on Batimore City’s continued COVID-19 response, visit https://coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov/.