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A Smarter Way to Get There?

Today, the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore launched its new site that’s intended to help commuters figure out how they can get to Harbor East without a car, or at least show them alternatives. The site, entitled “A Smarter Way to Get There,” has some cool-looking features, though I’m not having great success in using it right yet. Over time, it will probably get easier as they refine it.

Basically, here’s how it works: the site is oriented around a map with 11 icons below it, for the various Maryland Transit Administration lines and the Baltimore’s pending Charm City Circulator. You can click one of the options and see what resources are available around Harbor East. For example, click on the bicycle and it will show you public bike racks around the area. (And fun facts. Did you know that you burn 85 calories in a ten minute bike ride?) But it’s hard to look at other parts of the city where commuters might stop or be coming from. I’m sure that wouldn’t be too hard to fix.

Overall, it’s an interesting idea, because the Harbor East area, with its relatively narrow, two-way streets, is not going to wind up being a place where everybody can drive their own car to work. As Robbie Whelan and I wrote last year, many of the intersections in that area are projected to become inadequate if the growth continues apace. Using the existing public transportation could be helpful, but everyone seems to acknowledge that it’s going to be hard to accommodate growth down there without the Red Line, an east-west light rail link that’s years away.