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Baltimore's Inner Harbor. (File)

Survey: City residents want Inner Harbor amenities

Results of a voter survey released Tuesday by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore found city residents have a positive impression of the Inner Harbor but want more investment in free amenities.

Opinion Works conducted the phone survey of 378 registered city voters between Aug. 13 and Aug. 29 and found that 68 percent of residents have visited the Inner Harbor for reasons other than work during the past year. The top three reasons for visiting the area were to walk along the water and enjoy the area (70 percent); to eat out (67 percent); and to visit the National Aquarium (64 percent).

Residents overwhelmingly found the Inner Harbor to be a secure area, with 80 percent of respondents calling it safe.

The survey also found that 62 percent of residents interviewed said they would visit more often if there were free activities for children; 57 percent said they would visit more often if there were more shade available; and 56 percent said they would visit more frequently if there were more outdoor cafes. About 69 percent of residents also said they found it important that the city add more free amenities to attract city residents.

Survey results also found racial disparities in how black and white residents use the Inner Harbor. According to the results, 75 percent of African-Americans came to the area to eat compared to 55 percent of whites. Meanwhile, 73 percent of whites said they visit an attraction, such as the National Aquarium, compared to 55 percent of black residents.

“These results affirm the direction taken in Inner Harbor 2.0 to incorporate new, free amenities at the Harbor to attract more local residents,” Laurie Schwartz, president of the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, said in a news release.  “It is incredibly helpful to learn what specific qualities of an upgraded Harbor are important to Baltimore residents, such as more shade and outdoor cafes in parks.”

The Waterfront Partnership is also holding its first public meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the Maryland Science Center to gather public input for a redesign of Rash Field, which is at the south end of the Inner Harbor.

About Adam Bednar

Adam Bednar covers real estate and development for The Daily Record.