Representatives from the Baltimore Department of Transportation (DOT) appeared as guests at the December South Baltimore Neighborhood Association meeting to address concerns about the new Horseshoe Casino, as well as continued concerns about Hanover St. Also in attendance were representatives from Westport Neighborhood Association, Westport Improvement Association, Sharp-Leadenhall, Ridgely’s Delight, Federal Hill Neighborhood Association, Southside Neighborhood Association, Otterbein and Citizens of Pigtown, as well as Councilman Cole, Senator Ferguson, Mary Pat Fannon from the Mayor’s office, Brent Flickinger from planning and local business owners.
Concerns and questions were raised at the November meeting with casino and government officials in attendance about the closing of Warner St. near Horseshoe, access to Russell St. and increased traffic, though DOT was not present to answer them. Though a traffic impact study is yet to be completed for the new casino, it is expected to be available by the first quarter of 2013 with the casino expected to open in mid 2014. The DOT started a traffic impact study with the previous casino group, but it was never completed as the license was never awarded.
As many local residents use Warner St. to access Bayard St. to make a left turn on Russell St., which leads to I-95 and 295, concerns were raised when they heard about the closing of Warner St. between Bayard and Worcester. The DOT assured that a new traffic light would be installed at Worcester St., so that local traffic could still turn left onto Russell St., and that the portion of Warner would not be closed until that new traffic light was completed.
Hanover St. has also been a growing concern for area residents because of high speeds through the residential street, as well as restricted truck traffic. A study was performed in 2012 and there was an installation of an electronic speed sign. A concept for Hanover St. will be in place within the next month and potentially, if the budget permits, medians could be installed for a couple blocks starting at Wells St. and moving north.
DOT also reported that a truck plan was in process for the entire city and should be completed soon.
As many questions were raised about traffic at the November meeting, very few were raised at this meeting as it appeared most were answered during the presentation.