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Plan for Charles Village after street collapse

Residents share their vision
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Posted at 10:37 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 08:35:42-04

BALTIMORE — Panic quickly turned to planning when the ground started caving in on 26th Street in Charles Village in November 2018.

Six months later, a lot of work has been done on the $7.5 million plan to rebuild and reinforce the retaining wall between the street and CSX rail.

Baltimore City Department of Transportation said with the new construction people can also expect new street lights, trees, and ADA compliant sidewalks and ramps. Most people in Charles Village are impressed by the work that’s been done but made what they want done with the space clear.

Kyle Fritz has been talking with his neighbors, and with their input he drew up plans for what they want for the 60 feet of space. He came up with three blueprints.

“30 feet of park and sidewalk and then 30 feet for cars and parking,” said Fritz. “I think that’ll be one way to do it. Another way you could do it to close this street and put a park in the middle, that would be really nice. We’re not saying DOT you have to do it one way or the other we’re just saying consider some other options besides putting the street back the way it was.”

Marshal Sherer wants to see a similar rebuild to what was done on the other side where there was a collapse in 2014.

“It was two way, I do like what they did on the other side where the first collapse happened a couple of years back,” Sherer said. “I actually do like that they turned that into a one way. If they do something like that I personally wouldn’t be opposed to that.”

Councilman Robert Stokes represents the city's 12th District. He’s been responding to people's concerns and hopes for the area but said no plan is set in stone yet.

“They want the park, but we still got to have some other conversations and more meetings, so we can see how this can work for the community and the city and make it a win-win for everybody.”

While they build, the people hope their voices are heard.

“The hopes are to have another meeting involving all of the agencies so that we can talk about whether some of the space that’s currently open could be turned into green space, “ Kirsch Jones said.

Councilman Stokes said they are optimistic the wall will be rebuilt sometime next month. Before that happens, he’s working on putting together another community meeting to discuss options.