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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

York Road Collective

On April 16th, Father Linnane and Mayor Rawlings-Blake announced the award of a contract to improve York Road, making it safer and cleaner for the Baltimore community.  This award was the final step concluding a two-year plan to revitalize York Road.

Appropriately, Loyola has been the cornerstone organization for the York Road corridor collective, working to make the area safer for Loyola students and the Baltimore community as a whole.  Erin O’Keefe, director of Loyola’s York Road Initiative, explained Loyola’s position in the corridor collective. O’Keefe stated that, “the collective is a group that was formed with Loyola as the backbone organization and support system.”  As for herself, she explained, “I oversee the collective, organize the group, and seek funding.”

The contracting team was only hired recently so subsequently, not all the specifics have been publicly issued yet. However, the organizations involved plan to go to great lengths to enhance York Road’s quality.  O’Keefe explained, “We wrote multiple grants, so the team has not actually started their work yet. However, the result of hiring them came from the Urban Land Institute who made some recommendations.”  O’Keefe expressed some intended improvements they hope to complete, such as more crosswalks. She stated:

“There is a need for York Road to have greater pedestrian safety. It has changed and became more of a commuter road; right now it’s not safe because people are always crossing in the middle of the street. Roads shouldn’t just be for cars-people should come first, like senior citizens who are trying to cross the street.”

Loyola will continue to do work on the corridor collective, pushing projects forward.  They plan on issuing their next press release in either September or October of 2014.  O’Keefe shared some of the progress that has already been made. She said, “we already planted one hundred new trees on the corridor, which I’m sure you have noticed, and did some paving.”  She also explained how this collective will affect and help Loyola students and Baltimore community members, “the road itself can bring in new businesses. Right now, it’s not safe to set up shop because people just drive by, using York Road as a commuter road. There’s a great deal of need for businesses.”

For the most part, York Road is currently a perilous environment to drive down, walk down, or shop around, with the exception of a few areas such as Belvedere Square.  We often hear of muggings or stabbings that occur on those dangerous streets, located, for Loyola students, in our own backyard. However, this collective is a plan to change all that and make it an area Loyola students, and all people in general, can walk to and go to spend the day with their friends or family. York Road has enormous potential and does not have to remain a carefully treaded territory. The improvements that will be made in the upcoming months and years, can redetermine York Road’s reputation, making it a secure place for Baltimore (and Loyola) residents to live and enjoy.

 

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York Road Collective