As the Executive Director of Bikemore, Baltimore's livable streets advocacy organization I was grateful to see the dangers people walking in Baltimore City face highlighted in the recent article entitled "Walk Hard: Baltimore is unsafe and unsympathetic to pedestrians." At Bikemore, our daily work is spent shedding light on how vehicle traffic in Baltimore is often prioritized over the safety of human beings walking and riding bikes. These decisions not only decrease public safety but also our quality of life.
The article accurately discussed how our road designs, laws, and policies often favor those behind the wheel of a car. But what the article failed to discuss was how inherently solvable these problems really are. To generalize and simply say Baltimore as a city doesn't care ignores the fact that it is not some nebulous force that causes our roads to be this dangerous, but the daily actions of our elected leaders, appointed officials and city employees. People with power are consciously making decisions that disregard the health and safety of the citizens they are supposed to serve, and they need to be held accountable. The people that lead our city's agencies--most notably the Department of Transportation have failed on multiple levels to to design and build safer streets--streets that improve public safety and public health by encouraging biking and walking. This failure is not only out of line with how the majority of American cities now design their streets, but is grossly negligent.