It’s going to be a long two years for commuters accustomed to driving along Charles Street and residents living in Charles Village.
Charles Street between 25th Street and University Parkway will be undergoing reconstruction anticipated to start in April and expected to take 750 days to complete.
“We’re about to be in a great disturbance for about two years in my district because Charles Street will be closed for most of that time between 29th Street and University Parkway—except to local traffic,” Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said.
According to the Baltimore City Department of Transportation, the street between 25th and 29th streets will be milled and resurfaced. Between 29th Street and University Parkway there will be a complete reconstruction of the road, median and sidewalk.
The construction will force a major change in traffic pattern, as vehicles headed north will head up Calvert Street from 28th Street to University Parkway. Art Museum Drive will continue to open onto Charles Street and allow motorists to continue to 33rd Street. Commuters headed south on Charles Street would be redirected east on University Parkway and then would have to take St. Paul Street south.
The project is part of a larger plan to revitalize Charles Street as a scenic byway through the city to Baltimore County. The project was announced in 2007 when then Mayor Sheila Dixon and the Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith held a press conference on the steps of the Baltimore Museum of Art to talk about the project.
Clarke, who represents the area, said she is working with the Department of Transportation and businesses in Charles Village to come up with a plan to mitigate parking problems caused by the construction.
She said she is worried about businesses along Chares and St. Paul streets, but also the impact it could have on parking further east in Charles Village. Clarke said she is working with transportation officials to come up with some kind of strategy to at least ease the parking crunch in the area.
“We have a domino (effect) situation with a Rubick's Cube solution,” Clarke said.
Jason Zaiderman, owner of Eddie’s Liquors in Charles Village, said the possibility of a loss of parking as a result of the construction is a concern for him because of his business’ proximity to Johns Hopkins University.
“I’m worried about the lack of parking, especially because of student move-ins and move-outs,” Zaiderman said.