Mayor Rawlings-Blake is proposing changes to the Baltimore City zoning codes.
The plan, called Transform Baltimore, may or may not be a good thing.
The City Planning Department has created a website (www.rewritebaltimore.org) that attempts to explain the changes. There is plenty of text to read and maps to view. But it is mostly fairly complicated stuff for the average Joe to understand.
There is a feature where people can look up how the zoning codes will effect where they live. And, after all, isn't that the main thing most people are interested in? The idea is that you type in a specific address and you will find information on what code changes mean for that area.
But if you want to look up a specific address there is one problem. The system does not run on Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser. It only can be viewed using Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari.
This seems a little bit odd to me considering that IE is the most popular browser in the United States. Yes, Google Chrome is now the leading browser worldwide, but last I checked, Baltimore City is still in the U. S. (although some may argue that it is more like a city in a third world country, but that is another discussion).
I know a lot of people swear by Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, but still, IE is pretty popular by any measurement. It is the browser I like and use.
Maybe there is a good explanation as to why the Planning Department has decided to exclude IE. They don't tell us why on the website. But it seems to me that creating a public information website that does not run on the most popular Internet browser is akin to setting up a highway that doesn't allow certain types of automobiles to ride on it. Can you imagine if the Jones Falls Expressway banned Fords or Toyotas?
I suppose the easy solution for me is to download one of the browsers that are offered. But I don't want to. I am sick of clogging up my PC with programs and forced downloads. If I download Google Chrome, for example, I am sure that the system will begin trying to take over every aspect of my Internet experience. I'm sick of all that. I like to keep my PC as clutter free as possible. I have tried some other browsers in the past, but I like IE the best.
So, if I want to learn more about the zoning changes, I'll have to do it the old fashioned way - by going to the public meetings.