Baltimore Crossing has long been a confusing and potentially dangerous transportation hub for pedestrians and bicyclists. Located at the five-way intersection of 48th St., Baltimore Ave. and Florence Ave., the major crossing has traditionally provided users with a massive expanse of asphalt, fast moving vehicles, and a confusing pattern of crosswalks. Thankfully, University City District (UCD) has come to save the day, redesigning Baltimore Crossing to better serve the neighborhood’s evolving transportation needs.
Working in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, the Streets Department, and the community, UCD’s redesign has successfully improved pedestrian safety while decreasing waiting time for trolley riders. The new crossing features increased green space that incorporate natural materials. The redesign offers these improvements while also avoiding an impact on car parking.
Officially dubbed the “Baltimore Crossing Pedestrian Plaza”, the crossing’s redesign focuses on incorporating bump outs that protect pedestrians, slow down traffic, and improve the plaza’s overall aesthetics. The bump-outs are defined by newly installed terra cotta planters and collectively help to reduce pedestrian crossing distances by roughly 40% - 50%. Baltimore Crossing’s low-cost pedestrian solution is one example of UCD’s “lighter, quicker, cheaper” approach to improving and humanizing the neighborhood’s public spaces.