Our interventions may be simple and quite easily realized, or they may at times be grand and possibly take years or decades to complete. Either way, we hope they generate interest and discussion.
Our first reboot is the Dean Street Interchange and Viaduct between Federal Hill and the Valley/Smith Hill neighborhoods. Currently there’s no doubt, this area is built for the automobile. Lanes are wide, turning radii are designed for highspeed auto travel, sightlines for pedestrians are limited, and in many areas sidewalks and crosswalks are non-existent.
There is also no proper streetscape. In the Federal Hill side the street is lined with highway ramps and surface parking, with small buildings set back from the street. On the Valley side the street is lined with industrial areas with open surface lots below the raised berm the street sits on. To the north of that, across the river lie suburban style development, gas stations, car washes, drive-thru fast food joints and more surface parking.
We propose a radical intervention to make this area more urban, improving pedestrian and bicycle connections between Federal Hill to the south and Valley and Smith Hill to the north, de-emphasize the highway, create urban streetwalls with buildings, stores, and parkland, and free up acres of land for redevelopment.