BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It’s one of the busiest roadways in Baltimore City and now some are calling for a major change to the JFX
WJZ’s Amy Yensi has more on the proposal.
The JFX is an important interstate that helps people get to and move around Baltimore City. Part of it is an elevated expressway that some say is a barrier to the city’s development.
In an article in the Baltimore Business Journal, Jay Brodie, former president of the Baltimore Development Corp. calls for it to be demolished. He says the stretch, spanning six city blocks creates a divide between downtown and communities in the eastern part of the city.
Kirby Fowler with the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore says the line of demarcation is bad for business.
“We have great development occurring right up to the edges of the JFX and then you look across and you see it’s not spilling over and there’s a real physical reason for that,” Fowler says.
On one side you have downtown, its businesses, attractions and foot traffic and on the other a detention center, and fewer pedestrians.
Other cities have torn down their elevated expressways, including San Francisco, Philadelphia and Boston, where the traffic circle was replaced with a tunnel.
The city’s transportation department says it would require a new boulevard.
“That was estimated at between $200 to $250 million dollars. That’s the equivalent of five years of the city’s total capital transportation program,” officials said.
With so many other repairs hanging in the balance, it’s a cost the city says it just can’t afford.
Now officials say the only way this would even be possible is with the help of federal funds and even that could go to other needed repair projects.