Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lights Out

There are some profound truths in the world that we all just know as fact. There are also these in the urban world. "Pedestrians should use the sidewalk", "Turn signals are best effective when used", "Green means go". There is another one that seems little used in Baltimore though, "Street Lights are most helpful when turned on". Swing-and-a-miss for our city.

I bring this up, because I've noticed one glaring thing almost everyday from my walk back to work. Not too long ago, over the late summer and fall, road workers were busy repairing a stretch of E.Saratoga St between Calvert and Cathedral as a part of a streetscape improvement program. In addition to street work, the sidewalks were replaced, and new pedestrian street lamps were installed. You know, the nice tall black ones with the clear glass bulb at the top, typical of the rest of Baltimore.

After the construction was finished, it looked greatly improved, except one little, minor oversight. The street lights were never, I'm guessing, plugged in. Now, I've walked this route at 5pm when the sun is just setting and the street lights aren't on, because we know that sometimes the lights are triggered at a certain hour. However, I've walked Saratoga Street at 8, 9, 10, 11pm, and have never seen them lit!

Is this just a minor oversite, negligence or is there another step of the process that I'm just not getting. Thoughts?

UPDATE: Jamie Kendrick from Baltimore DOT left a comment regarding the lights. Thanks for the news!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Charm City Circulator on NextBus

You can get realtime information for where the CharmCityCirculator is now on NextBus. I knew that the CCC was going to have next vehicle arrival technology, and eventually ever stop would have a nextbus sign, but I don't know when that will be active. In the meantime you can check out NextBus on the web. I have heard that mobile alerts feature works similarly.

Why CCC doesn't have this posted on their website already is beyond me. There is a BusTracker feature, but is labled "coming soon".

This is Why I Love My Hometown

I saw this first on Greater Greater Washington, and I thought I would share it seeing as it depicts cars at an intersection in my hometown of Philadelphia. We hear a lot of stories about how drivers complain that bicyclists don't obey the traffic laws, run stop signs,  and cause problems for motorists. Or pedestrians, for that matter, attempting to cross the street. GASP! How dare they! Just take a look at this video then. Can you count how many cars make a full stop when there are 3 stop signs and a flashing red light?

The best is the video commentary, wait for the SUV with the duct-taped window.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Poe Toaster a No Show?

(photo credit, The Baltimore Sun)

Now this is very intriguing. For the first time since 1949, the mysterious caped man who visitied Edgar Alan Poe's grave at Westminster Hall on the anniversary of Poe's birth, January 19th, didn't show up. For the past 61 years, the unidentified toaster would leave a half-bottle of cognac and a rose on the grave of the poet who for a while live, and famously died in Baltimore. He generally comes overnight and by early morning the offering has been laid, but this morning, no cognac, no rose, nothing.

Has this minor tribute come to a conclusion? Last year was the bicentennial of his birth, potentially a fitting end to the toasting.

The Sun has a full article about this.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hollywood Diner (Crema Coffee Co) Now Accepts Plastic

Good news on the Hollywood Diner front, they got their credit/debit card machine going. Now, you don't have to walk in there, see the Cash Only sign, quickly check your wallet and notice it's devoid of paper currency, curse yourself mildy, and then with slumped shoulders walk back out the door. This is good news, indeed. I cannot tell you how many people I see just walk by in the mornings because they've probably already had the aforementioned encourter once or twice before.

This place is a real hidden gem of Baltimore. Enjoy it if you can!

Crema Coffee Co. at the Hollywood Diner at 400 E. Saratoga St is open Monday through Friday, 7am-5pm. When the Baltimore Farmers Market is season, they are open on Sundays too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Circulator Circulating Misinformation

Big thanks to Mike Dresser with his Getting There blog on The Sun. Apparently the CCC is giving out some band information that can strand riders. The brochures and bus announcements don't let people know that Purple and Green Routes AREN'T OPEN YET. Minor oversite, right? Sheesh, delayed seven months and still things are wrong!

Here is is full blog post at Getting There. Thanks Mike for the news. If you're reading out there, remember only the Orange Route is open, the other two start sometime in the Spring.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Let's Go Ravens!

(photo credit, The Baltimore Sun)

Playoff Football tomorrow afternoon, Ravens vs the Patriots. Let's go Purple and Black, show those cheaters up there in Foxborough how we play football!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mayor Dixon to Resign

This came as somewhat of a surprise to me. Instead of further pursuing the motion for a re-trial Mayor Dixon submitted an Alford plea to one count of perjury and tendered her resignation effective February 4th. This paves the way for City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to step up as the Mayor of Baltimore. What isn't known is how this will affect current city policies and initiatives that were started under Dixon's administration.

The Baltimore Sun has a full story below.

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon: Dixon agrees to resign effective Feb. 4 -

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome to 2010

We had a lot of good memories in 2009, but now it's time for 2010. We have a lot of hopes and dreams for the new year, and we can only wish for the best for the city of Baltimore. Here's to the new year, and all the best intentions for the city that we all call home.

I look forward to blogging about the news and goings on for our city, and I hope you all provide me with some good stories. Best wishes to all of you in the Baltimore area!