Environmental Activism in Baltimore: Parks and Transport

It is said that public transport rides result in 200,000 fewer deaths, injuries and accidents than similar trips made by car. Efficient transportation is an essential part of any city. Working class communities that don’t own cars need affordable and competent ways to travel to and from employment and other areas of interest. I was interested in learning more about transportation in Baltimore after listening to the struggles of Dr. Kate in landing a bus on time. I was also interested because I have learned about the importance of public transport in maintaining flourishing cities and reducing harmful gas reduction in our atmosphere. Transportation activism in Baltimore is not new. It’s a facet of larger environmental activism that seeks to reduce the toxic fumes vehicles are emitting. If more people took advantage of public transport, we could reduce those fumes and in turn help the Earth! Part of the problem with public transport, however, is making sure it’s sufficient for people to utilize. Activists in Baltimore are trying to change the current transportation system that focuses on the needs of the majority white suburban commuters. Most lines go north to south, instead of east to west – making it harder for city residents to get around. Likewise, there is more transportation going into the city than out to the suburbs, making commuting difficult for city residents who work service jobs in Baltimore County and beyond. If transportation were to become more safe and accessible, less people would be forced to rely on their own transportation.

Members of the city of Baltimore have also been looking for safe, free, and beautiful outdoor areas in which they can spend quality time outside. Parks are in high demand throughout the city, yet are a rare resource. The areas which are in the most need for these parks are given less attention due to their low HOLC rating. This is an unfair reasoning towards a lack of parks, and is a big part of environmental activism. Environmental activists believe more accessible parks and transportation are imperative issues for Baltimore that will effect social and economic change as well.

Check out some current and local environmentalism activist groups here: www.ebmc.org, http://www.cphabaltimore.org, friendsofmd.org, and www.edf.org.

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