Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The Inner Harbor is the premier tourist attraction in Baltimore, Maryland. Taking this into account one would assume that there would need to be parking to accommodate all of the traffic. This results in a combination of street parking, above and underground parking structures and parking lots. The harbor is surrounded by office buildings, restaurants, hotels and general public gathering space. The experience at the inner harbor is truly unique in that there is a vast amount of open space that is not encroached upon by large buildings. With the exception of the World Trade Center, Baltimore all of the tall buildings are on the other side of the street. It has a different feel than in other cities that have their open space enclosed within the city. It is refreshing to be able to look across the harbor and see the other side as oppose to cumbersome skyscrapers. One thing that does distract from the nice landscape is the amount of surface parking and parking structures within a one block radius of the water. It is not as overwhelming as skyscrapers for miles; however, several stories of concrete is not the most pleasant sight. Parking must be addresses since there are so many tourist, but there are ways to deal with the situation that are more aesthetically pleasing. Underground parking although expensive is a way to free up space for either open space or buildings. Is there anything more visibly offensive than seeing rows and rows of cars amongst otherwise beautiful scenery. Another option is to disguise the parking with cladding or even turning it into a green wall. Anything is better than looking at concrete masses.