On Friday, September 10, 2010, residents and community leaders of West Baltimore stood at the western edge of the “Highway to Nowhere” and looked on as Governor Martin O’Malley operated a hydraulic hammer to break ground and signify the kick-off of demolition. The Governor emphasized that demolishing parts of the old highway structure is the first step in reconnecting West Baltimore’s neighborhoods.
“These are connections that advance progress,” said Governor O’Malley as he described the reconnection of Payson Street as a benefit of the MARC station parking expansion.
The Governor was joined by Mayor of Baltimore Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Maryland Secretary of Transportation Beverley K. Swaim-Staley, and long-standing community leader, Mr. John Hailey. As northern co-chair of the West Baltimore MARC TOD/Transportation, Inc., Mr. Hailey has been working with neighborhoods for the past several years to increase awareness and build support for the project.
“We make change happen when we work together,” Hailey said, “The demolition is a sign to everyone that change can really happen here, and it is just the beginning.”