Annapolis, MD (10-1-18) – Today, Annapolis Department of Public Works crews began the removal of the temporary bike path along Main Street in downtown Annapolis. The work is expected to be complete by the end of the work day.
The Mayor issued the following statement:
“Last week, I met with the Main Street merchants and at their urging, we are removing bike path in time for this week’s boat show. I listened to their concerns and I hear them loud and clear. I believe we have met them in the middle.
“Two weeks of observation achieved our primary intent - to make Main Street more experiential and dynamic. Our intent was to see if this demonstration could attract more people downtown. I will continue to meet with Main Street merchants to do all that we can together to make this city better for locals, businesses, and tourists alike.
“This past weekend’s beautiful weather and multiple events gave us a preview of what our Main Street could one day look like – tables full of families taking breaks from enjoying our shops and restaurants, sitting at the tables, and taking in the openness and breathtaking views of our town.
“We have learned a great deal from this trial. It has generated a lot of new discussion and has brought forth a lot of new ideas with the eventual re-bricking of Main Street and the replacement of Hillman Garage. This real-world trial has proved invaluable in many ways – ways that no theoretical and costly study could ever do. We will review the many comments and surveys that people took the time to complete.
“The outpouring from the community has been insightful, both positive and negative.
People are talking again about possible future ideas, like reversing the flow of traffic down Main Street or creating a programmable plaza on Upper Main Street.
“What this experience also demonstrated to me is that we must prioritize the replacement of Hillman Garage, including additional parking, before we move forward with any projects on Main Street.
“The investment we made in this trial was not just a one-time thing. We now own these materials. We will repurpose the tables and chairs, as well as the construction materials, over the next three years throughout the City with other proposed bike paths and pop-up projects. We hope to support other businesses areas like Maryland Avenue, West Annapolis, and Fourth Street in Eastport with these ideas and materials.
“Most of all, I remain committed to connecting communities throughout the city with a network of bike paths and walking trails that lead all of our citizens to a welcoming downtown.
“We will continue to try new ideas, but strong leaders should be able to listen and understand that not every idea is going to work. We can only know by trying and having the ability to pivot. I am incredibly grateful to everyone that has shown their support for this trial and I am grateful for the feedback of those not in support.
“We must keep trying new things. We will continue to try exciting concepts that are being successfully rolled out in other cities across the country.
“My love for this town was instant the moment I arrived 25 years ago and why I ran for mayor. I campaigned to bring new vision that includes all residents of Annapolis. I am committed to a vision that will unite our communities and strengthen our businesses while protecting what we all love about this historic town. To quote Ben Franklin, ‘When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.’”