One thing we learn from developing countries is how not to plan a city, state or a nation. Why is it that Baltimore seems to take a page from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s book of don’ts when developing a major city? I am no expert but to my eyes Baltimore seems to be a failing city. The only thing it is good for is the Harbor, Fells Point, and Canton. Oh — did I fail to mention the Inner Harbor? These are all neighborhoods in Harbor, so why is it that every time there is a grand plan to add an attraction to the city, it must go to one of these places. I am amazed at the city planning here. I understand that it’s where the investors wish to place their monies but Baltimore’s Mayor and City Council has input too. And besides, this city is made up of more than just people that frequent the Inner Harbor and its high priced attractions.
The slots debate is here and suddenly we have lost focus of where the intended location of the original slot parlors would be. The Pimlico Race Course in Park Heights was one of the spoken places but I guess due to the wrecked surrounding community, the race course was taken off the list. That is even more of a reason to place such a constant influx of traffic in that community to rebuild it. During the Preakness Stakes, I drove the area to see the spectators attend the minute long race and I observed something else. I observed the unlikely entrepreneurs that developed out of that one minute event. From parking, food, beverages, to shuttle rides, these were all bi-products of this one minute event that if lasted for years may have very positive affect on this community.
From everything that I have studied, nations try to develop the entire community. Remember, I am speaking of Baltimore city but my references may be much larger. In a developing country (let’s take Guatemala), you would normally see a capital city (Guatemala City) but the difference is that everything from government services to all types of businesses are in that same capital city. The rest of the country is usually without many services on the outskirts. The capital city if it is the largest city in the nation is one indication that the country may be a third world country. Now of course my example is simplified so in this case but other factors are drinking water, housing, and all other logistics that run a nation. You look at the United States or even Maryland, where our capital cities are smaller and not the largest city in that territory. Let’s take New York where the capital city is Albany would not even compete with its largest city of New York. The same with Maryland and its capital of Annapolis, Baltimore is clearly the most populated city thus Maryland passing one of the litmus tests of being third world. Looking at Baltimore in detail its “Capital” is the city center and it seems that all its resources are concentrated in that one area leaving the rest of the city unmanaged and decaying.
Baltimore politicians need to do a better job at city planning. The increased patronage of the race course due to possible slot parlor or convention center even in a blighted area in the Baltimore area will create legitimate demand for products and services which will create official businesses that the state/city officials would be able to tax and ultimately earn revenue to fill their coffers. This seems like a no-brainer and very elementary but I continually hear development companies pressing for Inner Harbor or Downtown space to place this parlor when It’s in the best interest of the City and Baltimore residents to place the new parlor in a blighted and devastated community to uplift the residents there.