Street lights unveiled along Greenmount Ave.

March 20, 2002|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

Enhanced lighting for walkers in Waverly will draw the community closer and boost business along Greenmount Avenue, Mayor Martin O'Malley declared as he flipped a switch at dusk yesterday to reveal a series of green, retro-looking streetlights spanning four city blocks.

"It may seem like a little thing," O'Malley said, standing on Greenmount near 34th Street, "but it's a big thing."

The street-lighting improvement is part of Baltimore Main Streets, a revitalization program aimed at sprucing up the city's commercial corridors and districts. Hampden, Belair-Edison, Federal Hill, Pennsylvania Avenue, East Monument Street and Washington Boulevard/Pigtown have Main Streets programs.

Main Streets, a city-funded effort conceived and led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, emphasizes teamwork and problem-solving among merchants and recommends eye-catching touches such as banners and attractive storefronts.

For Waverly, the street lighting is another sign of expansion and improvement for the largely blue-collar community since the fall of nearby Memorial Stadium on East 33rd Street. In January, the Giant supermarket chain announced plans to build on a stretch of land just off Greenmount Avenue, and a new gasoline station by BP is in the works at 33rd Street and Greenmount.

"A light is always healthy when it's dark in a tough neighborhood," said resident Eleanor Waters.

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