Inner Harbor needs more promotion

May 11, 2011

After publishing The Inner Harbor Network, for eight years, I'd like to comment on Jake Stern's observation ("Inner Harbor is for Baltimoreans too," May 9) about Baltimore's premier tourist attraction. It's a great place to visit and even a better place to live. I've called the Inner Harbor home for close to 20 years and wouldn't move anywhere else.

However, most Inner Harbor residents are apathetic about the area — have no interest in promoting it, and often denigrate the location stating fear of crime and lack of parking. I've heard these complaints more times than I can remember.

Downtown residents, whether renters or homeowners, need to become active in promoting the area — you just can't leave everything to Visit Baltimore or Downtown Partnership. Also, local venues are hopelessly remiss in letting folks know what they're doing. This is especially true of the community theaters and other live entertainment establishments. After eight years of providing a community service for the Inner Harbor community, it's still a lengthy and difficult process to ferret out neighborhood information each month. Even after you have explained your goals and your desire to improve the community, no one appears to care — and forget about press releases or the like.

I want to see the Inner Harbor community flourish, I want to see our property values go through the roof; and above all, I'd like to see downtown residents form an umbrella association, something similar to the Community Boards in New York City. But yes, we have a long, long way to go!

R.E. Heid, Baltimore

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