Pedestrian bridge poor choice for harbor [Letter]

November 14, 2013

While most might agree that the Inner Harbor is need of a facelift, the proposed pedestrian bridge is not a smart idea ("City to unveil Inner Harbor master plan," Nov. 13). Much has been said in The Sun about the importance of capitalizing on Baltimore's maritime heritage. It is unique, vibrant, colorful and draws large crowds as we witnessed with last year's "Sailabration," an event that is to be repeated on an even grander scale next year as we celebrate the bicentennial of Ft. McHenry's valiant defense of our city.

A pedestrian bridge in the Inner Harbor would make it impassable to tall ships with masts anywhere from 100 feet over the waterline such as the Pride of Baltimore to well over 150 feet on larger vessels. A pedestrian bridge would need to be excessively high or have a drawbridge component — the backers of this plan envision the latter — but either option would be very costly and present safety issues both to the pedestrians traversing it as well as the boats trying to navigate through or past the bridge in narrow confines of the innermost harbor area below.

It would be a terrible loss to the city to not see tall ships, international naval vessels and other impressive boats on the city's Inner Harbor waterline. We are one of the great maritime cities of the world — let's do everything we can to showcase that.

Claire Corcoran, Baltimore

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