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87% Of Baltimore Residents Surveyed Want To See Big Jump Protected Path Become Permanent

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- An overwhelming majority of residents surveyed want to keep the Big Jump, a separated path connecting the Reservoir Hill and Remington neighborhoods, the Baltimore City Department of Transportation announced Wednesday. 

In a survey, 87% of respondents told the agency they would like to see the protected path, which runs along parts of W. 28th Street and Druid Park Lake Drive, become a permanent fixture.

As part of a pilot program, the city removed one eastbound lane of traffic in 2018 and placed water-filled barriers to create a travel space for cyclists, pedestrians and people with mobility devices.

The Big Jump creates a better connection between the neighborhoods separated by the Jones Falls Valley, according to a report on the project. The sidewalk on the southbound side of the W. 28th Street bridge is narrow and a pedestrian bridge over Mount Vernon Terrace does not meet ADA standards, the report said.

Of the 174 respondents, 78% said they use the Big Jump for social or recreational reasons, with 67% saying they went on it to run errands and 51% saying it's part of their commute. Most participants (77%) said they still drive on Druid Lake Drive and W. 28th Street to get from one area to the other, while 35% ride a bike or scooter and 32% walk or roll.

"The Big Jump provides a unique community connection for residents that achieves a better balance of our public space and significantly improves the quality of life, safety and livability in surrounding neighborhoods," Mayor Brandon Scott said in a statement. "We are committed to creating a more accessible and convenient transportation system that meets the needs of our diverse population and provides important community connections."

Respondents did say they were deterred from using the Big Jump because of motor vehicle speeds next to the path, a lack of maintenance and the feeling that the barriers do not provide enough protection, the report said.

In a statement, DOT Director Steve Sharkey said projects like the Big Jump "provide residents with urban transportation networks that transform the quality of life in city neighborhoods."

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