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Why I Don’t Take The Bus in Baltimore

Sometimes it's more trouble than it's worth.

I’ll be moving soon. Since my apartment search spans the far reaches of the city, and because my bike has been having troubles lately, sometimes I take the bus. Though I’m no novice to the buses, riding them in Baltimore reminds me why I don’t ride them in Baltimore.

My favorite thing about the bus is the actual trip, provided the climate control system works. The experience of public transit is truly a stage of serendipity and human drama. For better or worse, getting on a bus in Baltimore will provide you with at least several interesting stories to tell your friends at your next noodle salad dinner party.

My least favorite thing about our bus system is actually trying to get on one. The problems? Where to begin.

  • The maps suck.  Yes, I know MTA recently revised their maps, but they’re still cluttered. If you don’t know the system well, you’ll spend at least a couple of minutes sifting through the cacophony of tangled routes overlapping on each other. Maybe I’m just impatient or illiterate, but information needs to be more intuitive.  Maybe have a separate map for all routes with 15 minute headways or less and featuring major trip attractors and tourist sites.  Not all routes are equally important. This needs to be reflected on MTA maps.
  • Lack of information. While waiting for the bus on 30th and St. Paul, there’s a bus shelter, a bus route map, but no route timetable. Not having real time arrival information is frustrating enough, but not even having a table of expected arrival times is infuriating. Even the small pole signs which only feature the route numbers could be redesigned to include expected headway times or other useful route information.
  • Routes.  I still don’t understand the logic of the meandering routes. 30 years ago Portland did a ground up overhaul of their entire bus system to reflect the way people actually commute. Their bus system also compliments and supports their fixed rail network.
  • Arrival information. I mentioned this before and I’m mentioning it again because it’s that important. This applies to bus stops, light rail and the metro. If there’s one thing MTA can do to encourage choice riders and mode shifts away from automobiles, it’s putting a little LED display on every single stop letting riders know how long they’ll be waiting. We have the technology. We have put men on the moon. I’m just asking for a clock.  As Rory Sutherland says, “Waiting seven minutes for a train with a countdown clock is less frustrating and irritating than waiting four minutes, knuckle-biting, going ‘When’s this train going to arrive?”
  • The number of stops. OK, this is a complaint with the actual ride, but stopping at every other block is also crazy time consuming, especially in deserted areas which I know are not major trip generators. TriMet in Portland has a very good bus stop guideline manual that I urge someone at MTA to read.

So, I reference Portland and DC a lot, but they’re good models for effective transit. Some of the powers that be in Baltimore may say, “Why do I care what other cities are doing?” You need to care because other cities are doing things better than we are, and if we don’t learn from them, we’ll fall further behind. Just like the #10 on my way back home.

Update: Thanks to Phil LaCombe for reminding us about MTA’s planned real time bus information system, which is mentioned in this interview with current MTA administrator Ralign Wells.

Sometimes, Baltimore Transit Works

Another successful trip by bus

Patrick, a loyal reader, writes in to tell us about his journey to work today. It’s a tale which would make even Odysseus weep with envy and awe.

Since I write you to complain when I have a particularly bad bus experience, I thought I should write to let you know about a pretty good one today.

For some reason this morning the drum brake on my rear wheel’s internal hub decided to freeze up at 23rd & Guilford. I’m lousy at fixing and maintaining bikes and while I’ve got a bunch of tools under my seat, I don’t have a crescent wrench there to release the brake cable. It deserves a tune-up and I’ve got a gift certificate to 20Twenty waiting for me to get over there.

 But instead of being stranded, I carried my bike over to Greenmount and caught the #8. After I got on I realized that my smart card was empty and all I had was $10 cash. But the helpful driver pointed out that I could refill my SmartTrip card and was patient while I did (after I got over thinking she wanted me to pay $10 for the $1.60 ride).

So, on behalf of all MTA patrons, I want to thank the MTA for having bike racks on all the buses, a functioning smart card system, and frequent service on Greenmount so that when one mode stops working there’s a good and convenient alternative.

Hi MTA! What’s Up? Light Rail Should Be Faster Than Walking

Light Rail Speed Through Downtown

Faster Than Light Rail Through Downtown

Time for my monthly transit rant. This weekend I took the light rail to BWI, where I caught the B30 to Greenbelt and then the Washington Metro to Verizon Center to meet friends for lunch. Afterward I stopped at the Building Museum (check out the Palladio exhibit) and the Portrait Gallery. The 1950s photo exhibit of Elvis makes me want to slick my hair back and give up my bike for a Bel Air.

On the way back, I took Amtrak from Union to Penn Station. Since I locked my bike at the convention center, I took the light rail to Camden Yards, where service stopped for pretty much every. single. red. light. between Penn and Pratt. And this was 10:30pm on a Saturday with no traffic.  Sitting at a traffic light on a train is a slap in the face and does more to hurt the perception of transit efficiency than anything else. It’s especially ludicrous during off-peak hours when the train is stopped with no cross traffic moving through the signal.

MTA and the city made some modifications to the Howard St. light rail segment a few years ago to improve speeds through downtown. It’s not enough. Complete traffic signal preemption between Penn and Camden Yards is needed – at least for intersections north of Fayette St.  While the previous signal changes may have cut travel times marginally, improving the perception of transit quality and selling light rail to choice riders will require that transit vehicles never get a red traffic signal.

A study from the University of Virginia by Chad Chandler and Dr. Lester A. Hoel shows that while signal preemption may cause some traffic delay, additional green time given during non-transit phases can actually mitigate these delays. Cross street volumes would be factored into any preemption model – but even leaving the Pratt/Lombard intersections alone and preempting everything from Fayette to Mt. Royal would be a huge improvement.

This is America, where the car is king. Transit has to be twice as comfortable and twice as fast as driving just to get people to consider alternatives. While I doubt MTA will splurge on sleek, modern light rail vehicles, getting transit riders through traffic signals is the least we can do.

Hi MTA, What’s Up? Red Line Surface Route Through Downtown

I’m not trying to stir things up.  Not like when your friend asks, “How’s Mary” when he already knows you broke up last month. I’m just asking an honest question. I wasn’t involved in the Red Line alternatives analysis process, and I plead ignorance to the power structures/power players/political stuff which may have made undergrounding the Red Line through downtown an important, “sellable” part of the project. From my 10 minutes of thinking about this and comparing Baltimore to other cities which have surface light rail systems through their downtowns (Charlotte, Dallas, San Diego, Denver to name a few), it seems like a possibility.

A possible Red Line surface route. 2 short, underground pedestrian tunnels could connect existing downtown metro stops to above ground light rail stations at Light and President Streets.

Instead of listing the reasons why a surface route through downtown would be preferable, let me list the reasons why it was probably taken off the table. I speak only for myself:

  • Howard Street – people say, “light rail killed Howard Street”. This is an oversimplification. While Howard could use more through auto traffic for businesses, the street was already in decline when the system was built. If light rail was the single bullet that killed Howard Street and someone can prove it to me, I’ll buy all 4 of my readers a drink at some neighborhood dive bar.
  • Business/Resident pushback – fair enough. Hearing the light rail screeching on every turn is annoying, but newer systems are sleek, much quieter, and less freight train-ish than our current system. Light rail, below ground or above ground, is good for business and improves property values.
  • Transit travel time/headways – since light rail would run on its own right of way, the transit vehicles really wouldn’t be mingling with traffic. Signal prioritization could help speed things along at intersections.
  • Traffic – fair enough. Losing a lane on Pratt, Lombard, Aliceanna and Fleet may be a hard pill to swallow for the engineers. However, we can safely assume a fast, modern surface route would take lots of cars off the roads, too.

So, MTA, I’m just sayin, you know, if we get hard up and we really need to cut a couple of hundred million off the Red Line budget, maybe this could be the way to go.  In a perfect world, we would underground the whole thing and build the Yellow Line and Green extensions at the same time.  But we shouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Hi MTA, What’s Up?: Camden Yard MARC Station

Do you like train stations? I do.  Baltimore has retained most of our historic train stations, and several of them have been the focus of adaptive reuse projects. Other cities haven’t been so lucky. Check out these train stations across the country which have been demolished.  The most notable, Pennsylvania Station in New York City, was a city within a city, a grand Beaux-Arts building which was senselessly demolished in 1963 to build Madison Square Garden and a dank underground depot. We knocked a lot of good stuff down in America in the 20th Century, but this takes the cake.

While our Penn Station leaves something to be desired, it beats the alternative: the Camden MARC station. If you want people to get out of their cars, you have to treat them with respect, and the Camden MARC station fails to do this. Today’s guest post comes from my friend Scott Adams, a daily MARC commuter, urban planner, and concerned citizen.  In this scathing critique of the Camden MARC station, Adams asks the question that many people do while waiting for transit at inadequate facilities; Why, God, oh why?


By Scott Adams

How did we go from this?

To this?

Today’s Camden Station is more like a temporary construction-site office, in a trailer, than a permanent train station serving as a symbol of civic pride.

As a daily MARC rider, here’s some issues I have with the station:

Ticket Machine(s)

  • Why is there only one ticket machine?  I’m lucky to have a monthly pass, but too often, I see single-ticket users backed up at the ticket machine, sometimes right before the train’s departing.
  • There needs to be better wayfinding directing people to the ticket machine inside the station waiting room.  I’ve directed several new riders (tourist, day-trippers, etc.) to the ticket machine after seeing them looking around confused or …
  • Standing at the MTA ticket machines, confused as to why they can’t buy MTA tickets for an MTA service.  I know, I know – MARC is technically run by CSX on the Camden Line, Amtrak on Penn Line, but it’s an MTA service.  Isn’t there a way to have MARC tickets available from MTA ticket machines that cover bus, metro and light rail?  What’s one more mode?
  • Why does the ticket machine not take cash?  I’ve had to regrettably tell new riders, asking about cash-only, that CSX crew members will charge them $3 extra if buying a ticket on the train. What gives with the $3 surcharge on a $6 or $7 ticket?

Station Amenities

  • There’s only one toilet, which isn’t noted with any sign, etc. But hey, at least there IS a bathroom – public transit systems without them (this means you, rest-of-MTA Metro/LRT stations, plus DC Metro) are barbaric in my view.  If the system’s built for human beings, then build it for human needs, like BATHROOMS.
  • The only place to sit down is on a series of benches tucked out-of-view on the station’s western side.  Why not put a few benches on the southern side, where they’re visible from the street and approaching trains?
  • The station’s “roof” (heavy-duty vinyl panels stretched between structural steel supports) is a joke when it rains.  All the “roof” openings allow water to drip in on passengers that are making the rational assumption that a roof overhead will keep them dry.

Overall, if Camden MARC Station is intended to be permanent, then put up a station that denotes permanence.  Laurel, and especially Dorsey, are stations to emulate if Camden Station ever gets rebuilt from a temporary/afterthought building to an architectural symbol of civic pride and meaningful transportation alternatives.

Q and A: Jessica Keller, Director of Service Development, MTA

Jessica Keller, Director of Service Development at MTA, took time out of her busy schedule to respond to some questions about living car free and bus service in Baltimore.  And here is a special treat; a Google Earth KML file of every transit route in the city! (some routes may be somewhat outdated, so go to to double check).

Also, a quick bus related link from The Transport Politic discussing the most efficient bus rapid transit alignments – Alternative Alignments for Corridor Cities Transitway and Reaching Town Centers


How long have you been living without a car? What has the experience been like?

I have been car free for nearly three years and quite happy living without it. I walk or take the bus everywhere – I used to have a bike but it was stolen a year and a half ago. I don’t miss my SUV but I miss my bike dearly, especially during rush hour on Pratt Street. Living without a car was trouble-free until 4 months ago when I gave birth to my son. The amount of planning I must do in advance of leaving the house has increased exponentially. I will have to write a follow-up on being car-free with kids later.

I am fortunate that I do not punch a clock; I don’t know how people who do manage keeping a job. I have a bus transfer in my commute so it is very unpredictable. I live 3.5 miles away from my office and sometimes it can take an hour and a half to get to work. This is why I miss my bike.

As Director of Service Development at MTA, what are some of the things you most want to improve about MTA’s bus service?

I think the title is a little misleading, let me tell you about my office (as copied from the MTA’s web site):

The Office of Service Development develops routes and schedules for MTA’s local bus service.

Baltimore’s strong local bus ridership translates into heavy loads that fluctuate throughout the day. We develop schedules to meet this demand, making sure that there are enough buses to connect passengers to their destinations throughout the service area, as well as to other MTA modes.

We also monitor the performance of local bus service by:

· Modifying routes to serve new trip generators, such as retail locations, schools, and community centers.

· Updating bus destination signs and on-board announcement systems.

· Determining bus stop placement.

· Conducting ridership collection and analysis for federally required reports

I have little influence over the day-to-day service, if I did, it wouldn’t take me an hour and a half to get to work. I am obviously dedicated to alternative transportation – I don’t HAVE to take the bus. This leads to what I would like to see happen with the system. I want to increase ridership. The only way to do that, in my mind, is to appeal to choice riders like myself. The general perception is that public transportation is a welfare program and I can understand that perception, after all, it is subsidized. But isn’t the money used to build new roads subsidizing car drivers as well?

So back to my point about appealing to the choice rider – if we get the choice riders on the bus and they LIKE it then the choice riders will demand more (service, quality etc.) which means they will force the politicians to allocate more money to the system. Once the money comes, we can increase service and quality to everyone, not just the choice riders and not just the captive riders. If we take the approach to increase ridership by aiming efforts to captive riders then we (public transportation agencies) have to go with our hands out and ask for more resources…..and fight for them. This second approach fuels the perception of public transportation as a welfare program, not a sustainability program.

You were the chief of BCDOT’s Planning Division before working for MTA. What is the city doing to promote sustainable transportation?

This is a loaded question. I am sure I will get some negative feedback for my answer: I don’t think the political will exists [yet] in the City to truly embrace sustainable transportation. There have been some great steps in the right direction. I love the bus/bike only lanes but they aren’t enforced and drivers don’t respect them. I’d like to see more bus/bike lanes on arterials and I would like to see them enforced. The bike plan implementation is coming along wonderfully but I’d like to see more dedicated bike lanes. I work in SW Baltimore and there are bike lanes everywhere but no cars, so there was no political “risk” installing them. The City will install bike lanes but not at the expense of roadway capacity [for cars] at this point. I think one of the biggest things the City is doing is keeping the Transportation Planning Division around because the staff are truly dedicated to sustainable transportation and they keep pushing their ideas.

Any new bus service improvements in the pipeline you want to promote?

OF COURSE! To all eight of your readers: we have two new Quick Bus (QB) routes rolling out beginning August 29th! Look for the QB 47 which overlaps the 15 and the QB 46 which overlaps the 5 on the east and 10 on the west. What is a QB you ask? A QB is basically limited stop service where we stop at the heaviest boarding locations only. It is different from an EXPRESS that shoots from point A to point B, A being the county and B being the central business district. It is different from a LOCAL which hits every stop along the line.

Hi MTA, What’s Up?: Light Rail Connections

While the state has identified 14 transit stations for large scale transit-oriented development projects, my journeys on the light rail system show a far more insidious issue on a much smaller scale – the original designers of the system overlooked the connection between the stations and the neighborhoods. I’ll explain with two examples involving two very different Baltimore neighborhoods.

Cold Spring Light Rail Station: Roland Park is further from the station than it appears.

Exhibit A: Cold Spring Lane Light Rail Station. Just for kicks, I tried walking from the station to Roland Park. Bad move. You know that scene in Being John Malkcovich when the people who go through Malkcovich’s head get dumped on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike? Yea, it’s like that (I’ll assume you’ve all seen the movie otherwise what I wrote sounds crazy).  On/off ramps to the JFX, narrow sidewalks abutting the street and 6 lanes of speeding traffic, plants that look like something from Little Shop of Horrors overtaking the already narrow sidewalks. Maybe the original engineers plopped down the sidewalks in AutoCAD and said, ” Yes, now there are sidewalks. Mission Accomplished“. Not so fast. The experience of actually walking on Cold Spring Lane is a thrill and a bit death-defying – but it shouldn’t have to be. And yes, I’m fully aware that this is mostly a city issue and not an MTA issue, but when agencies support each other’s infrastructure and look at the “big picture” of making transit access intuitive and a real alternative to driving, everybody wins.

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The new Roland Park Master Plan has some recommendations for improving the pedestrian/bike connection between the neighborhood and light rail station.  Though I haven’t analyzed the street in a professional capacity, just from my walk I would say there is the potential for adding maybe 4 to 6 feet of sidewalk/greenspace width on this section of Cold Spring Lane. This would narrow traffic lanes, slow down traffic, create a buffer between pedestrians and cars, provide stormwater benefits, and beautify the corridor if trees could be added.  Cold Spring should be a much safer and more ped/bike friendly connection between Roland Park and the light rail station and less like the New Jersey Turnpike (GSP exit 154 representin’. Shout outs to my Jerszey boys Tony, Joey and Paul.)

Cherry Hill Light Rail Station: "Station" is an overstatement.

Exhibit B: Cherry Hill Light Rail Station. When you arrive here, there really is no “here”.  The adjacent property is industrial with long term plans for a mixed use development project – which is fine, but there’s not even a parking lot at the station and street parking is iffy. Why not add a lot just south of the station on city/MTA property? This would make the station more accessible to Cherry Hill residents because it’s like designing a Rube Goldberg machine trying to access the Patapsco light rail parking lot (by foot or by car) from Cherry Hill. Dedicated parking would (IMO) improve ridership at this stop as well. And just like the West Baltimore MARC area, perhaps a Cherry Hill station parking lot could serve the community in other ways beyond car storage. Though this is a “car free” blog, look, sometimes you need parking or else people won’t bother using transit.

I don’t know the details of why these station oversights happened in the early 1990s, but the teams working on the Red Line are designing the new transit line with a complete focus on neighborhood improvement and connectivity.   But while we’re waiting for big things to happen, smaller things can have just as much impact on increasing ridership and making existing stations more inviting and useful to nearby neighborhoods.

Hi MTA, What’s up?: MARC Commuter Rail and Freight

I’d like to have regular guest writers on this site to broaden the perspective on walking/biking/transit in the city. And really – how many irrelevant pictures of animals and 19th century clam herders can you all take?  If you regularly travel without an automobile in Baltimore and you have something interesting to say, contact me at the email address listed in the “About Me” page.

This is also the beginning of a new regular feature called, “Hi MTA, What’s up?”.  This is in lieu of more confrontational titles which were suggested, like “What the Hell?” and “MTA: Really?”.  I’d like this segment to be a start of a conversation rather than a scorched earth, no holds barred sounding board.

Here is a guest post by Scott Adams, a transportation planner at Baltimore City DOT.  Having recently moved to Maryland from Nashville, TN, he rides the MARC commuter rail into downtown Baltimore to work everyday and is damned proud of it.


I use MARC Commuter Rail’s Camden Line most days and my train was 20 minutes late yesterday.  As to why it was late, part of the answer can be summarized in two words: freight rail.

Choo Choo

Although MARC (Maryland Area Regional Commuter) is one system/service, its Camden and Brunswick train lines are operated by CSX Transportation (BIG freight rail company), while the Penn Line is operated by AMTRAK.  Say what you will about the Penn Line (crowded trains, “Hell Trains” losing power and AC in 90+ degree heat), but at least that line is all-passenger rail and never has to deal with freight trains.

The Camden Line’s trains lumber along and often stop with the predictable silence, then an announcement over the intercom, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re stopped for a freight train.  We’ve got to let them pass by and then we’ll be on our way.”

Every time this happens (and it’s more frequent than you would think), I wonder to myself, “Why are there freight trains running during PEAK HOURS?”  MARC’s Camden Line runs three scheduled trains in the morning and three scheduled trains in the afternoon, so here’s my question: Do MARC and CSX have an operating agreement that specifically bars freight trains from the tracks during MARC’s AM/PM peak hour train runs?  Also, how critical is it to move bulk freight during peak commuting hours?  Can a shipment of coal or “piggybacking” UPS trucks be moved outside of peak hours?

I’m not a freight expert, but in asking these questions, I found an interesting article that stokes similar questions.  Can we have reliable, fast and affordable passenger rail in the U.S. and shift more freight to rail for more sustainable transport? (i.e. fuel efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, local/national air quality, etc.)

If 45% of freight rail in the U.S. is indeed for coal (see article above), then I’d hope that cleaner, more localized energy sources (wind, solar, tidal power) could offset the need for all that dirty black stuff and thus free up rail capacity for passenger rail.

In the meantime, I’ll keep stocking up on good books to read while I’m sitting on a MARC train idling somewhere in rural Maryland, waiting on a freight train.

Q and A with Anna Ricklin

I asked Anna Ricklin, Baltimore Department of Transportation’s Health and Environmental Specialist, about her experience living without a car in Baltimore. Here’s what she had to say:

How long have you lived without a car in Baltimore?

I have been in Baltimore for nearly three years and, actually, I have never owned a car. The only time I have had (mostly) unrestricted access to a car was when I was living with my parents.

What’s the most challenging aspect of being without a car in this city?

Definitely the lack of well-connect public transit. Before I moved to Baltimore, I figured getting around via public transport would be easy—like it had been in Washington, DC and Portland, OR, where I lived before. Alas, despite being an avid cyclist and trying my best to use the bus, I really only take transit when it’s either pouring down rain or I need to get to the airport. Because of the unreliable—and sometimes scary—public transit, not having a car sometimes makes it so I have to rely on friends for rides, which doesn’t always feel good. And when it’s a beautiful summer day and all I want to do is go on a hike or swim in the countryside? That can be frustrating, too.

What do you think have been the greatest benefits of not owning a car?

Well, it’s funny. Sometimes I borrow cars, and when I do I tend to drive around a lot to get lots of errands done. Usually, by the end of a day like that I am more than reminded of the pitfalls of having a car and more than happy to return the thing. Not owning a car means I am rarely at the whim of traffic (thank you bicycle), don’t have to pay a few thousand dollars per year in car insurance, maintenance and gas, and of course I don’t have to build in an extra 10 minutes parking time as yet another factor adding to me being late.

What’s the single most important thing the city can do to support alternate transportation modes?

Wow, this is a tall order—so much needs to be done. But I think the single mort important thing the city can do is work with MTA to significantly improve transit service. I don’t just mean pressure MTA to have cleaner buses or change a couple of routes. I mean the city needs to create a downtown car-free zone accessible only for buses, bicycles, and pedestrians. They need to subsidize transit passes for all city employees, create incentive programs for businesses to do the same, and massively hike parking fees. It’s ridiculously cheap to park downtown ($2 per hour?!) and the city could be making a lot more money from what is essentially rented street space. Nearly ¼ of the city’s land is used for streets or surface parking (24%). We need to change that if we are ever going to have a more livable—and peaceful—urban environment not dominated by car traffic.

Anna Ricklin has her Masters in Health Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and currently works for the Baltimore City Department of Transportation as their first Health & Environment Specialist. She is passionate about active living and building alternative transport networks so that no one will have to rely on a car in order to live a full life. At work, she’s helping to make the Red Line green; outside of work, she is a Collective Member of the Velocipede Bike Project; likes to go on long walks, and has an impressive collection of hats.

MTA, Zip Car, and Docks

On Sunday I took the light rail to Hunt Valley to pick up a few things. It was the first time I took the light rail beyond Mt. Royal station. Besides the obvious problems on Howard St. which have been discussed ad nauseum (there was also a multi-agency strategic plan done for the corridor last year), a few small things became apparent.

The location of the ticket machines on Redwood Ave, for instance. Redwood is probably the nicest east/west street in the westside. There’s also a walkway through the 22 S. Howard St. building connecting the light rail station to Redwood St. This could of been a good visual connection between Redwood and the light rail station. Unfortunately, an army of ticket booths gets in the way.

Rearranging the machines parallel to Redwood (and underneath the building’s roof) would have probably required a private property right of entry agreement. I think it still would be a worthwhile thing for MTA to pursue. Improving the visual connections between the transit system and downtown streets is a low-cost, high-impact way to make the light rail system seem like it’s integrated into the city and not just an after-thought. MTA is making headway on this issue with the relocation of the Lexington St. Market light rail station one block north – thereby reducing the distance between the Metro and light rail stops to one block.

While downtown, I also saw these:

Zipcar will be expanding downtown. Since quoting schedules usually gets me in trouble, I’ll wait for the Parking Authority to make the official announcement about when the rollout will begin. I’ve been concerned about grocery shopping without having a car, so this will definitely help.

And finally, another interesting bike ride – Clinton St. along the docks. Seeing these ships and old warehouse buildings up close reminds you that most big east coast and midwestern cities were built on manufacturing. The families, houses and neighborhoods came with the jobs, and these jobs created a middle class which was virtually non-existent in the 1800s. From north to south, Clinton St. is a microcosm of the city’s economic transition over 100 years.

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