The southbound rush-hour lane on Charles Street
between University Parkway and 29th Street — often
called the "death lane" because the traffic moves in the
direction opposite to the adjacent three lanes — has
been closed by Mayor Martin O'Malley, effective Feb. 3.
President William R. Brody
made the announcement last week, saying that he and the
mayor had been speaking about safety concerns relating to
Homewood students and that the morning traffic pattern was
one of the university's most pressing concerns.
Studies have shown there can be as many as 14,000
crossings of that stretch of Charles Street each day. There
have been numerous car-pedestrian accidents in the lane
over the years, including one in 1999 that killed a
The university, the neighborhood and other
institutions such as the Baltimore Museum of Art have been
working with the city for five years on a total redesign of
Charles Street as it passes through the Homewood area.
Although the entities have reached agreement on many
points, it is not yet known when construction can begin. In
the meantime, elimination of the death lane has been a top
Students, faculty and staff are reminded, however, to
continue to be careful and vigilant when crossing Charles