Thursday, November 16, 2023

Still Lost and Hoping for Landmarks


We celebrated our youngest’s birthday at Flavors of India last night. In case you don’t know, Flavors of India is located in the Columbia Gateway area, once lauded by Colonel Gateway in days of yore.

I have a confession to make. I almost always get lost when I go somewhere in Gateway. All the streets look alike, all the buildings look alike. It is the business park version of Malvina Reynolds song, “Little Boxes.”

I was even moved to write a poem about it once.

Part of this may be that I don’t have cause to go there often enough to truly incorporate the lay of the land into my brain. Arriving at my destination (and getting out of there) are an adventure every darn time.

After dark? It’s an added level of difficulty. They should erect a well lit archway that warns, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” By and large the sidewalks are rolled up when the business folks roll out. Buildings are dark. There’s a feeling of traveling in an abandoned city. It’s almost a creepy vibe.

There was some discussion during the Howard County by Design process about looking at Gateway as a site for future development, even residential development. I remember using my imagination back in 2017 to picture Gateway as the final Columbia Village. But I also remember being concerned about limited egress.  If a rapid evacuation were necessary for some reason, would it result in gridlock?

I have a simple but but heartfelt request. If Gateway is indeed redeveloped to include housing and retail, can they please do it in such a way that it is difficult (maybe impossible ) to get lost? There must be a way. 

What do you think?

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