The perfect storm of problems have hit Fell’s Point in the past few months.
COVID-19 has crushed small business and it continues to wreak havoc. Protests surrounding the death of George Floyd have required the attention of Baltimore police, leaving Fell’s Point largely unattended. Our beautiful waterfront has become a lawless playground and it’s quite clear that changes need to be made for the protection of residents and visitors alike.
We all know the laundry list of problems (vehicles BLASTING music, open container drinking at all hours, public urination- the list goes on). Many of these problems are being addressed and roads are being closed as we move towards a “Fell’s Forward” approach.
Another big problem: trash.
Obnoxious visitors have been intentionally littering, leaving heaps of take-away food trash behind and BYOB alcohol containers everywhere. Not to mention fireworks cartridges from nightly “celebrations”.
Waterfront Partnership has done a fantastic job cleaning up the mess left behind by visitors but they cannot be solely responsible. Fell’s Point itself is being treated like garbage.
Overflowing trashcans don’t help the cause- where are well-intentioned people to put their trash?
Here is one idea that hasn’t yet been considered: trash crabs.
Barcelona has a system of large community dumpsters placed for the convenient use of both residents and passersby, a model worth replicating (or at least considering) in Fell’s Point.
These large receptacles would a big problem but would they be an eye sore? Why not design them to look like crabs? They’re not only the unofficial city/state mascot, they’re also (fittingly) scavengers.
To understand what this might look like in Fell’s Point, imagine the utility and awareness of Mr. Trashwheel combined with the artistic expression of the Crabtown Project.
The Maryland Crab above was created by Fell’s Point’s own Luann Carra, sponsored by The Baltimore Life Insurance Company, and located at 401 Light St. (Photo by Ron Solomon) back in 2005. Could Fell’s Point find companies to sponsor the Trash Crabs, too? Proceeds could directly fund Waterfront Partnership’s cleaning and beautification efforts.
Turn a negative into a positive. Make the trash receptacle a focal point worthy of instagramming for good reasons. As Fell’s Point rethinks its future, even outlandish concepts are worth consideration.
Immediate remedies are necessary, too. Substantially sized non-Crab trash receptacles could work just fine for that. Whether or not the litterers will care enough to use them is another question entirely. Hopefully that’s a question answered with police enforcement and fines.