So Baltimore’s got this thing coming up called the Grand Prix. They’re blocking off a bunch of streets downtown, the ramp onto 395, a light rail station, and effectively cutting off a main artery through town–all traffic will now go on MLK–and then some Indy cars will come race around the 2+ mile course while the rest of us just try to stay away, unless, of course, we can afford the $20-$895 tickets, plus $30 to park non-Indy cars. This will be a boon for Baltimore, showcasing the city as more than just the setting for another critically acclaimed crime drama. It’ll bring in millions of dollars of tax revenue on an otherwise lazy holiday weekend. It’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship, a public-private partnership where everybody wins. Or it’s just a boondoggle, a traffic nightmare, a noisy and polluting event that has failed in cities all over this country, so why the hell would it work here. Why would you bring a sport with a nearly all-white fan base to a majority-Black city that has never shown any inclination to suddenly become Indy car racing fans. You don’t solve structural political, economic, and social issues with one-off events like this, so maybe we should spend our time and money on something more sustainable. For Christ’s sake, public pools were barely open this summer and we’re spending money on this? And then there’s the part where I’m just trying to ride home from a lovely evening with A. and V. and then the bike path is blocked and I have to get off my bike, get into traffic, and that’s not what any of us want. It was ok on the way home on empty streets, but with traffic this afternoon, it was downright dangerous. Who are we making this city for again? Then again, I was in the drops, riding the Grand Prix route. Yep, stuff’s complicated. All I know is I’m not driving anywhere this weekend.