State of Maryland 201 W. Preston Street

I spent my morning working from home and wondering if the gray skies were going to turn to rain before deciding to just risk getting caught in it and heading out on the bike to run a few errands. I signed up online for an account with my local credit union weeks ago, but I hadn’t gotten my paperwork in the mail. I’m tired of banking with the big guys, so I went to the local SECU branch to open an account in person–you can apparently still do that. I pedaled down Maryland Avenue, avoided that one deep hole that needs to be filled in, took a right on Preston, and then it was pretty much all trouble. There’s no good way to cross MLK, and I found myself pushing my bike along the light rail tracks and just waiting and waiting. I made it to 201 West Preston Street, pictured here, location of said bank branch, but it took me literally 20 minutes to find my way in. I followed the arrows, but it turned out those were directing me on a fitness walk–not exactly what I needed. I mean, I’M JUST TRYING TO ENTER THE BUILDING. I found the entry–it was via 301 W. Preston Street, of course–waited for a banker, trying to stay awake in the face of the overwhelming Muzak, until finally it was time to get back on the bike and pedal away. The way we architect our spaces tells people who belongs, and today, I didn’t belong at the State of Maryland building, and bikes didn’t belong on those couple of streets between Maryland Ave. and the State of Maryland. A few more jaunts about town and I headed home up Fallsway, where bikes are about to have their very own protected infrastructure, and I am going to ride the heck out of it. Thank you, urban planners and architects, for sometimes making me feel right at home.

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