How the Jones Falls Expressway’s history explains why Baltimore’s first highway is so prone to crashes

To avoid disrupting businesses and neighborhoods in the Jones Falls Valley, the highway was laid out along the Pennsylvania Railroad line and elevated in stretches above the stream itself. The resulting curves couldn’t — and still can’t — accommodate normal interstate speeds, but it was designated as one anyway in 1956 to qualify its construction for 90 percent federal funding.

The first crash happened within an hour of the highway’s ribbon-cutting.