Monday, October 17, 2016

East North Avenue: A Haven for Investment

North Avenue has been in the news a lot lately for representing all that's wrong with Baltimore and urban America as a whole. I'd like to take this opportunity to tell show all the potential the eastern end of North Avenue has to become a thriving community. There are many hidden gems hidden throughout East North Avenue and surrounding areas that can help lead the way to a great future. There are also many pitfalls in the area which I would like to turn around and make the gems they rightfully should be. In order to do that, East North Avenue must be a haven for investment.
Nothing is more helpful to a disinvested Community than reinvestment. It shows its citizens that the City hasn't forgotten about them. The end result is a nicer Community! East North Avenue doesn't have very many of these examples but there is a big one happening along the road itself; streetscape enhancements. On North Avenue between Harford Road and Washington St. a $2 Million grant has been given to repave the road, redo the sidewalks, put crosswalks in the intersections, upgrade lighting, replace traffic lights, and add pedestrian signals. This is a great start for these blocks but I think the streetscape enhancement areas should be expanded in both directions. Westbound to Greenmount Avenue and Eastbound to Baltimore Cemetery.
East North Avenue has some investment coming its way and doesn't even know it. For instance, as part of Hopkins Redevelopment project in Middle East, many blocks north of Hopkins along Broadway are seeing their long vacant row homes rehabbed and sold. This trend of reinvestment is making its way towards North Avenue. What I would like to see is something I call a "tentacle effect" where northbound streets have reinvestment trending northward to North Avenue. More specifically Gay St. and Harford Avenue.
Along North Avenue, I don't want there to be too much demolition. Although redevelopment will occur, I would like that to be on land that is already vacant. Given the success stories of rehabbing row homes in other parts of East Baltimore, I would like to see the same happen along North Avenue. I do however, have a couple of redevelopment zones in mind for East North Avenue which as I noted above, are areas where demolition has already occurred.

A big area of redevelopment will be on Gay. St. The southern most blocks of Gay St. are included in the Hopkins redevelopment and blocks closer to North Avenue, the American Brewery Building has been lovely restored and across the street, a new Senior Center has just been built. In between those areas however, are several vacant and almost vacant blocks along Gay St. Since new mixed income town homes have done well in other parts of East Baltimore, I'm proposing several new blocks of housing along Gay St. and surrounding blocks to further the "tentacle effect."
The other redevelopment area also includes Gay St. but this section is above North Ave. There are some vacant industrial areas with a few vacant row houses strewn about the area bordered by North Avenue, Collington Avenue, Sinclair Lane, and Gay St. A redevelopment project of this magnitude will change the entire landscape of the eastern end of the North Avenue. The new development will contain mostly new row homes as well as row house style Apartments with ground floor Retail where there's North Avenue Frontage.
Although some redevelopment is included for E. North Avenue, the vast majority of the population growth I would like to see is from reinvestment in the current housing stock. Further south, around Hopkins, there are incentives for Hopkins workers to buy in the area. I would like to repeat that incentive model for E. North Ave. Instead of Hospital workers, this time I would provide it for workers of Social Services and the Eastside District Courthouse. There are other distressed areas of the City that don't have much in the way of nearby employment areas. E. North Avenue has this advantage and the Community can further sustain itself if nearby workers became nearby Residents.
Another aspect of E. North Avenue I want to promote is focal points. These focal points will draw visitors into the area and help promote a welcoming environment. One of the best assets of the area is the newly rehabbed Columbus School. The Great Blacks in Wax Museum is also great draw to the area but I believe exterior facade renovations will help achieve focal point status as well.
The old Ashley Apartments are a focal point but for all the wrong reasons. The vacancy and decay of this architectural diamond in the rough show just how beautiful the area once was. Due to the size and historic nature of the building, the cost of restoring and rehabbing this building will be very high. This poses a problem to E. North Avenue because it hinders development in its current state but developers won't want to invest a red cent in it until the surrounding Neighborhood makes big improvements. The uses of a rehabbed Ashley Apartment building are endless. With that in mind, I'm proposing mixed use Retail/Office/Community/Residential and make it a focal point for all the right reasons.
As development in Hopkins and Station North continues, a comprehensive next step must be taken in order to keep the synergy of those areas going. E. North Avenue is the logical next step to connect these two areas. By marketing E. North Avenue as a haven for investment it will then become just that; A Haven for Investment.    

Sunday, July 24, 2016

West Baltimore St. Has Zest

During the initial stages of the Westside of Downtown's revitalization, there was a slogan being used known as The West Has Zest! Sadly a slogan is just that, a slogan and just saying that the West has Zest doesn't make it true. It is indeed true that for the most part, the West does NOT have Zest. I did however find a small area of the Westside that does in fact gave Zest; Baltimore St. the 300 and 400 blocks to be more specific. This begs the question on what was done right on Baltimore St. and how that can be duplicated to bring Zest to all the West.
So lets now focus on why W. Baltimore St. has zest. There are many reasons but the ones that stick out to me are that the buildings in good enough shape were gutted and rehabbed from the ground up, it's very close to UMB, the Hippodrome, and Camden Yards, and there is a critical mass of people in the area. There is also a high rise mixed use building under construction on W. Baltimore St. under construction that will only add to the critical mass of feet on the ground needed to sustain a Downtown.
Unlike my previous post on Charles North, the Westside of Downtown will need new high rises to sustain itself. In fact, the very street that this post focuses on (W. Baltimore St.) has a new high rise under construction at the writing of the post. I think of West Baltimore St. as its own little sub-district within Downtown's Westside. In order to bring Zest to the rest of the Westside, I'm going to develop five additional sub-districts like W. Baltimore St. further act like catalysts.
The first sub-district, like W. Baltimore St. already has Zest. I'm talking of course about the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus. The campus has grown considerably in the past 15-20 years with new buildings replacing old ones. However, the campus (including the University of Maryland Medical Center) stops at Fayette St. and it appears there's an invisible line that Students appear not to cross. My solution would be to create student housing with ground floor Retail and upper floor Residences along Greene St., Paca St., and Eutaw St. between Fayette St. and Lexington St. which will connect the University to Lexington Market.
The second sub-district is Lexington Market itself. Lexington Market could really use a shot in the arm in terms of its surroundings. The market itself will be undergoing a massive renovation in the coming months which should be helpful. However, the surrounding area remains untouched. Before the economy crashed, there were plans to build three high rise Apartment and Condo Buildings over top of a small parking garage directly across Paca St. from Lexington Market. I think this project needs to be re-opened and ultimately built to increase density and Residences by Lexington Market.
On Paca St., just below Lexington Market is a small surface parking lot. I would like to see a transit hub built here with a mid rise Hotel above it. If Lexington Market is to be a world class destination, it deserves a Hotel right next to, if not attached to it. On the north side of Saratoga St. just east of Paca St., lies another surface parking lot which I believe should house offices on the upper floors and Retail on the ground floor. Both of these new buildings will feature underground parking. Also in the Lexington Market sub-district is yet another surface parking lot on the west side of Greene St. below Saratoga St. This should be the site of a high rise mixed use Residential building. The boarded up row house Retail on the 600 block of Lexington St. will have to be demolished to make way for this new building.    
The third sub-district is Howard St. between Lexington St. and Centre St. I have purposely omitted the "Super Block" for this post since it's its own monster. This stretch of Howard St. has some beautiful historic buildings that are predominantly vacant and boarded up. There are a few Retail stores still open on the ground floor of these buildings but their upper floor windows are either boarded up, filled with cinder blocks, or gone from the facade all together. This is a shame because these blocks of buildings could make for a gorgeous little village in the middle of Downtown if restored right.
My plan for these blocks of Howard St. is to do just that. The style and height of the buildings along this section of Howard St. mimic that of the 300 & 400 blocks of W. Baltimore St. that have been so handsomely revitalized and are the inspiration for this post. One could say that these blocks of Howard St. have more continuous buildings than the 300 & 400 blocks of W. Baltimore St. since those blocks do have redevelopment in them. I would restore all the buildings to their original grandeur with ground floor Retail and more importantly, Apartments above to help achieve feet on the ground in these currently desolate blocks of Howard St.
The fourth sub-district is Franklin St.and the blocks surrounding it. I've never noticed before but Franklin St. has a decent number of surface parking lots that if developed, it will spur reinvestment and redevelopment of existing buildings. Between Howard St. and Park Avenue there sits the former Hoschild Kohn furniture building has been restored to the 520 Park Apartments. I think a new Condo Building with Franklin St. frontage with a height similar to the existing 520 Park Apartments. Another similar building with Offices instead of Condos will be built on Howard St. just below Centre St.
I would have loved to save the Mayfair Theatre or at least the marquis but decades of neglect and a recent fire have made that impossible. Any new development at the Mayfair will see that entire building torn down. Luckily the old Congress Hotel has been restored and is now home to the Baltimore Ethical Society. In that block, I would propose building a mixed use building that has frontage on Franklin St., Howard St., and Eutaw St to complete the block. Just below Franklin St. on Park Avenue sits some dilapidated row house Retail. I would have that redeveloped along with the surface lot adjacent to it as new row house Retail with functioning Apartments above it.
The fifth and final sub-district consists of one behemoth building; the vacant Social Security building. This building is super-block within itself and is ugly, over-sized and most likely can not be reused. In addition to the building's design woes, the eastern end of the road to nowhere impedes on it. With that being said, I obviously want to knock it down and start from scratch. What I don't know, is how redevelop it. I assume it will be several buildings of very density and heights. The road to Nowhere bridges will have to be torn-down in conjunction to revise the traffic patterns on Franklin and Mulberry Streets as well as MLK Boulevard. The end result. whatever it may be needs to act as a gateway to Downtown from West Baltimore and vice versa as well as a gateway between Seton Hill and Downtown.
Bringing Zest to the Westside of Downtown will be an uphill battle but the rebirth of the 300 & 400 blocks of West Baltimore St. shows that it can be done with the correct mix of stores and new and old buildings. I don't know is Zest can return to the other sub-districts I mentioned but I can say that West Baltimore St. has Zest.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Charles North: No High Rises Please

During the latter half of the 20th Century, the Charles North Neighborhood was nothing more than blight separating Baltimore's showcase neighborhoods of Charles Village and Mount Vernon. A big reason this neighborhood became blighted was due to the fact that North Avenue runs directly through it and Goucher College, an institute that anchored neighborhood both in employment and residence had moved to Towson thereby emptying out the neighborhood.
In the early 2000s, in order to revitalize Charles North and neighboring Greenmount West, were designated an Arts & Entertainment District known as Station North. The City looked to capitalize on the area's proximity to Penn Station, Mount Vernon, Charles Village, Johns Hopkins University, MICA, and University of Baltimore which are all within a stones throw of Station North. This post however, will only discuss the Charles North portion of the district.
The Arts & Entertainment designation brought artists far and wide to Charles North and taking up residence in the area and opening businesses which brought both sweat equity and foot traffic back into the area. Buildings that long been vacant like the North Avenue Market, the Center Theatre, the Parkway Theatre, and the Charles Theatre are seeing brilliant restorations while businesses like the Windup Space and Joe Squared Pizza have drawn more people into the area.
There's a downside to Arts & Entertainment Districts though. They're meant to be for those with lower incomes to rent or purchase homes and businesses in the area and revitalize them using sweat equity. Sadly, this sweat equity make the property values sky rocket and the very Residents who helped create this vibrant Neighborhood are then priced out as landlords look to raise the rents and full on gentrify the Neighborhood. Charles North was no different.

In 2008, a Master Plan for the Charles North community was published and it showed six high end high rises buildings dominating the landscape of Charles North. I don't have a picture of the rendering but the high rises resemble those currently proposed for Port Covington. That part of the Master Plan did not go over well for Charles North Residents. Actually, very few parts of it did since they the Residents, built the Community into what it is today and they didn't want the City butting in to the Community they built.
I was for the Master Plan in 2008 when it came out. My mind has since changed and I am now not for them. Charles North was one Community that I believe benefited from the economy crashing in 2008. Had that not happened I believe the high rises would have been built and Charles North Residents would begin to be priced out of the Neighborhood they rebuilt.
As the years went by, existing buildings continued to be rehabbed and brought back to life. Throughout Charles North there a few buildings demolished quite possibly to make way for the proposed high rises. As of now, only one plan for a high rise has been submitted and that's in the surface level parking lot just above Penn Station.
So why did I flip flop on the issue of high rises? Well that's simple, I walk around the Charles North area and I see a plethora of Art Galleries, independent Restaurants and Pubs, a diverse array of Residents and Businesses, beautifully restored buildings, a landscaped median made up of work by local Artists. I don't want to see any of that change. As higher incomes flood the Neighborhood so too do the chain stores and the increased rents. In addition, the architectural gems in the area waiting to be restored would have a higher chance of hitting the wrecking ball.
So what do I have in mind for Charles North? More of the same, more rehabbed Artist Housing, more Local Businesses setting up shop, more green space, an expanded North Avenue median, a fully renovated Penn Station with its upper floors used a Hotel, and no affordable rent hikes. I would like all of that and more but no high rises please.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Dismantling the JFX II: Northbound

When dismantling the southbound lanes of the JFX, it more or less opens the back doors of Downtown and Mount Vernon and puts them on ground level to generate more foot traffic. When dismantling the northbound lanes, we uncover a piece of the City that has been forgotten due to the construction of the JFX. Forgetting this part of the City was deliberate and when traveling down these old roads, it's apparent. The area I'm referring to, is the Fallsway.

The Fallsway, besides being my route for northbound traffic once the JFX is dismantled, served as a two way means to get to and from Downtown from the northern stretches of the City and County. It also covered up the namesake Jones Falls so that Downtown and East Baltimore may connect to one another. Access to Oldtown Mall, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and all of East Baltimore now had easy access to Downtown and Mount Vernon.

At the time the Eisenhower interstate bill was being funded, East Baltimore had begun decaying quickly and shareholders didn't want that blight to come to Downtown or Mount Vernon. Since an expressway was supposed to cut through Downtown and then go through Fells Point and Canton via Fleet St. and Boston St. respectively, the path in between Downtown and East Baltimore was the best choice to act as a Boundary between the two. Once the JFX opened, it worked like a charm.

During the early days of the JFX, Downtown began its renaissance with Charles Center and eventually the Inner Harbor while East Baltimore continued its decay. The Fallsway began to like the Baltimore of yesteryear as redevelopment quickly moved Downtown and in East Baltimore industrial decay made way for parking lots and residential decay made way for public housing high rises and low rises while Oldtown Mall continued its dissent to what we say today.

What we see today is a Fallsway that's all but forgotten. Not only has the Fallsway itself been forgotten but its cross streets have too. Hillen St.,? Gay St.,? Holiday St.? These were once important intersections connecting Downtown to East Baltimore that the JFX and the Orleans St, viaduct have made impossible to find let alone use.

Other parts of East Baltimore have seen a renaissance. The area around Johns Hopkins Hospital has become a hot bed for reinvestment and redevelopment with new homes, offices, labs, and eventually retail, and a hotel. In addition, there has also been great care taken to rehab existing row homes that are in good enough condition to warrant it. Currently, the goal is to connect the synergies between Downtown and Hopkins and the Fallsway has to play a big role in doing so.

As I have mentioned, this posts is dedicated to dismantling the JFX so lets go ahead and do so. My last post discussed an alignment for the southbound lanes primarily using Guilford Avenue and a then a small part of the former JFX to evenly connect it with President St. So lets talk about the northbound alignment for when the JFX is dismantled.

That alignment will be the Fallsway. In fact, not much will have to change about the Fallsway's layout. During most its alignment, the road is wide enough, the two way traffic will have to be converted to one way northbound lanes. There are on ramps and off ramps to and from the JFX which narrow the Fallsway for a block or two but part of the dismantling of the JFX will see those ramps demolished allowing for the Fallsway to be widened.

Now just like that, these forgotten roads and intersections that were severed by the JFX will reconnect Downtown and Mount Vernon to East Baltimore. Holiday St., Hillen St., and Gay St. will now be major player in moving traffic northeast via East Baltimore. There are more in depth posts on how this will be done in the future. Also streets like Eager St. and Monument St. will no longer stop and start up again on either side of the soon to be dismantled JFX. They will simply cross into East Baltimore without any interruptions.

The biggest change to the Fallsway will take place at its northern end. Currently just above Chase St. and curves west crossing the JFX and joining Guilford Avenue at its intersection with Biddle St. Once the JFX is dismantled, The Fallsway will will remain east of the JFX all the way to Preston St. where it will empty onto the JFX where the highway will continue its normal operations. Another addition above Preston St. will be a ramp to Greenmount Avenue via the current alignment of Belvidere St. This will help local not have to get on the highway and in turn keep the traffic more regional.

Now that the JFX has been completely dismantled, we can begin working on redeveloping and reinvesting in the part of East Baltimore between Downtown and Hopkins. There are many of dead zones that could expand Downtown and make Oldtown Mall a sought after destination. First we will have to look into how other intersections and roads make connections as I have been eluding to throughout this post. Stay Tuned! More in depth looks into those intersections are coming soon.  


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Dismantling the JFX I: Southbound

There's a large elephant in the room that's keeping development from moving eastbound filling the neglected space between Downtown and Hopkins. That elephant is named the JFX. West of the JFX lies Downtown and Mount Vernon. Both areas are considered the best the City has to offer. East of the JFX lies the struggling Neighborhood of Johnston Square and the vast suburban style surface parking lots owned by Edison Properties.
The plan to demolish the JFX is nothing new but so far it's been all talk. Plans that show a redevelopment plan for areas east of the JFX show an extended Downtown on the Edison lots, a completely revitalized Oldtown Mall and a redeveloped Somerset Homes which was demolished in 2008 but whose site remains barren to this day. This plan shows the JFX demolished however it's shown as a very long term goal of this plan. According to this plan, the other redevelopment plans come first. I would argue that the other redevelopment can't occur until the JFX is demolished and the market for redeveloping the areas east of it can create a demand for themselves. So with that, lets demolish the JFX! This post will focus on the southbound lanes.
First we start at Mount Royal Avenue just east of Calvert St. The southbound lanes on the JFX run parallel to this stretch of Mount Royal Avenue which proves crucial to the beginning of the JFX demolition. Just east of Calvert St., all southbound JFX traffic will merge onto what is now westbound Mount Royal Avenue making for a wider one way eastbound Mount Royal Avenue. At this point, all southbound lanes will travel down Guilford Avenue which will be renamed N. President St. Lane widths will remain the same.
As we continue down Guilford Avenue/President St., many of the signalized intersections Guilford Avenue currently has will be used just like they are now for the JFX. In some cases, existing ramps from the former JFX may play a role as surface level turn lanes on N. President St. N. President St. may narrow as it continues south as some lanes may become turn lanes as well. One intersection change will be that of Eager St. which currently stops and starts up again at either side of the JFX. With the JFX dismantled, Eager St. will continue across the ruins of the JFX to connect to itself.
One casualty of dismantling of the JFX will be the Orleans St. viaduct. With the JFX dismantled and Orleans St. meeting all other north-south cross-streets at surface level, the need for the viaduct is now gone. When meeting Pleasant St./Hillen St./Harford Road/MD.147 President St. will break off from its Guilford Ave. Alignment and will go at surface level at roughly the same location as the JFX but at surface level. Beyond Pleasant St., Guilford Avenue will be renamed South St. which is what the street is named further south. It will also be a state road with the moniker MD. 147. This is the same route number as Harford Road. Why I'm doing this will be explained in a later posts.

Meanwhile N. President St., will continue a few blocks surface level until the JFX currrently ends at Fayette St. After that, President St. will continue as a surface level boulevard going into Historic Jonestown, Little Italy, and Harbor East. like it already does. In order to dismantle the southbound section of the JFX it will take a few existing right of ways but the pieces are there to put it back together as N. President St. Stay tuned for the northbound post.      

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Resurrecting the Red Line III: How I would do it

First, I told you about how the western portion of the Red Line works almost perfectly. Then I told you how and you why the Downtown and eastern portions of the Red Line did not work well at all. Now it's time I told you how the Red Line needs to work in order to have an efficient well connected route through Downtown and Southeast Baltimore.
In southeast Baltimore, there will be a south spur and a north spur for a few stops before coming back together. Just to warn you, my version of the Downtown and eastern portions of the Red Line will be very costly and will include much more tunneling.
At the end of the western portion, there's a stop along the Road to Nowhere at Heritage Crossing and Poppleton. As redevelopment continues in this area, this stop will see a very large increases in ridership as the large Social Security complex that is now vacant is redeveloped and puts feet on the ground again.
Instead of going down MLK Boulevard, The Red Line will tunnel right into Downtown and turn southeast for a stop at Lexington Market. This provides a crucial connection to both the Metro (Green Line) and the Light Rail (Blue Line.) The stop will roughly be at Lexington St. between Eutaw St. and Howard St. so that riders may take a tunnel to get to the Lexington Market stop on the Green Line at Eutaw and Lexington. A tunnel in the opposite diredtion will be master planned into the stop so that if/when the Light Rail is tunneled into the old CSX tunnel under Howard St., there will be a connection as well.
The next stop will be at Howard St.and Pratt St. which will be provide service to those going to Camden Yards, the Convention Center, Harbor Place, UMB, and M&T Bank Stadium. There's an above ground Light Rail Stop here that easily link these two lines again. Like the Lexington Market Stop, a tunnel will be master planned into this stop so that if/when the Howard St. CSX tunnel is vacated, the Light Rail can be tunneled to make a true two tier stop.
For the next several blocks, the Red Line will travel along Pratt St. The line will be at surface level during its Pratt St. run due to the fact that it's traveling through the Inner Harbor which is the City's showcase. I would like the fact that Baltimore's striving for a world class multi-module transit system to be showcased which is why I located this stretch of the line above ground.
On Pratt St., the next stop will be at the Inner Harbor. Pratt St. and Gay St. at Pier III to be exact. This stop will be for those whose destination is the Inner Harbor, National Aquarium, Power Plant, the Harbor Promenade, the Gallery, and the Pier VI Pavilion to name a few. Further down Pratt St, roughly across from Ms, Shirley's Cafe, the line will drop down to be tunneled yet again. This is also the beginning of the north-south spurs.
We'll start with the south spur. By simply moving the line up one block from Fleet St. to Eastern Avenue, I believe we can catch a larger portion of riders in the southeast. The first stop will be at Eastern Avenue and Central Avenue for the Little Italy/Harbor East Stop. This will be the stop for Little Italy and Harbor East and H&S Bakery workers who haven't moved to Hollander Ridge. This stop is in the middle of another large redevelopment zone whose ridership will increase as the area continues to grow.
The next stop will be at Eastern Avenue and Broadway for the Fells Point Stop. This stop will serve the Fells Point Neighborhood, Perkins Homes, and Harbor Point Development under construction as well as the Broadway Market and newly completed Marketplace at Fells Point. Like many other stops on this line, it's in an area where lots of redevelopment is occurring and the ridership will grow as the area does.
At Eastern Avenue and Patterson Park Avenue, I would have the Upper Fells Point Stop. This would also serve the western edge of Canton. The Red Line will not dip down onto Boston St. Instead, it will remain on Eastern Avenue where the homes are densely packed and despite there only being infill housing in terms of new development, the area is still growing as Upper Fells Point is becoming a destination for those looking to rehab a vacant.
The next stop will be at Eastern Avenue and Linwood Avenue for the Canton Stop. Yes, Canton will have a stop on the Red Line however, it will be several blocks to the north. Canton Residents and Patterson Park goers will be the primary users of those stop. This stop is directly north of the Canton Waterfront park.
Next will be the Highlandtown stop. Like Upper Fells Point, Highlandtown is a densely packed row house Neighborhood that is seeing a little it of new development but its growth is coming primarily from vacants getting rehabbed with new Residents moving into them. In addition to Highlandtown proper, this stop also serves the rapidly growing Brewer's Hill Neighborhood which has seen multiple large Apartment communities completed recently. This stop is also not far from Canton Crossing, Baltimore's first big box center with a large office and Residential component soon to come.
The last stop on the south spur of the Red Line before rejoining the north spur will be at Eastern Avenue and Bayview Boulevard for the Greektown/Bayview stop. Greektown is growing very fast with the rehabs and existing row homes but is also being helped two large town home communities being built at the southwestern edge of the Neighborhood. Hopkins Bayview Employees at visitors will be able to use this stop as well. This stretch of Eastern Avenue also has plenty of space for redevelopment.
Now we're going to travel back to Pratt St. and Gay St. This was the location right before the north spur and the south spur split off from one another. The north spur, instead of traveling along Eastern Avenue, will travel north along E. Baltimore St. Tunneled of course. Its goal is to cover a section of East Baltimore that neither the south spur nor the Green Line will cover. This includes the East Baltimore MARC Station.
The first stop of the north spur of the Red Line will be at Lombard St. and Exeter St. Historic Jonestown is quietly experiencing a rebirth and having its own Red Line stop will help Residents and tourists alike find this gem while allowing more growth in this often overlooked Community just north of Little Italy.
The next stop will be at E. Baltimore St. and Broadway. This will serve the growing Washington Hill Community. Washington Hill is located between Hopkins, Butchers Hill, Patterson Park, and Upper Fells Point. Its historic homes are larger than some of its Neighbors and there are new homes being built here as well.
Butchers Hill will host the next stop at E. Baltimore St. and Patterson Park Avenue. Butchers Hill, like Washington Hill contains larger row homes than its Neighbors. Its strategic location away from public housing, industrial ruins, and near both Patterson Park and Hopkins allowed minimal blight in Butchers Hill. For an East Baltimore Neighborhood, this is very rare.
On the other side of Patterson Park is....Patterson Park! The neighborhood named after the park that surrounds will be the next of the Red Line's north spur. As rehabbing row homes in Neighborhoods such as Fells Point and Canton, City Dwellers looked for vacants that were more affordable to rehab and they chose Patterson Park. Patterson Park is densely packed with row homes and is growing fast.

The next stop will be the planned East Baltimore MARC Stop in Orangeville. Though mostly industrial wasteland, Orangeville can one day be a huge mixed use TOD Community. The East Baltimore MARC Station and the Red Line meeting it there will remake this whole area.
The north spur will meet the south spur by traveling down Bayview Boulevard and joining at the Greektown/Bayview stop at Eastern Avenue and Bayview Boulevard. The line would then go southeast along Dundalk Avenue with stops at Graceland Park/O'Donnell Heights, Fort Holabird, and Dundalk Marine Terminal. Dundalk Marine Terminal will be the end of the line until there's enough redevlopment at Sparrow's Point to warrant an extension. Between Dundalk Marine Terminal and Sparrow's Point there will be a stop at Turner's Station which will be part of the Sparrow's Point extension.
This Red Line I have planned will be much more expensive and much larger than anything proposed by the MTA. However, with the amount of areas that will now have stops and the speed of the trains upped because of the additional tunnels, I think this line will have lots of ridership and inspire future lines and expansion of existing lines making Baltimore a 1st class Rail Transit Region.