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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The new MARC Transfer Station

So far all I've done in Southwestern Baltimore County is close down two MARC Stations and put in their place localized stops and stations with lots TOD and redvelopment. So far I've done nothing to address the MARC Stations that were closed in the wake of my Master Plan. Now it's high time I shared with you what it is plan to do address the Commuter Rail that will eventually share its tracks with the localized Orange and Purples Lines aka the MARC Camden and Penn Lines respectively.
Although the Relay MARC Station is one of historical signifigance, the amount of traffic that a true MARC Stop generates would severely disrupt the quiet residential Community so I decided that it should close both as a MARC Station and any possibility of it being an Orange Line Stop. Orange Line Stops in Elkridge and Lansdowne Station are in my final plan.
Unlike Relay, the Halethorpe MARC Station on the Penn Line has a large Commuter Base and the Station to support it. So I'm sure it came as a surprise to all who read the post that I want to close. I put a Purple Line Stop about quarter mile away in Arbutus that will serve UMBC Students and Arbutus Residents alike. That plan also calls for massive redevelopment between the stop on Southwestern Boulevard and the UMBC Campus.
Now let me give an overview of the MARC Rail. I think of it as an "All Roads lead to DC" Commuter Rail that serves those who work bankers hours. It has three lines all together (the third line called the Brunswick doesn't go anywhere near Baltimore) and their starting point is in DC. Now the other two lines, the Camden and the Penn both lead to Baltimore. the Camden Line, as the name suggests ends at Camden Yards. The Penn Line contrary to the name does not end at Penn Station. It does stop there but it continues on to Harford County.
In southwestern Baltimore County, there is a large missed opportunity, the two lines actually cross paths. The fact that the MTA has ignored this potential has left me baffled. The need for the two MARC Lines to cross paths and act as transfer points to one another has been the center point of my Southwestern Baltimore County Posts. I have left this pivotal part out to see how many people would pick up on that fact. The new MARC Station located at the criss cross of the tracks would also be an additional stop on both the localized Purple and Orange Lines.
As I draw my series of posts regarding Southwest Baltimore County Rail Transit to a close I'd like to bring this up, when planning transit lines it's always best to have as many transfer points throughout the system as possible. The more convenient the service, the higher the ridership, which would in turn lead to less congestion on roads all across the board. It's time the two MARC Lines met their ultimate destiny in Baltimore by taking advantage of an existing meeting point and turning it into a transfer point.

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