Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Rail Lines: Start Downtown and then the Suburbs Phases III and I V

This post is a continuation of the previous post. It started with Phases I and II of my plan to build a world class Rail Transit System for Baltimore and its surrounding. I'm taking the "Phase In" approach of building several lines at once rather than doing the Red Line all at once and pretending to entertain the idea of the Green Line Expansion to Morgan State. So without further ado, I give you Phases III and IV (the final two.)Phase III: Encroaching Suburbia
Pictured above is an extension of the existing Central Light Rail Line branch now dubbed the Yellow Line. This will be its southern terminus at the Eastern Edge of Howard County with stops at the BWI MARC Station, Baltimore Commons Business Park, and Arundel Mills before ending at the Dorsey MARC Station. The 2002 plan shows the Yellow Line ending in Columbia which I'm favor much in favor of. Look for a post dedicated to Rail Transit in Columbia on my Columbia Blog. I'm currently writing that post along with this one.Phase IIIB of the Yellow Line involves a northbound expansion. It will continue along Greenmount Avenue/York Road from Waverly with stops in Govans and Belvedere Square. This will also effect up and comers like Pen Lucy and Wilson Park. I've gotten idea from comments on this blog that neighborhoods east of Greenmount Avenue are bad. Greenmount Avenue itself isn't that great but the neighborhoods though not as prestigious as their western counter parts are very nice. Waverly, Govans, Pen Lucy, Chinquapin Park have all made great strides towards improvement and are well positioned to provide affordable safe housing in this economic downturn. Being on a Rail Transit line is just the icing on the cake.Phase III A of the ReD Line involves a branch out into East Baltimore. As you can see, Phase II A goes along Eastern Avenue from the Harbor East Branch Stop to Fells Point, Canton, Hghlandtown, Greektown, and Bayview. This branch travels northeast from the Harbor East Stop to Washington Hill, Butchers Hill, Library Square, Orangeville (East Baltimore MARC) before rejoining its southern counterpart in Bayview. It will continue along Dundalk Avenue for an O'Donnell Heights Stop. A few things I would like to see happen in the course of the building of this line; a complete makeover of Central Avenue in Washington Hill, Massive Redevelopment effort in Orangeville into a TOD District, and a redevelopment plan for O'Donnell Heights. It's been torn down but it's being "land banked" which is a fancy term for meaning City Hall doesn't have a plan or doesn't have any funds. Phase III B of the Red Line involves the westward expansion along Edmondson Avenue and up Cooks Lane to the eastern terminus of I-70. The Red Line 4C option currently set in place calls for surface level tracking along Edmondson Avenue. I don't want surface tracking along Edmondson Avenue I want tunnels, and I on this blog (and only this blog) I get what I want! I'd also like to take this opportunity to say that everything I'm writing about concerning Rail Transit I would like to have EVERYTHING tunneled (when I say along I mean under), that includes existing lines that are overhead or at surface level. The only thing I would put at surface level would be the Red Line along Pratt St. which is the City's showcase. I think if Baltimore had a world class Rail Transit system it should showcased along its prized Harbor. Back to Edmondson Avenue, with the West Baltimore MARC Redevelopment and the Uplands Redevelopment, Edmondson Avenue will soon be an up and coming part of Baltimore poised for growth. The array of beautiful affordable row homes in Edmondson Village will be bought and occupied by their owners who will restore them to their elegant beauty making James Keelty proud.Now let me turn your attention to the Green Line. We finally had it expanded to Morgan State University in Phase II but that's not its terminus. The Green Line will turn east along Argonne Drive and then up Harford Road where at Coldspring Land/Moravia Road will have a Lauraville Stop. Continuing up Harford Road there will be a Hamilton Stop at Hamilton Avenue. It will turn down Hamilton (it becomes Frankford Avenue on the other side of Walther Avenue) where at its intersection with Belair Road will have a Waltherson Stop. In addition to Waltherson, this stop will benefit Frankford, Cedonia, and Cemont before ending at an Overlea Stop along Belair Road just inside the City line. That concludes Phase III

Phase IV: Into the Burbs

Phases I to III have taken us through the City in all directions so Phase IV will take us into the Suburbs. Next to Downtown the Suburbs have the most traffic congestion in the area. Since most of these stops are meant to carry a larger area of riders than those of the City (Stops in the City are more frequent) this will be an opportunity to make the suburbs more walkable and rework Bus Lines to integrate them into the Rail Stops. Now we'll give the Green Line a proper eastern terminus. Upon existing the City it will continue along Belair Road until it meets White Marsh Boulevard for a Putty Hill Stop. Going along White Marsh Boulevard it will have a White Marsh Stop at Perry Hall Boulevard. This is at the Western Edge of White Marsh Mall. The southwest quadrant of this intersection is still surprisingly undeveloped perhaps some TOD might be in the cards? Speaking of TOD the Mall is aching for it. The Avenue at White Marsh is heading in that direction. The Mall itself has tons of surface parking that can easily be developed with underground parking. The vacated Boscov's Department Store could even be demolished to make more room. The Green Line will continue along White Marsh Boulevard until it ends in Middle River at the Front Door of Martin State Airport where it will have a MARC Stop marking its eastern terminus.The eastern end of the Red Line will be interesting to say the least. It will leave the City along Dundalk Avenue where it will have a Dundalk Stop. Hopefully this will spur some redevelopment that will reverse Dundalk's trend of Population Loss that has occurred for the past 30 years. The final stop will be Sparrows Point. Here, it's easy to see why Dundalk has lost Population. This was the location of Bethlehem Steel, at its peak it employed close tens of thousands of City and County Residents. Most of Dundalk's housing and infrastructure was built for workers of Bethlehem Steel and their families. So why put a Rail Transit Sop at this vacant site? Well, it's prime Waterfront land! This could be the next Canton Crossing, Harbor East, Fells Point, and Locust Point all put together! I would Cristen this new development "Bethlem Village", a TOD Residential, Retail, and Office Mixed Use Development. Its piece de resistance will be what's left of the Bethlehem Steel Plant. It will be a Clipper Mill Style revival with loft Apartments appropriately named "The Lofts at Bethlehem Village" I wasn't lying when I said this would be an interesting eastern terminus of the Red Line. Now I take you to the western end of the Red Line. It will exist the City to serve the highly populated and congested Woodlawn Community. It's congested and populated very three very good reasons; the first is Social Security, the second is Medicare, and last but not least Medicaid. They're all headquartered here in Woodlawn. With the Red Line servicing these areas (and Security Square Mall) some of these vast surface lots may not be so full anymore allowing for TOD. This may also allow for revitalization of the East Woodlawn. This part is older than its western counterpart and could use some TLC. The northern terminus for the Yellow Line will be in Towson. Also very populated and congested as this is the County Seat. The Yellow Line will continue along York Road and just after exiting the City will have a Rodgers Forge/Stoneleigh Stop. Continuing on it will have a stop that serves Towson University, Sheppard Pratt, and GBMC, there will be shuttles that will take employees and Students to and from the Rail Stop. Finally Towson Town Centre will mark the northern terminus of the Yellow Line.

Well, there you have it, phasing in transit seems much less scary than ramming an entire Line down the City's throat. In four phases, I've managed to build two new lines from scratch, build the Charles Street Trolley, expand the Green Line from Hopkins, and localize the MARC Stops allowing for more neighborhoods to instantly have Rail Service at their door steps. Yes in just four phases Baltimore can go from what it is today to having a World Class Transit System, in just four phases!


Las Vegas Dating said...

Here's my first time visit. Very informative blog. It has briefed the new rail lines to see today, though it needs done through 4 phases. :)

Great thanks.

Anonymous said...

You're blogging about amazing information, but could you PLEASE spell check and read over your writing?