Monday, November 29, 2010

Halethorpe MARC: CLOSED

What? I want to close the popular Halethorpe MARC Station? That's right I do! Please remember that every post I write is part of a large Master Plan for the improvement of the Southwestern Baltimore County Rail Transit system. I'm sure a lot of this will make more sense if I posted the most integral part of the plan first but I feel like keeping you, the reader glued. All I can say is that when you read this upcoming post, it will all fall into place.
Another purpose of this post is to redevelop Southwestern Boulevard or should I say develop it because there's nothing really there. It is my educated guess that Southwestern Boulevard was once to be the "Southwestern Expressway" one of the many expressways that were thrown around during the "Freeway Building Frenzy" that dominated the development landscape of the mid 20th century. Notice very few roads actually intersect it. Francis Avenue can be explained away because the MARC Stop is why it's elevated but with the MARC Station closed, how about an at grade traffic signal? This video store is one of a very few "select" businesses on Southwestern Boulevard further suggesting it was meant to be a full blown Expressway. In order to fully integrate Southwestern Boulveard into the landscape of Southwestern Baltimore County, there will have to be more traffic signals perhaps at Tom Day Boulevard/Maple Avenue and Linden Avenue and Old Sulphur Spring Road as well as Sulphur Spring Road itself and finally North Avenue and Marsha Avenue. Selma Avenue and Waelchil Avenue should also be considered.Now we can't forget about the train tracks, just because I'm closing the MARC Station, the train tracks will not go away. If you know my style you'll know what's coming next. Time to start digging! Yes, this will be tunneled all in the name of a more walkable Southwestern Boulevard and therefore or more walkable accessible Halethorpe and Arbutus.
Now, the comes the unanswered question of what to do with all the land that will be freed up by the MARC Station closure. Here where I really go bass ackwards. It will be developed into a parking garage(s) and residential and retail TOD. Why would I build TOD on the site of a Station that I just CLOSED? Well, I never said I wouldn't replace it a mile or two down the road. Heck, I may even put two stations in its place, after all, this is also the Purple Line of the Regional Rail Plan. Where the new station(s) ends up being there will be a shuttle bug to take riders there. So, in the name of my Southwestern Master Plan, consider the Halethorpe MARC Station CLOSED!

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