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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a meeting today with community members from through the corridor, including TRAC with US Congressmen Elijah Cummings' office, the MTA today, via the words of Henry Kay said that they will study what the community wants studied including the TRAC endorsed MTA CAC alternative call for heavy rail (Metro Subway). Paraphrasing, "we'll look at your plan Ed [Cohen, TRAC president] first, and do the numbers..." To be put in writing.

More details to come tommorow. I've been away. I'll catch up on all the development news first......

Nate :D

:banana: :cheers: :banana: :cheers: :banana:
 

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This is what I'm talking about!!!! This could be the start of a process that we have long awaited for. Remind me to send Rep. Cummings a donation also. :)
 

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Thank god that logic may have prevailed.

There is an amazing article published by ULI about the state of infrastructure in the USA and how we compare to the rest of the world. Its 68 pages, but the correlation between the success of a city and county and the adequacy of its rail system is astounding. I have a pdf of it and can email it to anyone who wants a copy. its about 6 megs.
 

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This is awesome news. I just hope they are willing to build it. We are so far behind mass transit wise and the biggest complaint I hear from friends and acquaintances about Baltimore isn't crime, it's that you have to drive everywhere you go and you can't jump on a subway.
 

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I thought they were already studying heavy rail...I thought that is why they pushed the completion date back another two years. Oh well, I guess I was mistaken. Anyway, this is the best news we've gotten in a while, in my opinion. I would be more interested in Baltimore getting a subway expansion then any of the tower proposals out there (not that I'm not interested in those...). Anyhow, great news, Nate. I can't wait to hear more about this.

Jeff, I would be very interested in reading that report. Could you please send it to me whenever you have a chance? My e-mail is [email protected] No rush though. Thanks, I appreciate it.
 

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After a meeting today with community members from through the corridor, including TRAC with US Congressmen Elijah Cummings' office, the MTA today, via the words of Henry Kay said that they will study what the community wants studied including the TRAC endorsed MTA CAC alternative call for heavy rail (Metro Subway). Paraphrasing, "we'll look at your plan Ed [Cohen, TRAC president] first, and do the numbers..." To be put in writing.

More details to come tommorow. I've been away. I'll catch up on all the development news first......

Nate :D

:banana: :cheers: :banana: :cheers: :banana:


Nate

Is there a new timetable for this project? When will they go into the design pahse? Construction phase? There was money for desing a few years ago. I remember O'Malley and the polictical delegations going to Annnapolis to try and save some federal funds fot this. This whole project has been bandied about for years and Baltimore has taken a back seat to the DC area on mass transit. Its time for Balt to cash in.

Also what about the extension of the existing line beyond Hopkins?
 

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This whole project has been bandied about for years and Baltimore has taken a back seat to the DC area on mass transit. Its time for Balt to cash in.
What are you talking about? We have never had a Metro expansion! We're still operating with our original lines from the 70s despite massive population growth. Stop blaming the problems of Baltimore on Washington, it's really lame.
 

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What are you talking about? We have never had a Metro expansion! We're still operating with our original lines from the 70s despite massive population growth. Stop blaming the problems of Baltimore on Washington, it's really lame.
There are five operating lines and one planned line:

Metrorail lines Line Name Opened Stations Termini
Red Line 1976 27 Shady Grove - Glenmont
Orange Line 1978 26 Vienna/Fairfax-GMU - New Carrollton
Blue Line 1977 27 Franconia-Springfield - Largo Town Center
Yellow Line 1983 17 Huntington - Fort Totten
Green Line 1991 21 Branch Ave - Greenbelt
Silver Line (Planned) Route 772 - Stadium-Armory
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When are they going to stop studying and start building?
The MTA actually needs to do a legitimate study before building anything. This has been the most wasted money of a project thus far studied the most ridiculous of alternatives that are of little sense or value. Of course, financing becomes the issue once the final alternatives are contrasted.

Patience is a virute here.

Nate
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I thought they were already studying heavy rail...I thought that is why they pushed the completion date back another two years. Oh well, I guess I was mistaken. Anyway, this is the best news we've gotten in a while, in my opinion. I would be more interested in Baltimore getting a subway expansion then any of the tower proposals out there (not that I'm not interested in those...). Anyhow, great news, Nate. I can't wait to hear more about this.

Jeff, I would be very interested in reading that report. Could you please send it to me whenever you have a chance? My e-mail is [email protected] No rush though. Thanks, I appreciate it.
O'Malley said he thought heavy rail should be studied, although it wasn't specified as to what manner it would be studied. At first we got the impression, the state might go back and develop a new metropolitan transit plan, but after Kay got back with the MTA, it seemed more and more as though they were just going to throw HRT on the current plat of LRT/BRT alternatives and go from there and continue with their schedule for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)--clearly in violation of federal guidelines and arguably federal law.

The citizens have been concerned about federal and MTA process and want other alignment alternatives considered, not just mode.

Secretary Porcari delayed the DC Purple Line and the Red Line ONE year at least in part to deal with the brewing Red Line problems and in part to to deficiencies in the Regional Travel Model required by the FTA, which did not meet specifications or was otherwise not accurate enough.

Sadly, many people have actually thought subway was being studied for this project for the longest time and it hasn't, which was/is part of the problem. They thought they might get something they're weren't.

Nate
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nate

Is there a new timetable for this project? When will they go into the design pahse? Construction phase? There was money for desing a few years ago. I remember O'Malley and the polictical delegations going to Annnapolis to try and save some federal funds fot this. This whole project has been bandied about for years and Baltimore has taken a back seat to the DC area on mass transit. Its time for Balt to cash in.

Also what about the extension of the existing line beyond Hopkins?
This would probably push back the project another year. So, the earliest construction would reasonably start would be 2012, I'd guess. Not a big price to pay in my mind for a good project. We were to be awarded around $102 million of engineering money once we got federal approval for the project; I think the cutoff for that was either the end of 2010 or 2011. Nothing we can't reapply for. We weren't likely to get funding anyway with the junk alternatives being studied in the first place.

It really hasn't taken a back seat to DC in the given time frame of the Red Line's existance. In fact, Ehrlich pushed back the Purple Line project to accomodate the Red Line, IIRC. It hasn't really been bandied about by anyone other than the GBC and CPHA who are more interested in TOD than mobility and some insisting (determined through interpolation and elimination of other possibilities, not actual quotes) that the Red Line serve University Center, Inner Harbor East, and Fells Point directly. Well the people didn't buy the trolley garbage and have enough ammunition to get what they and Baltimore deserves: a real study of viable alternatives that can improve mobility and transportation and the economy of the region.

Insofar as the Green Line. There is only a little bit of study money available now and NO build money for YEARS to come.

It is quite possible that some of the Red Line alternatives could become intertwined with Metro extension alternatives (Green Line) and redirect the projects. IOW, it's up in the air.

Nate
 

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There are five operating lines and one planned line:

Metrorail lines Line Name Opened Stations Termini
Red Line 1976 27 Shady Grove - Glenmont
Orange Line 1978 26 Vienna/Fairfax-GMU - New Carrollton
Blue Line 1977 27 Franconia-Springfield - Largo Town Center
Yellow Line 1983 17 Huntington - Fort Totten
Green Line 1991 21 Branch Ave - Greenbelt
Silver Line (Planned) Route 772 - Stadium-Armory
Like Balwash said and those lines and stations were planned decades ago. And WTF are you counting the Silver Line for that's in Va?
 

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When are they going to stop studying and start building?
This is the real question. Frankly, I think this study might be a shell game. The State's upcoming budgets, especially related to transportation, are not encouraging. The latest estimates were about a $40 billion deficit in transportation over the next 10 - 15 years. At this point, money isn't available for a bus-based Red line, much less a subway. If we go back the the drawing boards, re-study, it will be quite a while before any of this gets real so, hope for a miracle. At this point, "study anything you want" may be a way of saying, "you ain't getting anything anyway". I hate to be the cynic but next year, the state faces a billion dollar operating deficit and we don't have slots yet. It's going to take a pretty hefty increase in something to pay for a Baltimore subway, the ICC, DC subway enhancements, a new Bay Bridge, etc and fund the schools, pay for medicare expenses, and on and on. The outcome of this project will be based mainly on money, not on the merits of the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
^We've already disscussed the money situation ad naseum, and those involved are acutely aware of it. It's endemic to many issues outside of transportation.

Nevertheless, it was not money that was really the problem here. It was process and politics.

The business community wants this as a way to develop real estate and make money and bring in more business. Communities want something that makes sense. The new energy economy and new federal admins can change things muchly. The state has already spent significant sums on this and doesn't want to trash it now; and so forth....

Money and merits of the system are interrelated, in fact, as a low cost system would have lower merit and lower cost-effectiveness, therefore less chance of federal funding and vice versa.

Study and building are simply seperate issues at this point. They must be dissagreggated at this time, as the variaibility in cost between various projects is not so great as to automatically exclude most any alternative for the Red Line given the flexibiltiy of finances the state has (we're not Wyoming, e.g.). Decisions due to cost can be made during the choice of a preferred alternative. One doesn't eliminate it ahead of time.

Nate
 

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Like Balwash said and those lines and stations were planned decades ago. And WTF are you counting the Silver Line for that's in Va?
Its still part of the metro. MD will pay a portion of the maintaince fees through the authority. All the orginal metro lines are finished.

Baltimore is stuck with 3.4 of its lines finished (counting the LR), we have a way to go just to get to the design size.

Anyway I don't think GSOL was disparaging DC anyway just pointing out that we are so far behind them and all this political machinations is putting us further behind.
 

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I was only pointing out that, unlike Baltimore, funding has come to build out the D.C. metro. Please save the shitty tone for the D.C. forum.
You guys are the ones that start up with the shitty tone when you start accusing MoCo and PG of causing Baltimore's problems.

Its still part of the metro. MD will pay a portion of the maintaince fees through the authority. All the orginal metro lines are finished.
We pay a portion of the maintenance fees for the overall Metro, so when the Silver Line is finished, Metro will have overall higher fees, but Maryland's percentage share of them will go down significantly which should leave us in an equivalent or better position financially. This is because Metro is payed for by a proportion of the trips taken and number of stations in each jurisdiction. The construction of the Silver Line will mean Maryland will have a lower percentage of riders and stations.
 

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^We've already disscussed the money situation ad naseum, and those involved are acutely aware of it. It's endemic to many issues outside of transportation.

Nevertheless, it was not money that was really the problem here. It was process and politics.....
I think that's what bothers me about this. There's different ways of saying no and I don't think that the O'Malley people want to say NO so they are doing the time honored thing of studying it. This is similar to how they debated the original subway proposal to death and we ended up with one truncated line. I just don't sense the sort of burning desire to build something comparable to Schaffer and the Light Rail or Ehrlich and the ICC. My guess (and this is ONLY a guess) is that if O'M wants his name on something super expensive and budget limitations make him choose only one, it is a new Bay Bridge. That would be popular in the burbs and help him to prove that he isn't a Governor of Baltimore and help him on his next career step. It's also similar to how his crime strategy in Baltimore was designed to impress the suburbs, not the communities where it was implemented.
 
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