Thursday, March 13, 2014

Waiting for the Red Line Train at Fells Point and Harbor East

Next Red Line train arriving in 8 years. 
Long time to wait on the platform!
Baltimore is one of those cities where transit-ready development and redevelopment is running well ahead of actual transit service.  Having recently wandered around the new development at Harbor East (next to the Inner Harbor) and the redeveloping historic area of Fells Point (next neighborhood east) I was struck by how transit-oriented these areas are (photos below).  The good news is that transit is on the way – the new Red Line light rail service will have stations in both neighborhoods.  The bad news is that the scheduled opening of this line is 2022.
Maryland is moving as fast as it can to advance this project, but this situation just underscores how slow and behind the curve the delivery of transit projects is in this country.  This is partly a function of a long tradition of tight-fisted federal funding of transit generally and new starts specifically.  It is also partly a function of the cumbersome project delivery we live with in the transportation world.  Finally, it is partly a function of the rapid changes in urban settlement patterns and travel patterns that are creating pressing consumer demands for high-quality transit. 

Time to crank it up.

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