Last Chance To Comment On Proposed Light Rail Lines From Towson To Baltimore
TOWSON - The public comment period for the Maryland Department of Transportation's (MDOT) North-South Corridor Plan ends on Monday, November 7.
A feasibility study completed in 2021 proposed seven options to connect the communities, including new light rail lines from Lutherville to Otterbein. This study was part of the larger North-South Corridor Plan, which aims to integrate Baltimore city with its surrounding communities.
The proposals have been controversial, with both candidates for Baltimore County District 6 opposing the addition of light rail.
Democrat Mike Ertel called the proposal "ridiculous" in a statement on October 30.
"These options are ridiculous. They are also quite unlikely to happen. It would take enormous cooperation and funding from the county, the city, the state, and the federal government," he said. "As your Councilperson, I would vigorously oppose these specific plans should they advance."
Republican Tony Campbell also rejected the addition of light rail in his conversation with Patch last week.
"the MTA is looking at putting light rail on Loch Raven Boulevard and Goucher Boulevard. I don't think there need to be rail lines there."
MDOT delivered a presentation on October 3, which laid out their reasoning behind the North-South Corridor Plan. According to MDOT, a new light rail or bus line to Towson would increase access to future jobs. MDOT estimates the project could bring 38,000 additional jobs to the Towson area.
In its presentation, MDOT also clarified why York Road, Goucher Boulevard, and Loch Raven Boulevard were chosen as potential locations.
- Greater density on York Road provides higher overall ridership
- Loch Raven provides more access to minority populations
- York Road has limited space for transit improvements
- Goucher can accommodate rail vehicle turning movements
- Tunneling provides the greatest travel time savings
- Tunneling results in more cost, environmental complexity, & implementation time
Currently, four bus lines connect Towson and Baltimore, including CityLink Red, CityLink Green, and Silver/LocalLink 52.
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, the seven proposed options for the North-South Corridor Plan are:
- Light Rail Transit (LRT) from Lutherville to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) via Ridgely Road, York Road, Greenmount Avenue, Orleans Street, St. Paul Street, and Baltimore/Fayette streets.
- Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from Lutherville to UMMC via Ridgely Road, York Road, Greenmount Avenue, Hillen Avenue/Gay Street, and Baltimore/Fayette Street.
- BRT from Towson to Harbor East via York Road/Greenmount Avenue, North Avenue, Penn Station, Charles/St. Paul streets and President Street.
- Heavy Rail (Metro SubwayLink) from Towson to Port Covington via York Road/Greenmount Avenue, 33rd Street, Charles/St. Paul streets, Penn Station and Hanover Street;
- BRT from Towson to Port Covington via York Road/Greenmount Avenue, 33rd Street, Charles/St. Paul streets, Penn Station and Hanover Street;
- Light Rail Transit from Lutherville to Otterbein via Ridgley Road, York Road, Fairmount Avenue, Goucher Boulevard, Loch Raven Boulevard, 25th Street, Charles/St. Paul streets, Penn Station and Conway Street
- BRT from Towson to Harbor East via Joppa Road, Loch Raven Boulevard, The Alameda, 33rd Street, Charles/St. Paul streets, Penn Station, Pratt/Lombard streets, and President Street.
Credit: Maryland Department of Transportation
The online poll will remain open through November 7. You can comment on the proposals or vote on which you think is best for the Towson community here.
The online poll is the first phase of the North-South Corridor Plan. MDOT advises that it will take years to complete the planning, environmental assessment, design, and construction of any new route.