Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
NewsOpinion

Proposed Red Line is an example of poor transit planning

Public TransportationMaryland Transit Administration

Your recent editorial on the proposed Red Line in Baltimore turned a blind eye to the project's huge funding and performance gaps ("Charm City Express," Sept. 16).

You say the state has $1.5 billion pledged for the Red Line, but The Sun's previous story lists the Red Line's allocation as only $519 million of the $1.5 billion figure, which includes "more than a dozen other transportation projects in the area."

So the state has accounted for only a tiny piece of the Red Line's total $2.6 billion price tag. The rest is tied up in vague hopes for city and county contributions, "public-private partnerships" (as if any business will want to take on such a sure money loser) and dwindling federal matching funds. Moreover, no one else will step up for any cost overruns either.

Ironically, your editorial has no problem criticizing the state's 30-year rail transit system history. You say that "surely, nobody would have ever designed such a haphazard, inconvenient and undercapitalized system that lacks sufficient accountability to its customers (or even local government) from scratch."

But that's what they did, and the Red Line is being designed to a far lower standard than the existing Metro in every possible way. You express a desire for "a better-integrated transit future," even though the Red Line would not even connect to the Metro except via an absurd two-block pedestrian tunnel.

Here's the first step toward a solution to these problems: Eliminate the Red Line's proposed billion-dollar downtown tunnel and its redundancy with the existing Metro. Then make the system truly integrated.

If The Sun examined the state's hype with a critical eye, you would realize the Red Line is merely another example of bad transit planning that in many regards is far worse than in the past.

Gerald Neily, Baltimore

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Public TransportationMaryland Transit Administration
  • Put 'trust' back in Transportation Trust Fund [Letter]
    Put 'trust' back in Transportation Trust Fund [Letter]

    A proposed state constitutional amendment creating a firewall for the Transportation Trust Fund will be on the ballot this fall, and while the legislation is flawed, it deserves voter support. The legislation (Senate Bill 829 of 2013) received bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

  • Highway funding needed — and concrete, too [Letter]
    Highway funding needed — and concrete, too [Letter]

    In regard to the commentary by Brian Dolan ("Get riled up over roadways," July 14), I am in a similar position to Mr. Dolan of the Maryland Asphalt Association, as I work for the Maryland Ready Mix Concrete Association. I, of course, disagree with Mr. Dolan's recent comments disparaging...

  • Concrete is not the problem [Letter]
    Concrete is not the problem [Letter]

    I've known Brian Dolan for nearly 25 years, back to a time when I was the concrete engineer and he was an assistant district engineer, both for the Maryland State Highway Administration. As old colleagues, I wasn't surprised to see his informative commentary on the state of our roads ("Get...

  • America is squandering a precious asset: its highways [Letter]
    America is squandering a precious asset: its highways [Letter]

    Brian Dolan's article, "Get riled up over roadways" (July 14), was extremely well written. Message received loud and clear. We need to be reminded of our crumbling infrastructure as we begin to accept it as the norm.

  • A temporary patch [Editorial]
    A temporary patch [Editorial]

    Our view: With the Highway Trust Fund within weeks of bankruptcy, Congress looks to kick the transportation can down the road

  • Gas tax is no solution [Letter]
    Gas tax is no solution [Letter]

    As usual, The Sun missed the real story — on purpose, I might add ("Pumping up gas prices," July 1). Gas prices have doubled since your savior took office in 2009. President Barack Obama has done almost nothing to make the U.S. energy independent (for example, no nuclear plants have...

Comments
Loading