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Canton residents dispute MTA official

When MTA deputy administrator Henry Kay gave an interview to Suzanne Collins of Channel 13 Thursday night about the proposed east-west Red Line, he drew a quick and vehement reaction from Canton residents who oppose a surface light rail line on Boston Street.

Kay was talking about one of the alternative plans for building the east-west transit line between Woodlawn and Bayview called 4C. It would involve building a light rail line in a tunnel through downtown and Fells Point, as well as under Cooks Lane in West Baltimore, but on the surface along Boston Street and Edmondson Avenue.

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Some in Canton were unhappy with the way Kay characterized the oppposition to the plan. Ben Rosenberg wrote:

Chuck D. of Canton, who preferred not to use his full  name, also  weighed in:

And one more from Bill Sohan of Canton:

Henry,

I'm not taking a position on this. I have talked with Canton residents -- none on Boston Street -- who have no problems with a surface Red Line. But I'm not sure how numerous they are.

I will say this: On both sides of town, Red Line opponents are underplaying the downside of the so-called "no-build" option. Both East Baltimore and West Baltimore are being slowly strangled by traffic congestion. Both communities have a huge stake in getting cars off the road. Car traffic may be the devil we know, but it's a mean old devil -- and getting bigger all the time.

It's not enough for residents of these communities to show that a surface Red Line wiill be bad for their neighborhoods or themselves personally. They need to show it will be worse for the entire region than the consequences of doing nothing. If the Red Line is a net minus for a certain neighborhood -- and that has yet to be proven -- but a net plus for the region, I don't think the state has a choice but to move  forward.

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