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Rumblings against Red Line get louder

With a final decision on the Maryland Transit Administration's proposed Red Line either in the hands  of Gov. Martin O'Malley or very close, opponents of the leading alternative -- known as 4C -- have ratcheted up their opposition.

Opponents from West Baltimore and  Canton  share a strong aversion to surface light rail in their neighborhoods -- whether along Edmondson Avenue or Boston Street. The following letter went out today to O'Malley, leading 4C backer Mayor Sheila Dixon and other elected officials saying no to 4C.

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You can read it below:

WEST-EAST COALITION AGAINST RED LINE ALTERNATIVE 4-C

July 13, 2009

The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski,

United States Senate

Hart Senate Office Building, Suite 503

Washington, DC  20510

The Honorable Benjamin L. Cardin,

United States Senate

Hart Senate Office Building, Suite 509

Washington, DC  20510

The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings

Seventh Congressional District

2235 Rayburn House Office Building

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Washington, DC  20515

The Honorable John P. Sarbanes

Third Congressional District

426 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC  20515

The Honorable Martin O’Malley,

Office of the Governor

State House

Annapolis, Maryland  21401

The Honorable Sheila Dixon,

Mayor of the City of Baltimore

City Hall, Second Floor

100 North Holliday Street

Baltimore, Maryland  21202

Re:       West-East Coalition Against Red Line Alterative 4-C

Dear Senators Mikulski and Cardin, Congressmen Cummings and Sarbanes, Governor O’Malley and Mayor Dixon:

This letter is written on behalf of the thousands of members of the community and religious organizations, homeowners’ associations and business groups that are listed below our signatures.  These organizations represent a broad-based coalition of residents and businesses on the West Side of Baltimore City and Canton on the East Side.

The Coalition strongly supports improved, intelligent and efficient mass transit for the people of Baltimore.  But we are absolutely opposed to surface light rail on Edmondson Avenue and Boston Street as contemplated by the MTA’s Red Line Alternative 4-C. Among the reasons for our opposition are:

1.         The destructive effect that a double-tracked railroad will have on our neighborhoods.  Both Edmondson Avenue and Boston Street serve as major arteries for east-west traffic and are already congested.

2.         A double-tracked surface light rail system with the required portals will make these heavily-travelled residential streets even more hazardous for our children and their families than they already are.

3.         Neither Edmondson Avenue nor Boston Street were ever intended to carry a double-tracked surface light rail system and they are inadequate for that purpose.

We urge you to reject the MTA’s recommendation of 4-C insofar as it calls for surface light rail on Edmondson Avenue and Boston Street.  The citizens of Baltimore deserve a better mass transit system than the one recommended by the MTA.

Sincerely,

Warren Smith                                                                      Benjamin Rosenberg

Ten Hills Community Association                                         Canton Community Association

Rognel Heights Community Association                                Canton Cove

Mulberry-Lyndhurst Community Association             Canton Square

Greater West Hills Community Association                           The Moorings

Mt. Holly-Saratoga Community Association                          Anchorage Tower

Allendale Community Association, Inc.                                 Anchorage Townhomes

The Shipyard

Cambridge Walk

North Shore at Canton

St. Casimir’s Church

O’Donnell Square Business Association

cc:        The Honorable Lisa Gladden

The Honorable George Della

The Honorable Jill P. Carter

The Honorable Nathaniel T. Oaks

The Honorable Samuel I. (“Sandy”) Rosenberg

The Honorable Brian McHale

The Honorable Pete Hammen

The Honorable Helen Holton

The Honorable James Kraft

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