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Sun photo/Jed Kirschbaum

Defying City Hall and Gov. Martin O'Malley, Southeast Baltimore Councilman Jim Kraft will oppose construction of the $1.6 billion Red Line from Bayview to Woodlawn.

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Kraft, a Democrat like O'Malley and Mayor Sheila Dixon, had been on the record favoring a plan that would have put the light rail line in a tunnel through Canton, announced his opposition  after the governor chose a plan last week that would  put the transit line on the surface through much of Canton on the east side and along Edmondson Avenue on the west side. Administration officials said plans that included more tunneling would have been to expensive to qualify for federal funding.

In an emaiil to city NAACP chief Marvin L. "Doc" Cheatham, Kraft cited strong opposition to surface Red Line in Canton.

"The number of folks who have requested that I support an above-ground alignment on Boston Street appears to be less than 50, while those who are opposed to it seems to be around 500," Kraft wrote. "This is not inclusive of, what I believe to be, over 1,500 signed post cards in opposition that were collected door-to-door throughout the greater Canton area and presented to Governor O'Malley."

The plan O'Malley selected is known  under federal transit law as the ""locally preferred alternative" -- a term that does not mean all the neighborhoods in a transit line's path prefer it. That plan is the only one that will be sent to the Federal Transit Administration for a decision on whether it is eligible for funding of up to 50 percent of its cost.

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