Association approves resolution supporting light rail extension Proposal puts tracks along Eighth Avenue; $41 million estimated for longest route


Members of the Glen Burnie Improvement Association last night approved a resolution supporting the extension of a light rail system southward from Cromwell Station to Glen Burnie's downtown along Eighth Avenue.

The state Mass Transit Administration estimates the extension to Eighth Avenue -- the longest of four routes being considered -- would cost about $41 million. The MTA also has a no-build option.

Tony Chiavacci, who chairs the association's light rail committee, said $41 million is "peanuts. It's a small amount of money" if that means neighborhoods and the popular hiker-biker trail are left undisturbed.

Glen Burnie resident Paul Armstrong disagreed.

"This fella calls it peanuts. I don't call it peanuts. It's a lot of money coming out of your pocket and my pocket," said Armstrong, who favors the shortest route, which the MTA estimates would cost about $20 million.

Eighth Avenue -- proposed to the MTA last year by residents -- would run from the current terminus at Cromwell Station near Dorsey Road across Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard to Eighth Avenue, then follow Eighth Avenue across Crain Highway to a stop near the Glen Burnie Town Center. The route would run about two miles.

All of the other options involve building a bridge over Dorsey Road. One route would extend south from Cromwell Station and use bridges to cross Dorsey Road and Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard. It would run south to Georgia Avenue and cross Crain Highway to Ritchie Highway. Estimated cost: $30 million.

The other two options would take similar paths. The shortest route would extend about three-quarters of a mile from Cromwell to town, following the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail from Dorsey Road to Crain Highway. The other route would follow the trail but stop near the Glen Burnie Carnival grounds. Estimated cost: $22 million.

In a position paper last month, the association's officers and board of directors called Eighth Avenue "the only acceptable route" because it disturbed the community the least.

Residents expressed concerns about safety and security, the feasibility of extending light rail and its impact on the popular hiker-biker trail.

A group of residents has collected about 175 signatures against light rail and tracks along Georgia Avenue, said Patrick Clark, who lives on that block.

The residents said they will give the petition to the MTA next month when public hearings begin. Some residents said the association should not render an opinion until the MTA releases a study, due next month, that will examine community, engineering and environmental issues.

The study is under review by the federal transit administration, said Tony Brown, MTA project manager. A copy of the report will be made available, Brown said.

Pub Date: 8/14/96

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