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Light rail extension along B&A; trail protested Residents want route along Eighth Avenue


Glen Burnie residents last night protested a state plan to extend the Central Light Rail line from Cromwell station to downtown Glen Burnie if the route went through neighborhoods and the popular B&A; hiker-biker trail.

More than 200 people packed the auditorium at Pascal Senior Center on Dorsey Road, and nearly all of them appeared to oppose any rail extension that was not located along Eighth Avenue.

"We're not going to let you shove this train down our throats. The B&A; trail is probably one of the most popular parks in the state," Glen Burnie resident Tony Chiavacci told state Mass Transit Administration officials.

State Dels. Michael W. Burns and James E. Rzepkowski, who represent District 32, which includes Glen Burnie, vowed to fight state funding for any proposed extension through a residential area or the trail.

"I want to assure everyone in this room that they will put light rail down the bike trail or Georgia Avenue over my cold, dead, political body," said Burns to a round of applause.

The MTA is considering four options for extending light rail to downtown Glen Burnie and also a no-build option.

The longest route would follow Eighth Avenue from Cromwell Station near Dorsey Road to Ritchie Highway, then south to a stop near the Glen Burnie Town Center. The route, which would run about 2 miles, would cost about $43 million.

A second option would use bridges to cross Dorsey Road and Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard, then run north of Georgia Avenue to Ritchie Highway and south on the west side of the road to the town center. It would cost about $30 million.

The other two options would take bridges across Dorsey Road then follow the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail into Glen Burnie.

The shorter of those routes, three-quarters of a mile, would stop short of Crain Highway at A Street and cost an estimated $20 million. The longer one would continue along the trail to Post 40 Road. It would cost about $22 million and take part of the Glen Burnie Improvement Association's carnival grounds.

"I'm dead set against any route except down Eighth Avenue," said Glen Burnie resident Richard Gross, echoing the sentiments of other residents.

When his wife, Lois Gross, asked for a show of hands of how many people were against light rail cutting through neighborhoods, nearly every hand in the auditorium shot up.

In August, the improvement association approved a resolution favoring Eighth Avenue as "the only acceptable route."

Residents said they worried the other routes would destroy the character of neighborhoods and ruin the peacefulness of the hiker-biker trail.

Routes that run north of the center of the town would involve taking houses and businesses.

Pub Date: 12/06/96

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