Time to rethink Red Line route

As Gov. Martin O'Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announce $1.5 billion in new transportation projects, the Red Line most costly among them, The Sun should call attention to serious concerns raised by state Sen. Bill Ferguson and Dels. Peter A. Hammen, Luke H. Clippinger and Brian K. McHale ("Transportation projects funded," Sept. 4).

Many city-dwellers, myself included, have lamented Baltimore's mass transit deficiencies for decades. But some of us can also recall the repeated struggles — dating back at least to the legend-worthy 1970s fight Barbara Mikulski led against "The Road" — to prevent the construction of barriers dividing the community from the waterfront. Make no mistake, a surface Red Line along Boston Street will do precisely that.

Moreover, I have yet to hear a convincing explanation of why, from an urban planning standpoint, a Boston Street route is superior to a more direct shot to Johns Hopkins Bayview along Eastern Avenue or Fleet Street. Either of those options would serve a greater number and a greater diversity of city residents and would revive the long-flagging Eastern Avenue commercial corridor.

I can only hope the governor and mayor pay belated heed to Southeast Baltimore's residents and elected officials.

Clinton Macsherry, Baltimore

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