My Neighbors, Baltimore and Maryland need Governor-elect Larry Hogan to save the Red Line
As a Baltimore City homeowner, professional artist, millennial and pedestrian, I am expressing my unequivocal support for the Red Line as planned by the MTA. Governor-elect Larry Hogan must help our city achieve its fullest social and economic potential by making this long-planned transit project a reality.
I moved to Baltimore City in 2008 to go to MICA, and have since stayed, got a job teaching art, bought a house and joined an ever growing community that I love. With my student loans, I cannot afford to own a car, and therefore must walk, cycle and take transit within a certain radius of my home. I honestly could not have afforded to stay in Baltimore were it not for metro access to downtown and light rail access to BWI airport.
Building the Red Line will give our transit starved neighbors in East and West Baltimore, and the County access to jobs while also attracting new residents who are unable or prefer to not rely on the expenses of owning a car for work. The construction period is estimated to generate nearly 10,000 jobs and its completion is expected to create access to more than 200,000 jobs within the next 15 years.
The Red Line will not only serve East and West Baltimore, but also multiply the effectiveness of our regional rail transit network through integrated connections at key hubs. Such regional impact will also help the state as a whole by attracting environmentally friendly new urban development while preserving vital farmland across the state.
Great urban cities need great transit – just look at NYC, Boston, DC and even LA. The Red Line is no doubt expensive, but no more so than other similar rail transit projects around the country, such as Portland’s Milwaukie Light Rail line. For 12+ years the MTA has worked closely with residents along the Red Line corridor to plan this shared vision. People wanted trains on dedicated tracks, not buses on clogged roads. Changing the current plan by even a few feet will mean losing nearly $1 billion in secured federal funding. With Red Line planning this far along, and Baltimore City and County residents in need of transit access to jobs, we literally cannot afford to stop this train!
Building the Red Line is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve Baltimore and Maryland’s social and economic potential. For the elders who can’t drive, for the working families who need access to jobs, for preserving rural sustainability and for investing in the future strength what is not doubt The Greatest City in the Greatest State in America, Hogan must do what he can to build the Red Line.