BALTIMORE – A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
M.J. “Jay” Brodie – President of the Baltimore Development Corp
Kirby Fowler – President of the Downtown Partnership
This November, AIA Baltimore welcomes Kirby Fowler – President of the Downtown Partnership and M.J. “Jay” Brodie – President of the Baltimore Development Corporation, to discuss their vision for the future of Baltimore, Baltimore’s position with respects to development and construction in the current economy, preparations for growth of population in the region related to BRAC, and opportunities for Architects, Engineers, and Contractors in the Baltimore Area.
The lecture will take place at 6:00 PM on November 10th, 2009 at The Engineers Club in Baltimore – 11 West Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore MD 21201
A reception precedes the lecture at 5:30 P.M. with light food and refreshments provided.
Tickets are $10.00 for AIA Members and $15.00 for non-members.
Advance ticket purchases are recommended as capacity is limited.
Please contact the AIA for ticket sales (410-625-2585). www.aiabalt.com
It’s do or die time for the Baltimore Red Line. Sides have been taken and battle lines have been drawn. Rumor has it that a decision will be made soon, perhaps by the end of the summer.
But let’s face the facts. The Red Line proposal that includes both a combination of tunneling and surface rail offers Baltimore best chance of getting state and federal funding for a transportation project in YEARS (see proposed routing map below). If we pass up on this, the likelihood of another public transit project coming this way is perhaps another 20 or 30 years off.
There is currently no reliable public transportation between Canton and downtown, so most people drive. It’s sameful that a city the size of Baltimore doesn’t have a reliable transportation system, so it’s about time we start.
I realize that there is a small, but vocal group of opponents, that don’t want a surface line running along Boston Street or Route 40. But let’s face it, Boston Street and Route 40 are already noisy and congested disasters. The new Red Line, along with some proposed nice streetscaping, will serve to reduce and calm traffic. The tunneling through downtown will keep the train from getting bogged down in traffic lights (one of my chief complaints about the existing north/south light rail).
The Red Line is necessary for the continued growth of Baltimore City, and would increase the property values of those nearby (just try to get a cheap apartment near a DC Metro stop).
If you support the Red Line, make sure your voice is heard. Things you can do to help:
Visit – http://www.gobaltimoreredline.com/
E-mail Senator Mikulski – http://mikulski.senate.gov/Contact/contact.cfm
E-mail Governor O’Malley – http://www.governor.maryland.gov/mail/
E-mail Mayor Dixon – firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail Councilman Kraft – email@example.com
We’re happy to have another guest post today courtesy of Urban Discoveries Living Blog. Check out all their great content.
The State Center was supposed to be one of those far-sighted projects that would help transform Baltimore into the vibrant, accessible city of the future. Though it wasn’t scheduled to be completed until 2018, even just the vision had a lot of people excited. The idea: to redevelop and reshape the 28 acres around the current State Center, an area that currently includes huge city offices, a light rail stop, and… a lot of parking lots and chain-link fences. The State Center development was supposed to change all that, reconnecting neighborhoods and creating a vibrant livable community. But problems have cropped up—new legislation, worrisome language in the state budget—that have some people worried that Baltimore is just going to end up with more of the same.
Why spend so much time and money on the area anyway? Well, there are plenty of assets not being taken advantage of here, is the thinking—not only does the area already boast a much-used transit hub (both the light rail and the subway stop here), and it’s here that vibrant neighborhoods (Mt. Vernon, Seton Hill, Bolton Hill) would come together, if there was anything there worth coming together for. So the stuff is there, for the most part; it’s just not connected well at all. Continue Reading »
The MTA recently announced the addition of approximately 400 additional parking spaces at the West Baltimore MARC station in what might be the first step in a massive planned transit oriented redevelopment of the area.
Part of the plan uses some of the federal stimulus money to demolish a portion of US-40 to build the lots. The lots will be temporary until the West Baltimore redevelopment begins.
Follow this link to view the West Baltimore Master Plan: http://www.ci.baltimore.md.us/government/planning/westBaltimoreMasterPlan.php
Follow this link to read the article in the Baltimore Business Journal: http://baltimore.bizjournals.com/baltimore/stories/2009/02/23/daily53.html
This week, the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Baltimore Sun both endorsed a Red Line Transit Project which is fiscally responsible and responsive to community concerns along the corridor. The alignment, known as Alternative 4c, would be a Light Rail train beginning along I-70 near the Social Security Administration, tunnel under Cooks Lane, emerging on and following Edmondson Avenue and the old “Highway to Nowhere” to Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. At MLK, the alignment would tunnel under downtown along Lombard Street, connecting directly to the Metro at Charles Center, then continue in tunnel under Fleet/Aliceanna Streets through Fells Point. The Red Line would emerge at Boston and Aliceanna and travel in the median of Boston Street to Brewer’s Hill/Canton Crossing, then follow old railroad right-of-way to Greektown/Highlandtown at Eastern Avenue and then to the Bayview Campus where it would meet a new MARC Station. The proposal is estimated at $1.3 billion and is projected to carry 42,000 riders per day.
The Maryland Transit Administration will hold a series of hearings on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement beginning on November 6th through November 14th. Strong public support for this alternative is needed to propel the project into the engineering and construction phases. Click here to comment on the Red Line DEIS.
You can also get project updates, view pictures of the recent transit tours to Phoenix, LA, Portland and Seattle, and following along on Twitter by visiting the City’s Red Line website www.gobaltimoreredline.com
The Baltimore region is getting a boost in transit funding from the Maryland transportation trust fund.? Here is The Sun’s article: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/traffic/bal-te.md.transit30jul30,0,5714508.story. Please send suggestions for transit projects to firstname.lastname@example.org? or http://www.baltometro.org/bboard/post.html?part=1005.
Why the MTA didn’t create something like this years ago baffles me, but the Maryland Transit Administration has finally got on board with the technological revolution.? In a partnership with Google Maps, the MTA has launched its new Online Trip Planner.? Finally, something that makes public transit perhaps a little easier.? It’s pretty simple, just type in where you are and where you want to go…the computer then tells you how to get there without a car, including how long you’ll have to walk before you get to the nearest bus stop or train station.?
? Check it out…it’s pretty neat, and you might find that a bus or train goes exactly where you need to go…or maybe not, but at least it’s fun to play around with.? Also, with $4 gas can you afford not to use this tool?? Follow the link below:
It’s not really Theory #23. It’s theory #1, I suppose. It’s been my theory at least since 1999, when I purchased a house in Baltimore City for myself and my family. The theory is simple and goes like this: Oil is a finite resource. Sooner or later, we’ll run out. There’s no viable alternative to gasoline, and even if there were, there’s already too many cars out there to replace. As gasoline prices rise, houses in the suburbs will drop in value. There will be a corresponding rise in the value of city real estate. Suburbia is predicated on cheap gasoline, whereas cities are from a time before gasoline. Cheap gas is a temporary phenomena. Buy city real estate and sell suburban real estate.
After eight years, it’s safe to say, “I told you so”. Now my theory has been borne out. However in 1999 I was the only one saying it. When I moved from DC to Baltimore in 1999, a real estate investor in the DC ‘burbs told me, “Don’t buy real estate in Baltimore City. It’ll never appreciate”! At the time, buying real estate in the city was risky. In the city you had to deal with crime, drugs, racial issues, bad schools, abandoned buildings, Mayor O’Malley, high taxes, etc etc. As recently as three years ago I posted to another blog about buying in the city and was jumped on by suburbanites. Within the past couple of years two of my neighbors bailed out* and moved to the ‘burbs. This was before $4 gas.
The neighborhood that I bought into has come back big-time since I bought in 1999. I don’t know if I could afford to buy my house if I had to buy it again now. However, there’s still “bad” neighborhoods in Baltimore City. They’re “bad” neighborhoods to some people. I’d say that one man’s “bad” neighborhood is this man’s sweet deal!
*In both cases, the houses sold immediately. The only house in the neighborhood that hasn’t sold immediately after being put on the market is one guy who’s holding out for $100K more than any of the others has sold for. Maybe he knows something…
Baltimore City plans to have a new free shuttle service serving the downtown area by next summer.? Perhaps the fact that it’s free will encourage more downtown residents to use public transportation and encourage tourists to visit other cultural attractions beyond the harbor.? While not a great solution to Baltimore’s public transit woes, at least it’s a start.?
Read the Article in the Baltimore Sun
With gas prices skyrocketing, it seems as if there are far more bicyclists on the street these days.? Unexpectedly, the MTA will be making easier for cyclists to get around town.? The MTA is starting to? test? out bike rack systems on some of their bus routes.? So far about 130? buses have been outfitted.? MDOT is also installing 250 secure bicycle lockers at 25 locations throughout the Baltimore region, including seven Baltimore Metro stations, four light rail stations, and ten MARC stations.