THESE PRACTICES SOARED DURING CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA AS US RULE OF LAW WAS NO LONGER ENFORCED.
Below we see where our Baltimore City council PRETENDED to be getting something of value for allowing Legg Mason to leave midtown to a Harbor East and capture tax breaks and credits for which IT WAS NOT QUALIFIED. A few years later and those small concessions to the public disappear----for next to nothing. Like the $25 billion settlement for trillions of dollars in subprime mortgage fraud----Cole doesn't know how much that city agreement would have brought to city coffers but he is sure $1.5 million will cover it. That amount is spent by the city on policing and security in a matter of weeks.
IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHAT A TRUMP DOES IF WE DO NOT FIX OUR LOCAL SYSTEM OF THUGGERY.
I look at how Baltimore or Chicago does politics and I see a great big TRUMP.
BDC President Pleased with Legg Mason Tower Agreement
Before the board went into its closed session, BDC president and CEO William Cole told the board he is pleased with a deal in which the city agreed to give up its claim to profit sharing on the Legg Mason tower in Harbor East for a one-time payment of $1.5 million.
Cole said it was difficult to predict how much the city might have earned from the profit-sharing agreement and he believes $1.5 million was a fair figure for all concerned.
The transaction, approved by Baltimore’s Board of Estimates this month, has drawn criticism for short-changing the city and benefiting the Paterakis family, which led the development team and is now negotiating to sell a portion of its interest in the tower.
What occurs each time these community businesses or corporate campuses are installed as would be the case with CROSS STREET MARKET BECOMING A BEER GARDEN----that corporation then has EMINENT DOMAIN in all communities surrounding that business campus---this was the point of a COSTELLO AND COLE pushing this in Federal Hill----same with UnderArmour campus and Johns Hopkins campus----it TAKES EMINENT DOMAIN of all real estate it wants-----
TRUMP TELLS HIS CONSERVATIVE BASE HE RESPECTS PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS WHILE LEADING IN THUGGERY TO TAKE THEM AWAY.
Donald Trump’s history of eminent domain abuse
By Ilya Somin August 19, 2015
David Boaz of the Cato Institute has an excellent article summarizing Donald Trump’s shameful history of promoting eminent domain abuse for the purpose of seizing property from homeowners and businesses who refuse to sell to him:
For more than 30 years Vera Coking lived in a three-story house just off the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Donald Trump built his 22-story Trump Plaza next door. In the mid-1990s Trump wanted to build a limousine parking lot for the hotel, so he bought several nearby properties. But three owners, including the by then elderly and widowed Ms Coking, refused to sell.
As his daughter Ivanka said in introducing him at his campaign announcement, Donald Trump doesn’t take no for an answer.
Trump turned to a government agency – the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) – to take Coking’s property….
Peter Banin and his brother owned another building on the block. A few months after they paid $500,000 to purchase the building for a pawn shop, CRDA offered them $174,000 and told them to leave the property. A Russian immigrant, Banin said: “I knew they could do this in Russia, but not here. I would understand if they needed it for an airport runway, but for a casino?”
Ultimately, as Boaz notes, Trump and the CRDA lost in court in CRDA v. Banin, an early victory for the Institute for Justice – the public interest law firm that later litigated Kelo v. City of New London and other landmark property rights cases.
As Boaz notes, this was not the only time that Trump sought to use eminent domain to seize property from unwilling owners. In 1994, he also lobbied the city of Bridgeport to condemn five small businesses so he could build an office and entertainment complex that he absurdly claimed would turn Bridgeport into a “national tourist destination.”
On this issue, unlike most others, Trump has been consistent over time. When the Supreme Court narrowly upheld “economic development” takings that transfer property to private parties in the 2005 Kelo case, the ruling was widely denounced on both left and right. But Trump defended it stating that “I happen to agree with it 100%. if you have a person living in an area that’s not even necessarily a good area, and … government wants to build a tremendous economic development, where a lot of people are going to be put to work and … create thousands upon thousands of jobs and beautification and lots of other things, I think it happens to be good.” The feral cats who currently occupy the condemned land probably agree. Trump did not merely claim that the decision was legally correct; he argued that it was “good” to give government the power to forcibly displace homeowners and small businesses and transfer their property to influential developers on the theory that doing so might promote “economic development.”
Both the Kelo case and Trump’s efforts to benefit from eminent domain exemplify a longstanding pattern under which that power is used to take land away from the political weak and transfer it to influential private interests. In the long run, as cities like Detroit have learned, such assaults on property rights undermine development far more than they promote it.
UPDATE: It’s worth noting that, on this issue, Trump has demonstrated even less respect for property rights than fellow presidential candidate and self-proclaimed socialist Bernard Sanders. When the Kelo decision was issued, Sanders spoke out against it, noting “the result of this decision will be that working families and poor people will see their property turned over to corporate interests and wealthy developers.” I discuss the widespread opposition to Kelo more fully in my recent book on the case and its aftermath.
For those thinking---WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO FIX THIS BRIDGE----THESE RAILWAYS----THESE ROADS----the answer is this-----the use of SUSTAINABILITY to isolate large real estate pretending it was environmental was the footprint for new infrastructure which will be geared toward moving lots of freight----they are not worried about cars-----this decade will see the building of pipeline to export terminals for crude and natural gas and telecomm cables tied to global corporate campuses---Obama began this Trump will MOVE FORWARD. They have to have the underground work done before they pave roads or lay rails---what are today's bridges will not necessarily be there tomorrow.
When we read this article saying congressional leaders are hesitating on that $1 trillion-----the plan has always been to tie infrastructure to WORLD BANK IMF----TRUMP will simply pretend to be forced to go to them.
This is why with all the talk on infrastructure by Obama---and Governor Brown of CA shouting for funds----they all knew this infrastructure build would be tied to World Bank after the economic crash----and it will tie nothing but global corporations and their global labor pool to the buildout----no jobs ---no voice----no communities.
National February 27, 2017 7:19 PM
Despite Trump’s pledge, governors expect little federal spending on infrastructure
1 of 2
The Brent Spence Bridge, built in 1963, in front of the Cincinnati skyline carries tens of thousands more vehicles a day than it was designed to handle, with accidents reaching an all-time high in 2015. It is one of many bridges nationwide that governors would like upgraded or replaced amid talk of infrastructure investment.
Al Behrman APBy Stuart Leavenworth
President Trump said again Monday that he was preparing to spend big on infrastructure. But even as he spoke, administration officials and congressional leaders were telling governors to expect little new federal investment in roads, bridges, transit systems, dam repairs and other water works.
Instead, the administration and congressional leaders plan to take a more incremental approach of spurring public-private partnerships – such as toll roads – by loosening environmental reviews, removing other red tape and possibly approving new tax credits. While some governors say private projects will provide little help in repairing their aging infrastructure, others say they will be forced to embrace the fiscal reality.
National Governors Association Chairman, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, center, waits for the arrival of President Donald Trump to a meeting of the NGA, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, at the White House in Washington. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is at right. Evan Vucci APVirginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, said he and Nevada Gov. Ryan Sandoval, a Republican, had recently discussed infrastructure with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., prior to meetings Sunday and Monday with Trump and his Cabinet members.
“It seemed clear the way they were heading was public-private partnerships,” McAuliffe said in a news conference at the conclusion of the National Governors Association winter meeting here.
With Trump expected to address infrastructure in his speech on Tuesday night, McAuliffe said he saw little prospect of big new public investment. “Until they come up with a dedicated source of funding going forward, it is going to make it difficult,” he said.
On the campaign trail, Trump promised to grow jobs with an infrastructure investment of $1 trillion or more. On Monday, speaking to a group of visiting governors, he seemed to renew that pledge, saying: “Infrastructure. We going to start spending on infrastructure big.”
Yet despite his rhetoric, Trump appears to have little GOP support for a big-money federal jobs program. Ryan is opposed, and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell – a Republican from Kentucky and the spouse of Trump’s transportation secretary, Elaine Chao – has been cool to noncommittal. Both congressional leaders want to cut taxes and reduce federal spending and are philosophically opposed to economic stimulus programs. Former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, head of the Heritage Foundation, has recently become an influential adviser to Trump, and his organization has been pressing the president to scale back dreams of big federal investment.
Ryan and some other Republicans seem open to using tax credits to spur private infrastructure work. Yet it is not yet clear how Congress would pay for those tax breaks and what process they’d use to select projects deserving of special treatment. Ryan has made clear that infrastructure decisions will need to wait until the spring, after Congress has had a chance to work on health care and tax revisions.
At his news conference Monday, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer was pressed to explain how the president plans to spend “big” on infrastructure, without increasing federal budget deficits.
Senate Democrats present a $1 trillion infrastructure bill for the nation's roads, airports, bridges and seaports, which they say would create 15 million jobs over 10 years. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called on President Trump to
C-SPAN“All I’m trying to get at is that there are various ways to do this funding without just relying on the American taxpayer in terms of additional taxes,” Spicer replied. “There are spending reductions; there are other funding mechanisms. I think in due course we will get around to that discussion.”
Since occupying the White House, the administration’s process for vetting possible infrastructure projects has been opaque. On Jan. 24, McClatchy was the first to report on a list of 50 “emergency and national security projects” nationwide that a consulting group had prepared for the Trump transition, which passed them on to the National Governors Association. Some of those projects had long been pushed by private developers hoping the new administration could provide them relief from environmental permits and litigation.
The administration remains interested in at least some of those infrastructure ideas. Speaking at the National Governor Association conference Sunday, Transportation Secretary Chao said she had recently met with proponents of a privately funded Texas high-speed rail project that would link Dallas to Houston. The project, included on the administration’s original list of 50, claims it will create thousands of jobs but is opposed by some landowners along its potential route.
Trump, a vocal supporter of using eminent domain for development, spent Sunday night hosting dozens of governors at the White House. On Monday, he said he’d spoken to some of the governors about projects “tied up because of environmental concerns.”
He suggested he’d speed up the process for environmental reviews. “They’ll either be rejected quickly or they’re going to get approved,” he said.
Some Republican governors, such as Gary Herbert of Utah, say they applaud the administration’s approach. “What we’ve said to the president today is ‘Let’s find ways to streamline regulations,’ ” said Herbert at Monday’s news conference.
Yet other governors say private investment and regulatory relief can go only so far in helping states fix aging bridges, highways and other public works. “There has to be additional resources,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat. “States have to come up with resources; federal government has to come up with those resources.”
During a panel discussion Sunday, Chao was asked by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, how states could engage with the new administration in repairing structures such as the Brent Spence Bridge, a 1963 cantilevered truss bridge that carries Interstates 71 and 75 across the Ohio River between Kentucky and Ohio. During the Obama administration and now, the bridge has become a symbol of crucial but aging infrastructure.
Chao acknowledged that public-private partnerships are “not the answer to everything,” in part because of public resistance to projects such as tollways. She didn’t seem to have an immediate answer to Bevin and his bridge concerns. “We need to find new ways to innovate, to find additional resources,” she said.
I'm going to say what will make some people mad but let's be honest folks on FEDERAL HILL-----what is with the PALATIAL BUILDING currently assigned as an international center for the blind? We shout all the time how rights of disabled are not enforced through CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA----there is no intent to continue rights of disabled outside of what will be shop training =====we are hearing globally our disabled pushed into this global labor pool are being enslaved and abused. I will not say this occurs here in this facility but this is my concern:
THIS BUILDING IS BUILT LIKE A CLASSICAL GREEK SENATE BUILDING COMPLETE WITH SOARING CEILINGS---HUGE UNITED NATIONS-STYLE MEETING ROOMS WITH MARBLE ALL OVER THE PLACE.
Lighthouse International Headquarters.
CASE STUDY – LIGHTHOUSE INTERNATIONAL – NEW YORK, NYDATA CENTER EFFICIENCY
For over 100 years, Lighthouse International has led the charge in the fight against vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment. Founded in New York City in 1905 by Winifred and Edith Holt, Lighthouse quickly became a pioneer in the field of vision rehabilitation, and today is a leading resource worldwide in helping people overcome the challenge of vision loss.
Lighthouse’s data center headquarters is housed in its 170,000-square-foot building in Manhattan, which serves a staff of more than 200 people and operates 24/7, 365 days a year. The motivation for the project was multifaceted, with cost savings, equipment upgrades, and space consolidation being the primary drivers for project implementation.
Lighthouse International set out to consolidate their data center from approximately 1,000 square feet down to less than 300 square feet. This consolidation would allow Lighthouse to offer more rental space to a tenant in the building and generate income for the organization’s mission.
The solution was virtualization: using a VMWare software package, the work of 30 physical servers could be handled by four retrofitted physical servers running at maximized capacity. Lighthouse worked with Con Edison and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Data Center Efficiency Program team to quantify energy savings from streamlining the server room’s footprint and energy use. This consolidation would not only eliminate the need for the current 960-square-foot server room, but would also significantly reduce annual energy use from the array of
30 servers and their associated HVAC demand.
Server Virtualization Project Summary
Using VMWare technology, Lighthouse International consolidated its physical servers, reducing both energy use and square footage requirements.
• 30 physical servers
• 960-square-foot server room required
• 116,480 annual kWh used
• 4 physical servers
• 250-square-foot server closet required
• 52,300 annual kWh used
• 64,100 kWh per year
• 960 square-foot data room now available
for rental revenue of $80,000 per year
• $8,400 was provided by Con Edison and
NYSERDA, which offset 12 percent of the
Con Ed and NYSERDA logos
Con Ed and NYSERDA logos Con Ed and NYSERDA logos Con Ed and NYSERDA logos
It was built of course with funds from our NATIONAL ACCESS BOARD-----taxpayer built for what is now a center for the blind. If people start moving away from the idea of Baltimore being that NEW CITY PUGH uses as her slogan and think of BLOOMBERG FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE 2 NORTH AMERICA as in independent CITY STATE------you will see how that building on Federal Hill fits into the MASTER PLAN. It is obvious that our Federal Hill and Federal Hill Park will be that GREEK SENATE BUILDING for those old world MERCHANTS OF VENICE to meet and do the business of LEGISLATING for those global corporate campuses.
When we have that vision of Federal Hill then we can see where that community development will end and a GERMAN BEER GARDEN near this CITY STATE SENATE BUILDING is just what those thirsty old world MERCHANTS OF VENICE GLOBAL 1% would want. As this article states-----it was built for heavy technology just as our City Hall and its new phone system was........
THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE A CENTER FOR THE BLIND FOR MUCH LONGER.
International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind (IBTC)How We Help | Who Can Use Our Services? | Technology
A Resource Like No Other
Welcome to the International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind. If you are blind or low vision, if you’re struggling to do daily tasks visually, or just wanting to try out the latest and greatest in access technology, we’re here to help.
The IBTC is the biggest blindness technology center in the nation – and we work for you.
How Do We Help?
- Show new users what technology may be helpful to them
- Compare software and devices
- Give advice on how to comply with accessibility standards
- Advise employers and employees on workplace accommodations
- Provide information on where to get training and equipment
- Anyone is welcome to visit, call or e-mail us. You might find our services especially useful if you are:
- Anyone losing vision and wanting to know what technology can help
- A student or parent wanting to learn about what blind students need
- An employee looking for equipment or software for a new workplace
- Technology developers
- An employer wondering what it takes to hire blind talent
- Or anyone else curious about access technology, and what is new and exciting
- Mobile devices with speech and magnification (iPhone/iPad, Android phones, etc.)
- Digital magnifiers and magnification software
- Optical character recognition for turning printed pages into electronic spoken or magnified text
- Digital bookreaders and software
- Screen access software
- Braille displays
- Embossers (Braille printers)
- Election technology
- Tactile graphics equipment
- Come visit us! You can schedule a visit by calling Clara Van Gerven at 410-659-9314 x2410 or dropping her a note at email@example.com. You can find directions to the IBTC here.
- Call us – 410-659-9314 option 5. Leave us a message and we will get back to you.
- E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
200 East Wells Street
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Phone: (410) 659-9314 x 5
Fax: (410) 685-5653
All of this BGE infrastructure buildout we are told justifies a doubling of our energy bill----but guess who will really be paying that bill? Taxpayers at national, state, and local levels----the high rates are simply the new norm.
Columbia Gas sues dozens of landowners for pipeline
Company seeks eminent domain for line in Baltimore, Harford counties
February 20, 2014|By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun
A West Virginia-based gas company is suing dozens of landowners in Baltimore and Harford counties to gain use of portions of their properties for a $180 million pipeline project.
In three federal lawsuits filed since January, Columbia Gas Transmission seeks to invoke eminent domain to obtain temporary or permanent easements on more than 400 acres for its 21-mile pipeline extension.
The project, which gained approval from federal regulators last November, has sparked concern among neighbors about safety, environmental issues and property values.
In the latest lawsuit, filed Tuesday, the company is seeking immediate access to 370 acres from more than two dozen Baltimore County landowners, saying it needs the easements to start pipeline construction. The company says it was able to reach agreements with other landowners affected by the pipeline route, but could not do so with the owners named in the suit.
"Columbia has negotiated with the Landowners and made bona fide efforts to acquire the necessary easements by agreement but has been unable to obtain any such rights by contract, or to agree with the Landowners upon the compensation to be paid," the lawsuit states.
A spokesman for Columbia did not return requests for comment on Thursday, and attorneys for the Charleston-based company could not be reached.
Columbia Gas plans to extend an existing line from Owings Mills to Fallston, saying the project would improve service reliability for customers in Central Maryland and surrounding regions. In court filings, Columbia says it wants to start construction in June.
Last month, the company sued about 30 property owners in Baltimore and Harford counties to gain easements on roughly 76 acres.
One issue at play in that lawsuit is a dispute between the company and landowners over how much the new pipeline will decrease their property values, according to Rockville lawyer Joseph Suntum, who represents some of the defendants.
"The general issue in a condemnation case is usually the amount of just compensation," he said.
Carolyn Elefant, a Washington lawyer representing a landowner in the case, said another issue is that Columbia still needs federal environmental permits.
"If these permits are denied and the pipeline route is changed, [Columbia] might ending up taking property" that is not needed, she said.
In a related lawsuit filed in January, Columbia claims it needs access to seven landowners' properties for geotechnical surveying to determine whether it can do "horizontal directional drilling."
"They didn't give a lot of information, and these landowners really have no idea where the drilling is going to be," Elefant said. She said the federal certificate authorizing the project does not cover the horizontal directional drilling.
State Sen. Bobby Zirkin, a Pikesville Democrat who has been an outspoken critic of the pipeline project, said he believes Columbia did not present fair deals to many landowners, instead offering them "peanuts."
"I think it's disgusting what [Columbia is] doing to the people of Baltimore County," Zirkin said.
He said citizens have not been supported by local officials, and in particular criticized Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz for not speaking up about the issue.
"What I think is equally disgusting is the utter silence coming from our county executive and the county government, which is supposed to be protecting the citizens of Baltimore County, instead of kowtowing to the oil and gas industry," he said.
A spokeswoman for Kamenetz to declined to comment.
The pipeline extension will cut through the county's largest park, Oregon Ridge Park, running parallel to an existing line there. Advocates for the park say the project will destroy acres of forest and could disrupt wildlife there.
The county's environmental chief has said county officials don't believe the project will have a significant environmental impact on the park.
These are the infrastructure projects that will move forward under Trump and he will make sure these gas and crude oil corporations get the eminent domain they need to reach export terminals in Port of Baltimore and Curtis Bay----no matter how much pols shout that Baltimore is not going to be an EXPORT TERMINAL it is.
We can see the current movement of pipeline from WVA and PA where fracking has gone crazy-----the goal was to run that pipeline from PA down to Port of Baltimore and I have suggested the RED LINE was a pretense to transportation when it was eminent domain for these pipelines.
This is what a Trump infrastructure will emphasize and it will plow right though parkland, through communities and the export terminal whether CANTON or Locust Point/Dundalk will have Baltimore citizens told----SHUT UP AND SIT DOWN. At the same time BGE is laying cable for global corporate campuses and their global online businesses----that will MOVE FORWARD setting the stage for WE THE PEOPLE having no access to high-speed internet.
IT MATTERS WHEN WE THE PEOPLE DO NOT STAND UP AND PROTEST-----THIS IS WHERE OUR ACTIONS NEED TO BE----BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT---GREATER BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT, URBAN LEAGUE, NAACP, COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS, AND THE GORILLA-IN-THE-ROOM JOHNS HOPKINS.
Southern Reinforcement Pipeline Project: Meeting your energy needs with reliable, safe, clean natural gas
Inside BGE, Reliability, Safety
Jeannette Mills, Sr. VP and Chief Customer Officer
Over the next several months you can expect to see utility construction along a 14-mile stretch of Howard County. We are installing a new section of underground pipeline that will serve more than 200,000 customers in Howard County and four neighboring counties. The project, known as the Southern Reinforcement Pipeline, will strengthen the natural gas infrastructure of the region and help ensure a safe, reliable supply of clean natural gas to meet the energy demands of the region’s growing population.
Construction began in late July following a careful planning phase in which we worked with local property owners and other customers in the general area, as well as public and elected officials to discuss the project.
After evaluating several routes, we chose one that provides the most benefit with the least amount of impact. It begins north of Clarksville and continues southeast between Routes 32 and 216 to end just north of Laurel. Half of the line will be installed beneath existing electrical transmission line corridors. The rest of the pipeline will be installed in areas where BGE has negotiated easements with property owners. It runs primarily under rural areas and farmland, but also through some developed and residential areas.Pipeline Route click to enlarge
We are committed to providing ongoing updates and to minimizing disturbances through the completion of construction at the end of 2011. Even so, a project of this scale will be noticeable, requiring equipment storage areas, vegetation removal, grading, digging, drilling and other operations. Construction will take place on a maximum 75 foot easement over the pipeline route. When the project is complete, a 50 foot easement will remain and will be graded smooth and reseeded with native grasses. Marker signs will identify the pipe’s location, and the 50 foot easement will remain clear of trees and shrubs to provide permanent access to the pipeline.
Although we will have to remove thousands of trees over the length of the pipeline route, we have already planted new trees and grass in another location in Howard County to offset any environmental impact. Additionally, we have routed the pipeline to ensure threatened and endangered species remain intact. Where the pipeline does cross wetlands, we will be utilizing special construction techniques, such as directional drilling to route the pipe under the area. We will use temporary wetland mats to protect streams and marshes from the effects of heavy equipment. As part of our environmental commitment, we are also rehabilitating a two-acre stream in Howard County to address any potential impact to wetlands.
Although the pipeline crosses multiple roads and highways, commuters will be relieved to know that we don’t expect this project to significantly impact traffic. To protect roadways and keep traffic moving, the pipeline will bore beneath road surfaces. There may be some isolated, temporary lane closures to allow for construction at some points along the roadways, but no full road closures are planned.
For more information, please check out a video on the Southern Reinforcement Pipeline Project. We will continue to communicate directly with residents and businesses neighboring the pipeline route, and future periodic community meetings and media updates are planned. To request an update or provide feedback on the project, please contact BGE at 410-685-0123. We thank you for your patience as we make this major upgrade to ensure that your energy needs are met with reliable, safe and clean natural gas.
____________________________________________Again I ask folks to suspend disbelief and think----would Governor Hogan really not fund a project Johns Hopkins and UnderArmour wants? The answer is NO. If we see surrounding communities being leveled for global corporate campuses and global factories there is no need to build this RED LINE----it runs through what will be paved industrial sites. Each global corporate campus will have its own internal transportation and commuter buses will be built around this.
What RED LINE did was create an eminent domain plan for running pipeline from WVA and PA into city and Port of Baltimore terminals. This is what will MOVE FORWARD UNDER TRUMP----watch I betcha!
They can put smiling family faces on a Red Line transit not so much for underground hazardous pipelines. Think of these communities and what construction will look like to see how nothing in place today will be in place tomorrow if we MOVE FORWARD.
Baltimore’s Red Line Project should be revisited before it’s too late
By Jason Jenkins · March 27, 2014 · 1 Comment
Baltimore City wants the Red Line to happen in the worst way.
The Red Line is a proposed 14.1-mile, east-west transit line connecting the areas of
I’ve lived here for a long time and there has not been too many projects that have received this much of a media blitz. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says, “It’s a game changer.”
Yet, when you begin to scrutinize the Red Line a few problem areas arise that need clarification so we all know what we’re exactly getting into.
The Red Line will not come anywhere close to being our New York Subway or D.C. Metro
I’m not sure if this idea stems from creative marketing or what I call the “Baltimore Little Brother Complex.”
Baltimore exists along the I-95 corridor with its “bigger brother” cities to the North and the nation’s capital about 35 minutes South. And just like a little brother, we clamor to have all the things our bigger siblings have. We, as a city want to be accepted just as they are.
This line of thinking should not apply to the Red Line. When you look at New York, that system was built over a century ago which gave the city time to grow around it. New York has a system length of 232 miles with an average weekday ridership of 8,733,300. The Washington D.C. Metro has 106.3 miles of track with an average weekday ridership of 855,300.
Both systems are fast, can accommodate high ridership and are a part of a highly accessible and connected transportation network.
The entire Red Line stretches 14.1 miles connecting the areas of Woodlawn, Edmondson Village, West Baltimore, downtown Baltimore, Harbor East, Fell’s Point, Canton and the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Campus. It would take 45 minutes to get from one end to another in a two car train.
The Baltimore Metro Subway has six-car trains. Daily weekday ridership estimates have dropped from 57,000 to 47,000, according to the most recent MTA reports. That ridership is lower than the Baltimore ridership.
Except for a two block underground tunnel, the Red Line plan will not bring the City’s transportation system together. It creates another disjointed piece to the puzzle. As you can see, this project should never be compared to those heavy-weight systems.
The problem with the downtown tunnel is not about disgruntled yuppies
Red Line supporters will tell you that the only problem with the proposed downtown tunnel is that Canton residents are upset about the disruptions it will create for their neighborhood. Neighbor dissatisfaction is the least of the Red Line’s worries.
The 3-mile tunnel alone from West Baltimore to Boston St. at the moment cost $1.2 billion. It’s going to be over 45 percent of the cost of the entire project and that should be a deal-breaker. The cost of the tunnel has forced the MTA to decrease the size of station platforms where they will only be able to handle skinny two-car trains. This downgrade defeats the whole purpose of the project to transport large capacities quickly East and West.
Another cost-cutting procedure caused by the tunnel was to eliminate all crossover tracks in the tunnel meaning that any glitch or car problem would shut down the whole system.
Right now we have the Baltimore Metro Subway system with 15.5 miles of track with an average weekday ridership of 48,500. It has a station at Johns Hopkins Hospital. How much would it cost to add a mile or so of track to reach their Bayview Campus? I’m sure it will not cost $1.2 billion.
Yet it’s a necessity that this tunnel must be built even to the detriment of the rest of the project. Why?
$2.6 billion better solve all of our public transportation needs
We always start off with the right intentions.
The Baltimore Metro Subway in 1965 was planned to be six rapid transit lines emanating from a center hub in the middle of the city. It opened in 1983 as a straight-line subway going from Charles Center to Owings Mills. In 1994, an added stretch of tunnel connected Johns Hopkins Hospital to Charles Center. However, our subway system came nowhere near addressing the transportation needs of the majority of its residents.
In 2002 the Baltimore Region Rail System Plan – which the Red Line was a part – recommended the construction of a rail system reaching East, West, North and South connecting the entire region with a 109-mile rail system.
The key in each plan was to make large areas of the region accessible to each other. Those public transportation systems in D.C. and New York make it possible for anyone to travel anywhere in the metropolitan area. How does the Red Line affect Towson, White Marsh and all the other neighborhoods Northeast of Hopkins? It doesn’t and other parts of Baltimore can say the same thing.
This will be the most expensive undertaking Baltimore has ever embarked upon. And if we actually put a shovel in the ground, this is our last chance to create a viable public transportation system.
As it stands now, the Red Line project is getting $1.2 billion from the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund to make this all happen. This fund was just replenished by a gas tax hike in 2013. I don’t see the majority of state senators voting in the next few decades to give Baltimore specific dollars out of state funds after the Red Line and good luck to anyone who would suggest raising local taxes for future public transportation endeavors.
Granted, the Red Line is a complex beast. However to make the process so cut and dry is a disservice not just to those neighborhoods who might feel some discomfort, but to the entire region. We need sound forecasts to get a clear understanding of what it is we are actually getting.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake and the Maryland Transit Administration should explain to the City why public transportation needs wont be addressed. These same officials should tell us why cheaper more inclusive alternatives or hybrid approaches will not be as successful – if that’s the case.
All of these projects were developed during Bush/Obama----Trump will fund them----champion eminent domain to see them through-----it is not Trump=====it is our local cities and Ports having installed all the deregulation and allowing communities to decay making way for all these pipelines and railways to our export terminals including PORT OF BALTIMORE.
THEY ARE MOVING FORWARD TO SHIP OIL AND GAS IN PORT OF BALTIMORE----THE VOLUME WILL BE FAR DIFFERENT THAN LAST CENTURY AS THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT CONSERVING FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA---
"Shipping crude oil through this terminal in Baltimore could have increased the risk of accidents and potentially explosions, such as have happened in Virginia, West Virginia and Canada," she said. "Targa Terminals' application for the crude oil permit was full of holes. MDE has said that it will not move forward with the crude oil permit unless the company provides more information about the air pollution that would be created by its operations."
Targa Resources Partners LP Continues to Expand Terminals Strategy With Two Acquisitions
HOUSTON, Oct. 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Targa Resources Partners LP (NYSE:NGLS) ("Targa Resources Partners" or the "Partnership") today announced that it has acquired two refined petroleum products and crude oil storage and terminaling facilities. The Targa Sound Terminal on the Hylebos Waterway in the Port of Tacoma, Washington has 758,000 barrels of capacity and handles refined petroleum products, LPGs and biofuels, including ethanol and biodiesel. The Targa Baltimore Terminal on the Patapsco River in Baltimore, Maryland has approximately 505,000 barrels of storage capacity, contains blending and heating capabilities, and has tanker truck and barge loading and unloading infrastructure. Total consideration for both transactions, which closed effective September 30, 2011, was approximately $127 million.