Greater Baltimore Committee president and CEO Donald C. Fry praised Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon for including construction of the east-west rapid transit Red Line among six top priorities she cited in her inauguration speech.
“Mayor Dixon’s strong support for getting the Red Line built is a step forward for this project, which the GBC considers a key to developing a comprehensive, improved regional transit system,” said Fry. “She clearly recognizes the project’s tremendous upside potential for the city and region.”
Strengthening support in the city for building the Red Line, a 10.5-mile east-west transit corridor between Woodlawn and east Baltimore, is “one of the most important next steps we can take,” Dixon said in her inauguration speech on December 4.
Dixon pledged that her administration will devote “considerable time and energy” to working with neighborhoods along the Red Line route to resolve issues that community leaders have raised relating to the line’s construction and operation.
“Dixon’s support gives this project a highly visible public-sector champion and problem-solver,” said Fry. “The mayor’s strong advocacy will help in gaining timely state funding for the Red Line’s construction and in working with community leaders and state transit planners on neighborhood issues.”
The Red Line’s planning phase is nearing the stage where specific routes will be selected and it will be determined whether the project will take the form of rapid bus or light rail. A draft environmental impact statement examining 11 alternatives and numerous route variations under consideration is expected to be published in spring 2008, after which a public hearing will be held and a preferred alternative for the project will be selected.