MTA to double parking at West Baltimore MARC station

The Maryland Transit Administration plans to construct two new commuter parking lots for West Baltimore’s MARC station that would add 400 spaces, doubling the station’s parking capacity, an MTA official told the Greater Baltimore Committee.

Promoting maximum use of MARC and expanding its service are high GBC priorities. Currently, average daily ridership on MARC routinely exceeds its capacity. The two new lots would ease the daily overflow of commuters’ cars that are parked in the neighborhoods surrounding the heavily-used MARC station.

Demolition work could begin soon on the structure that constitutes the western end of the six-lane U.S. 40 corridor, dubbed by local residents as the “highway to nowhere,” adjacent to the MARC station near Pulaski Street, MTA Project Manager Rick Kiegel told the GBC’s Built Environment and Sustainability Committee at its February 25 meeting.

After demolition is complete, two new parking lots will be built east of Pulaski Street. The two new lots would cost an estimated $9 million to build, including $3 million for design and demolition and $6 million for construction and accompanying roadway work, according to preliminary estimates. Federal stimulus funds are available for the demolition work, Kiegel said.

The two new lots will be an interim measure to help with parking until implementation of the West Baltimore MARC Station Area Master Plan, where the lots would be available for development and a more permanent commuter parking facility would be built, Kiegel said.

The master plan would use transit-oriented development to revitalize the area around the MARC station, which would become a significant transit hub once the proposed Red Line is built with a stop at the station. The plan envisions the area near the station to become a community activity center with office and retail uses, including services such as a dry cleaner, bank, child care, café, as well as civic space and possibly a library for residents and commuters.

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