Editor’s note: The following commentary aired on wbal.com on December 17, 2018.
State transportation officials recently confirmed what many argued when Baltimore’s Red Line project was killed.
The decision to scrap the project, made after 13 years of steady work and progress, was a body blow to Baltimore and would set the city back decades in its quest to expand mass transit.
Now, according to a report recently submitted to the Maryland General Assembly, due to the numerous hurdles involved in approving and funding such projects, it takes years, maybe decades, to bring any significant transit project on line. It’s important that we acknowledge, but not harp on, this reality. Instead, it’s time for us to direct our focus on the two largest emerging employment hubs in the region – Tradepoint Atlantic and Port Covington.
What bold transportation projects must we get behind now to ensure that workers across the city and region can more easily access these emerging job centers?
It goes without saying that any proposal must link these future economic engines with the transit dependent communities in East and West Baltimore. Easy access to jobs at these major employment hubs would greatly benefit those who live in disadvantaged areas and propel them toward economic stability.
Providing easy access to these employment centers would likely be as economically transformational for those who live in underserved transit areas as the economic hubs themselves.
I’m Don Fry, President & CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee.