Patience urged on light rail Construction tie-ups irk Ferndale citizens

June 25, 1992|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,Staff Writer

Even while being told their traffic woes may continue for a while, Ferndale residents were urged to wait out the light rail construction surrounding them.

The rail line's benefits, they were assured, will go beyond merely providing mass transportation.

Together with a Mass Transit Administration official and state Sen. Michael Wagner, about 30 residents met at the Ferndale Senior Center Tuesday night to iron out last-minute differences just two months before opening the first stop of the southern portion of the Central Light Rail Line.

One resident expressed concern about traffic between Ferndale Road and Third Avenue. "We're trapped!" she said. "People can't walk out of their houses for all the traffic."

Others complained about traffic on Winton Avenue.

But Wagner said that once completed, "The light rail is going to calm the traffic down. All of our efforts are going to keep the traffic out of the community."

He said a new county ordinance will be enforced that prohibits commuters from parking on county roads in residential neighborhoods. Stickers will be issued community residents, he said.

He also predicted property values would increase once the light rail is completed.

Beth Robinson, an MTA customer and community relations officer, presented slides detailing aspects of light rail.

The southern portion of the central line will run from Patapsco Avenue to Dorsey Road, about 10 miles.

Double tracks will make up 6 1/2 miles, while the other 3 1/2 miles will be composed of only single tracks. Seventeen stations are expected to dot the 10-mile stretch, including three still in the planning stages.

Robinson said the average car weighs about 53 tons and measures 95 feet long and 9 feet wide. Each car has a 172-passenger capacity.

She added that the light rail car cannot quite stop on a dime, but pretty close. It can go from 50 mph to 0 mph in 17 seconds and accelerate from 0-50 mph in 40 seconds.

The fare is currently a flat fee of $1.10 for adults and 40 cents for senior citizens. Passengers can ride the light rail from the beginning of the line to the end without paying zone fare. But Robinson said there would probably be a slight price increase after the entire line is completed.

She also assured one resident that light rail cars will not noisily roar through his community. "There aren't any bells and whistles, and it will definitely not be as loud as freight trains," Robinson said.

Robinson said she couldn't promise any immediate relief from the traffic woes, but would express residents' concerns to MTA officials.

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