Search for light rail route focuses on 2 paths GLEN BURNIE

March 10, 1993|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

State transit officials are focusing on two of seven proposed routes to bring light rail into downtown Glen Burnie, both of which would follow the popular Baltimore & Annapolis Trail Park.

Both preferred routes would cross Dorsey Road from the Cromwell light rail station on a bridge and continue down the hiker-biker right of way, requiring a slight shift of the existing paved pathway.

The paved section takes less than 12 feet of the 66-foot-wide linear park that the county bought for about $1.3 million.

At a meeting last night of the Glen Burnie Improvement Association (GBIA), the Mass Transit Administration unveiled its preferences at its first community presentation on the proposed extension of light rail to Glen Burnie.

About 100 people attended the meeting.

One of the routes is about seven-tenths of a mile long, ending at a station that would take up a slice of the GBIA carnival grounds. pTC The county parking garage is on the other side of the fairgrounds. Last night GBIA officials voiced no objection to the notion of MTA taking association property.

But earlier some said they were not consulted and had no plans to sell the home of their carnival.

The other preferred route is about a half-mile long, ending at a station at Platzer Lane at the existing Greenway parking lot near the YMCA.

But John Agro Jr., acting MTA administrator, said the agency is not committed to any of the seven proposed routes and would consider others.

"We are here tonight to initiate the process," he said.

In conducting a $35,000 study to identify potential routes, MTA did not consult property owners or consider environmental or other concerns. The light rail would run through part of the Sawmill Creek Watershed.

MTA officials described a single track that would take up to 12 feet of the trail's width, then about 8 feet more for electrical lines and other supports, separated by trees, shrubs and a low wood fence from a relocated 8-foot-wide paved bike path. But the station would have two tracks and a central platform.

Some Glen Burnie residents, many of whom are among the 500,000 people who use the park each year, questioned the safety of running light rail down the center of a residential area, as much of Greenway is lined with houses that face the trail.

But Ken Goon, MTA planning director, said barriers would be erected for safety. He said having a downtown station would enable many people to walk to the light rail.

Officials emphasized that more detailed studies would have to be conducted in planning a rail line extension. Meanwhile, MTA has no money budgeted for further work on the proposed extension and will wait for local officials and the community to initiate further discussion. Construction of the extension is estimated to cost $10 million.

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