Are still studying the possible...

ALTHOUGH ENGINEERS

August 07, 1996

ALTHOUGH ENGINEERS are still studying the possible alignment of the Central Maryland Light Rail into Glen Burnie, the leadership of the town's improvement association already has decided the route it likes.

Unfortunately, its chosen alignment could well scuttle the entire effort to extend light rail from Ferndale into Glen Burnie. We hope that the Glen Burnie Improvement Association's membership rejects the board's recommendation at its meeting Tuesday.

Of the four basic alignments the Maryland Department of Transportation is studying, the one favored by the association's board is the longest and likely to be the most expensive for the state to build and maintain.

The GBIA favors an alignment that takes the rail line north and then east along Eighth Avenue until it meets Ritchie Highway. It then turns sharply and follows Ritchie Highway to a station just beyond New Jersey Avenue. It would be about two miles longer than the other options being considered and add considerable time to the trip to Cromwell Station, currently the southern terminus of the light rail.

Two of the proposed alignments would bring the rail line south into the heart of Glen Burnie, where it belongs. Although the proposed stations in the various alignments are within blocks of one other, the logical terminus is in the commercial and business center of town.

Easy access to the heart of Glen Burnie is a key to revitalization. Not only would people take the light rail to jobs north, the mass transit system could easily transport workers to jobs in Glen Burnie.

Why does the GBIA's preferred choice matter? The organization is an important voice in the community and carries weight with government decision-makers. The association board indicates that if its alignment isn't chosen, it might prefer no light rail extension into Glen Burnie. Is the entire membership willing to go along with such a choice?

Considering the large number of people mass transit stops attract and the potential economic benefits for the town, it would be a mistake for light rail to skip Glen Burnie. The GBIA board may not like the other proposed routes, but rejecting them out of hand at this point doesn't serve the needs of the community.

Pub Date: 8/07/96

Light rail in Glen Burnie; Local group's stance could scuttle extension to business district.

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