Light rail plans cut homes, trail Proposed options to extend MTA line detailed in state report

November 20, 1996|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,SUN STAFF

Some Glen Burnie residents would lose their homes, or the B&A hiker-biker trail would be sliced in half, depending on which route is chosen to extend the Central Light Rail line from Cromwell Station to downtown Glen Burnie, according to a state report to be released today.

The Mass Transit Administration's draft environmental impact study of the alternatives shows that two routes that swing north of the center of town, then cut south, would involve taking as many as 14 houses and three businesses.

But two others that follow the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail to the center of Glen Burnie would require the rail line to take up half the trail, the study showed.

Residents, who have worried about safety and security and the feasibility of extending light rail, remain opposed to disturbing the trail.

"The community's resolve against it going on the bike trail won't change," Tony Chiavacci, who chairs the Glen Burnie Improvement Association's light rail committee, said yesterday. "I think trying to put it on the biker trail would completely destroy the park."

The association approved a resolution favoring Eighth Avenue as "the only acceptable route."

"If they don't take that route, we will take a no-build stand," said Joseph Corcoran, president of the 900-member association.

The association has proposed a $5,000 light rail fund for next year's budget, which would be used for legal fees if the association fights the MTA's plans.

Four routes are under consideration, in addition to a no-build option.

The longest route would follow Eighth Avenue from Cromwell Station, near Dorsey Road, to Ritchie Highway, then south in the median strip to a stop near the Glen Burnie Town Center. The route, which would run about two miles, would cost about $43 million.

A second route would extend south from Cromwell Station and use bridges to cross Dorsey Road and Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard, then run north of Georgia Avenue to Ritchie Highway, then south on the west side of the road to the town center. It would cost about $30 million.

The other two options would take bridges across Dorsey Road south of Cromwell Station, then follow the Baltimore-Annapolis Trail into Glen Burnie. The shorter one, three-quarters of a mile, would stop short of Crain Highway at A Street and cost an estimated $20 million.

The longer route would continue along the trail to Post 40 Road. It would cost about $22 million and take part of the improvement association's carnival grounds.

No matter which route the MTA choses, residents along the way would have to deal with more noise and vibration from passing trains, especially those along the B&A Trail, the study found. Those routes, however, would attract about 1,890 riders daily and double the Eighth Avenue and Georgia Avenue routes, the MTA estimated.

The routes that go north of the center of the town are the ones that would involve taking houses and businesses. But the MTA said none of the routes would create major adverse impacts on the environment.

The federal government would pick up 80 percent of the cost of the project, with the state paying for the rest, said Ken Goon, MTA's director of planning and programming. He said it could take another five years before construction starts.

Residents can review copies of the report, which has been approved by the Federal Transit Administration, at Anne Arundel County public libraries, the Robert Pascal Senior Center on Dorsey Road and the improvement association hall on Crain Highway.

Copies also will be available for review one hour before MTA officials hold a public hearing from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Pascal Center.

Residents also may send written opinions to the MTA until Jan. 10. MTA officials will compile the comments into a report, which will be given to state and county officials, who are expected to decide by March whether to approve the project, Goon said.

Pub Date: 11/20/96

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