December 4, 2014

Time: 8:00 – 9:30 AM
Location: Enoch Pratt Free Library (400 Cathedral Street)

Darcy Accardi, Sabree Akinyele, Eunice Anderson, Demetria Barrett, Riccardo Boulware, Liz Briscoe, Robin Budish, Art Cohen, Ryan Dorsey, Bruce Hall, Mark Heishman, Greg Hinchcliffe, Alex Hutchinson, Mac McComas, Chris Merriam, Luke Mowbray, Brian O’Malley, Cari Peri, Klaus Philipsen, Wally Pinkard, Michael Romeo, Jimmy Rouse, Bill Struever, Greg Smith, Sandy Sparks, Michael Walk, Ron Williams

Moderator: Robin Budish, Transit Choices
Robin welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked the attendees for coming. She then introduced the first guest speaker, Valorie LaCour.

Presentation: Valorie LaCour, RLA, LEED AP, Chief Transportation Planning – BCDOT
Topic: “Baltimore City DOT Capital Programming Status and Goals”,”Complete Streets Annual  Report Overview”

Valorie’s presentation focused on the following:

DOT Complete Streets Policy

1.      A complete street is a right-of-way (ROW)

2.      Designed to be safe for multiple modes of transportation

3.      Focuses on decision-making/ design/engineering/construction/ operating/maintenance

4.      Emphasizes ROW users

5.      About making multi-modal accommodations routine and cost effective

Complete Streets Elements

1.      Focus on Users and Modes

2.      Walking

3.      Transit

4.      Passenger vehicles

5.      Bicycling

6.      Freight

Complete Streets Elements for Walking

1.      Sidewalks with Safe Crossings and crosswalks

2.      ADA Curb Ramps and Accessible Routes

3.      Pedestrian Refuge Area across wide roadways

4.      Street Trees for Shade

5.      Amenities: benches, trash receptacles, shade structures, public art

6.      Pedestrian lighting

7.      Pedestrian signage and signals

Complete Streets Elements for Bicycling

1.      Bicycle facilities: Bike lanes, Sharrows, On-street

2.      Shared Use Paths

3.      Bicycle Signage

4.      Bicycle Signals

5.      Street Lighting

Complete Streets Elements for Riding Transit

1.      Safe and Accessible Transit Stops

2.      Pedestrian Lighting

3.      Street Lighting

4.      Transit Signage

5.      Transit Signals

6.      Designated Bus lanes

7.      Transit Amenities: benches, shelters, trash receptacles, shade structure, public art

Complete Streets Elements for Driving and Parking

1.      Appropriate lane configuration, width and geometry

2.      On-Street parking safe and convenient

3.      Appropriate speed limits for Street designation and use

4.      Alternative energy and vehicles

5.      Traffic signage

6.      Traffic signals

7.      Street Lighting

Complete Streets Elements for Freight Movement

1.      Designated Truck Routes

2.      Travel Lane widths and intersection geometry

3.      Safe at grade rail crossings

4.      Separated rail and roadway crossings

5.      Freight signage

6.      Freight Signals

7.      Street Lighting

Complete Streets Priority and Implementation – Capital Improvement Projects

1.      Reconstruction Roadways and Bridges

2.      Resurfacing

3.      Infrastructure

Complete Streets Priority and Implementation – Process

Inter-disciplinary project team

1.      Designated representative for each of the four project development divisions

2.      BCDOT Community Liaison

3.      Coordinator from DOT Maintenance and Operations Divisions

4.      On-Call Consultants as appropriate

Project Coordination

1.      With Utility Providers

2.      Within BCDOT

3.      With the Development Community

4.      BCDOT uses current Inter-Agency tracking mechanisms for all projects in the right-of-way (ROW).

5.      Primavera Project Tracking

6.      CitiStat

Baltimore City DOT Capital Programming Goals and Priorities – FY 16 Capital Projects

State of Good Repair

1.      Bridges

2.      Roadway

3.      Sidewalks and Footways including ADA

4.      Bicycle Facility Retrofitting

Transit Priorities and Bicycle Facilities

1.      Cycle track included in Midtown Streetscape (Mt. Royal Avenue)

2.      Downtown Bicycle network (Maryland Avenue Cycle Track)

3.      Launch Bike Share

Valorie, by way of a challenge asked the meeting participants to come up with ideas for potential TIGER grant funding and submit them to BCDOT. On the subject of fundraising, she offered to write a letter of recommendation and donate in-kind labor and materials on behalf of BCDOT, to assist Transit Choices pursuit of grant funding.

Presentation:   Klaus Philipsen, FAIA – ArchPlan, Inc.
Topic “Water transit, another mode to consider”

Klaus’s presentation was based on a blog he wrote titled “Water Taxi – Urban Transportation between Uber and the Bus”, which focused on the following:

  • Water Taxis are a popular form of transportation at many of the world’s major cities and offer unique opportunities for utilizing such a service.
  • There are at least 27 water transit services in the US alone which have significant passenger transfer between boats and land transit (indicating that they provide real transit service and not just sightseeing). This number is based on the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) study which is not comprehensive and does not include services in Chicago and Baltimore, for example.
  • Most water service is not operated by transit agencies (except for Boston, Sausalito, and a few lines in New York City).
  • Facts about water transportation ridership, transfers, and trip purpose appear to be hard to come by even in a federally-funded research study.
  • The few references to international cities (Vancouver, Sidney) indicate that their water passenger volumes are high and services are integrated and operated by the same agency.
  • What can we learn from other water taxi services? The following is a list of what is needed and should be included in the Baltimore City Water Taxi RFP:
    1. Full schedule integration with buses, trains and shuttles at transfer points
    2. Proximity of landing and land side transfer service
    3. Landings that are central, easy to locate and provide seating, shelter and real time next service information
    4. Full fare integration (same tickets and passes need to be recognized as on the rest of the transit system without a need for transfers or new tickets)
    5. Full information integration, i.e. comprehensive maps, schedules and universal ticket availability
    6. Sturdy, safe, comfortable and reasonably fast all-weather boats with seating and standing options and open sections of the boat and minimally polluting propulsion
    7. A clear differentiation between commuter-oriented express service and tourist oriented leisure service
    8. An option for express services that have regional reach
    9. Frequent service that doesn’t require memorizing a schedule

Discussion Summary:
Meeting attendees were given the opportunity at the conclusion of both presentations, to share their feedback and to provide suggestions, ideas and concerns with the guest speakers. Electronic copies of both PowerPoint presentations will be made available to the full Transit Choices group.

Jimmy Rouse provided an update on recent meetings and various Transit Choices activities:

  • On October 17, 2014 a meeting was held with William Johnson, Director BCDOT to discuss the following:
    1. Complete Streets
    2. Signal Prioritization for the light rail on Howard Street
    3. Status of RFPs for the Water Taxi and Bike Share
    4. Charm City Circulator expansion
  • On November 25, 2014 a meeting was held at the MTA with Michael J. Walk, Director of Service Development and colleagues to discuss the following:
    1. The development of fully integrated transit maps
    2. Signal Prioritization for the light rail on Howard Street
    3. Addressing overcrowding bus routes such as the #13
    4. The status of BNIP (Bus Network Improvement Project)
    5. GPS Tracking
  • Additional meetings were held with the following to discuss the work that Transit Choices is doing to create a unified vision for improving mass transit in Baltimore, and to explore shared areas of interest and opportunities for collaboration:
    1. Bill Cole, President – Baltimore Development Corporation
    2.  Kurt Schmoke, President – University of Baltimore
    3. Jennifer Goold, Executive Director – Neighborhood Design Center
  • At the Transit Choices meeting in January 2015, there will be two guest speaker  presentations:
    1. Michael J. Walk, Director of Service Development with the MTA – “Making Bus Transit Improvements: A Primer on Bus Planning & Operations and the MTA’s Budgetary Process”
    2. Chris Merriam, Chair of the Transit Choices Bike Work Group – “Bicycle Priorities for 2015 and beyond”