March 13, 2013


Timothy Armbruster, Doreen Bolger, Mike Brenner, Robin Budish, Scott Burkholder, Terry Cummings, Rufus Davis, Charlie Duff, Peter Duvall, Tighe Greenhaigh, Jeff LaNoue, Richard Manekin, Jimmy Rouse, Greg Smith, Bill Struever, Michele Whelley


  • William (Billy) Hwang – Deputy Director, Baltimore City Department of Transportation, spoke about his new role in the city replacing Jamie Kendrick and his transportation background. The DOT will continue to act as stewards of the entire transit network ranging from highways to transportation.
  • Barry Robinson – Chief Transit and Marine Services, spoke about overseeing operations for the Charm City Circulator which is a public/private partnership. The Charm City Circulator began in 2010 and has carried to date approximately 8 ½ million riders. Their main objective is to reduce city carbon footprint and entice drivers to park their cars and do business in the city using the Circulator. There are currently four (4) major routes carrying approximately 125, 000 riders: (1) Orange – east/west: approximately 30.000 riders, (2) Purple – Federal Hill/Penn Station: approximately 40,000 riders, (3) Green – travels through the government operating complex: approximately 27,500 riders, (4) Banner – Downtown Visitor Center to Ft. McHenry: approximately 27,500 riders. The city would like to expand the routes and has vehicles available, but is constrained by lack of funding. Current parking tax revenue is a funding stream for the Circulator. To learn more about how the parking tax is distributed to pay for the Circulator, click here.
  • Nate Evans – Bicycle & Pedestrian Planner, reported that there are approximately 100 miles of bike routes in the city. The goal to get more people riding bikes has been successful – they have seen documented evidence that there has been (1) a 50% increase in bike ridership in three years, (2) more women riding bikes, (3) more Caucasian Americans, 20-30 years old riding bikes. Bike riders also create a greater economy for local businesses. The city has added over 400 bike racks in various locations and there are plans to add another 400 bike racks in the next year. The city is also creating cycle tracks which add more protection and greater comfort for riders – the details are still being ironed out in house; however, an FAQ should be available within the next week or so describing the project. There are plans to bring a bike share program to Baltimore which hopefully will be in place by October 2013 with 25 bike stations/250 bikes. The city is looking for one flagship sponsor for the project. A Baltimore Bicycle Master Plan Update Survey was distributed and is also available online.

Jimmy Rouse, Moderator:

Jimmy Rouse shared that in all of the meetings he has had with business owners, developers, city residents, local organizations, education and institution leaders, there is substantial support for a comprehensive transportation plan to make Baltimore a more livable, walkable city. The question was posed: how do we move the transportation vision forward and take it to Politicians? There is a major need to address transportation in the city:

  • 80% of graduating college seniors in Baltimore for the last several years, have stated the #1 problem with Baltimore is its transportation system according to the Baltimore Collegetown annual survey
  • Under Armour is planning to hire 1500 new people in the next 5+ years and the number #1 challenge they are having is recruiting and retaining employees to Baltimore because of the lack of transportation – younger people want to live in a city where they can choose not to own a car for both economic and sustainability reasons
  • Our present transit system reinforces poverty by making it difficult for workers to get to jobs in an efficient and reliable time frame
  • Washington D.C. is already implementing 22 miles of streetcar routes
  • Baltimore is not using transit to optimize economic development opportunities

Other Points:

  • Michele Whelley talked about the Transportation Investment Act which has support from many groups, including businesses without condition. There is a strong regional coalition, but the city delegation is not on board yet. It was suggested that we need to contact our representatives and ask for their support.
  • Charlie Duff suggested that in order to create a transportation vision for all of the transportation modes, we should create a committee to define a “study area”, which will include job development, population density and tourism. (Committee: Charlie Duff, Peter Duvall, Richard Manekin)

Goal/Plan of action:

Establish a committee and create a transportation vision for each of the following transportation modes (people interested so far in parentheses):

  • Water Taxi
  • Bikes/Bike Share (Nate Evans, Scott Burkholder)
  • Streetcars (Jimmy Rouse, Robin Budish)
  • Buses/Circulator (Barry Robinson, Greg Smith)

Action Items for Next Meeting:

  • Michele Whelley will provide an update on MARC
  • Invite Jamie Kendrick or Danyell Diggs to provide an update on the Red Line
  • Invite Henry Kay or representative from the MTA

Other Business:

  • Two students from MICA observed the meeting as part of an arts & culture school project