September 27, 2013


Darcy Accardi, Al Barry, Robin Budish, Art Cohen, Grant Corley, Lindsey Davis, Peter Duvall, Alan Fish, Liz Gordon, Paulo/Gregory Harris, Bob Hellauer, Jeff LaNoue, Caroline Peri, Sallye Perrin, Klaus Philipsen, Wally Pinkard, Jeremy Pomp, Zach Rogers, Jimmy Rouse, Carol Silldorff, Greg Smith, Jill Sorensen, Robyn Stegman, Bill Struever, Ashley Wallace, Michele Whelley, Trey Winstead

Moderator: Alan Fish, Johns Hopkins University Vice President Facilities and Real Estate

Alan welcomed the attendees and thanked them for their participation. He then turned the meeting over to Jimmy Rouse for some introductory remarks.

Jimmy Rouse:

  • Read a recent Baltimore Sun editorial about the current mass transit in Baltimore and the need for a unified vision.
  • The updated master signatory list to the Transit Choices mission statement now has close to 100 signatures including: Greater Baltimore Committee, Central Maryland Transportation Alliance, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore (the leading business groups), Presidents of all downtown universities (Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Institute College of Art, University of Baltimore, University of Maryland), heads of major cultural institutions (Dr. Carla Hayden/Enoch Pratt Free Library, Doreen Bolder/Baltimore Museum of Art), transportation planners and professionals (Adam Gross, Klaus Philipsen, STV, Kittelson and Assoc.), environmental groups (Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 1000 Friends of Maryland), developers (Michael Beatty, Richard Manekin, Thibault Manekin, Bill Struever), young activists (Baltimore Love Project, Betamore, Bikemore) and city & state officials.
  • Now that the Transit Choices group has a mission and overall vision, the next step is to create a vision around each mode of transit to create a “quick hits” list for low cost, high visibility & high impact projects that we want to accomplish in 2014

Wally Pinkard – “Transit Choices Website” Preview

  • Discussed the importance of having a web presence/communication tool and stated that the biggest challenge is the content for the site.
  • In an effort to “crowd source” the content, all Transit Choice group members are encouraged to visit the website and get back to Robin Budish with their comments and feedback.
  • A student from MICA will be assisting with the graphic design on the site.

Work Group Updates

  1. 1) Art Cohen – “Rail Transit”
    • Group meets every other week to discuss an overall vision for rail transit
    • Recent specific meeting topics
      • Low hanging fruit (low cost, high impact)
      • 2014 “Quick Hits”
      • Comprehensive MTA Map/Signage improvements
    • Steven Rivelis, Campaign Consultation, Inc. CEO will work with the group on a “Process Plan” to define the steps each month so that 6 months from now we will know where the group should/will be
  2. Wally Pinkard – “Biking”
    • Goal is to get everyone on the same page regarding biking issues
    • Articulate what a truly multi-modal system looks like
    • Put the full power of the signatories behind each initiative – it has “Transit Choices” approval
  3. Peter Duvall – “Pedestrian Facilities”
    • Peter announced that he can no longer chair the work group and asked that anyone interested in leading the group contact him
    • There was discussion about adding “Complete Streets” to the work group which will be considered by the group
  4. Greg Smith – “Buses”
    • Greg announced there are six (6) Bus Network Improvement Project (BNIP) workshops inviting the public to learn about the study to improve the bus system in Baltimore and provide feedback.
      If you are not able to attend, visit website and vote:
    • (must register with e-mail address, facebook or google account; takes about 2 minutes to confirm)
    • (overview of the study to read at your leisure, but please try to attend one of the public workshops in October)

Presentation: Jill Sorensen – “MRLN” (Transit Mobile and Web Application)

  • Project was conceived to rebrand Maryland transit
  • Commuters like certainty – how does the city plan for growth?
  • MRLN is the “Maps of Maps” / Mobile Application for users to see where the connections are
  • Please see attached PowerPoint of the complete MRLN presentation

Other Discussion Points:

  • Bill Struever
    • This is a great moment in time to build a comprehensive strategy combined with a “quick hits” list with high visibility benefits:
      1. Build a broad comprehensive agenda
      2. Unite good people who care about transit
      3. Get elected officials to buy into the “quick hits” list
      4. Obtain 100,000 signatories to the Transit Choices mission statement – put in front of politicians and ask “are you with us or not”
  • Alan Fish
    • Each transit work group should come up with a “quick hits” > strategic plan
    • Determine what is the collective action plan and how it fits into the vision
    • “Transit Connection” is the action
    • How do we take component parts to translate into political action?
    • It’s how investments get made
    • Is Transit Choices an “inside” group or are we a marketing or public advocacy group
    • William Johnson & Mayor’s office – come to speak and share about transportation every other meeting
  • Darcy Accardi
    • For the past 12 years, Baltimore Collegetown reports that the main complaint students have about Baltimore is the poor mass transit system. This complaint ranks higher than crime
    • We are losing these students to other urban cities with good mass transit
    • The city should strive to keep good talent in Baltimore
  • Klaus Philipsen
    • The strength of Transit Choices is that we have people identified outside of the traditional transportation structure to affect change
  • Carol Silldorff
    • It is important that all races and income levels to be able to get to transit
  • Michele Whelley
    • CMTA is focused on bus connections to make the rail more efficient
  • Liz Gordon
    • Recommended a good Transit Frequency Map created by Mark Sarnowski for all of Baltimore: click here.
  • Lindsey Davis
    • There is a difference between marketing to, and educating the public about transit. Example: it’s analogous to putting a chess board in a public place, but do people know how to play?
  • Paulo/Gregory Harris
    • Create a set of values that link all transit projects together


  • Bob Hellauer – GBC will host an MTA event (update on BNIP – Bus Network Improvement Project) on October 15, 2013. The event is free.

Action Items:

  • Jimmy Rouse
    • By October/November 2013, each work group should come up with a “quick hits” list of three (3) or four (4) low cost/high visibility projects to share with the full Transit Choices group that can be accomplished by 2014. This list, along with an integrated vision will be discussed with Jim Smith (MDOT) and William Johnson (BCDOT)
  • Wally Pinkard
  • Alan Fish
    • List of existing pieces: identify short term and long term projects into a PowerPoint action plan
    • Invite William Johnson (BCDOT) & the Mayor’s office to come speak to the Transit Choices group every other meeting about transportation projects