April 14, 2015

Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Location: Campaign Consultation, Inc. (1001 N. Calvert Street)

Robin Budish, Art Cohen, Brian Greenan, Jeff LaNoue, Klaus Philipsen, Jimmy Rouse, Sandy Sparks

Welcome and Introductions
Robin Budish opened the meeting and welcomed everyone.

History and Origin of the 2002 Regional Rail Plan

  • Klaus Philipsen provided important background information on the Regional Rail Plan which began in 2001, when Secretary Polcari convened an advisory group with public input to envision long range rail thinking and planning in a practical way. The plan, which  was finalized in 2002 has been viewed as a well-documented vision for rail transit, and   included the following:
    1. Cost estimates, Ridership numbers, Demographics.
    2. The Red Line, Green Line (extension), Blue Line (modifications),
    Yellow and Purple Lines.
    3. Charles Center would be a transit hub – Yellow, Red and Green Lines
    would come together.
    4. The cost of the Red Line was projected to be 2.86 billion, however, the
    current configuration of the project has changed.
  • Jimmy Rouse encouraged the group to think beyond the Red Line project, stating that we need a unified vision for rail transit it the city. Further, he asked if the group felt there was a need for another commissioned study to look at a regional multi-modal transit system to include streetcars and buses.

Discussion Points:

  • Sandy Sparks advocated for a new plan stating that we need a serious inter-connected, layered, efficient rail system.
  • Klaus Philipsen remarked that the question of “what is next” is important, particularly given that the current plan doesn’t reflect the lower tiers of transit. He also advocated for revisiting the 2002 plan, which he stated was thorough and come up with additional recommendations.
  • Jeff LaNoue suggested keeping the core of what is in the 2002 plan, and build extensions from those lines we already have.
  • Brian Greenan remarked that the 2002 plan has “pretty good bones”, however, it wouldn’t hurt to have it refreshed to be more relevant. He also added one important advantage that we have now which is that people are more vocal about our poor transit system and demanding accountability. They want an efficient system. The next commissioned study should think multi-modally, inter-connected and regionally.  Additionally, given that the plan is rail centric, a more relevant study should contemplate the following:
    a. Pedestrian connections
    b. Better walkability to transit hubs
    c. More bike friendly
  • All agreed that a State Commission needs to complete a new vision for multimodal, comprehensive transit connectivity in the Baltimore region that is both ambitious and feasible.

Meeting with MDOT Secretary Peter Rahn – May 7, 2015

  • Jimmy Rouse announced that he, Brian O’Malley, Klaus Philipsen and Robin Budish have a scheduled meeting with Secretary Rahn to introduce Transit Choices and share the work being done to make Baltimore a more livable, walkable city.

Jimmy Rouse provided an update on the “Quick Hits”:

  • Signal Prioritization on Howard Street – looking for volunteers: the goal remains reducing travel time (currently 14 minutes) from Mt. Royal to Camden Yards to seven minutes. MTA is targeting May 2015 as the completion date. Jeff LaNoue and Brian Greenan volunteered to measure the reduction in time once the change has been announced.
  • ·Meeting with Robert Smith, MTA Administrator & CEO to discuss mapping and mobile applications: a very positive meeting was held with Robert Smith and several key members of his staff who agreed to get back with us on 1) the progress being made with a universal mobile transit app, 2) plans to create enhanced maps for light rail, metro, water taxi and 3) bus maps that show all bus routes from a given stop.

Other Business

  • May or June 20015 meeting agenda topics for discussion:
    1. Urban Renewal Plan
    2. TOD Zoning
    3. Expanding the Work Group