December 9, 2014

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

Brian O’Malley, Co-Chair, Robin Budish, Art Cohen, Mac McComas, Klaus Philipsen, Jimmy Rouse, Paulo Gregory Smith, Sandy Sparks

Welcome and Introductions
Brian O’Malley, Co-Chair opened the meeting and welcomed everyone.

Quick Hits and Complete Streets Updates:

  • Robin Budish reported that Chuck Lattuca is no longer with BCDOT. It remains unclear as to who will be the main point of contact regarding the implementation of some of the Quick Hits, such as signal prioritization along Howard Street and Complete Streets pedestrian friendly intersections.
  • Klaus Philipsen remarked that Philadelphia and New York have implemented Complete Streets projects very quickly. It was suggested that we share those success stories with BCDOT to encourage inexpensive, innovative and non-traditional ideas that sends the message pedestrians are more important that cars. The emphasis should be on walking which would signal a paradigm shift.
  • Brian O’Malley suggested doing a press release or organizing an event to get people to take notice and support the Quick Hits. Additionally, Brian discussed the possibility of appearing on the Dan Rodricks (WYPR) show to give BCDOT credit for their successes, but adding that we still need to see continued progress. Transit Choices should be pushing from the outside, and finding partners on the inside to accomplish its mission.
  • Robin Budish provided a brief update on a meeting with Michael J. Walk (Director of Service Development) and colleagues at the MTA  to discuss integrated transit maps. The bus work group will be working with, and making suggestions to the MTA on how the maps can be improved to be more comprehensive and show how all transit systems interconnect. MTA has an internal deadline to update their existing maps to include all bus route changes by February 2015.

Discussion Points:

– Paulo Gregory Harris reiterated the importance of 1) acknowledging and recognizing BCDOT for their support and accomplishments in all press releases and 2) educate and update the public on the Quick Hits to gain their support.

– Brian O’Malley made a suggestion that all high frequency transit routes on maps could be reflected in bold, while less frequent routes could be faint. He also mentioned that Portland has electronic maps at all bus stops, something that Baltimore may want to consider.

Signal Prioritization

Brian O’Malley reported on a conversation he had with Greg Pedersen, systems engineering with the MTA regarding Light Rail signal prioritization on Howard Street:

1. Signal changes were implemented approximately two weeks ago. The changes were based on optimized timing plans produced by Sabra Wang and agreed upon by the City DOT. At the moment, data is being collected to see whether these changes make a noticeable difference. Although it appears to look like a 1-2 minute reduction in both directions, additional data is required for a true evaluation.

2. The goal is to first optimize the signals before making changes to the Transit Signal Priority (TSP) parameters. Sabra Wang is currently developing a simulation model that will show the expected time savings – this is with both optimized signal timing and TSP. The assumption, at the moment, is that City DOT will allow preemption at the Lexington intersection which is to be included in the software model. The model should be ready for review by late January/early February 2015.

 Discussion Points:

– Paulo Gregory Harris suggested the creation of 1) a transportation application (approximate cost: $50,000 – $100,000) that could measure your transit ride, track times and provide other robust data. It could also for example, provide pedestrians the opportunity to share data about difficulty crossing City streets and 2) a rate your transit ride “happiness” mobile application similar to one being used in San Francisco. Next steps would include:

1. Assess if we should be pursuing
2. Take a month to evaluate what technology is out there
3. Develop a small team to generate the app
4. Crowd source the funding

Other Business:
Jimmy Rouse stated that he plans to address the following topics at the next quarterly meeting in 2015 with City leadership:

1. Status of signal prioritization  (Jimmy will mention that we did our own base line study and believe 14 miles to be a reasonable goal) which has been done in other comparable cities.

2. Status of WiFi on MARC Trains (we heard that MARC is experimenting with WiFi) and if there are plans to implement on both Metro and Light Rail.

3. Implementation of Light Rail express trains for downtown events. Information from the signal prioritization and signal timing study could be helpful in making a determination.

2015 Goals:
Brian O’Malley suggested the Rail Transit Work Group revisit the following 2015 goals to include guiding principles at the January meeting:

1.      Grow ridership in the near term

2.      Make sure what we do now leaves room for expansion

3.      Create jobs and economic development

4.      Concentrated growth –not sprawl

5.      Serve a range of transportation needs (transit should be available for all)

Action Item:

– Robin Budish will send the 2015 meeting calendar to all work group participants