Time: 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Location: Campaign Consultation, Inc. (1001 N. Calvert Street)
Brian O’Malley, Co-Chair, Robin Budish, Art Cohen, Kathy Epstein, Peter Duvall, Ben Groff, Mac McComas, Klaus Philipsen, Jimmy Rouse, Sandy Sparks, Maris St. Cyr
Welcome and Introductions:
Brian O’Malley, Co-Chair opened the meeting and welcomed everyone.
Updates on the Quick Hits and next steps – Jimmy Rouse reported on the following:
- Clear Maps and Signage: a “transit mapping” meeting has been scheduled on November 25, 2014 with Michael J. Walk and Buddy Alves (MTA), Jill Sorensen (Bus work group chair) and Marc Szarkowski (transit map maker) to discuss updated, enhanced accessible MTA maps.
- Bike Share RFP: at a recent meeting with William Johnson, Director – BCDOT, and Veronica McBeth, Transit Bureau Chief – BCDOT, it was stated that BCDOT hired a consultant to write the RFP. Further, Veronica will let Transit Choices know in late November 2014 the status of the RFP completion date.
- Signal Prioritization: Charles (Chuck) Lattuca, Deputy Director – BCDOT will ask Frank Murphy, Senior Advisor – BCDOT about the status of signal prioritization on Howard Street and report back to Transit Choices on the plan of action moving forward. Chuck Lattuca will be a guest presenter at the Transit Choices meeting on December 4, 2014 and will speak on the following topics: “DOT’s capital programming status and goals and Complete Streets annual report overview”
- Complete Streets Pedestrian Friendly Intersections: Mac McComas, Pedestrian Work Group Chair will be working with Chuck Lattuca, Deputy Director – BCDOT on the implementation of a pedestrian friendly intersection at 33rd Street and Greenmount Avenue. Chuck has expressed a cooperative spirit to work with Transit Choices on intersection projects that are already in the pipeline for the current fiscal year.
- Implement express light rail lines and increase service during downtown events in frequency and duration: According to a conversation Jimmy had with Leif Dormsjo, Deputy Secretary – MDOT, it would be very difficult to get more light rail cars in the system, therefore, there is low probability of having more cars during busy events.
- Brian O’Malley suggested that we seek funding for a consultant to do a study on light rail cars in relation to events. He also mentioned that Ben Groff, of Red Line Now created a signal prioritization chart comparing speeds of light rail trains on variou segments. Brian distributed copies of the chart to all meeting attendees.
Klaus Philipsen commented that we should work towards striking a balance between serving the customer and having trains running fast. A good test would be to quantifysome Howard Street runs and the time stopped at signal lights.
- Klaus Philipsen commented that we should work towards striking a balance between serving the customer and having trains running fast. A good test would be to quantifysome Howard Street runs and the time stopped at signal lights.Brian O’Malley suggested that we seek funding for a consultant to do a study on light rail cars in relation to events. He also mentioned that Ben Groff, of Red Line Now created a signal prioritization chart comparing speeds of light rail trains on variou segments. Brian distributed copies of the chart to all meeting attendees.
Improvements to the Regional Rail Network:
- Brian O’Malley stated the importance now more than ever, to bring people together to discuss transit given the election. We should start with a vision, followed by a discussion about modes. Salt Lake City and Denver were cited as examples of transit modality successes.
- Klaus Philipsen suggested that we change the discussion from mode based to mobility based. The emphasis should be on the desired outcome, or a mobility concept, to include the modality mix and related elements. Rather than creating a vision for transit, we should call it a vision for mobility. A good place to start is to identify what the mobility needs are and how do the available transit systems address those needs. If you discuss the need, it will lead to land use issues. Rather than encourage sprawl, we should focus on more concentration.
Brian O’Malley outlined the following goals for the Rail Transit Work Group:
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)
- Klaus Philipsen suggested that we need to define the region and focus on improving what we have on the ground, especially with the new administration.
- Brian O’Malley remarked that for the future of transit, we should focus on the Quick Hits implementation. Additionally, in the next few months, a decision will be made on whether the Red Line project is moving forward. Until then, we should wait before discussing next steps.
- Jimmy Rouse reported that the Baltimore Streetcar Campaign has changed its name to the Baltimore Transit Campaign, primarily because it may increase opportunities for funding. When asked about the difference between the two, Jimmy stated that the mission of the organization (which has a board and officers) remains the same which is to advocate for streetcars.
- Robin Budish reported that although Greg Smith has stepped down as chair of the Bus work group, he plans to remain an active participant of both Transit Choices and the bus work group moving forward. Greg is being replaced by Jill Sorensen of BEVI, Inc.
- Maris St. Cyr announced and promoted attendance at a Sierra Club meeting on November 9, 2014 regarding the crude oil fight brewing in Baltimore: http://www.sierraclub.org/planet/2014/10/crude-rail-fight-brewing-baltimore
- Brian O’Malley will reach out to Tony Bridges (MTA) and Danyell Diggs (MDOT) for a contact name to 1) discuss signal prioritization and 2) nail down how a potential study would work.