Progress and Possibilities –
A Look Back and a Look Ahead
The Year in Review
The New Year provides the perfect opportunity for reflection. For the Baltimore Red Line, 2012 was a tremendous year as community stakeholders and project staff worked together to move the Red Line project forward. In this edition of our newsletter we look back to just a few of the achievements in 2012 and ahead to the possibilities in 2013.
Baltimore Red Line Added to the BRTB TIP to Receive Funding
The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) added the Baltimore Red Line project to its Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). This makes the project eligible for $55 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) MAP 21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century) legislation that will be used to fund Preliminary Engineering.
MTA Approves MOUs
In 2012, the MTA approved Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with coordinating agencies at the federal, state and local levels. Baltimore City and Baltimore County were among the agencies, Baltimore City approving with the MTA in October.
Station Area Advisory Committee Process Completed
The Station Area Advisory Committee (SAAC) process that began in October 2010 formally ended in June 2012. The SAACs provided their recommendations on station area planning and design to the MTA in Vision Plans and Design Concept Plans for each of the 17 SAACs. Some of the SAACs' recommendations have already been integrated into the project design, living up to the Baltimore Red Line Community Compact goal for community-centered station design.
Open Houses Display Project Refinements
More than 300 community members attended four Open Houses held in June 2012 to learn about and give their feedback on refinements made to the alignment since Governor O'Malley announced the Locally Preferred Alternative in August 2009. The Baltimore Red Line Community Liaisons led an aggressive literature drop campaign to inform community members about the Open Houses.
Art in Transit Program Launches
The Red Line Art in Transit Program Phase 1 kicked off in November 2012 with a Call for Artists/Request for Qualifications for collaboration with project architects and engineers on structural components such as portals, retaining walls and bridges. Artists have been selected and will begin working with Baltimore Red Line teams in January 2013. Phase 2 will begin in about two years and will focus on the design and creation of artwork for specific station locations. Communities' input will be an important component of the artwork created for specific stations and locations in the corridor.
Connecting Neighborhoods to the Baltimore Red Line
The project team collaborated with community stakeholders to make significant shifts within the project to support overall project goals and community visions. In the communities of Poppleton and Edmondson Village, for example, the project worked with community representatives to choose station and station platform locations that accommodated residential access and planned development. Community input was also instrumental to the development of a second option for the I-70 Park and Ride alignment. Community Liaisons led a second year of aggressive outreach to inform the public about the Red Line, attending community events and Baltimore-area events during the summer and fall. If you attended a community event along the corridor in 2012, chances are you spoke to a Baltimore Red Line Community Liaison.
New Baltimore Red Line Website Launched
A redesigned Baltimore Red Line website went live in December 2012. The launch of the new website now offers quick and easy access to key information on the project. This improvement is part of ongoing efforts to enhance the quality and availability of information to the public. Additionally, the project team continued its communication efforts using social media. Join the conversation and stay connected – "like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and view our channel on YouTube.
Record of Decision in Early Spring
The Baltimore Red Line anticipates receiving a Record of Decision (ROD) from the FTA by March 2013. The ROD is the FTA's official approval of the alignment and project commitments proposed for the effects of building the alignment that are outlined in the Baltimore Red Line Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation. The FEIS is available at 21 locations during the public review period that began December 14 and ends January 28.
Preliminary Engineering and Final Design
Preliminary Engineering (PE) is the phase of the project in which detailed project design begins and the scope, schedule and budget become more defined. PE began July 2011 and contributed to the information found in the FEIS. PE is anticipated to end in June 2013, moving the Baltimore Red Line ahead in its design schedule and positioning the Project to begin Final Design (FD), which focuses on activities related to construction. Final Design is anticipated to begin in fall 2013.
This will be a critical year for the Baltimore Red Line. As the project team works hard to maintain momentum in moving the Red Line forward, we look forward to your support in helping to make this vital transit system a reality for the Baltimore region. Stay connected to project developments and be an active participant in the process at www.baltimoreredline.com, Facebook and Twitter.