The Future of Public Transit in Baltimore City
Why doesn’t Baltimore have a first-rate public transit system? Why should a major US city have one subway line, rather than an entire subway system? And why does that single subway line not connect with the light rail? Why does Baltimore have a Streetcar Museum, but no streetcars?
Access to public transit - or the lack of it - can seriously impact the prosperity of a city. A study at Harvard identified poor transportation options as the number one obstacle for people trying to escape poverty. In survey after survey, college kids’ biggest compliant about Baltimore is the lack of good public transit. The New Year brings with it a renewed optimism in the future of Baltimore’s public transit.
A group called Transit Choices is a coalition of businesses, community groups, and planners who are trying to coordinate a comprehensive overhaul of Baltimore’s transportation system. Today, Jimmy Rouse of Transit Choices, and Klaus Philipsen, an urban planner and transportation expert, join Tom in the studio for a conversation about the future of Baltimore's public transit system.
On Mondays here on Midday, we read the names of people who lost their lives to violence in Baltimore City. We stand in witness to their untimely deaths, and we remember their families and friends in their hour of grief. A researcher named Ellen Worthing has been compiling a list of Baltimore homicide victims for the past 15 years. We are indebted to her for the data she posts on her blog, "chams page.” We also consult the Baltimore Sun’s list of homicides, which they have been compiling since 2007.
In 2016, according to the Sun, 318 people were victims of a homicide in our city. Hundreds more were victims of non-fatal shootings. This week, because of the year-end holiday, our list covers the two weeks that ended Friday, December 30, 2016, during which these 11 people lost their lives to violence:
Anthony Lasalle Brown, age 22; an unidentified man, age 68; Luke Beeput, age 23; William Bryson, age 20; Tony Williams, age 21; Tijae Barnes, age 21; Terry Griffin, age 41; James Johnson Sr, age 59; Carl Stepek, age 60; Juan Portillo, age 20; and Qu’nas Brandon, age 20.