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Transit Dreams: Red Line redux & a contentious transit-housing plan

Baltimore Light Rail (credit BaltMetroCouncil_MDOT.jpg
Baltimore Light RailLink cars, like those shown here, would operate on the new east-west Red Line that Gov. Wes Moore has proposed reviving. Light RailLink cars would also begin servicing multiple stations along a new north-south corridor from Port Covington to Lutherville-Timonium, as part of a complex -- and contentious -- transit development plan proposed last year by the Maryland Transit Administration. (photo credit: BaltMetroCouncil/MTA/MDOT)

Welcome to Midday, with guest hostJayne Miller sitting in for Tom Hall.

Today, our focus is Baltimore's transit system, and the associated development it generates.

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Midday guest host Jayne Miller is an independent local journalist and a retired investigative reporter with WBAL-TV 11 in Baltimore; Maryland State Delegate Robbyn Lewis represents District 46 (Baltimore County) in Annapolis. (courtesy photos)

In 2015, then-Governor Larry Hogan abruptly eliminated the Red Line project–an east west transit line planned to run from Baltimore County on the west side to Canton in Baltimore City on the east side. Now, Governor Wes Moore has raised the the possibility of resurrecting the Red Line. But how much will it cost? And will legislators outside of the region support this transit option, again?

Joining Jayne to discuss the Red Line's prospects is Baltimore City Delegate Robbyn Lewis, who represents District 46 (Baltimore County) in Annapolis, and who is an avid supporter of transit expansion.

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Kathleen Beadell (left) is the newly-elected president of the Greater Timonium Community Council. Eric Rockel is the Council's past president and current vice-president. (courtesy photos)

The Red Line isn't the only major Baltimore transit plan under consideration. A major redevelopment plan in Baltimore County that would include a new north-south transit component, is stirring contentious debate.

Few issues spark as much controversy in communities as development plans that increase housing density. Such a controversy is playing out now in Lutherville, in Baltimore County, where a developer is proposing to redevelop the Ridgely Plaza Shopping Center into a transit-oriented development. The idea has been applauded by some and strongly opposed by others.

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Michael Scepaniak is co-chair of Strong Towns Baltimore, a community advocacy organization that promotes public transit development. (courtesy photo)

To discuss the issue, Jayne is joined by Eric Rockel and Kathleen Beadell of the Greater Timonium Community Council, which opposes the Lutherville development plan. Eric is the past president and current vice president; Kathleen is the Council's newly-elected president.

Next, Jayne speaks with Michael Scepaniak, the co-chair of Strong Towns Baltimore, an organization that seeks to reduce car-centric land use and development, and which has been supportive of the Lutherville plan.

Michael joins us in Studio A.

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Guest host Jayne Miller is an independent local journalist who retired in 2022 after 40 years as an investigative reporter for WBAL-TV 11 in Baltimore. She has frequently joined Midday host Tom Hall as a guest to share her valuable insights on city and state political developments.
Teria is a Supervising Producer on Midday.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.