Thursday, November 1, 2007

Metro and Light Rails

The Honorable Alderwoman from Ward 6* enjoyed publication of a letter to the editor regarding the future of public transportation.

(*Several people have asked me where Ward 6 is, and I barely know myself. Every other ward I can identify by a broad, highly general geographical feature:

Ward 1: Downtown.
Ward 2: Navy stadium.
Ward 3: Parole.
Ward 4: Forest Dr. Fire Station
Ward 5: Annapolis Middle School
Ward 6: ?
Ward 7: Georgetown East Elementary School
Ward 8: Eastport

After some investigation, I have determined that Ward 6 is sandwiched inbetween Wards 5 and 7 (imagine that), and includes the area between the truxtun park pool and President St., as well as some areas east of Tyler Ave behind the Tire place on Forest Drive.)

So as I was saying: transportation. Actually, as Alderwoman Stankivic was saying:

As a resident, and now as an elected official, I continue to support
rail service among Washington, annapolis and Baltimore.

More of our dollars would be spent on such projects if the county were
really serious about smart growth.

I continue to be dismayed by plans to bring another thousand homes to
an already congested area in Odenton. Smart Growth should promote
redevelopment of existing areas, with a reduction in impervious service and
overall congestion......Another lane just won't cut it.

Is Ms. Stankivic aligning herself for a run at county council? Eh, that's too far away to think about--let's stick to transportation.

I don't know much about the Inter-County Connector, but I'm fairly sure that I was under 3 years old when someone first came up with the idea; that about 17 elected officials have promised to fund the project; and that it's not done. I am actually fond of the idea of being able to take the metro to work (in College Park), but can you imagine the nightmare of trying to coordinate planning with 2 counties, the District of Columbia, and the City of Annapolis?! Where within the city limits could a station even go?

And then there's the issue of intra-Annapolis transportation, which Ms. Stankivic can do something about right now. I think my colleague would agree that the city has neglected its duty to support public transportation as well as pedestrian travel, most recently displayed in a bill that effectively denies the public interest in sidewalks.

The alderwoman is right--constantly widening lanes is not the answer, nor can we sustain that forever. But the APFO and focus on solutions in the city are good places to start.

1 comment:

PAUL FOER said...

Alderman Stankivic has always been, shall I say, obsessed with rail transportation? A serious look at rail is a good thing, and she has moved in this direction. However, the almost infinitesimal role the City will play in creating regional rail makes me wonder why city officials are so involved with what you rightly point out make one additionally wonder if she is runing for County Council. I have heard from one Alderman that seriously wants to build a third Bay Bridge span and another that wants to create a regional type of modified Bus rapid Transit system. NONE OF THESE THINGS FOCUS ON ANNAPOLIS--THE CITY! They may bring people in and bring people out, but they do not serve those of us who are actually in the city.