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PROGRESS FOR WEST BALTIMORE MARC STATION

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

GOVERNOR OMALLEY ANNOUNCES PROGRESS FOR WEST BALTIMORE MARC STATION CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

Reunification of community to continue following demolition of “Highway To Nowhere”

BALTIMORE, MD (JUNE 26, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley announced today that recent action by the  Board of Public Works will further efforts to reunify West Baltimore communities that were physically separated in the early 1970’s by the construction of the infamous “Highway to Nowhere.”  The BPW’s approval of a $6.7 million contract will allow for the reconnection of Payson Street and construction of two new parking lots that will benefit users of the West Baltimore MARC station and the future Baltimore Red Line. 

“This is a good day for West Baltimore,” said Governor O’Malley.  “With the wall demolished and an eyesore removed, we can now deliver on our promise made nearly two years ago.  In the weeks and months to come, communities will be reunited with neighborhood-friendly improvements to the MARC station.  With our vision for the Red Line and transit oriented development for the area moving forward, the future of West Baltimore holds great promise.”

Today’s announcement meets the Administration’s goal outlined in September 2010 when Governor O’Malley directed that the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to begin the process of reuniting the communities of West Baltimore by demolishing the “Highway to Nowhere” between Fulton Avenue and Pulaski Street.  With the completion of demolition, the improvements to the MARC station and the reconnection of Payson Street can now begin.  The project is scheduled to be completed in February 2014.

Construction involves the creation of two new parking lots from Pulaski Street to Monroe Street providing an additional 335 parking spaces, doubling the total number of parking spaces available to 660.  The parking expansion project will also accommodate the future Red Line as well as transit-oriented development in the area.  West Baltimore will be a key stop on the 14-mile Red Line that will operate between Woodlawn and Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.  Transit oriented development is envisioned for areas adjacent to the West Baltimore MARC station. The current West Baltimore MARC Station was constructed in the early 1980’s.  It serves more than 700 MARC passengers a day, exceeding the capacity of the current parking lot.

An important component of this project is the reconnection of Payson Street between West Franklin and West Mulberry Streets.  Payson Street has been blocked by the “Highway to Nowhere” since its construction, restricting pedestrian and vehicle access between communities. 

The Payson Street reconnection and the construction of the additional parking areas will include pedestrian-friendly features such as landscaping and ornamental fencing and will be coordinated with the City of Baltimore’s Pulaski Street Streetscape project.  A goal of the project is to connect with the surrounding neighborhoods and create a space that beautifies the area. Adjacent neighborhoods include Midtown-Edmondson, Penrose, Rosemont, Evergreen Lawn, Bridgeview/Greenlawn, Mosher, Harlem Park, Franklin Square, Boyd-Booth and Shipley Hill.

During construction, access to the existing parking lots and bus service in the area will be maintained. Community events will continue as planned, including the Farmer’s Market.  However, some of the area roadway and sidewalk closures may result in new, temporary access points to those events.  Signs will be posted to direct people to these access points at the MARC station parking lots.

Further information and updates are available on the project website, www.wbmarcproject.com.

For general information on MTA service, visit the MTA website at www.mta.maryland.gov. Customers can also call the MTA Transit Information Center Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 410-539-5000 (TTY 410-539-3497). To sign-up for email about service modifications and delays, go to www.mta.maryland.gov/enotifications.

MEDIA CONTACTS: 
Terry Owens                               Joe Sviatko
Office: 410-767-3936                   Office: 410-767-3935
Cellular: 443-804-8522                Cellular: 443-418-5732

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