ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Red hot over the so-called Red Line. State and local leaders clash with the Transportation Department.
Political reporter Pat Warren explains it’s over Governor Hogans’ decision to squash a Light Rail project in Baltimore.
The Red Line, the east-west Light Rail connecting Woodlawn and Johns Hopkins Bayview, is derailed.
“We’re not opposed to mass transit, but we do oppose wasteful and irresponsible spending on poorly conceived projects that waste taxpayers’ money,” Governor Larry Hogan said.
The Hogan administration says Baltimore’s Light Rail system is the second worst in the country as far as productivity and ridership. It says the Red Line proposal doesn’t meet the needs of city and doesn’t fit in with the existing transportation structure.
The governor says he’s committed to economic development in the city…
“…But we are opposed to wasteful boondoggles,” he said.
City leaders and Baltimore’s state and federal representatives met with Maryland’s transportation secretary Monday to discuss alternatives to the Red Line–clearly unhappy with the decision to table it.
“It provided hope. It provided opportunity,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn got an earful after asking for funding for other projects.
“And we are going to work together,” he said.
“No. That is really small, Mr. Rahn. Hope is one thing, delusion is another. There’s not a lot of tools here. This was the tool,” said Senator Barbara Mikulski.
“Everything had come together and now we lose it, at least for my lifetime. It’s gone,” said U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings.
“It’s going to get better, Congressman. It’s going to get better,” said Rahn.
There will be additional meetings until a plan is reached on Baltimore’s transit system.
The state is going forward with the Purple Line in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.