By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s Penn-North neighborhood will soon be getting a major makeover.

The area that made national headlines when unrest broke out following the death of Freddie Gray is set to be transformed, thanks to a joint effort from federal, state and city agencies.

As WJZ’s Pat Warren reports, the multi-million dollar project will bring a series of improvements to the historically significant North Avenue corridor. The North Avenue Rising project, which will be funded by a $10 million federal grant, is aimed at shoring up public transit.

That’s welcome news to people like Tiffany Quickley, who relies on public transportation to get around. Quickley acknowledged the current transit system could be improved with the addition of more stops.

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Elements of the revitalization project include dedicated bus lines to minimize the impact on street parking, plus bus stops that include shelters and real-time information. Other aspects, including streetscaping and landscaping, would give the area a face lift.

Still, other phases of the project would mean improvements for road and rail traffic, including reconstruction of the Penn North intersection and upgrades at the North Avenue light rail station.

“Transportation allows people to be able to live,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings. “Transportation brings life to life.”

The project would cost an estimated total of $27 million.

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But having the federal government chipping in means project managers will be able to realize the full potential of public transit in Penn-North.

“Having the extra federal money and the state money helps us do more here and makes us a pilot program that really shows the best that transit can be,” said Paul Comfort, administrator for the Maryland Transit Administration.

The North Avenue bus line carries nearly four million passengers a year.

The North Avenue project is part of the BaltimoreLink plan introduced by Gov. Hogan back in October.

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