New web site fights surface light rail in Canton
Opponents of surface light rail along the path of the proposed Red Line have set up a new web site, Baltimoreredlineunderground.org, to fight the city administration's preferred plan for a transit line from Bayview to Woodlawn.
The choice of a specific transit line is now a huge hot potato that has landed in the lap of Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is scheduled to make a decision this summer.
The new web site's color scheme, infernal red on hellish black, is an accurate reflection of the heated opposition expressed there.
While the site -- registered July 9 -- is billed as the "Home of the West-East Coalition Against Red Line Alternative 4C," so far the content seems to be all about Canton. It includes a letter sent in June to O"Malley by three of the legislators who represent that neighborhood -- Sen. George Della and Dels. Brian McHale and Peter Hammen.
Click below for a sampling of the rhetorical battle.
From the coalition we site:
The 5 big Lies about the Red Line on Boston Street:
1. It’s too expensive to go underground/your taxes will go up.
The MTA has never seriously looked at underground alternatives that can reduce costs. For example, if the light rail surfaces at Du Burns Arena with a Canton surface station there, the Canton tunnel extension could be cut by half.
2. Property values will go up.
Sure, around the country generally property values do go up when commuter rail lines go in. But few have had the negative impact that the Surface Red Line will have in Canton. And ask yourself, have property values along Howard Street gone up?
3. It will ease traffic congestion.
The MTA’s own studies show commuter trips will be lengthened by more than 15 minutes a day. Boston Street will be a continual bottleneck with daily jams forcing traffic onto side streets.
4. Boston Street can easily accommodate surface light rail.
The facts – all trees west of Lakewood will come down. Traffic lanes will be narrowed or eliminated. Sidewalks will be narrowed. Much of the parking will be eliminated. A maze of cables will be strung overhead and the double tracks and tunnel entrance will act as a barrier making access to the waterfront for residents far more limited and dangerous.
5. Canton residents want surface light rail.
Paid solicitors with misleading information were only able to gather 700 “in favor” signatures with no addresses. Every Canton community group and the vast majority of residents say “Put it underground or don’t put it here at all.”