stellaverde (stellaverde) wrote in betterbaltimore,

Useless Light Rail

Because I've lived and worked in Boston before, I know what it means to have great public transportation.  You can get anywhere in Boston using the subway and the commuter rail will take you from the 'burbs straight into the heart of the city.  I have to say that I miss Boston a lot since moving to Baltimore.

Last summer, I used the Light Rail to get to work because my husband needed the car to get to a class three days a week.  We live in a pretty high density population area in the city, so it would make sense to have a Light Rail line go through it.  But no, Baltimore only has one line and it's not easy for me to get to from here.  I say "me" in particular because I am a young, thin female.  I tried walking from the Light Rail to home after work and felt uncomfortable the entire time.  It felt dangerous to walk through that portion of the city no matter which street I used.  Men took long looks, women ignored me or asked for change and within one trip I was asked to stop and talk to strange men.  I said, "No" and kept walking.  These were not people with clipboards doing polls.  These men seemed desperate to talk to me.  I felt targeted because I looked vulnerable or naive.  After a few days of this, I had my husband start picking me up from the light rail.  I guess I'll have to go to the gym to get exercise.  There are buses, but after those walks, I don't want to meet the same type of people in a confined space, even if it is public.  Gee, thanks, Baltimore. 

My next complaint is that I have seen no unification of the Metro subway, the Light Rail and the Marc trains (commuter rail).  I have to look at several maps online just to see where they connect to each other or to find out the street address of the stops.  All of the light rail stations should have comprehensive maps of all the places I can reach using rail.  I've just found out that I can get to Owings Mills.  Why the heck would I need to go there, though?

Also, I suppose it's good that people in the city can get to the Hunt Valley Towne Center for all sorts of wonderful sprawly shopping, but in my opinion, the CITY should have plenty of accessible shopping.  It's a CITY! 

Lastly, if they want people to use the Light Rail, every stop must have something at it that a typical user might need to get to.  And there aren't that many types of things one needs.  Just housing, shopping and a job.  Oh, medical facilities would be good, too.  But, follow this link to see what one is brought to at the Hunt Valley stop. 

This is the Warren Road Light Rail station.  I am the only person getting off this time.  Most of the time, there are 2 to 3 people, including myself, getting off at the beginning of regular work hours.  I usually see a few more getting on the LR after work going toward the city. 

As a pedestrian, you now have two choices for where to walk.  One is the (rather small) parking area and the other is toward Beaver Dam Road.  In this photo, you can see that if you walk across the 8 lanes (behind the bushes) of the I-83 on/off ramp, you have great access to... that hill?  Landfill?  Strip mine?  I'm not sure what that is, but it's useless to pedestrians. 

This is where you end up when you leave the Warren Road Light Rail station.  Beaver Dam Road.  Six lanes of heavy traffic with no crosswalks. 

But that doesn't matter to these people who all drove to work.  They probably don't live anywhere near a LR stop. 

A telephone pole in the sidewalk?  Seriously?

*Sigh*, and another telephone pole in the sidewalk.

This is a blurry shot of a person crossing Beaver Dam Road.  This is the same way that I do it, using that little strip of median to pause and wait for traffic. 

On my way to work, I can't have sidewalk after a certain point.  Nice.  And this is still within a mile of the LR stop, not that far to walk. 

This is near the Mount Royal LR station.  This beautiful and grand train shed was used during a time when the train was the popular way to get around.  I wish it were still in use, but at least it has been saved from demolition.  Story here...

Thanks for reading what I have to say and for viewing my pictures.  Let me see your comments/posts whether you agree or disagree with anything.  Or if you have stories of your own!
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