Title

SOCIOECONOMIC, COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACH FOR DEVELOPING INTEGRATED MASS TRANSIT SYSTEMS: APPLICATION TO CITY OF BALTIMORE, MARYLAND

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2002

Subject Area

operations - traffic, planning - environmental impact, land use - transit oriented development, land use - impacts, land use - smart growth, land use - urban density, ridership - growth, policy - equity, policy - environment, policy - sustainable, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail, mode - mass transit, mode - pedestrian

Keywords

Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, Transit oriented development, Transit, Traffic free zones, Sustainable development, Sustainability, Socioeconomic development, Social service, Smart growth, Quality of life, Public transit, Poverty, Population density, Poor people, Pedestrian trafficways, Pedestrian precinct, Pedestrian facilities, Pedestrian areas, Mobility, Mass transit, Low income groups, Low income families, Local transit, Livable Communities Initiative, Livable communities, Light rail transit, Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, Integrated mass transit systems, Improvements, Environmental impacts, Environmental effects, Employment, Culture (Social sciences), Commercial strips, Baltimore (Maryland), Auto free zones, Access

Abstract

The city of Baltimore, Maryland, is now served by one heavy and one light rail line in addition to commuter rail service to Washington, D.C. However, the lines do not share any common stations and do not function as a network. The larger objective of this research was to evaluate ways in which the Baltimore transit system could be better integrated and contribute more to community well-being, environmental quality, and economic prosperity for all socioeconomic and racial and cultural groups. An underlying goal was to improve the mobility of a wider range of Baltimore residents so that their employment choices would not be limited by an underdeveloped transit system. This outcome was addressed in the context of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, the Livable Communities Initiative, and the state of Maryland's Smart Growth initiative. Only part of the larger agenda is presented here--the development of a community-based model for selecting and designing potential light rail line corridors in the larger system. The model used seven quality-of-life and livable community criteria--(a) potential to serve low- to moderate-income neighborhoods that have no direct access to public transportation (including bus access), (b) high concentrations of employment opportunities along the route, (c) highest number of intact commercial districts along the route, (d) proximity to dense population centers (within a 1/4-mi radius), (e) proximity to numerous community social or cultural centers (including schools and churches), (f) minimal physical environmental impacts, and (g) the most potential to improve the pedestrian environment.