Ground Up

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Video: Anger over Baltimore traffic woes bubbling over

Baltimore’s struggles with transportation are epic.

Insurance firm Allstate recently released a report finding Baltimore motorists are the worst in the nation’s 200 largest cities. That ranking was based on factors such as the relatively paltry average of 3.8 years between claims.

Tie that in with traffic congestion, exacerbated by failing to synchronize traffic lights downtown this summer, and it’s easy to understand why driving in Baltimore is a perpetually frustrating experience.

Meanwhile, advocates maintain available city mass transit options are woefully inadequate.

In July, Advocacy group Central Maryland Transportation Alliance released a report on the $135 million redesign of the city’s bus system. That organization found the revamped network, dubbed BaltimoreLink, largely failing to produce promised results.

“In summary, we do not find evidence that BaltimoreLink delivered on promises including ‘faster, more reliable service,’ ‘reducing congestion more,’ or ‘transforming the way people get to work,’” according to the report.

The alliance, which backed construction of the $2.9 billion Red Line light rail route, has been criticized by Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration of having an ax to grind. Hogan made the decision to nix the Red Line project after winning office in 2014.

The Maryland Transit Administration plans to pump $900 million into improvements of the metro area’s subway and light rail systems in the next several years.

But those lines are limited and operations have been hindered by organizational missteps. A field guide, adopted without the MTA senior management approval, led to the shutdown of the subway system in February.

A report issued by the American Public Transportation Administration in August found the shutdown unnecessary. The findings included problems with departments communicating, lack of engineering expertise, and failure to follow best practices.

Baltimore even had to scrap its bike share program that was plagued by vandalism, theft, and lack of available bikes. It’s been replaced with a pilot program using Lime and Bird electric scooters.

No wonder tempers are flaring on city streets.

The motorist in this video was stopped a few blocks away and issued a citation by the Baltimore Police Department.


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