Friday, May 6, 2011

In Defense of the Linthicum Station

I have to disagree with the service adjustment at the Linthicum Station. The Light Rail already has too few walkable stations along the line. The better solution would be to improve the visibility at the station and allow for better signage. There are no signs along Oakdale Road or Hammonds Ferry Road that alert residents that the station is down the street. The signs along North Camp Meade Road are also poorly visible. The Linthicum Station doesn't have a working PA system, which should be fixed immediately. That and a next-train arrival system which most transit systems in the US already have in operation, would be beneficial to this station and the whole system.

Light Rail stations do not have to be all Park-and-Ride to warrant ridership or access. People who live in Linthicum should not have to drive the extra 1.5 miles to get to the North Linthicum Station. The MTA already does a horrible job in encouraging local riders who have walkable access to the Light Rail to ride. Station upkeep is minimal, signage is limited, and the public information at each station is limited as well. The maps at each station have not been updated in years, and provide little information about what is nearby each station or connections to other modes of transportation. At many stations the posted schedules have not been updated in over 2 years. Light Rail Stations do not have bike racks for the most part, which would also encourage access at more stations.

Limiting access at Linthicum is the wrong solution. There is no proven evidence that transit stations encourage crime, so the community's arguments are debunked easily. Moreover, this action is a stark example of the MTA's own faults in promoting and maintaining its transit system. Fix the problems, and the riders will come. It works for every other city.

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