Annapolis, MD — A panel of economic development experts blamed Governor Hogan’s inexplicable 2015 decision to “kill” the Red Line for preventing economic development in Baltimore. This afternoon, the Maryland Daily Record reported that during a panel discussion on Wednesday sponsored by the Baltimore Efficiency & Economy Foundation, panelists slammed Hogan for making development more difficult and less likely in Baltimore.
Baltimore Corps president and CEO Fagan Harris reminded the audience that the Red Line project “…didn’t die. It was killed.”
Parks & People Foundation president and CEO Lisa Schroeder said that Hogan’s decision makes her “want to howl at the moon” and she is “still in shock.”
Seawall Development co-founder Thibault Manekin noted that developers support public transportation, because “it’s going to make development easier because it really challenges developers to build parking garages.”
“Baltimore’s economy will be hampered by Governor Hogan’s decision to cancel the Red Line for years to come,” said Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews. “We will remind every voter in Baltimore that after Democrats and Baltimore residents fought for the Red Line, Governor Hogan came in at the 11th hour and threw away $1 billion in federal funding and a decade of work.”
Hogan’s transportation failures in Baltimore came to a head in February when Baltimore residents’ lives were disrupted when the Hogan-led Maryland Transportation Administration shut down the Baltimore Metro for “emergency repairs” for an entire month; the administration gave riders less than a day’s notice.
Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1300 President David McClure said at the time that “it’s like Baltimore doesn’t exist to this administration.”
In June 2015, Governor Larry Hogan threw nearly a decade of effort and nearly $1 billion federal dollars down the drain when he cancelled the Red Line project, which would have connected the east and west sides of Baltimore, providing much-needed access to public transportation to areas of Baltimore where the median income is just over $31,000 and where 39 percent of households lack access to an automobile. According to the Jacob France Institute, the project would have spurred nearly $2 billion in economic activity in Baltimore during construction and create and support more than 9,000 jobs.
Hogan’s alternative, the BaltimoreLink bus plan, has failed to deliver the “transformative” change that was promised, and has failed to increase access to jobs and opportunity.
In November, Baltimore residents learned that a project to expand the Howard Street Tunnel was cancelled despite Governor Hogan’s promises in October 2016 that the project was “something that we’re going to make sure gets done.”