February 1, 2013

Ten Sample Red Line Environmental Impact Delusions

10 - The MTA estimates the Red Line travel time from Edmondson Village to Downtown as 16 minutes, while the existing #150 bus takes only 11 minutes.

9 - Red Line ridership projections are based on the premise of over 60% of the region’s population growth (the city and five suburban counties) taking place within the narrow Red Line Corridor, over the thirty year period from 2005 to 2035.

8 - The FEIS report says that at the east end Bayview MARC station, 2923 riders would get on the Red Line throughout the day but only 504 riders would get off - less than one-fifth as many. The daily westbound ridership from the Bayview MARC station to the Bayview medical campus station is given as 277, but the eastbound return volume is given as a grand total of ZERO per day.

7 - However, for the system as a whole, ridership is lopsided in the other direction, with the Red Line projected to carry nearly 3000 more total daily riders eastbound than westbound. The report does not reveal how or why all these riders would forgo the Red Line to make their westbound trips.

6 - The Rosemont station on Edmondson Avenue near Poplar Grove and Franklin Streets is projected to have only 36 daily walk-in riders.

5 - The Inner Harbor station would have a gigantic 9010 boardings per day, but less than 20 percent (1742) would be local walk-in riders from the surrounding Downtown, Inner Harbor and vicinity. The vast majority (6062) would be subway transfers from the Charles Center Metro station to the Red Line via the proposed two block long pedestrian tunnel. As a comparison, the total current ridership at this Metro station is only about 6500 boardings (and 6500 de-boardings) per day.

4 - With the Red Line, Boston Street in Canton is projected to have a peak traffic lane volume of 1575 vehicles per hour. (By comparison, President Street and MLK Boulevard each currently carry less than 900 vehicles per lane in the peak hour and peak direction.) Even with this huge traffic volume, many more vehicles are assumed to be forced to divert off of Boston Street into the communities to the north in order to avoid congestion.

3 - A Red Line train would a maximum seating capacity of 136 riders, with about 200 standees for a total of 336. Even though the Red Line is projected to carry more riders than Metro, the capacity of a Metro train is over four times more - 456 sitting and 996 standing for a total of 1452.

2 - An end-to-end Red Line trip is projected to take 45 minutes to go 14 miles. An end-to-end Metro trip takes 29 minutes to go 15.5 miles. So considering both travel time and rider capacity, the Metro is over six times more efficient in terms of passenger capacity per hour than the Red Line.

1 - Most unbelievable of all: Even though the multi-billion dollar Red Line is currently completely unfunded, the MTA anticipates construction to begin in two years, 2015, and be completed by 2021.