Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

This is a great development

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Please pardon the pun… 

I think the Savage Marc station development is a great idea.  I have long wondered why Dorsey Station off Rte 100 sits their surrounded by nothing, but I didn’t know the County was thinking the same way.  I knew about Rte 1 it is just that I didn’t know that Dorsey and Savage were targeted too.

Two years ago, Howard County officials rezoned land around the Dorsey and Savage train stations to transportation-oriented development, a new category intended to encourage dense, mixed-use projects along the U.S. 1 corridor. The zone requires that 15 percent of the apartments be for moderate-income families.

If we are serious about mass transit options I think developing around these two stations is a step in the right direction.

I was also encouraged by this report

Maryland Secretary of Transportation Robert L. Flanagan, a former Howard County delegate, said the state got no offers in 2003 when it advertised for private development around state-owned MARC and Metro train stations.

Hopefully these plans by Petrie Ross Ventures will kick of a new era of development along rail transportation corridors.

Story here and here

There is a small problem.  Savage and Dorsey are on the Camden Line of the Marc Train system.  Marc does not run as often on the Camden Line as it does on the Penn Line.  I also found that the schedule not as convenient as the Penn Line.  I don’t know if this is because of the freight trains or not or other variables such as demand, but I hope they can improve the scheduling.  There are currently 9 Southbound trains and 9 Northbound trains on the Camden Line that stop at both Dorsey and Savage. 

The Camden Line does not stop at BWI Airport.  Can they fix that?

The Penn Line has 20 Southbound and 24 Northbound trains and it does stop at BWI Airport.  There are four trains between Penn and Union stations between the hours of 5PM and 7PM and five trains between 5AM and 7AM which is convenient for commuters.

The Camden Line connects Union Station to Penn Station.  Riders can switch to Amtrak in Baltimore (they can also switch to the Penn Line) and DC.  They can also jump to the DC Metro or the Baltimore Light Rail.  Trains abound.  Although I find the Camden Line schedule to be incovenient for my I am sure others find it perfectly suitable.  Additionally they can adjust the schedules as ridership demands.

I just hope they connect it to BWI.


One Response to “This is a great development”

  1. Bruce said

    Frustratingly, the Camden line does not go to Penn Station. One can take two successive light rail trains to get to Penn Station, but the trains run so infrequently that I am not convinced that walking part of the trip isn’t worth it.

    Sen John Giannetti (D-21) of Laurel has discussed plans to extend the Green Line of the DC Metro through Laurel, eastern Howard County, Odenton and to BWI a la the extension to Dulles. It is conceivable that the Green Line could be sent up past the current Savage Station, using that development and parking lot as a base, then swing right to hit Fort Meade and Odenton. That would cut Dorsey out of the loop however, and could lead to political pressure to abandon the MARC service on that line due to duplication of right of way. The MARC line is literally the eastern border of Howard County for most of its Howard County track mileage.

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