Apr 11

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Portion of Westbound Route 40 Will Temporarily Close and Franklin Street Will Reopen for Traffic on Monday, April 14, 2014

As construction on the West Baltimore MARC Station project continues to progress, commuters and residents should be advised that a portion of westbound Route 40 will temporarily close to traffic. Starting at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 14, 2014 westbound Route 40 will be closed to through traffic between Greene and Pulaski Streets. Detours will be in effect and variable message signs will be placed in the area alerting commuters of the closure.

In addition to the westbound Route 40 closure, Franklin Street will be reopened to through traffic between Monroe and Pulaski Streets on Monday. Commuters and residents may utilize Franklin Street as a detour route during the westbound Route 40 closure, which is expected to last approximately ten weeks. Commuters and residents are urged to pay close attention to changing traffic patterns while traveling in this vicinity. Detour signs will be posted in the area and commuters are encouraged to use alternate routes.

For more information, please check Baltimore City Department of Transportation’s traffic advisories at www.baltimorecity.gov/Government/AgenciesDepartments/Transportation/TrafficAdvisories.aspx. You may also contact the project construction liaison, Kirin Smith, at (443) 299-2411 or KSmith12@mta.maryland.gov.


Feb 04

PUBLIC NOTIFICATION: Use of 4(f) Publicly Owned Park Land Near Bentalou Recreation Center

The MTA is proposing to purchase right-of-way from Baltimore City Parks & Recreation, which would allow the The West Baltimore MARC Station Improvements & Upgrades project to provide a neighborhood connection or pathway along the north side of the Bentalou Recreation Center (as indicated in the image below).

4F ROW Detailed AreaThe proposed neighborhood connection would not interfere with any activities associated with the recreation center’s programs, and would allow residents quick access to the West Baltimore MARC Station platform directly from the southern neighborhoods via Bentalou Street. You can find the official statement and details about the right-of-way easement purchase proposal here. The project team will be accepting public comments until Monday, March 17, 2014. If you have any questions or comments:

  • Contact George Hill (410) 767-3768 or Staycie Francisco (410) 767-0667;
  • Or mail your comment to:
    George Hill, Project Manager
    Maryland Transit Administration
    Department of Planning, 9th Floor
    6 Saint Paul Street
    Baltimore MD, 21202
  • Or make a comment below:

    We thank you and appreciate the input provided.


Dec 15

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Help Clean-up the Future Space for the West Station Community Gardens

Community Gardening PhotoBefore the West Baltimore Community Honor & Harvest Day, a group of volunteers came together to work with Ms. Barbara McQueen on her adopted lots along Saratoga and Smallwood Streets. These lots are intended for a future West Station Community Gardens. Volunteers began the effort to help clean and prepare the lots for a new low maintenance landscape design. Ms. McQueen and her sister Susan adopted the lots three years ago, but have faced some difficulties with regards to resources and illegal residential and commuter parking. The garden group is renewing their efforts to receive greening grants and resources. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Staycie Francisco (410)767-0667 or (410) 245-0640. We have more Saturday clean-up days scheduled before spring starts.

Many thanks and gratitude to the folks that helped on Saturday, November 16:

  • Freda Alvarado-Fanning
  • Ariel Boyd
  • Timothy Bridges
  • Candace Clifton
  • Roderick Comegy
  • Corey Jones
  • Ricky D. Rogers


Community Gardening Photo


Dec 15

Kirin Smith is the Project’s New Construction Community Liaison

Photo of New Construction Community Liaison for Parking Expansion ProjectThe project team is happy to welcome Kirin Smith on board as the Construction Community Liaison. Kirin comes to the project with an enormous wealth of experience in construction engineering and planning due to her training as a civil engineer. Her past professional experience as a project manager with Baltimore City Department of Transportation and her dedicated volunteer work with many neighborhood non-profit and community organizations set her apart from other candidates. The project is lucky to have her as a part of our team, and the community will benefit from her invaluable expertise in working with communities. If you need to contact Kirin, you can reach her by email: KSmith12@mta.maryland.gov or mobile phone: (443) 299-2411

Dec 15

Community Honor & Harvest Day Brings Together Community to Celebrate West Baltimore’s Rich History and Select the Twelve Stories of Strength Plaques

Community Honor & Harvest Day PhotoAfter the day drew to a close, fifteen residents walked away with farmer’s market bags full of donated collard greens, potatoes, apples, and squash. Throughout the day, kids enjoyed hot cocoa and participated in 4H learning activities lead by community resident and University of Maryland Extension representative Monica Bland and her children. On Saturday, November 16, nearly 50 community residents and stakeholders listened and added to the discussion about the sixteen finalists’ stories—all were inspiring and many were quite moving. The community came together to select twelve stories to be featured on historic plaques surrounding the West Baltimore MARC Station lots as part of the future public art installation titled The Shining Dark after a Lucille Clifton poem.


Community Honor & Harvest Day PhotoThe Final Twelve Selected Stories of Strength:

  • The Arabbers
  • Mary Rosemond and the Movement Against Destruction
  • Carl Murphy & John Murphy and the Afro-American
  • Violet Hill Whyte: Baltimore’s “Lady Law”
  • William “Little Willie” Adams and Delegate Victorine Q. Adams
  • The Royal Theater and Pennsylvania Avenue
  • J. Albert Maddox, Sr. and Time Printers
  • Parren Mitchell and Clarence Mitchell, Jr.
  • Lucille Clifton
  • Lillie May Carroll Jackson & Juanita Jackson Mitchell
  • Joseph Lockerman and the Coppin Normal School
  • Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange and the Oblate Sisters of Providence

The twelve plaques will be markers connected to twelve elevated glass fin sculptures. As illustrated in the draft design image (below), the glass fins will incorporate the paint markings created by West Baltimore community members who participated in the Kinetic Painting Workshop held over the summer. To find out more about the public art project, visit www.theshiningdark.com. As the artistic and project team begin to finalize the design and prepare for installation, we are looking for organizations and individuals who are excited about the project and may be interested in working with us to make the unveiling a big community celebration. Please contact Staycie Francisco at (410) 767-0667 to see how you can be involved in the public art unveiling.

Draft rendering of the glass fins for the Shining Dark public art project

Draft rendering of the glass fins for the Shining Dark public art project

Community Honor & Harvest Day Photo

Community Honor & Harvest Tree of Community Member Recognition

Community Honor & Harvest Day Photo

Community Honor & Harvest Day Photo


Sep 04

Governor O’Malley Selects West Baltimore MARC Station to Announce $1.5 Billion for Baltimore Area Transportation Projects


The Governor and Lt. Governor greeting kids from nearby Lockerman Bundy Elementary School

On September 4, 2013, Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown were joined by the region’s elected officials to announce nearly $1.5 billion to fund transportation projects for the Baltimore metro area. The much needed investment will support more than 13,000 jobs, reduce traffic congestion, and help to revitalize communities.  At the announcement, U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings highlighted what the investment would mean for the area, “Once completed, these transportation investments will allow thousands of our neighbors throughout the region to reach good jobs at a commuter cost that they can better afford. Baltimore and Washington will both progress as MARC riders gain convenient access to MARC travel on the weekends…and Baltimore City’s transit system will become more modern and better maintained.”

  • The West Baltimore MARC Station will function as one of the few multi-modal connections for the future Red Line and will benefit from the $689 million set aside for the Red Line project, which includes $519 million for construction. 
  • About $46 million will be used to offer weekend service for the MARC train. The first-ever weekend service will be available on the Penn Line starting Saturday, December 7, 2013, and will provide nine (9) round trips on Saturdays and six (6) round trips on Sundays.  Please check the MTA’s website for updates and weekend schedules. 
  • $52 million will go to MARC Commuter Rail Improvements to purchase ten (10) new trains.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake with community leaders and stakeholders

“Today is about showing the state that Baltimore City wants the Red Line and understands that building an integrated, world class transit system is critical for creating jobs and providing citizens with better access to those jobs,” said Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who was also in attendance. She continued to emphasize, “These critical investments are the key to unlocking Baltimore’s potential to grow and will create a regional transportation system that connects Baltimore to major job centers in surrounding communities.”

Depending on funding, construction of the Red Line could start as early as 2015 and be open for service by 2021. For more information about the Red Line project, visit the Red Line website.



Governor O’Malley with West Baltimore MARC area community leaders and stakeholders


Aug 21

Job Alert: Construction Community Liaison Wanted

construction hat

The West Baltimore MARC Parking Expansion project team is currently looking to hire a Construction Community Liaison for the West Baltimore MARC Parking Expansion Project. The Construction Community Liaison will work closely with residents, the construction contractor, and the MTA to address questions and/or concerns regarding construction related issues.

Review this detailed job announcement to learn more about this temporary contractual job opportunity and find out how you can apply. If you have any additional questions, contact Staycie Francisco or reach her by phone at (410) 767-0667. The deadline to apply is August 30, 2013, or until the position is filled. Interviews will be scheduled the following week or in mid-September depending on number of applicants.

Aug 20

August 27: Construction Concerns Meeting for Parking Expansion & Enhancement Project

When: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 from 5:00-7:00 PM
Where: Lockerman Bundy Elementary School, 301 N Pulaski St, Baltimore, MD 21223

If you have construction impact concerns and issues, join us to find out about the next steps in the process and to get a better understanding about getting your concerns and issues addressed.

Aug 18

September 17: Share Your Story at the Stories of Strength Workshop for the Public Art

TSD_LogoWhen: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 from 4:00- 8:00 PM
Where: Lockerman-Bundy Elementary School, 301 N Pulaski St Baltimore, MD 21223

Do you have a story of strength to share? If so, submit your story as a nomination to be selected for The Shining Dark public artwork for the West Baltimore MARC Station. You are invited to nominate Stories of Strength from West Baltimore –– stories about residents, events, or moments that rose above the challenges of their times, uplifting many others, and helping to light the way to a better future.

The final selected stories will be featured on one of twelve artistic marker stones set into brick columns along Franklin, Mulberry, and Payson Streets. Each of the markers will correspond to a dozen glass sculptures to be installed on the light poles of the new West Baltimore MARC Station parking lots. The Shining Dark will honor the highest character of West Baltimore, its residents, and its neighborhoods.

Registration for the workshop is encouraged but not required. To register for the workshop, email Eli Pousson of Baltimore Heritage or call him at (301) 204-3337.


  • From 4:00-6:00 PM: You can drop by to record your story and share your photos, or sign-up to be a volunteer.
  • From 6:00-8:00 PM: Artists William and Teresa Cochran of Cochran Studio and staff from Baltimore Heritage will lead a community workshop for residents, former residents, and others who care about West Baltimore to further explain The Shining Dark project, discuss what makes a “story of strength,” and provide an opportunity to nominate stories for recognition.

Can’t make the workshop? You can also share your story by phone or online. Visit The Shining Dark website or call toll free at (800) 448-4060 to submit your story.

Jul 24

Kinetic Painting Workshop Held

KPW_01On July 24, 2013 at Lockerman Bundy Elementary School, close to 200 kids and adults participated in a Kinetic Painting Workshop for the public art work, titled The Shining Dark: Stories of Strength from West Baltimore and commissioned for the West Baltimore MARC Station. The day included a special session for kids participating in a Parks & People Foundation summer program, which was followed by an evening session open to all residents of West Baltimore. Everyone enjoyed flinging paint and creating their own marks to be incorporated into the final public art work to be created by the artistic team of William and Teresa Cochran from Cochran Studio. As we have reported in the past, the Cochran Studio was chosen by a 12 person selection committee that included seven members from the West Baltimore MARC community. The kinetic painting workshop is the first in a series of community workshops that will involve residents in creating a collaborative public art landmark with the artists.

KPW_04The Shining Dark will be a two-block-long elevated light sculpture that will illuminate the strength and endurance of the West Baltimore communities. A dozen sculptural installations of colorful art glass will be installed high above the West Baltimore MARC Station parking lots on light poles where they will catch the light both day and night. Each light sculpture will be linked to one of twelve artistic marker stones set into prominent brick columns along Franklin, Mulberry, and Payson Streets; these markers will be engraved with an image and a story of strength from West Baltimore — a true account of a person, group, or event that illustrates the highest character of the neighborhoods, even in their darker days. To find out how you can be a part of the public art project, visit The Shining Dark website. To submit a story of strength, call toll free at (800) 448-4060.


Older posts «