Public Notification of 4(f) De Minimis Finding for Impacts to the Bentalou Recreation Center

Public Notice of Intent to Adopt a U.S. Department of Transportation Act Section 4(f) De Minimis Finding for Impacts to the Bentalou Recreation Center

What is Being Planned?
The Maryland Transit Administration is proposing to modernize the West Baltimore MARC Station in compliance with provisions in the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). The proposed project will require a right-of-way easement from the Bentalou Recreation Center, located 222 N. Bentalou Street in Baltimore City, as indicated in this attachment, to construct a sidewalk connection from Bentalou Street to the north-bound MARC platform. Neither the Bentalou Recreation Center nor any of its recreational activities would be affected by this acquisition and, as a result of the improved neighborhood connection access to the West Baltimore MARC Station should be improved.

Why This Public Notice?
The proposed project is an action that is subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (49. U.S.C. 303) and 23 U.S.C. 138. Section 4(f) of this legislation seeks to protect publicly owned public parklands, recreation areas, waterfowl and wildlife refuges, and significant historic sites, but provides that certain uses of 4(f) land may occur if the use will have no adverse effect (de minimis) on the protected resource. 23 CFR 771.111(h)(1) requires that a public notice and opportunity for review and comment be provided for projects that are determined to have de minimis impact.

What’s Available for Review?
The Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks letter of approval that any activities, features, or attributes of the Bentalou Recreation Center would not be affected by the proposed project is available by request.  Please contact Angela Willis, MTA Office of Planning at (410) 767-4080 or by email at awillis(at)mta.maryland.gov.

Public comments on the 4(f) de minimis finding have been extended until Monday, March 17, 2014. Responses or replies to comments will depend on the substantive nature of the comments; however, all comments and responses will be considered and documented in the administrative record for the proposed project.