Improvements Coming to the Hamburg Street Light Rail Station

| December 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced $20,395,834 in grants to support improvements for bicycle and pedestrian safety and connectivity across the state last month. One of the grant recipients was the Maryland Transportation Administration (MTA) for $240,000 for design and construction of pedestrian access improvements between Sharp-Leadenhall and the Hamburg Street Light Rail station.

MTA describes the project as the following:

The project will consist of the design and construction of the following pedestrian access improvements: enhancement of pedestrian-level lighting along existing sidewalk; upgrades to sidewalk ramps to meet ADA requirements; enhancement of Light Rail wayfinding signage; adjustment of platform shelters to meet ADA requirements; and enhancement of safety measures by adding an emergency blue-light phone. The design activities will include the required coordination with key stakeholders as well as completing the appropriate level of NEPA documentation and engineering. The construction activities will include procurement of construction materials, construction labor, engineering during construction, and construction management.

There are no finite details or renderings for this project at this time, but MTA will kick off meetings with the community next year to get input and explore details to make this project successful. MTA will be working in partnership with Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks as the 2.5-acre Solo Gibbs Park is a key access point between Sharp-Leadenhall and the Light Rail station. MTA is hoping to begin improvements next year.

In October, Recreation and Parks began work on a new master plan for Solo Gibbs Park. It is expected to take eight to ten months. The master plan will come up with short- and long-term goals for the park along with maintenance strategies. It will act as a guide for the City’s future capital improvements and for identifying potential funding partners. The Ravens, NFL, and the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership have been identified as potential sources of funding for a redevelopment of the park.

Sharp-Leadenhall has attracted significant investment in recent years including the currently-underway, $275-million Stadium Square Project from Caves Valley Partners (CVP), which has been touted as transit-oriented due to its close proximity to the Hamburg Street Light Rail station.

CVP Partner Arsh Mirmiran told the following via email, “We initiated the conversation (with MTA), suggesting that South Baltimore needed a better connection to the Light Rail station and that it should be upgraded as part of the effort to revitalize Solo Gibbs park, as well.  The State took the ball and ran, recognizing that this would be money well spent to promote transit-oriented development.”

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