MTA Administrator, Mayor Congratulate SAAC Members on Station Planning Efforts
Station Area Advisory Committee (SAAC) members have a reason to celebrate and on June 26 they were the guests of honor at a celebration of their contribution to the Red Line station planning process. The SAAC Celebration was the culmination of the SAAC process that began 18 months ago. Then, SAAC members attended the New Links Conference, a kickoff event which introduced the members to the ways in which transit could be integrated into and transform communities. Now at the end of the SAAC process, it can be said that this collaborative effort has added tremendous value to the work of designing a transit line that will benefit communities, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and the surrounding region. Some of the SAAC members' recommendations on station location and the alignment were incorporated into the project. This underscores the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) commitment to community-centered station design, a goal of the Baltimore Red Line Community Compact.
The MTA Administrator Ralign T. Wells and Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake attended the event, congratulating SAAC members on their contribution to the Red Line station planning process and speaking on the incredible link between the Red Line and their goals and initiatives for the MTA and Baltimore City. In his opening, Wells said, "The completion of the Red Line will bring us closer to having the type of system that many thriving cities already have. Your contribution has brought us closer to that comprehensive system and has assisted me and the MTA greatly in our primary tasks—the present and the future." Rawlings-Blake echoed a similar big-picture sentiment, "The Red Line is so much more than a transportation project, it will be a driver for community development and neighborhood revitalization, a way to improve the environment across our city, and a model for responsiveness and civic engagement."
The SAAC members also provided some great takeaways from the evening. David McDonald from the Edmondson Village SAAC likened the planning for the Red Line to the futuristic and innovative thinking that brings about residential and commercial development. Other SAAC members called for a continuation of the SAAC process—a request that the MTA will work to fulfill—and expressed gratitude to the Facilitators and Community Liaisons who were the key staff for the SAAC process.
In his address to the SAAC members, Henry Kay, Executive Director of Transit Development and Delivery for the MTA, summed up the sentiments of many who spoke with optimism when he ended the program by saying "I'll see you on the Red Line."
Congratulations SAAC members and thank you for your hard work!
For more about the event...