Supporters of developing a streetcar line running from downtown to upper Charles Village welcomed the mayor’s proposal to extend the Purple Line of the Charm City Circulator.
Mark Counselman, an Oakenshawe resident and a member of the Baltimore Street Car Coalition, said the group is all for improving mass transit in the city.
“I think we’re very supportive of the circulator and brining better transit as soon as we can,” Counselman said.
During her State of the City address on Monday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that she intends to extend the circulator route from Penn Station to 33rd Street. Currently, the free bus line runs from Penn Station to Federal Hill.
For years a combination of businesses, nonprofits and residents have been advocating for a streetcar to improve transportation between North Baltimore and downtown. However, momentum for the project slowed after the economy crashed in 2008, but supporters have continued to try and rally support for the project.
Counselman said he didn’t believe that the proposed extension of the Purple Line would mean the end of trying to bring a streetcar system to the area. He said a streetcar is part of a bigger picture of improving Baltimore.
“We always believed the streetcars are more than just moving people,” Counselman said.
But the proposal to extend the circulator north is still just a proposal.
Ian Brennan, a spokesman for the mayor, said it would be at least two years before the circulator route would be extended, and that a detailed plan for extending the route hasn’t yet been devised.
The administration will have time to figure out the details because of major roadwork set to begin this April on Charles Street, which the circulator would use to reach 33rd Street, for nearly two years.
“It’s an idea, and of course Charles Street is being shutdown for like 700 days. It’s going to be something where we have a little bit of time to develop our plan and direct resources [too],” Brennan said.