Thinking Ahead:

Smart Regional Planning

Regional Rail Plan Unveiled

A committee of prominent Baltimore-area business and civic leaders has released a draft plan for a regional rail transit system that would more than double the number of people in the region who live within walking distance (1/3 mile) of a rail station and increase the jobs within walking distance by nearly 50 percent. The plan would add new lines to Towson, White Marsh, Woodlawn, and Dundalk via Canton, as well as adding stations to the two MARC commuter lines and increasing connections between those lines and the new local rail service. Seven public meetings are planned between now and February 26 to gather feedback from the region's citizens before a final report is submitted to the Maryland Department of Transportation. More information can be found at

Planning Baltimore's Regional Rail System It Doesn't Have to Be Ugly
Also related to Baltimore's rail system, there will be a regional rail system planning symposium on February 19, entitled "It Doesn't Have to Be Ugly, Community Sensitive Design at Transit Stations." More information is available at

Suburban Population Goes Up Some, Down Some
A newly released Brookings Institution study of the suburbs in the nation's 35 largest regions shows that, although the suburbs grew an average 14 percent from 19902000, more than a third of the towns showed no growth or a decline in population some of them substantially. The study used 2000 Census data and included the Baltimore region. Although many newly developing suburbs experienced tremendous growth as evidenced by traffic congestion and overcrowded schools, many older, frequently inner-ring suburbs experienced central-city like challenges. These challenges include aging infrastructure, deteriorating schools and commercial corridors, inadequate housing stock and population decline. Baltimore suburbs fared relatively well in the analysis, especially considering Baltimore City's sharp decline in population over the same period. The study found that about 18 percent of Baltimore's suburbs lost population, about the same percentage as Washington DC. Full study available at

For more information on regional planning, see the Baltimore Regional Partnership Website.

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This story was published on February 6, 2002.