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Logistics : Development News

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Road Closures in Store for Southeast Baltimore

Travelers in Southeast Baltimore should be on alert for a few extra orange cones over the next year.
New construction is set to begin on several streets and intersections in the area. The improvements are part of the Baltimore City Department of Transportation's $44 million SouthEast Road Reconstruction Program which aims to improve access to the Port of Baltimore, reduce truck traffic on neighborhood streets, and create safer traveling for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, according to the city's Department of Transportation.
Starting this fall, construction will begin at four new sites:
• Site 1: O’Donnell Street from S. Ponca Street to Interstate Avenue
• Site 2: O’Donnell Street Cut-off at Interstate Avenue
• Site 3: Boston Street from S. Ponca Street to Haven Street
• Site 4: Boston Street & S. Clinton Street
Work on the project will conclude in fall 2013.
Improvements at the locations include street widening to allow for dedicated turn lanes, pavement reconstruction, stormwater management improvements, roadway resurfacing, ADA pedestrian ramp improvement, signal improvements, and landscaping.
The construction could close lanes periodically as well as restrict parking.
Source:  Baltimore City Department of Transportation
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]

Maryland Could Get Road Upgrades to Handle Arundel Mills Casino Traffic

A local transportation firm plans to implement a unique road design to handle additional traffic upon the opening of the Maryland Live Casino at the Arundel Mills Mall this summer.

Casino developer Cordish Cos. has hired White Marsh transportation engineering firm the Traffic Group to analyze and plan what would be Maryland’s first diverging diamond interchange if it receives approval from the state’s highway administration.

The interchange, planned at the intersection of the Baltimore Washington Parkway and Arundel Mills Blvd. should be open in time for the opening of the casino later this year.

This type of interchange can move more vehicles more efficiently, and at a lower cost, Traffic Group President Wes Guckert says. Guckert estimates the cost of the project between $1 million and $2 million.

A diverging diamond interchange works by eliminating competing left turns when coming off a highway.  The interchange allows drivers to make a free left turn as if it were a right turn that creates a diamond-like traffic pattern. The left-turn becomes like a right-turn, which allows more efficiency in movement.

It's the left turn, says Guckert, which often slows down the movement of traffic. Drivers can make twice as many left turns per hour compared to traditional designs with the diverging diamond interchange.

"You create a much safer operating environment for the motoring public, one that is faster and more efficient," Guckert says.

The diverging diamond interchange was first developed and built in France 20 some years ago, but was implemented for the first time in the U.S. in Missouri. Guckert studied the Missouri interchange and decided that it could work in Maryland.

The Traffic Group is now analyzing the possibility of implementing the interchanges at several locations in Maryland.

Writer: Alexandra Wilding
Source: Wes Guckert, the Traffic Group

Circulator Launches New Green Line Route

The Charm City Circulator, Baltimore's free bus service, launched a new route on November 1, 2011. The new Green Route will allow Circulator riders greater access to popular points downtown. The new route includes stops at City Hall, the Maritime Park connection to the Water Taxi and the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus.
The Green Route also increases access to the Fell's Point area including Harbor East. Popular attractions for both tourists and locals, including the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Broadway Market, are features of  the new route. The new Green Line interconnects with the orange Line at Harbor East, but does not have a connection to the Purple Line. It  also allows riders to connect with Metro trains at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Shot Tower/Market Place stations.
The launch of the Green Route also coincides with the addition of a new bus type to the Charm City Circulator fleet. The Orion VII BRT Hybrid bus will go into service as part of the Circulator fleet. The new model of  hybrid bus will be used throughout the Circulator's routes.
Financed by Baltimore's parking tax revenue, The Charm City Circulator has carried approximately 3 million riders since its initial launch. The Circulator is slated to expand service to include a new line running from the Inner Harbor area to Fort McHenry in the spring of 2012.
Writer: Amy McNeal
Sources: Downtown Partnership, Charm City Circulator
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