DOT Presentation on Reconnection Communities Grant
Department of Transportation and Department of Planning are pursuing the Reconnecting Communities Grant program–a new and unique grant program intended to repair the harm to communities harmed by highway projects. Will be applying for a planning study for the Highway to Nowhere/Rt 40 from Greene St to the West Baltimore MARC Station. Application will be for $2million, already secured the 20% match requirement.
Ren shared the presentation (Reconnecting Communities Grant)
This is an initiative that DOT feels very strongly about
Donnell asked about how the project would impact the communities impacted? That’s going to be an important part of the planning process–want to work with communities during the planning process to identify where the pain points and negative impacts will be. Will it be possible for the communities to be directly involved in the planning process? Mayor’s Office is putting together a workgroup that would be dedicated to this effort–the folks on this workgroup would be the interface with their communities. Hoping to have the community engagement plan publicly posted very soon. Are thinking out of the box on community engagement. Donnell–would be great to ensure that the communities definitely involved. How will the information be shared so that it’s not just online.
David–want to make sure that the impacted communities are defined–which communities are being focused on, which communities are part of the wider community.
Dotie–agrees with David–should affect all of the communities. Remembers attending a meeting on a similar project 6-7 years ago. How does this effort connect to past efforts? What exactly will this result in (businesses closing off the area?) Will be looking for community feedback moving forward so they understand how any change impacts the community
Paulette: would like to be more involved in the planning process
Scott shared that the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition and representatives from impacted neighborhoods are working on advocating for robust community participating in the process. Scott thinks having project on the ground will engage people in the process
David suggested looking into the history of people not being properly compensated for their homes and property when the highway was built, and potentially making some reparations/compensation. Donnell agrees.
Dotie also likes the idea of community events and activities
Renata Southard, Department of Planning – phone number is (410) 396-1440 and email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott shared some past renderings of potential uses of the Rt 40 area
Scott will share updates on the Rt40 community group at Vibrant Streets meeting
Donnell made a motion that contingent on the support of the most directly impacted communities (Franklin Square and Poppleton) and having Franklin Square and Poppleton serve as advisors to the project.
Linda Taylor-Newton, Department of Transportation Linda.Taylor-Newton@baltimorecity.gov, 443-630-0703
Comfort Station Approved by Board of Estimates, contractor has started work
Tree stumps are being removed
David wants to do more outreach around the weekly bike rides to get new folks involved
Paulette–donations for a Halloween Party for the children in Poppleton, October 31st from 4pm-7pm at Poppleton and Lexington