The RAISE Project includes several elements to improve the reliability, speed, safety and accessibility of transit, in addition to bicycle and pedestrian safety and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility improvements. The Project applies strategies and design guidance from both the MDOT MTA Transit Priority Toolkit and the Baltimore City Complete Streets Manual to directly address existing challenges on the project corridor, which carries two of the region’s highest-ridership bus routes – the CityLink Blue and CityLink Orange lines. Together, these investments facilitate safer multi-modal travel along this critical corridor. Proposed improvements include:
- Dedicated bus lanes on at least 10 lane-miles of the CityLink Blue & CityLink Orange bus routes
- Transit Signal Priority (TSP) along at least 10 lane-miles of Dedicated Bus Lanes
- Bus stop enhancements & hubs including ADA compliance upgrades, shelters, benches, trash cans, and pedestrian lighting at over 100 bus stop locations and wayfinding / real-time signs at high-transfer activity ‘hubs’
- Pedestrian & bicycle safety improvements including reduced pedestrian crossing distances, trees, lighting, other sidewalk improvements, ADA improvements, and bicycle infrastructure between Downtown Baltimore and West Baltimore MARC commuter rail station
- Electric vehicle charging stations installed by BGE in publicly-owned parking lots and public right-of-way along the project corridor
Dedicated Bus Lanes
The RAISE Project would implement at least ten lane miles of dedicated bus lanes along the CityLink Blue & CityLink Orange bus routes, reducing transit delay, reducing conflicts between buses and vehicles, increasing on-time performance, and allowing shared use with bicycles. Dedicated bus lanes would be added by converting travel or parking lanes to bus-only lanes identified by pavement markings, red paint, and signage. In the RAISE Project corridor, the dedicated bus lanes could provide potential time savings of up to 1,050 hours of travel time savings for transit riders / day and projected crash reductions of 13 bus crashes per year. Dedicated bus lanes are currently proposed along the following segments (subject to change as the design advances):
- Between Cooks Lane and Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard
- Between Jones Falls Expressway (I-83) / President Street and North Highland Avenue
- Between Bayview Boulevard and Dundalk Avenue
Transit Signal Priority (TSP)
TSP equipment would be installed at traffic signals along at least 10 lane-miles of Dedicated Bus Lanes allowing traffic signal timing adjustments that give buses priority and provide faster bus travel times (up to 20%), improved reliability, reduced transit delay, and increased on-time performance. MDOT MTA has already outfitted the entire local bus fleet with TSP equipment and has added infrastructure to individual traffic control devices on a corridor-by-corridor basis.
Bus Stop Enhancements and Hubs
ADA compliance upgrades, bus shelters, benches, trash cans, and pedestrian lighting would be provided at over 100 bus stops. At high-transfer activity ‘hubs’, bus stops would incorporate wayfinding signage and real-time information signs that display bus route destinations, frequencies, and estimated arrival times for buses. Buses in MDOT MTA’s system are equipped with GPS systems to report real-time data, which is shared through a mobile app.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
Pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements will focus on improving the safety of users. Curb extensions may be installed at some locations, reducing crossing distance for pedestrians, visually narrowing the roadway to slow vehicular speeds at major conflict points, eliminating the need for buses to pull in and out of the travel lane, and providing more space for bus stop amenities. Streetscape improvements will be included in locations that maximize benefits around new development, neighborhood commercial areas, enhanced bus stops, and locations with high pedestrian crash rates. Streetscaping investments may consist of highly-visible crosswalks, pedestrian-scaled lighting, full traffic signal reconstruction, ADA improvements, and new street trees and other plantings. ADA improvements will integrate accessible pedestrian signals, ADA-compliant curb ramps, and accessible paths for wheelchairs/mobility devices. Additionally, bicycle infrastructure would be provided between downtown Baltimore and the West Baltimore MARC commuter rail station.
Electrical Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations
The RAISE project corridor intersects five Maryland EV Read corridors that extend throughout the state to provide reliable access to EV chargers. To complement the multi-modal transportation improvements added through the RAISE Project and further build upon its sustainability benefits, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) will install at least 25 EV charging stations in publicly-owned parking lots and public right-of-way along the project corridor. Thirty percent (30%) of these new chargers are required to be installed within “Equity Zones”, and these chargers will help advance the goals of the MDOT Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan by reducing GHG emissions.