Yesterday, Governor Larry Hogan announced that he was halting the Red Line, an east-west commuter rail project that many in the city had high hopes for. (The money for the Red Line will now be used for other projects throughout the state; the proposed Purple Line, in suburban DC, will still go forward.) The reaction around town was swift, and seemingly ranged from disappointment to very deep disappointment.
In an op-ed under the headline “Hogan Goes Off the Tracks,” the Baltimore Sun writes that “commuters (and taxpayers) just got thrown under the train” by our governor: “please spare us any claim that this represents some kind of cost savings to taxpayers or the result of an inherited shortfall. It is clearly not that,” the Sun writes. “His unilateral actions (held as a closely-guarded secret until Thursday’s announcement) do not represent the behavior of a ‘partner’ or a ‘friend’ but of a politician beholden to rural and politically conservative suburban constituencies that care not a fig for Baltimore.”
Surprisingly, the Baltimore City Paper was slightly more restrained than the Sun, but still outraged that the governor was funding road and bridge improvements everywhere in the state… except Baltimore City.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who has to deal with Hogan in professional settings, had to be a little more diplomatic–but you can still feel the rage seething below the surface in her statement: “I am disheartened that Governor Hogan has chosen to ignore the needs of Baltimore City residents by cancelling current plans for the Red Line. Although the Governor has promised to support economic growth in Baltimore, he cancelled a project that would have expanded economic development, created thousands of jobs, increased access to thousands more, and offered residents better health care, childcare, and educational opportunities.”
More anger, disappointment, frustration, and cynicism to follow, to be sure; stay tuned!