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  • Writer's pictureBloomberg

When Suburbs Go to War With Transit

A battle over building a housing development near a Baltimore light rail station illustrates why it’s so hard to make viable public transportation in the suburbs.

On a recent Wednesday, I stood on the platform of a light rail station in Lutherville, Maryland, about 15 miles north of downtown Baltimore, having a flashback.

More than three decades ago, I was the architectural project manager for the light rail system that the Maryland Transit Administration was planning for the state’s largest metropolitan area. Like several other US cities in that era, Baltimore was hoping that this modern streetcar-like mode could be built cheaper than subways and spur economic development along the route.

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