Choose Kids Over The Linthicum Kiss N' Ride Light Rail Stop

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Dear Governor Hogan,

Concerned residents of Linthicum would like for you to permanently close the Linthicum Light Rail Station (behind the Royal Farms store at 595 Camp Meade Road).

1. This station was designed to be a “Kiss and Ride” stop with limited hours. As we understand it, this agreement was never adhered to by the State/ MDOT. The state designed this stop with no parking so those in the community could ‘kiss’ their passenger and drop them off at the stop to ‘ride’ the train. Instead, because there are no parking lots and no public transportation connections, it is dumping people into our community and crime has skyrocketed over the years since this stop was built. Public safety at the Linthicum stop has become such a concern that Resolution 4-18 was introduced 2/5/18 by Councilmen Grasso and Smith and passed 2/20/18 citing the increase in crime and proposing added security measures at the Linthicum light rail stop. Multiple letters citing other incidents have been drafted by our elected officials including County Executive Steve Schuh. We may also provide you with as many examples, pictures, and/ or videos as you may need. Many Linthicum residents who used to ride the light rail to go into the city do not anymore because of their individual experiences with crime or loitering/ language/ solicitation/ cleanliness, etc.

2. The Linthicum stop was poorly designed. It is nestled between the back of a Royal Farms store and an unlit bike trail, so it’s hidden nature has become a breeding ground for drug deals, drug use, public indecency, homeless camps, and robbery stashes – discarded backpacks and homeowners’ belongings are being discovered there on a regular basis. The stop has also become both ground zero and get away transportation for various crimes committed in the community. A lot of this might stop if people cannot step off the train into our backyards, literally (there are not even any fences!)

3. There are five (5) light rail stops, in an approximately 2.4-mile span, in our small town of Linthicum including the Airport stops. The North Linthicum stop is the ONLY one properly equipped with a large parking lot and is within walking distance of a bus stop on B&A Blvd. The North Linthicum stop is less than a mile away from the Linthicum stop, so there is no reason for the Linthicum “Kiss N’ Ride” stop. An overwhelming number of residents want the Linthicum stop closed and since it was originally a station designed for the residents, democratically, it should be closed. We are asking that the antiquated Linthicum light rail stop cease to exist as a station. Take down the signs and the ticketing machine and take it off the light rail maps as a stop.

4. Since this station is not a park and ride station, it is not a profitable profit center. We learned in a community meeting in the Fall that if someone gets caught without buying a ticket, the first offense is that you would be forced to buy a ticket! The numbers using this station may even be far less than your reports may show and are decreasing every day because of the crime at the Linthicum station and Royal Farms store. Despite signs on the tracks and on Camp Meade Road telling Airport Shuttles to drop off at the North Linthicum station, residents record airport shuttles continually dropping off at the Linthicum Royal Farms store, which is a shorter drive for the Airport Shuttles. This is drastically skewing your numbers on how many residents use the Linthicum station. Also with the invent of more recent transportation methods, such as Uber or Lyft, residents find it much safer, and even more cost effective, to use these services to get to the city or airport over using the light rail.

5. Numerous, unsuccessful attempts have already been made over the years to put a band-aid on this problem. After a man was severely assaulted during a cell phone robbery outside our public library a few years back, police officers were hired to patrol the station. In the end, only brighter street lights were installed along the street of the Linthicum library. Then a promise was made earlier this year to put more MTA officers at the station. However, they cannot be there all the time and criminals eventually become wise to a “bait car” sitting at the ROFO with no one going in or out of it. In May, County officials made an announcement that they will assign more AACO police to these stations. Throwing more money/ resources at a failing transportation system that is consistently in the red, is not the solution, but we the taxpayers have consistently been told in association and town meetings that it is ALL our County officials CAN do. We, the taxpayers who fund our police and approximately 80% of the light rail, deserve a more sensible solution. Closing the Linthicum Kiss N’ Ride station would drastically reduce crime while saving money, too.

6. The proximity of the crimes taking place at the Linthicum light rail station to our public elementary and middle school has made it a public safety threat for students ages 5-14. It is only 800+ steps away from Linthicum Elementary school (LES), our first Maryland and then National Blue Ribbon school in the Northern Anne Arundel County Cluster.

There was a lock-in at LES last Fall because a man, who was reportedly out of his mind from substances, was knocking on their elementary school windows and trying to get in the doors. Parents also received reports of armed robberies of the bank right across the street from the 400+ children playing outside at recess throughout the day. These are only a few of our experiences that warranted communications from the school because they frightened children or because children were already outside of the building during their normal school day while these situations took place.

An armed robbery of the Royal Farms store in front of the Linthicum light rail station took place this Spring and an alert from AACO police went out to alert our community since the suspect escaped on foot. Our middle school children were walking to school at the same time along the same route as this armed robber! The children attending LES and Lindale Middle school who live less than a mile to 1.5 miles away are expected to cut through the Linthicum light rail station to go to school. We have documentation from the AACO Public School system telling us this is the route our children walkers must take. Per Delegate Pam Beidle, NO OTHER SCHOOL DISTRICT in AACO is required to cross any kind of light rail tracks or train tracks. Again, some of these school children are as young as 5 years old and attend Linthicum Elementary school which does not open until 9:15 a.m., well after when their parents are expected to be at work. Please choose our Kids over the Linthicum Light Rail “Kiss and Ride” Stop.

We pay a lot of taxes here in the 21090 zip code. Many pay $6,000 or more in property taxes alone. We are appealing to you to please look at this issue for yourself, Governor Hogan. Many of us, regardless of party lines, voted for you because you were a candidate who seems to take action. The candidate(s) who helps us get our quality of life back here in Linthicum, versus making empty promises, will surely gain our loyal votes for years to come. We are tired of our pleas falling on deaf ears and have decided to take matters in our own hands, hence this petition and rally in Linthicum on July 28. We want to keep our children safe walking to/ from school. We are tired of our property and cars being stolen. We are tired of hearing stories of residents being beaten at our local library or while on the train trying to catch a game of one of our hometown teams. We are tired of the public indecency in and around the station. We are tired of being harassed by aggressive, angry panhandlers while trying to support our community businesses. The Linthicum stop has NOT served the residents as promised and instead has done exactly the opposite of most of its documented goals when designed. We do not want our limited COUNTY police resources babysitting the light rail stops – or worse, riding the trains and potentially getting stuck until the next stop and/or not being close to their car to respond immediately to a bigger emergency! We do not want more lighting on a bike trail that is supposed to close at dusk that may instead only further highlight our cars and property (there is no barrier between this light rail station and our backyards). We want our quality of life back. We want the Linthicum light rail stop closed once and for all. Thank you for your prompt consideration of this matter.

Respectfully,
Concerned Residents of Linthicum

Where is Linthicum?
Linthicum is located at 39°12′14″N 76°39′38″W (39.203876, -76.660506) in northern Anne Arundel County. It extends from the Patapsco River in the north (the Baltimore County line) to Maryland Route 170 (Aviation Boulevard) in the south, and from Interstate 195 in the west to Maryland Route 648 (Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard) in the east. It is bordered by the CDPs of Baltimore Highlands to the north (in Baltimore County), Brooklyn Park to the east, and Ferndale to the southeast, and by the Baltimore–Washington International Airport to the south. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 5.5 square miles (14.3 km2), of which 5.4 square miles (14.1 km2) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.81%, is water.

Concerned Anne Arundel County Taxpayers who fund the additional AACO police presence at the county light rail stations and/ or Maryland State Taxpayers who fund most of the light rail – please share this petition and feel free to add your own opinions and/ or firsthand experiences in the comments. Thank you!



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