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ADA Improvements to the West Baltimore MARC Station

Location: Baltimore County, Maryland Client: Maryland Transit Administration

JMT assisted our client with an investigation of a current commuter-rail station to meet current ADA requirements and to prepare for future transit system expansion.

JMT completed a planning study for improvements for the West Baltimore MARC station platform, based on the current and potential future needs.  One primary consideration was upgrading the station facilities to meet current ADA requirements, which was complicated due to limited space and the 25-foot vertical difference between roadway and platforms.  Another study goal was to identify ways to integrate the station with local bus service and the Red Line, a new west-east transit line proposed to pass near the West Baltimore MARC station. 

The team developed concepts for several platform locations that used a variety of potential methods to meet ADA compliancy including lengthening the platform, retractable platform edges, mini hi-block station platforms, bridge plates, and full ADA compliancy along the tangent track to the south of the current location.   Other components included pedestrian access via a stair/elevator combination as well as a variety of switchback ramps. 

As part of the project activities, the team evaluated ADA compliance of all pedestrian facilities within a one-half mile walking radius of the MARC Station and determining the priority routes to make ADA compliant, and options to ensure a seamless transfer between the MARC station, the proposed Red Line station and local bus service.  

Throughout the study, JMT coordinated extensively with the MTA and the City of Baltimore and held meetings with the local community.   The final report documented the wide range of concepts evaluated, our recommendations, and all planning level cost estimates.   Also included were the environmental and socio-economic information gathered for the area during the course of study as well as proposed methods by which the MTA may receive some LEED® credits for the station.

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