West Baltimore residents and community groups see a new light rail project as their way up for their blighted neighborhood.
"Mayor Sheila Dixon walked down a block in West Baltimore yesterday and noticed what wasn't there: doctors' offices, cleaners, grocery stores. Instead, she saw abandoned houses with collapsed roofs, vacant lots overrun with trash and weeds, and residents desperate for something better.
In a part of town that still has not recovered from the riots of 1968 or the infamous "Highway to Nowhere" that split a community and forced thousands to move away, hope for a renewal is being stirred by plans for the $1.3 billion Red Line east-west transit project. A station in West Baltimore near the current MARC stop would mean more retail, more housing and more homeowners, say residents and officials.
"We want to take control of our community and present people with opportunities so they don't have to go 20 miles out of their way to get to a decent grocery store," said Zelda Robinson of the West Baltimore Coalition. "This could be a real gem for the city.""