From S. Broadway and the Charm City Circulator Green Line, the Circulator’s “Blue Line” heads east on Fleet St., makes a soft right onto Boston St., and follows the waterfront all the way to S. Conkling St., where it heads north to Eastern Ave., goes around the block, and follows the same route in reverse.
The bus stops near three grocery stores—Safeway, the Markets at Highlandtown, and the Harris Teeter coming to Canton Crossing. It stops a few blocks from Patterson Park, and it hits the Southeast Anchor Library. Fell’s Point residents sick of their own bar scene can get off a couple blocks from O’Donnell Square, and vice versa.
As those who use public transit know, there is no “Blue Line.” There is, however, a mapped-out proposal for the route, put forward by community activists Joanne Masopust and Victor Corbin, presidents of the Fell’s Point Community Organization and the Fell’s Prospect Community Association, respectively.
“People are used to hearing about community association presidents complaining,” said Masopust. “This time, we’re proposing what we think is a creative solution.”
She said that she and Corbin did not want to step on anyone’s toes, and weren’t trying to circumvent the long and complex process of establishing a new public transportation. But putting a visual proposal out there couldn’t hurt.
“When you just have this generic, nebulous ‘Oh, let’s have a Circulator,’ you don’t give people an image,” she said, adding, “We’re not going to implement this, we’re just going to put it out there.”
Corbin noted that he had sent the proposal to State Senator Bill Ferguson. Corbin said that getting the idea off the drawing board and operating the four buses he envisions would require “some state funding.” After the start-up, there are a variety of funding methods.
“Maybe we can get somebody to crawl out of the woodwork and say, ‘I’d be happy to,’” mused Masopust.
Corbin said that the proposal uses existing Maryland Transit Authority bus stops and would not take parking spaces away. It avoids densely residential roads and would help alleviate congestion on Boston St., he added.
Masopust admitted that the idea originally came from a selfish place.
“It was the age-old ‘I don’t want to move my car,’” she joked.
Corbin noted that the proposed line would connect to the existing Green Line, and could take commuters from Greektown, Canton, Highlandtown, and the Fell’s Prospect area to their jobs at Johns Hopkins, Bravo Healthcare, or the restaurants in Fell’s Point and Harbor East.
“It connects business centers,” he said.
“Not that the other lines are all for tourists, but this one is about living—how do you actually live in Southeast Baltimore?” added Masopust.
Both Corbin and Masopust frequently use the Circulator lines currently in existence.
“I love the Circulator,” said Masopust. “It’s really a lot more dependable than the MTA.”
by Erik Zygmont