Civil Rights Groups Challenge Maryland Gov. Hogan’s Red Line Cancellation

Back in June, newly elected Maryland Governor Larry Hogan unilaterally cancelled a transit expansion project that Baltimore had been planning for a decade, transferring the state’s promised investment to road projects in more rural parts of the state.

Governor Larry Hogan canceled Baltimore's Red Line in June. Now civil rights groups are suing. Image: Railfanguides
Governor Larry Hogan canceled Baltimore’s Red Line in June. Now civil rights groups are challenging him. Image: Railfanguides

Now a coalition of civil rights groups is challenging the decision on civil rights grounds, saying it amounts to discrimination against Baltimore’s black residents. The Baltimore Sun reports that the Baltimore NAACP, the ACLU of Maryland, and the Baltimore Regional Initiative Developing Genuine Equality (BRIDGE) will file a complaint against the governor with U.S. DOT under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Hogan’s decision to cancel the $2.9 billion Red Line light rail project came after months of evasiveness. The city had spent $230 million planning the 14-mile line and about $900 million in federal funding had been committed. Hogan has since proposed a $135 million system of busways as a substitute.

Legal challenges of this type are rare but not without precedent. The city of Milwaukee prevailed in a similar case in the 1990s, when governor Tommy Thompson cancelled a rail project in the city while proceeding with highway projects elsewhere. As a result of the case, the state was ordered to fund a transit project in the city. That agreement is the reason Milwaukee has been able to proceed with its streetcar plans without interference from Governor Scott “No Train” Walker.

  • Walter Crunch

    You would think…after all that has happened in Baltimore…you know…

    well..that requires intelligence.

  • hoganmaps

    Right after he canceled this project, he tweeted out the money would go to highway projects all over the state. None of that money was spent on transportation in the city (a county level equivalent in this state). He included a map and said that ‘every county was going to benefit’ from the re-appropriation of funds and managed to remove the city from the map. http://www.trbimg.com/img-558c98e6/turbine/bal-hogan-transportation-map-cuts-baltimore-out-of-maryland-20150625

  • bolwerk

    Fiscally conservative = spend more to get less. Project flaws aside, that is what every rail cancellation by RWA governors has resulted in.

  • Jonny5

    Why the hell do the blacks in Baltimore scream racism over everything, it is a positively proven fact that it will not bring blacks looking for jobs, but higher crime. I don’t. Want the sewer of Baltimore spread, what goes on in that city is the same as a plague.

  • neroden

    When it’s racism, you might as well call it racism. This is pretty blatantly racism, as documented in the article and the previous comments.

    The problem with Baltimore is the same as in most cities: lead poisoning.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

    Pretty much proven at this point; the results are stronger than any I’ve ever seen in the whole of the social sciences.

  • DayleDiamond

    I checked his profile, and this guy’s got a long history of jumping into any forum posts involving African-Americans and leaving racist comments. He keeps himself anonymous for a reason. Don’t feed the troll.

  • neroden

    That’s basically inviting a discrimination lawsuit by doing exactly what happened in Milwaukee (where the discrimination lawsuit was successful). If he’d been smart, he would have kept a pot of money for Baltimore.

    But since Reagan was elected, nobody has ever accused Republican elected officials of being smart.

  • Another notable and successful case is Bus Riders Union v. MTA from the 1990s in Los Angeles.

  • Jonny5

    You are the rascist one, keeping these people sheltered in their ignorance and not holding them to the standard, and consequences of their actions. By allowing this behavior to continue the way it has will only find more people on my side then yours. The behavior of the inner city is unacceptable, these people are not trapped, the whole public transportation system is constructed around it, there is plenty of ways to free themselves of their self made oppression. Every bus line, subway, and light rail, begins, gos through, and ends all in these neighborhoods, and extends through out all adjoining counties. There are no rascist reasons for not building this red line, and the fact that the only reason these people can find for any argument is racism, is rascist in it’s self. So please stop and think in your infinite wisdom, are you just a parrot and puppet? Or somebody with reason?

  • DayleDiamond

    Looks like the troll didn’t like that I checked its comment history.

  • Jonny5

    I really don’t care, judging by your response you belong down in the inner city. Let’s see how long you make with those peace loving people, then let’s see who the troll is….LMAO

  • ConsciouBlkMAN

    He should have lost his governorship and been jailed for using money for another project.

  • Nightowl2548

    Let’s see what the bus line brought out to the company I work through the temp service “Express” which they ought to rename “Ex-conns” A convicted carjacker, a guy with convictions for crack and a stolen gun, a fellow who showed up drunk to drive a forklift, a schizophrenic, oh yes I almost forgot the guy who did 17 years for molesting a little boy. Yes, there seems to be a trend that those who can’t afford a car tend to have other undesirable dysfunctions in their character. I can see why they don’t want a convict express straight to the places that are still tranquil. (and exactly why the left DOES want such a subversive policy!)