Best Lost Cause

We here at Baltimore's most underdog-lovingest weekly are patron saints of lost causes. Just look at our political endorsements over the years. Keiffer Mitchell Jr. for Mayor? Michael Sarbanes or Nathan Irby Jr. for City Council President? That crazy Brit lawyer Anton Keating for, well, anything? You get the picture: we often get behind stuff we like, regardless of its chances of success. And we really, really like the MTA's proposed Red Line, a 14-mile transit route that would connect Woodlawn, in the west, to the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus, in the east, cutting straight through Baltimore's downtown. It would be awesome. It would be smart. It would make life much, much better for many, many people. We just don't believe it's really ever going to happen-and certainly not by 2021, the current goal for it to begin operation. The reason for our doubts: the estimated $2.1 billion price tag-or $150 million per mile-split 50-50 between Maryland and the federal government. Even if Obama is re-elected, the likelihood of the Feds kicking more than a billion dollars into a 14-mile transit line in Baltimore seems very, very remote. We stand a better chance of getting a monorail suspended over the Inner Harbor, a killer series of separated bike lanes covering the city, and a new fleet of electric buses, operating on much-expanded lines, running on time-any of which could be our "Best Lost Causes" in the years to come.

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