A little after 7 a.m. the parking lot at the Lutherville light rail station was about a third full. As southbound passengers gathered on the platform, no one admitted being a refugee from the Jones Falls Expressway follies. "I always avoid the JFX and never drive. I'm normally on the 7:44 train, which I just missed," said Jackie Brown, with a laugh, who is in IT at the University of Maryland Medical Center in downtown Baltimore. Cleveland Horton, a supervisor with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, is another daily commuter from Lutherville. "I drive once in a while but I take light rail to save money," he said. Nadia Pavlova, a benefits analyst, is another who also drives occasionally. "It's about the cost of gas. Light rail is cheaper," she said. There was plenty of room aboard the cars — in fact, seats for all. At the Falls Road, Mount Washington, Cold Spring Lane, Woodberry and North Avenue stations, crowds were normal. Riders got a glimpse of the southbound JFX congestion that started to backup between Northern Parkway and Cold Spring Lane, and were no doubt glad they were gliding along unimpeded toward work and school or whatever else they had planned for a warm spring Monday. Waiting for the northbound 8:27 a.m. train at North Avenue was Cassie Evans, a mortgage banker, who lives in Columbia and works at the West Town Savings Bank in Timonium. "I leave the MTA's Columbia Park and Ride at 6 a.m., get here, and then get the train to Lutherville, where I board another bus for the ride to work," said Evans. "It's a nice ride and its quiet." As the train rumbled northward a little after 8:30 a.m., the JFX was locked up but moving, if ever so slowly. Stopping briefly at the Falls Road stop, a look out the window at 8:38 a.m., revealed again, plenty of parking spaces available, even this late in the commuting cycle.
—Frederick N. Rasmussen
Gene Sweeney Jr., Baltimore Sun
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