Time for Plan B on the Purple Line

April 14, 2013

Once again, Maryland is considering how to pay its share of the cost of the Purple Line [“Input on light rail sought by Md.,” Metro, April 12]. Perhaps the time is right for the state to concede that the route selected is too expensive and environmentally damaging and does not serve important employment centers.

By moving the line from the portion of the Capital Crescent Trail west of Jones Mill Road to reach downtown Bethesda via Jones Bridge Road and Woodmont Avenue, the state would preserve the trail, save millions by eliminating the need to shore up buildings on Wisconsin Avenue and squeeze the line through a confined tunnel. The line would directly serve thousands of workers at the National Institutes of Health, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. While the few residents of the already wide Jones Bridge Road route undoubtedly would prefer the Purple Line to follow the existing plan, the benefits of moving the route are clear. What will it take for the state to concede its costly error?

Alan Neuschatz, Bethesda

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