Purple Line Pros and Cons

Friday, July 18, 2008

The headline of the July 13 Metro article "Purple Line Foes Offer No Ideas, and No Names" was misleading, as was the article.

The purported subject of the story was a Web site that criticized Maryland's plan to build a 16-mile light-rail transit link between Bethesda and New Carrollton.

The "news" was that this Web site was registered anonymously and that its founder is a member of Columbia Country Club, whose golf course would be disturbed by the rail line. But this Web site is associated with just one of many coalitions that concerned citizens have developed to disseminate information about the negative effects of building the Purple rail line and to provide information on alternatives, such as a bus rapid transit system, that would cost less, serve more people, take more cars off the road and be less environmentally harmful than the Purple Line would be.

There are 23,000 weekly Capital Crescent Trail users, many of whom use the trail to travel to and from work and do not want the trail destroyed by the rail line. In addition, thousands of county residents who, like me, are commuters and trail users but are not members of Columbia Country Club vigorously oppose the Purple Line -- and their reasons have nothing to do with what the line will do to a golf course.


Chevy Chase

I thought your readers might like to know that opposition to placing the Purple Line on the Capital Crescent Trail is broad-based [Metro, July 13]. Eighteen community organizations and municipalities formed Rethinking the Purple Line after a May 31 event, attended by more than 400 people, to support protecting the Capital Crescent Trail. Thousands of people have written to the governor or signed petitions to protect this valued park.

The Town of Chevy Chase has argued that the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) needs to take a fair look at the route that would go to Bethesda via the expanding National Naval Medical Center. Why do both MTA and the Action Committee for Transit oppose an option that would carry more passengers at a substantially lower cost than a rail service on the trail would?

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