Metro's proposal to build the southern leg of the Green Line subway along a route passing St. Elizabeths Hospital was endorsed by most of about 25 persons who testified last night at a hearing in Southeast Washington. Under the proposal, the route would terminate at Rosecroft Raceway in southern Prince George's County.
The hearing, attended by about 200 citizens, transit officials and city politicians, was the first public step toward restarting work on the Green Line, designed to serve and revitalize the inner city. The project was stopped on orders of a U.S. judge three months ago.
The judge ruled that Metro made procedural errors several years ago when it changed the rail system's 1968 master plan, which has the Green Line running along Suitland Parkway to a terminus near Branch Avenue and the Capital Beltway in Prince George's. The judge ordered Metro to follow the original plan or hold hearings and rethink its decision.
Many witnesses at last night's hearing at Birney Elementary School in Anacostia complained of the delays in building the Green Line, which after years of law suits, civic battles over alignment and funding crises remains largely unfinished.
"In this area of Southeast, it seems we've been all but forgotten when it comes to public services," said Absalom Jordan of the Black United Front. "Get on with the business of giving us the F line," said private citizen Theresa Jones, calling the segment by its engineering name.
Attorney David Cox, one of the few witnesses who spoke in favor of the Branch Avenue terminus, said that route had been abandoned "for pure political reasons." Cox said he represents owners of small businesses in Anacostia who oppose the Rosecroft alignment.
Hearings will be conducted tonight in Prince George's County. They will begin at 7:30 p.m. at G. Gardner Shugart Junior High School at Callaway Street and 21st Avenue, Hillcrest Heights.