A proposal by Metro officials to excavate a subway tunnel for a section of the long-delayed Green Line in Northeast Washington was supported last night by District officials and some community leaders, but opposed by other neighborhood residents.
Advocates described the plan as a compromise that would reduce construction costs and prevent major disruption in the community. Opponents contended that the proposed tunnel under South Dakota Avenue east of the Fort Totten rail station would result in noise, traffic congestion and other problems.
"We've been totally ignored," said Everett W. Scott, a longtime opponent of Metro's proposals, during a hearing attended by more than 200 residents at Backus Junior High School on South Dakota Avenue NE. Scott charged that the plan was being "put down the throats" of local residents for the benefit of suburban commuters.
The proposal, drawn up earlier this year, was aimed at settling a dispute on construction of the Green Line between Northeast Washington and Prince George's County since the 1970s. Metro's board of directors is expected to vote on the issue soon.
An earlier Metro proposal for elevated tracks across South Dakota Avenue was bitterly opposed by community residents. Under the new plan, the section of the rail line near Fort Totten would be underground, but critics have argued that the tunnel would not be deep enough to curtail noise, vibration and other problems.
John Drayson, a District mass transit official, hailed the recent proposal as a "significant departure" and said: "The trains will not be visible along this route, and there will be no impact from noise or vibration during the operational phase."
Kathryn A. Pearson-West, a leader of the North Michigan Park Civic Association, described the Metro proposal as "a workable alternative." Leaders of the Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association opposed the plan. An Advisory Neighborhood Commission official supported it.