I am growing particularly tired of hearing the complaints from readers who reside inside the Beltway and walk to the bus or Metro about people who commute to the District alone. I live in the great transportation vacuum known as southern Maryland, where you either drive to work alone or leave at 4:00 a.m. to take advantage of the few van pools that serve this area. My experience has been that there will be no public transportation available to people who live south of Rte. 50 and east of the Potomac until the mythical Green Line comes into existence. If, however, the parking facilities for the Green Line are patterned after Addison Road, it will not do much to alleviate the situation. What is really needed is a light-rail system to tie Maryland to the District.
Having seen the rail system of Chicago and its suburbs in action, I think that Maryland would do well to copy it. When the subway trains get away from downtown, they travel to the suburbs above ground as light rail, along the wide medians of the major roads. Just imagine the Orange Line continuing past New Carrollton along the median of Rte. 50 to Annapolis, the Green Line emerging at Suitland to follow the Suitland Parkway to Rte. 4 and on down to Solomons, while a spur runs from Prince Frederick through Annapolis on up to Baltimore. With that system, one could get to D.C. from virtually anywhere in the eastern part of Maryland without ever having to fight traffic, look for a parking place or worry about which bridge is flowing smoothly.
I know, as a commuter, that if the drivers on Rte. 4 and the Suitland Parkway could be persuaded to use Metro, such an operation would be profitable. This is an idea whose time has come; it needs some champions among the legislators, both federal and state, who represent the Marylanders who would benefit from it.
R. T. JONES Lexington Park