It was sad to see the Sept. 13 front-page headline "Potter's Victory Could Threaten Major Projects." I had not paid much attention to the election and was somewhat put off by Mr. Kramer's apparent insouciance. However, I changed my opinion when I learned that he supported the light-rail trolley between Silver Spring and Bethesda. Then I supported Mr. Kramer.
From an engineering standpoint and based on my experience on public transportation committees, I felt that any public transit system that looked much like the spokes of a wheel would eventually need a "rim" to provide efficient transportation. The Silver Spring-to-Bethesda route is a perfect example of this need. The high load of traffic on East-West Highway and the high accident rate on this route seem to indicate a need for this link.
While I have sympathy for people who live near the track (and did when the train was operating), most of the opposition to the trolley seems to be based on class attitudes and veiled racism. To crudely sum up the attitude up one might say: "Only poor people need mass transit, so if we keep mass transit out we will keep out the poor. If they don't drive a Mercedes or have a Gold Card to flash, keep them out." Of course many will not agree, and they probably have more enlightened reasons for opposing the trolley. But I still wonder.
I will be sad if we do not get a trolley. Until we get it there will be more subsidized road construction -- which will probably be more expensive than the trolley. There will probably be more accidents and deaths on the highways. More people will spend more time in cars. And if the decision to build the trolley is postponed, it will cost much more than it would to build it now, because of inflated costs.
I was a resident of the District when the major push was to remove trolley tracks from streets of the city, and now I think people could use them. I do hope that Bethesda, which is quite a nice place to live, is not so shortsighted and insensitive. GARY E. MASTERS Bethesda