The May 8 Metro article “Federal planners sow doubts about maglev” said that “planners who oversee development on federal property” question the “viability and benefits of a high-speed train line between Washington and Baltimore.” Greenbelt stands to lose wooded trails, marshy areas, forests, the youth league playing field and an observatory. Acres of trees and green space would be converted to an asphalt and concrete wasteland crossed by fencing, punctuated by huge ventilation towers and dominated by the train’s exit from its underground tunnel into what was once our North Woods.

The destruction of this valuable green space would represent a devastating loss to Greenbelt and Maryland. These woods filter out pollution, serve as natural noise barriers and are home to native plant and animal life. They are also a place of retreat and calm that improves a community’s overall health. 

Because the communities that would be most impacted by construction of the superconducting magnetic levitation train will suffer from loss of greenways, noise and the chaos of construction and because many of these communities consists of minority populations, this train is another example of systemic racial environmental injustice. The seven-year building plan would bring jobs that will end, but the environmental and community damage would be permanent.

Why pay top dollar for a 15-minute ride to Baltimore when teleconferencing does the job faster and for less money? Certainly this is a lesson of our pandemic world.

The only option for this debacle is the “no build” option.

John Campanile and Lynn Poirier, Greenbelt