In a recently released 15-page report, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) detailed the disadvantages of constructing a Purple Line tunnel along Wayne Avenue between two Silver Spring stations, giving credence to a unanimous Montgomery County Council vote held in January that indicated local preference for a light-rail system. Distraught local residents criticized the one-sidedness of the report, which offered an incomplete evaluation of the drawbacks to a surface road option, at a May 20 meeting held at Oak View Elementary School. Community members advocating for the tunnel option have voiced many legitimate arguments – chief among them, the inevitable congestion that will plague Wayne if the surface option is adopted – but the above-ground trolley system is more cost-effective and will confer greater benefits on the community as a whole.The above-ground light-investment rail, endorsed by the County Council, County Planning Board and County Executive Ike Leggett, is one of several options under consideration for the construction of the 16-mile transit line connecting Bethesda to New Carrollton. The bus rapid transit option has all but been dismissed, as light-rail alternatives can better accommodate the projected magnitude of ridership. Community members are debating the construction of a tunnel system versus above-ground rail on Wayne Avenue and the viability of a single-rail system, which would reduce the harmful environment impact of constructing a multiple-rail system at the cost of speed. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley will make the final decision this June, when a proposal will be submitted for federal funding.
Lauren Kestner. Lauren Kestner loves Trader Joe's chocolates, cheesy television soap operas, summer trips to Lake Anna, coffee ice cream from Coldstone Creamery, hikes at Northwest Branch and shopping at Heritage. Playing soccer for Blair or her MSC club team and running at the gym consumes much … More »