They can share the road!

Residents of Woodside held a meeting about the future CCT on March 8. Representatives were present from MTA, MNCPPC, MCDOT, and the office of Councilmembers Elrich and Ervin to answer questions from the community. Much of the discussion is summarized in the Gazette online article Woodside community discusses Capital Crescent Trail.

Some trail opponents were requesting a detailed analysis of the economic benefit of the part of the trail along Woodside. The inference appeared to be (at least to me) that if this part of the trail is not cost effective, then it should be eliminated or moved. One trail opponent asserted the trail should be moved to Second Avenue. When I pointed out that an off-road trail could not fit along Second Avenue, the response was “They can share the Road!”.

Georgetown Branch Trail crossing of 16th Street

Georgetown Branch Trail crossing of 16th Street -
This is what sharing the road looks like.

Mike Madden of MTA made the obvious point that the CCT is planned to be part of a regional trail network, and you can’t take away a segment here or there without destroying the whole. He also said as reported in the Gazette: “I don’t know how you would economically justify a trail,” Madden said. “It’s like trying to justify a park.”

I found it interesting that one of the strongest trail opponents was demanding a detailed economic analysis to justify the Trail while also expressing concern that funding for the trail might compete for funds with the new Silver Spring Library. I’m not aware that the library has ever had a detailed analysis of its economic benefit compared to its cost, and doubt that is realistic to do. I strongly support the library. I don’t support a double standard that requires an unrealistic economic analysis and justification for trails but not for parks or libraries.

Aside from the unrealistic demand for a detailed trail economic analysis and justification, I believe the concerns expressed by residents were either addressed at the meeting or will be addressed in future meetings as the design of the Purple Line and Trail moves forward. The majority of Woodside residents will continue to support the trail. They understand that any trail along Second Avenue will always be a fake trail.

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3 Responses to “They can share the road!”

  1. Bravo, Wayne! —- and as you note elsewhere, public education is another good example (in addition to trails, libraries, parks, …) of something that we know is a huge long-term win but is hard to justify based on short-sighted immediate economic impact …

  2. David J says:

    We need trails sooner rather than later. Gasoline prices will be much much higher by 2015.

  3. Steve Mohr says:

    Excellent point on the library. How can you require economic impact on a park any more than on a library? When you put the question that way, it makes their point absurd. My main transit routes include CCT, beach drive, Sligo Creek Parkway.

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