Keeping it in balance.
I began this blog nearly a year ago with these comments in the first post:
“Either building the Purple Line in order to complete the Capital Crescent Trail into Silver Spring or not building the Purple Line in order to save some of the park character of the Capital Crescent Trail in Chevy Chase would be having the tail wag the dog.”
We trail users are rightly critical of neighborhood groups and of the Columbia Country Club when they put their own very narrow self interests ahead of all else. Just up the Pike has reported that some residents of the Town of Chevy Chase are very critical of their Town’s efforts to obstruct the Purple Line. But trail users can also lose sight of the larger public interest if they place the trail ahead of all else.
The Interim Trail has 10,000 uses each week, but the Purple Line ridership will be more than 30 times higher than the trail use with over 60,000 boardings each work day or over 300,000 boardings each work week. The trail is a very important issue for us. It will be an important part of the Purple Line. But nonetheless it is only one of several important issues that must be considered in the Purple Line decision, and the public has a right to expect trail users to make reasonable accommodation for the public good.
The previous four articles of this series outline reasons why I believe the Purple Line medium or high investment LRT will be most compatible with the trail, and why BRT on JBR is a poor substitute for the quality transit that we need. I believe the Purple Line LRT is the most effective and attractive transit system that we can realistically afford anytime soon for this area. Your views on our transit needs and how the Purple Line will impact your own community may cause you to reach a different conclusion. But all of us can agree with the sentiment Councilmember Berliner expressed in his December Berliner Brief:
“…if the trail is going to be compromised, it should only be for a truly first class transit system, worthy of the investment and the sacrifice that will be required.”