Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Users of the Capital Crescent Trail disagree on what should go through the Bethesda tunnel: the Purple Line or the trail.
For more on the Purple Line, check out our series. Speak out: Do you think the Purple Line or the trail should run through the Bethesda tunnel?
State funding hurting from gas tax rejection. Future federal funding uncertain until 2015.
The Purple Line, the proposed 16-mile light rail transit system extending from New Carrollton to Bethesda, could be missing one vital component for its progression: funding. With the Maryland budget in crisis and a congressional stalemate over highway funding, the Purple Line’s construction could be pushed back, although several officials interviewed about the project would not predict how long the delay might be. The federal government approved preliminary engineering for the project in October, qualifying it for funding through New Starts, a federal program for new transit projects such as the Purple Line, bringing it a significant step closer to construction. From there, cost estimates and construction schedules could be fine-tuned …
Critics say line will hurt; others disagree.
Nora Levy-Forsythe jogs the Bethesda segment of a 13-mile nature trail that links Georgetown to Silver Spring almost every day when home from college. But, as construction of the $1.93 billion Purple Line threatens to plow through several miles of the Capital Crescent Trail, Levy-Forsythe said she would give up this oasis of nature. And it’s not just the trail—19 acres of forest and more than 5,000 feet of streams may be demolished when the Purple Line is built, according to environmental impact documents the Maryland Transit Administration drafted in 2008. “I’m totally for more public transportation,” Levy-Forsythe said. “If it means less SUVs in this neighborhood, less big cars, less any cars really, I’m fine with it.” MTA officials …