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O'Malley Will Back Light Rail for Purple Line


Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to endorse a light rail line over bus rapid transit with his announcement Tuesday that Maryland will pursue federal transit money to build a Purple Line linking Prince George's and Montgomery counties.

His administration will apply for funding for the 16-mile line as well as a 14-mile Red Line through Baltimore, two long-awaited projects that have been in the planning stages for years.

O'Malley has scheduled a whistle-stop train tour befitting both announcements: He'll hold an 8:30 a.m. press conference with state and local officials at the New Carrollton Metro Station,the proposed eastern terminus for the Purple Line, then board a Baltimore-bound MARC train at 9:30 and travel to the West Baltimore station. When the train arrives at 10:14 a.m, he'll make his Red Line announcement.

Political support for both projects is behind light rail, although they face local opposition because they would run along local streets and not underground. The Purple Line would run along a popular wooded trail in Chevy Chase and through the golf course of the Columbia Country Club.

Both lines are expected to get a boost from the No. 2 official at the U.S. Department of Transportation. John D. Porcari championed both when he was O'Malley's transportation secretary. Competition for federal money still will be tough, though.

By Lisa Rein  |  August 3, 2009; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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"The Purple Line would run along a popular wooded trail in Chevy Chase and through the golf course of a country club in Columbia."

How does the Purple Line pass through Columbia on its way from Bethesda to New Carrollton?

Posted by: Epigon | August 3, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I think there is a problem in this article with the sentence that reads, "The Purple Line would run along a popular wooded trail in Chevy Chase and through the golf course of a country club in Columbia." The maps of the Purple Line show that it does not go through Columbia, but stays entirely in P.G. and Montgomery counties.

Posted by: David40 | August 3, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Probably meant Columbia country club that is in Bethesda.

Posted by: trey | August 3, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Earlier alignments, still on the books, would destroy homes in Silver Spring for the trackbed. A more recent route would run along Wayne Ave., which is already a miserable road for peds to cross.
Transportation System Management (TSM) is one of the Purple Line options, and the only way to go. It would improve existing bus service. Rail brings threats of rezoning, which would destroy even more small-scale communities and big, old trees.

Posted by: catbird500 | August 3, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I am just SICK TO DEATH of hearing people b1tch & moan a/b how the purple line will destoy a tree or cross someone's back yard. These are the SAME EXACT PEOPLE who complain about traffic & carbon emissions from cars.

The purple line is a D.C. COMMUNITY necessity! Thankfully, despite the recession, jobs still exist in the area, so it contiues to grow. But, continued rising housing prices coupled with inner-city school deterioration makes it necessary to live outside the city, where the jobs are located.

Until, the government offers financial assitance to move into the city so that people who want to live there, but cannot afford to, can relocate & cleans up the schools so that the people who can afford to live there want to, commuting will continue to be a reality of the area whether we like it, or not.

A bus system is NOT a viable option!!! Buses already exist, & they are not working, for a whole variety of reasons. It is NOT FAIR to place the personal demands of a few ahead of the needs of a region.

For God's sake - get over yourselves & let the rest of us get to work in a comfortale, more environmentally sound & timely manner!

Posted by: marnie4bama | August 3, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Marnie. NIMBY people are one of the big reasons why the transportation infrastructure in the DC area is horrible. Just look at I-66 inside the beltway. Just because a bunch of people in Arlington decided to complain and moan in the 1970s, the only major highway heading into the capital of the United States of America is only 2 lanes in each direction. What an embarrassment.

Posted by: FairfaxIsBlue | August 3, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

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