Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Purple Line does nothing for BRAC

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It is often tough to understand government behavior but I am particularly puzzled watching local and state officials scramble for funds to accommodate the huge influx of residents and commuters we will see from Base Realignment and Closure, while at the same time (those same officials) pushing forward a very expensive light rail system that will do nothing to serve this new influx of traffic.

Because the Purple Line was planned before BRAC, it was not designed to accommodate the flood of new employees, patients and visitors that will result from the consolidation of services at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

If we spend $2 billion of our tax dollars on a system that will largely be used for those already using transit (the stated purpose of the Purple Line), how will we fund traffic relief in this highly congested area? It is critical to explore alternative plans that provide the infrastructure to support BRAC and possibly qualify for additional federal government support.

Who wants to spend $2 billion on a light rail that’s already out of date?

Geoffrey J. Gonella, Kensington