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MTA provided ridership and travel time data at their first public meeting. For light rail, 47,000 riders per each weekday were projected to use the Purple Line. Travel time between Bethesda and Silver Spring was only 9 minutes. It takes almost that much time to park a car in Bethesda!

It is past time to finish the trail and trolley between our two down county downtowns.

"Save the Trail" advocates claim to promote the interests of those who use the Interim CCT 10,000 times each week. But if they want to play a numbers game, we should note that 47,000 transit uses per day is over 4 times as many transit uses in one day than there are trail uses in a whole week.

And trail use numbers will grow too. When the Purple Line and CCT are finished into Silver Spring, we will find more than one new trail user from the S.S. neighborhoods, from downtown S.S., or coming from the MetBranch Trail that are now connected to the CCT to replace every Chevy Chase trail user who no longer wants to use the trail because there are not as many trees at their end.

This is something to consider the next time someone throws out the "10,000 trail uses a week" number as a reason to not build the Purple Line.

Trail and Rail Guy says:

Travel time between Bethesda and Silver Spring was only 9 minutes.

How fast are the trains going to be running on this stretch?

One of the MTA representatives said at a spring focus group meeting at Bethesda that they expected to run at 40-45 mph in this area. That fits the math. Running at 45 mph between stops, and allowing about 1 1/2 minutes at each of the three stops in this stretch to stop, board, and accelerate will take just under 9 minutes to go the 4 1/2 miles.

Is this true?

The low and mid-cost Purple Line options DO NOT ROUTE THE TRAIL THROUGH THE TUNNEL.
Trail users would be routed on Bethesda Avenue and traveling across Wisconsin Avenue!

Last I heard the trail would run through the south side of the tunnel.


But if you've heard otherwise it'd be great to see a link or something. Where did you hear that?

The low and medium cost LRT options do not have the trail in the tunnel, as now configured by MTA. The high cost option does.

The chief difference in cost between the low and high cost options is not the trail in the tunnel, but is driven chiefly by whether there are deep bore tunnels in East Silver Spring and at U. Md. campus, and also whether the Purple Line crosses major highways like Conn. Ave. and 16th Street at-grade or on a different level.

I believe we can get the trail put into the tunnel for all of the LRT options as the project goes forward. The trail in the tunnel has a high political value that outweighs any additional cost for transit advocates, and they likely will join with cycling advocates to push having the trail in the tunnel.


Who is going to push to make sure the trail remains in the tunnel when the light rail advocates seem pretty apathetic to the trail running through the tunnel (and off Wisconsin Ave.).

"One factual correction. It's incorrect to refer to the route along Bethesda Avenue as a detour. The Master Plan shows two routes for the trail through downtown Bethesda, one through the tunnel and the other along Bethesda Avenue and Willow Avenue. They both have pluses and minuses, which there's no need to get into here.

Posted by: Ben Ross | July 29, 2007 at 10:27 AM "


What do you say? I saw you hanging out with Ben Ross at the BCC version of the Purple Line Propaganda Tour. Will you and your friends push to make sure that the trail continues to run through the tunnel. Are you pretty much indifferent as long as your beloved Light Rail is installed.


I have spoken to Webb Smedley and Harry Sanders (Chairman and President of Purple Line Now) and they have both assured me that MTA's decision to not include the CCT in the Bethesda Tunnel in the Low and Medium Cost light-rail options does not reflect Purple Line Now's position. Webb Smedley has already taken this up with MTA (Mike Madden) urging them to put the trail back in the tunnel in the lower cost options.

I continue to support CCCT as one of their most active Board Members, and will support CCCT's continued strong advocacy for the trail in the tunnel.

I make no apologies for believing that transit and the CCT can work well together if transit is built right. I reject your inference that I am somehow disloyal to the CCT or to cyclists if I speak to transit advocates like Ben Ross.

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