Finish the Trail (FtT) has a great series of posts about the Save the Trail petition. Save the Trail represents people who oppose running light rail on the western portion of the Georgetown Branch Trail right-of-way. They have a petition with "more than 18,000 signatures", but FtTl makes the point that this may not really represent a groundswell of opposition.
First, some basic petition history:
3) The petition has been presented repeatedly on the trail over the last seven (7) years. How many visitors to the trail have signed more than once, thinking the more recent presentations of the same petition were a new and different petition?
4) The majority of the petition signatures were collected long before the major features of the Purple Line/trail project were known.
FtT shows that they're misrepresenting the tunnel design that MTA is proposing, what the tail tracks will look like in Bethesda, what the trail will look like and how much green space will be lost to the people they get to sign the petition. They also discuss the hyper-local nature of the Save the Trail movement and they're criticism of WABA. Pam Browning says:
Hmm, no. WABA loves children. WABA wants to see the trail completed. You can see WABA's position here.
If you're thinking that the petition is a pretty strong case for not building light rail, and opponents like to hold it up every time they can, the series is a good read.