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One quote in the Gazette article can lead to confusion about building the above ground trail route:
"If those problems can't be solved, one option would be to build the bike path above ground, said Gary Erenrich"

An above ground off-road route along the north side of Bethesda Ave., Willow Street, 47th Street and through the Elm Street Park has been in the Bethesda area master plan for over 10 years. The Bethesda Bikeways Project has this route scheduled to be built with construction to begin in 2014. This route is intended to be an additional route to the trail in the tunnel, regardless of the Purple Line.
It is not conditional on the trail in the tunnel, as the Gazette quote appears to imply.
Of course logic would suggest that if the CCT does not remain in the tunnel, then this surface route design should be evaluated for a possible upgrade (i.e. a little wider) since it will become the primary CCT route instead of an alternative, additional route.

Sounds alot like the ICC boondogle, where the bike path went from a central feature to a disconnected afterthought

Think a little echoes my over-riding concern about the Purple Line: that the existing bike infrastructure will be taken over for the trains, and then not replaced because it is too expensive, forcing cyclists onto East-West Highway etc.

SJE, to some extent that is impossible. Because the land was acquired by railbanking, it has to include a trail. Maybe the can move it off for one block, but the more they exclude the trail, the more they open themselves up to a lawsuit they probably will not win.

Washcycle: in theory, yes. However, I can readily imagine a judge who would be willing to modify it provided that "reasonable accomodations" were made. With the resources of the county vs cyclists, I would favor the county getting what it wants.

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