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A link to Finish the Trail in the article would be helpful. I grabbed this one from your sidebar.

I signed that stupid petition back in 2002. Their pitch back then was that the next step was that the Purple Line would then route down the existing CCT to Georgetown. I was ignorant, last time i ever sign a petition before I know all the facts.

If there was ever a classic definition of NIMBY, that would be the "Save the Trail" folks...

If you are like "gibbo" above and now regret having signed the petition years ago, you can send a quick email to the governor at [email protected] to let him know.

The petition is being pressed upon the governor now to try to get him to ignore the unanimous votes by the Mont. Co. and P.G. County Councils for the Purple Line. He needs to know the petition signatures are not all they appear to be.

Please see the Petition Website and see the photos of all the trees that will be cut down.


This is not an exaggeration. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is very clear that the shade trees in the right of way will be destroyed and not replaced.

Bring a measuring tape with you on your Trail rides and measure 66', (33' from the center of the Trail on both sides).

See for yourselves how Massive and Destructive the earth moving will be. The berm is only 12' wide, afterall.

You don't have to believe me -- believe your own eyes!

While there are some places where the right of way is wider, such as the Columbia Country Club, that does not change the fact that the current trail and the surrounding trees will be bulldozed.

Please keep in mind that the DEIS also says that the trail CAN be extended into Silver Spring WITHOUT the light rail on the Trail.

So we can save the Trail, at least between Bethesda and Rock Creek Park, and extend it too.

Also, keep in mind that BRT on Jones Bridge Road and from Rock Creek Park to Silver Spring can be clean -- it does not have to be dirty -- these are scare tactics that are being used to stifle the BRT discussion that should be taking place on websites that truly promote biking for families.

Why are these websites trying to stifle discussion -- I don't know. They seem to be sponsors for light rail and overhead catenary wires, which don't co-exist well with trails and trees.

You can't have tree limbs and wires together.

Fair enough Pam, a lot of trees will be cut down. The question is, is it worth it? Is it worth the loss of trees - some of which will be replanted - and a large payment of money for a better trail and better transit. Other questions include:

1. How will we build the trail without transit? Where will the money and political will come from? How will we get over Connecticut Avenue? How will we cross Jones Mill Road? Can you explain to me what Save the Trail has done to complete the trail? Who have you written asking them to complete the trail? Where have you spoken up for a complete trail? How have you advocated for a complete trail?

2. If we build BRT, how many trees will be cut down? Are those trees worse than the ones you want to save? How much pavement will be laid instead of grass? Is that greener? Why is it OK to make the trail east of Rock Creek Park less green to make the part West of Rock Creek more green?

3. How do you answer the accusations of FinishtheTrail that you are using old signatures, repeat signatures and signatures you got through deception? How do you respond to the accusation that save the trail misrepresented pictures it drew as those of MTA?

I'll grant you that a lot of trees will be cut down. In fact how ever many you think it is, I'll say it's really twice that. But that doesn't change ALL of the other facts here.

The plan to take the Trail into Silver Spring even if the Purple Line is BRT on Jones Bridge Road -- is not my invention -- it is MTA's plan.

According to MTA's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (p. ES 2), "Low Investment BRT would only operate on the Georgetown Branch right of way east of Jones Mill Road, and would INCLUDE construction of the trail from that point east to the Silver Spring Transit Center."

Not only can we extend the Trail into Silver Spring AND save the trees and Trail between Bethesda and Rock Creek Park, we won't have the Trail CLOSED betweeen Bethesda and Jones Bridge Road for YEARS of Purple Line construction -- if we have BRT on Jones Bridge Road instead of light rail on the Trail.

But you recognize that the BRT trail would be less safe and harder to use (though i would be more park-like) than the trail with LRT, because it would not go over Connecticut Avenue or under Jones Mill Road or be paved on the western section, right?

Montgomery County has to PAY for the cost of reconstruction of the Trail!

No one know where that money will come from, or if we will actually get a Trail after the light rail is built.

Just keep in mind the Trail that hasn't been built along the ICC....

The County will save a lot of money if it does not have to re-build the Trail and the Trestle.

There will be more money left for Trail improvements if the light rail is not built that if it is built.

Are we making the tail wag the dog here when we argue for BRT in order to get an arguable benefit to a small part of the CCT?
The Purple Line will be a 16 mile long transit system serving dozens of stations in two counties that will be used 62,000 times every day. The section of trail Pam Browning is talking about "saving" is a little less than 2 miles long with only 10,000 uses in an entire week.
Is it reasonable to expect the public to accept a compromise BRT transit system, with slower service and less capacity, instead of light rail, just because some trail users do not want to make any reasonable accommodation?
If you really believe buses running on Jones Mill Road is the best transit system, then by all means support BRT. But the differences for the CCT are not great enough to justify BRT when otherwise light rail is the better option.

Two points:

The number of riders being projected for the Purple Line are for 2030 -- that is more than 20 years from now.

The number of users of the Trail -- 10,000 a week -- was documented in 2006.

How many Trail uses will there twenty years from now if we can save this beautiful park-like Trail?

With all the urbanization that is going on in Bethesda and Silver Spring, and the loss of greenspace we are suffering -- the Trail will be exceedingly important in 2030, if we can save it.

Second point:

The BRT is more cost- effective than the light rail. For half the price, it carries almost as many riders.

With BRT there will be money left over for other important transit projects like Corridor Cities Transitway, etc.

Putting the money towards other much needed transit projects, and saving the trail, is a good investment.

There will be more trail users twenty years from now as a real trail with LRT than if we leave it as a primitive rail bed. The LRT plan will complete the trail all the way to Silver Spring. It will pave the entire travel. It will create two critical grade-separated crossings. It will create a greener trail than BRT on average. It will make the trail a complimentary transit tool for reaching light rail.

The only threat the trail needs to be "saved" from is a small but wealthy group of NIMBYs willing to distort the truth, literally throw their neighbors under the bus and kill the best chance to build a world class trail all for the goal of keeping their little private wooded space as their own little park.

Woah, I guess we are backtracking here. (I'll try to ignore the ugly trash talk and stick to the merits of the argument.)

The State's own Environmental Impact Statement says that Bus Rapid Transit on Jones Bridge Road will take the trail into the Silver Spring Transit Center.

So why do we need light rail to take us into the Transit Center? The answer is that we don't.

Now, the only thing that is holding up the paving of the Trail is that it is being held hostage to the light rail. It could have been paved long ago. The County hasn't paved it because it says we have to wait for the Purple Line.

Did you know that ACT doesn't want the Trail paved UNTIL we have the Purple Line -- regardless of how long that takes?

Did you know that the Action Committee for Transit opposed the opening of the Georgetown Trail, the opening of the Tunnel, and the reconstruction of the Trestle.

ACT wanted those things to wait until the light rail was built.

How do I know this?

I organized the Petition Drive to OPEN THE TUNNEL. I gathered 8,000 signatures to open the Tunnel. And ACT went around with its signs saying KEEP the TUNNEL CLOSED.

Yes, that's right. ACT has always wanted to hold the Trail hostage to the light rail.

The Trail doesn't have to be a primitive Trail bed. It can be developed and paved just as it has been between Bethesda and Georgetown. Paving is not a big deal.

A light rail is not necessary to finish this Trail, anymore than it was required to complete the Trail to Georgetown.

What do you say, light rail supporters? Shall we push to pave the Trail now? Or wait for at least 6 years until the Purple Line is built?

I don't know what ACT has done in the past or where they stand. This isn't about ACT.

I DO know that WABA and the CCCT led the fight to open the interim trail, open the tunnel (with CCCT putting in it's own money), repair and open the trestle and finish the trail into Silver Spring. I also know that you led a petition drive to get the tunnel opened, and for that we're all thankful.

Look, I think you genuinely care about the two miles of western trail. I think you really love those trees so much that you think there is no cause worth losing them for. But I think you're a bit blinded by all of that. You have at times (1) Stated that rail with trails was too dangerous, which isn't true (2) Supported underground metro for the purple line (3) Supported BRT for the purple line even though it would make for a worse trail and do more damage to the environment on the east side (the side you don't live near), and all because you don't seem to really care what does get built as long as the 2 miles in Chevy Chase remains unbuilt. It isn't "Save the Trail", it's "Save my Piece of Trail."

You're right, we don't need LRT to get to Silver Spring. BRT will do that too. Technically, you don't need either to get there, but in reality we need transit to finish the trail, because transit brings in the big hitters to get CSX to give the right of way. You'll agree that we need transit to get the last bit into Silver Spring?

Without LRT, the possibility of building a bridge over Conn and a tunnel under Jones Mill, just for the bike trail becomes very slim. Do you agree with that?

I'd love to see the trail paved now, but it doesn''t make sense to pave it only to tear it up in a couple of years when/if light rail goes in. So until something is built we've got an unpaved rail bed.

Washcycle, do you hear yourself? You accuse Pam Browning of being "blinded" and yet you would actually support a $1.6 billion dollar light rail just so you can complete the bike trail. "Until something is built" you've got a unpaved, but flat rail bed lined with beautiful trees . . . you will rue the day you pushed for your blistering hot, asphalt trail running next to and over trains. The biking community is no less tunnel visioned than those who seek to protect the trees on the trail. Pat Burda

Completing the bike trail is not the only reason to support light rail. But I've framed the question as to which is best for the trail. Of the four options (Heavy Metro rail in a tunnel, LRT, BRT or no build) one could reasonably disagree on whihc creates the best trail based on their own values.

But the one position that I think can't be defended is that BRT is the best. It doesn't preserve the tree canopy - the benefit of no build and maybe Metro - and it doesn't create a grade separated route. Save the trail is actively promoting the option that will create the worst trail of the options. Will I not "rue the day" if only 7 acres of trail is cleared and replaced with a two lane busway (instead of grass surrounded tracks) with emission spewing buses - which are certainly less safe than track bound trains?
And have you ever seen "Real Genius"?

I ride the Georgetown Branch Trail almost every day and I support the Purple Line. I think this is a classic public policy case: the status quo benefits a relatively small number of people who current use the trail. Building the Purple Line would reduce the enjoyment they get from this public good while increasing the benefit for a much much larger group of people who would use the transit line or the trail. It's a choice.

As for the trail, I have never seen trail opponents doing anything to help complete the trail into Silver Spring or to get it paved. It's a semi-private park with limited access points west of Bethesda. It doesn't connect to Silver Spring (check), there is little or no parking so people who don't live near it have limited access(check) and it's unpaved which keeps down the number of cyclists (check).

The goal of "Save the Trail" is summed up very nicely on their website, www.savethetrail.org, at the very top of their webpage in the banner. The left side photo shows two children on bikes with training wheels, on a narrow gravel trail, over the caption "The trail is family friendly: Let's keep it that way!"
Completing the trail or paving the trail is contrary to their goal of keeping this trail as a local neighborhood semi-private park.

Which brings us back to where we started this column, with my assertion, which is reinforced by this exchange, that
"The only reason I can see for a biking organization like WABA to support the CLOSING of the Trail for YEARS of Purple Line construction, and the needless destruction of all the trees and shade along the Trail, is that perhaps WABA cares only about high speed biking and is happy to create a Trail that will in effect remove walkers, families and children, nature lovers, dog walkers, and anyone who might slow them down.”

You can't think of any other reason? WABA (whom I should point out I don't speak for) supports a trail that serves as many users as sensible - that means recreational and transportational cyclists (though probably not cyclists doing 25 mph training rides) - as well as all the other groups you mention AND those in wheelchairs and roller bladers, etc...

I think you'll find plenty of walkers, families and children, nature lovers, dog walkers and people who slow cyclists down on the paved section of the CCT, the W&OD, the Mt Vernon etc...trails that have much higher use than the Interim Georgetown Branch. In fact the completed CCT will probably be less conducive to fast cycling once completed due to the increased popularity.

Do we know that the IGBT will have to be closed for years? I didn't see that in the DEIS.

The only reason I can see for a trail organization like Save the Trail to support the CLOSING of the eastern portion of the Trail for YEARS of Purple Line construction, and the needless destruction of all the trees and shade along that portion of the Trail to wind up with a less safe, less useful trail and a less useful transit system is that perhaps Save the Trail cares only about local walkers and is happy to create a Trail that will in effect limit transportational cyclists, outsiders and transit users who might threaten their sense of seclusion.

I would not call a Trail that has 10,000 weekly uses by hikers and bikers from all over the region a "local neighborhood, semi-private park".

Ask all the users from DC and Virginia what they think. I know because they have signed petitions. A sample of the petitions showed that 60% were outside the greater Bethesda Chevy Chase area.

And yes, safety is an issue. See the article:

"Pedestrian Railway Deaths Recurring Problem in Maryland", at:


There have been 55 pedestrian DEATHS along train tracks in Maryland since 2003. Experts say you cannot keep people off of tracks even with fences.

The Purple Line would come between neighborhoods where kids go back and forth to BCC High School, the Jane Lawton Community Center, and friends homes. There is an enormous amount of "cut-through traffic".

Trains will be passing in both directions every three minutes at speeds up to 50 mph. Not safe.

The trail does get some use, but nothing when compared to the existing CCT.

Most deaths along train tracks are suicides or ignoring the crossing arms - of which there won't be any on this section, not from derailed trains sailing up on to parallel bike paths. Yours is an argument against all trains everywhere.

How exactly are buses safer than trains?

Pam Brown's assertion that WABA does not care about the safety of children and families on the trail is laughable. As a WABA board member and father of two young children (ages 4 and 8), I look forward to the construction of the Purple Line so my kids will have access to the same kind of off-road trail children in Chevy Chase and Bethesda enjoy, instead of an interim trail routing along the streets that requires crossing six lanes of traffic at 16th Street. While high investment BRT (not the low investment option preferred by Save the Trail) would include grade separated crossings, putting buses on the trail (while diverting them to Jones Bridge Road to avoid Chevy Chase) certainly doesn't seem like an option that favors the health and safety of children. Is the safety of children in Silver Spring less important than the safety of children in Bethesda and Chevy Chase, Pam?

This extended discussion has drifted far away from the point of the post - the use of the "Save the Trail" petition signatures by Pam Browning to convince politicians that she speaks for what "overwhelmingly, trail users want...". Washcycle tried to bring the discussion back to that issue by asking Pam Browning:
"How do you answer the accusations of FinishtheTrail that you are using old signatures, repeat signatures and signatures you got through deception? How do you respond to the accusation that save the trail misrepresented pictures it drew as those of MTA?"
Pam has entered six comments so far, all changing the subject away from the outdated petition signatures and the methods used to get them.
I think it is evident from the discussion that "Save the Trail" does not speak for many of us.

I have heard projections that the Trail will be CLOSED for three years. If MTA wants to correct this projection, then they should do that.

The very earliest that the Purple Line can be finished is 2015, although I believe MTA is NOW PROJECTING 2018.

This is more than just a few years.

It's a long time to wait for paving the Trail.

I make my offer again. I will work with others to try to get the Trail paved in the interim.

I believe that light rail advocates (such as Action Committee for Transit) will try to stop efforts to pave the Trail, just as they tried to stop the opening of the Georgetown Branch Trail, the opening of the Tunnel, and the rebuilding of the Trestle.

Their interest in the Trail is only as an adjunct to the Light Rail Purple Line.

Save the Trail supporters firmly believe that if ALL of us Trail supporters united, we could push for excellent transit AND an excellent Trail.

(We believe that developers, such as Chevy Chase Land Company, have tried to ensure that other alternatives to light rail on the Trail are not fairly explored. Including a Metro alternative - which I do support.)

So far, the light rail proponents have kept us divided.

In an effort to unify us, I pledge that if we can keep transit off the Trail, I will support efforts to pave the Trail and extend the Trail into the Silver Spring Transit Center.

Please see Alternatives at:

I just posted a response to your question, but I don't see it here.

Please try again. I didn't delete it, it might be a typepad feature.

Pam Browning writes: "I pledge that if we can keep transit off the Trail, I will support efforts to pave the Trail and extend the Trail into the Silver Spring Transit Center."
But why should support for efforts to pave the trail and finish the trail be conditional on keeping out transit?? Support for paving the trail and finishing the trail is not conditional on the transit decision for most trail supporters.

One other thing about the petition. The point of a petition is to demonstrate the will of the people, especially when they haven't had a chance to weigh in. But people have had numerous chances to weigh in. There have been several elections since this all started years ago. And what did the elected officials (many of whom made their purple line position a key element of their campaign) do when they got the chance. They voted unanimously for light rail. Doesn't that seem to indicate that a trail with rail is want people want - despite the number of signatures on your petition?

I'll adjust my pledge -- this is a work in progress:

I would work with groups (such as WABA) to create a unified Trail coalition that supports both keeping transit off the Trail between Bethesda and Silver Spring and towards improving and extending the Trail into the Silver Spring Transit Center, and for excellent transit alternatives.


Regarding the PETITION:

The Petition is intended to demonstrate the breadth and depth of support for keeping this irreplaceable Trail as a beautiful, tree-lined, safe community greenspace -- OPEN at all times. (BTW, I led the successful effort that stopped developers in their Planning Board application to close the Tunnel to build a proposed hotel at Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues. (See http://www.takebackbethesda.org/

But back to the PETITIONS.

Almost everyone who passes us on the Trail, who have not already signed, stop and sign.

The Petitions are not attempting to be a legal document. They are not being used to put anyone or anything on the ballot.

The Petitions have been collected by hundreds of volunteers. There may be some duplicates; there certainly are some children in there. We encourage folks from all over the region and beyond to sign the Petition.

There is nothing devious or secretive about the Petitions. We are not anti-transit. We don't have a hidden agenda. We just oppose transit on the Trail and want transit put either tunneled underground or in another location.

You can see the on-line Petition at:

Well put, Washcycle!

Regarding the petition:
You can not fairly show the breadth and depth of support for anything with a petition that is filled with thousands of badly outdated signatures, many collected using deceptive methods. The whole point of the petition series at www.finishthetrail.com is that many people on the trail who signed the petition were not given reasonably accurate information. Nothing has been presented here to dispute what I have said on my blog about the history of the petition, the misinformation the petitioners presented while on the trail, or the local interests of the GBCCC petition organizers.

And I see that Pam Browning's support for extending and improving the trail continues to be conditioned on stopping transit. Developing a position to support paving and completing the trail should not still be a "work in progress" this late in the game.

Well, you are entitled to your opinion, Wayne.

I don't read your blog anymore, because I have found that when I try to respond, my comments are not posted. So it is just a one-sided slur.

Folks signing Petitions are out there on the Trail, so they can see for themselves what is at stake in this narrow corridor. They are not stupid, and they are not being misled.

Trail users are signing petitions because they don't want the trees cut down; they don't want trains running 10' from the Trail; and they don't want the Trail closed during construction of the Purple Line.

Wayne, do you support paving the Trail now, or do you think we should wait six or more years for construction of the Purple Line?

Does it bother you that the Trail will be closed for about three years during construction of the Purple Line?


I can assure you that I have never refused to post anything you submitted. I can't promise blogspot always works correctly, but I post all comments I see unless they are profane.

I differ with you about whether trail users have been mislead, and I think the posters you have displayed speak to that very well. I show them at www.finishthetrail.com as you presented them. I stand behind my blog.

I am a member of WABA, I bike on the trail and I walk on the trail. I support the Purple Line light rail option. I honestly expect that there will be many MORE children and walkers on the trail between Bethesda and Silver Spring after the project is finished. Is it OK if these new trail users come from the communities east of Rock Creek?

There are many Trail users who come from east of the Park.

Many of these Trail users have signed Petitions and many have volunteered.

Trail users from Silver Spring and Takoma Park cherish the natural beauty of the Trail and want to protect this extraordinary community greenspace, just like folks from Wheaton, Kensington, Rockville, DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, McLean and more.

I will restate my offer to form a coalition with groups that want to put transit elsewhere, save the natural beauty of the Trail, AND improve and extend the Trail into the Silver Spring Transit Center.

Or are you advocates for light rail first, and the Trail second?

As for MTA's illustrations of what they say the Trail will look like with the light rail -- I believe these are totally misleading FABRICATIONS.

Walk the Trail and see for yourselves how narrow the berm is, how the terrain is uneven, falling off or rising up dramatically in many places.

Visualize the trees gone and see how close the homes are. Now visualize two sets of tracks with trains that can be 300 feet LONG, coming in both directions, 10' from the trail, at speeds up to 50 mph.

Visualize being on the 10-12' Trail with fencing surrounding you on both sides. For sure, home owners will put up privacy fencing, and there will be fences to keep children from falling into trains.

So you will be trapped inside these fences. With high speed bikes going by, I hardly think families, children, the elderly, will find this inviting.

I'm surprised you are so concerned about fences alongside the trail. "Save the Trail" has never raised any objection to the 8' high chain link fences that pinch the trail into a 16 foot wide space at the Columbia Country Club. In fact, "Save the Trail" lists the Club as one of its organizational supporters.

Will "Save the Trail" join us in calling on the Club to take down that fence and allow the public to use more of the 100' r.o.w. it owns there, or is that conditional on the transit decision too?

I have never supported the fences put up by the Country Club. That appears to have been a deal made between the Club and the County's Transportation Dept. Was the Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail involved? Trail supporters were not.

Sure, I would support an effort to have the fences moved.

I'm surprised the Country Club's fences bother you, while the Purple Line does not.

With the Purple Line, the fencing adjoining the neighboring properties will be privacy fencing that will create a much more hemmed in feeling than the Club's see-through fencing.

The fencing will create what Planning Board staff refer to as a "cattle chute" effect on the trail -- for miles.

Where are the rest of the comments that were submitted this afternoon?

You seem to be missing about two dozen comments here.

At last something Pam Browning and I agree on - the fence at the Country Club must come down!
And yet another thing we agree on - trail supporters where not involved in making the fence deal between the Club and the County.
But the GBCCC, i.e. "Save the Trail", was involved. The agreement is available as a pdf file at http://www.cctrail.org/clubcompromise.pdf
It states that GBCCC assisted the Club and County in making the deal. The CCCT and WABA were on record in the CCCT newsletter that year as strongly opposed to the deal.
But the County is now free to set aside the agreement and remove the fence, since the Club lost its disputed claims to the right-of-way in court years ago.
I must continue to differ with Pam about the "cattle chute" effect from the Purple Line effecting the trail - for miles. For starters, the narrow 66' wide section Pam refers to is only from the Bethesda tunnel to the west side of the Club - much less than one mile long. Beyond that the right of way expands to 100' wide. Reports of a cattle chute "for miles" are wildly exaggerated.

Interesting, WABA has been accused of focusing only on beginner cyclists now Pam say they only are interested in fast or "fit" cyclists. Looks like WABA is working to provide for ALL types of cyclists, not to mention all the other trail users that use the bicycle trails which WABA and others help to get built.

My response has not been posted.


I'm a member of WABA, and I have children. Please refrain from constructing a strawman of my organization, or my preferences. No, WABA, and I, are not interested in throwing small children and pedestrians under the bus. We coexist with those groups all over this region, and we will in this case as well.

I support the purple line because it is what's best for the entire Washington Community, and not just a few local residents such as yourself.

Your insistence that WABA is only advocating for 'high speed cyclists,' is another example of the intellectual dishonesty your group has displayed at several junctures of this debate. You should be ashamed.

Woah, shame, shame, let's not go there.

You are entitled to think you will take walks with your children on a narrow bike lane TEN FEET from trains.

I, and many other folks, believe we will not find that to be a wonderful experience. We love the Trail in its natural beauty and quiet tranquility.

There is nothing dishonest in my position. I find WABA's advocacy for light rail in order to extend the Trail to be disingenuous, since the Trail can be extended without the light rail.

And I'm suggesting that we all work together to do what would be best for the Trail -- advocate for extending it, improving and paving it, and keeping it open at all times. And I believe we can do this and advocate for good transit alternatives.

Take a look at the photos at:


I suggest WABA write to the Governor and ask how long the Trail will be closed for construction of the light rail Purple Line.

The current interm trail is only there because the land was purchaced to build the future purple line. It is respectful for trails user to realize that the trail would not exist if it were not for the future planned purpleline.

I'm note sure if the trail will be located only 10 feet from the trains or not. It would be nice if it were closer but even this would be much better than being expected to take my kids on sidewalks less then 4 feet for motor vehicles, and even worse in some spots, ON THE ROAD.

The CCT is not an HOA trail. It is a public trail for all users, even those who live in DC and VA.

Yes, it would be nice to not put the purpleline in yet pave the trail but we need to realize that our community is very large and that we need to provide for all the community in both recreation and transportation needs.

The trail needs to be paved. It is part of a paved route. I use the trail in all types of weather and have seen some very upset people (all types of users) when the trail is wet and muddy. I often put fenders on my bicycle sololy because of the at short section of the CCT.

Will it be closed during the building of the Purple Line and the new trail? Yes. We all realize that. It's common sense.

Working together would be great. We could get the County and the State to replant as mainy trees and possible, put up any needed sound walls and most importantly make the trail as safe as possible. One major thing will be to insure few to no at grade crossings. Conn. ave is very dangerous. I've seen a number of peds go directly through in a striaght line, climbing over the guard rail. Almost as stupid as cyclists who blaze through the stop signs as if they were not there.

Though not related to the petition, Joe brings up another good point that I've mentioned before. The trail exists because of rail-banking - saving a rail corridor with a temporary trail until rail can be added back it (which may never happen). This has been a real boon for those who love trails. Without the Act, this trail would've become larger back yards and odd lots. To stand in the way of a reversion to a rail corridor, especially one that was always planned and one that will include a trail, will endanger the whole program. For someone who loves rail trails, like me, this is unpalatable. More than once I've heard people with urban ROW like this talk about NOT making a trail, solely because the fight to put rail in later will be too difficult. So people lose the interim use of it.

We should have done it like they did in Minneapolis. They put signs up on one side of the ROW, and next to the trail, that read "Future transit site" (or something similar - I don't recall the actual wording). SavetheTrailpetition.org talks about not killing "the goose that laid the golden egg". Well that goose is called rail-banking, and savethetrail is inadvertently - well not killing it, but knocking it around a bit.

It is not just rail-banking that is being knocked around by savethetrail, but also all trails built near rails or roads. The Mont. Co. Gazette reports that Councilmember Ervin will seek funding for the Mont. county section of the MetBranch Trail in the next budget cycle. Efforts to secure funding for this important trail are undercut by the savethetrail message that trails near rails are so dangerous and so uninviting they will not be used.

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