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I may owe MCDOT an apology for blaming them for foot dragging. Councilmember Hans Riemer has sent me this message:

"It is indeed problematic that they are withholding funds, but the reason is that they can't get the B&O station owners to grant them right of way. I definitely agree about making a lot of noise on this and maybe we can find a solution, but we need to get the B&O nonprofit turned around."

MCDOT reoported they had a preliminary agreement for the trail to cross the historic train station property with the Montgomery County Historic Society several years ago. But the new directors have reversed their position, and oppose the trail on their property and the trail bridge obstructing the view of the B&O railroad bridge over Georgia Avenue.

Many historic train station museums aroung the county embrace having a rail-trail to focus attention on their station and the railroad. Our local historic society has gone off the tracks.

The B&O issue has bee reported before. Riemer is correct. To be fair to the Historical Society, the plan would either require the removal of a canopy they use for events that bring in income to the organization, or route the trail through their parking, which might either impact the number of spaces or potentially cause use conflicts.

I would think the trail would provide a major increase in visitors for them. It is an ideal trail stop/point of interest.

I would question how much income the occasional rental of the canopy area really brings them, and how that compares with the value of having thousands of trail users visit.

Exactly. Set up a lemonade stand or other vendor. Sponsor/generate historic cycling tours. So much potential.

I don't know, but it's possible they are looking to the County to provide some kind of compensation/subsidy on an annual basis.

Is there any contact info for the B&O station owners so that people can email them?

Eminent domain!

@ Eminent domain!

From Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission “the Preservationsist” Spring 2008:

"The Silver Spring train station was preserved and restored by the non-profit group Montgomery Preservation Inc. Following an outpouring of community support to restore the station, MPI took over the title from CSX in 1998 for $1. It eventually took $500,000, raised from private donations, a state bond bill, and grants to complete renovations. A Historic Preservation grant was used to help sponsor the renovation design."

The train station restoration was possible because of the generosity of CSX, a state bond bill, and grants and donations from many sources. At the time that MPI was asking for these grants, MPI was tauting the train station as a benefit and point of interest along the future MetBranch Trail.

Now that MPI has received the public support it needed to restore the station, it has new directors and they have changed their mind about the trail. It would be a shame for the public to have to turn to eminent domain to make them keep their earlier agreements.

Here is a link to the names of directors of Montgomery Preservation INc., owners of the B&O Station http://montgomerypreservation.org/aboutMPI.html

I think part of the ICC hiker/biker trail will pass through the Trolley Museum property. I hope it isn't a problem.

no shit sherlock. really?

it wont be built in my lifetime, and if it is, it won't be built to a standard that is usable and edifying.

bike advocates are social science morons...

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