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These folks lost. Unless they somehow bring a lawsuit, and it looks like Columbia Country Club has agreed not to do so, they are done. Let 'em make as much noise as makes them feel good.

According to other reports, they felt no compunction in bringing their children along to join the protest. Really, only a contemptible group would deign to make this "about the kids."

It is a shame to lose the GBT. It really is nice out there. But we are unwilling to spend the money to do things right in this country (i.e., bury the Metro line), and Maryland has shown time and again that they can talk about open space, parks, and bike trails while not doing what they say.

So yes, fongfong, these folks lost, but so did everyone.

The GBT trail is nice, as long as it's not wet. Nearly had frost bite on that section of trail. The rest of the 50 mile ride was complete dry.

Montgomery County actually spends a lot of money on Parkland buying up very expensive land to increase stream buffers, a great benefit for citizens but paved trails are not allowed in these areas.

While Montgomery County does spend lots of money to increase steam valley parks, I agree they do not spend much money on paved trails. Their support of paved trails is even questionable, look at the ICC trail. Full highway but only half the trail cut up in 4 pieces?

The way it sounds the State is passing the bill onto the County to build the trail. If so, first it's a major shame for the State to say they are support a bicycle trail then make the County pay for it. Can we count on the County to actually fund the trail?

Anyone who has ever trying to ride the "full" ICC trail know things are far from over yet. On the positive side, the County Executive and Council have verbally have been extremely supportive of cycling lately. Hopefully the support is real and the State will paying for part of the trail as well.



This system has been in use since 1901 .
There could be both rail and trail and a system that damages very little of the park like setting of the trail.
It seems Americans will not learn from others.

I use the Capitol Crescent a lot but only the paved section from Georgetown to Bethesda.
I find it is very crowded. It should be better paved.

David, the floating tram is a completely unique structure. in the 120 years since it was built, NO ONE has been willing to "learn" from the Germans. Not even the Germans. So, that tells me something.

Nor do I believe that such a monorail (and the Simpsons have made monorails DOA for a generation) would actually keep the parklike setting any more than the lightrail will. They still need to clear trees to do construction.

"But we are unwilling to spend the money to do things right in this country (i.e., bury the Metro line)"

Bilgewater - maybe not in general, but re Maryland. The state of Maryland just increased its gas tax, in order to pay for the purple line, the red line in baltimore, the Corridor Cities Transitway, and the beginning of a BRT network in MoCo. The notion that Md is skimping on transit is silly. There are places where underground construction is needed, because there are no options - but this is not one of them. You want to spend several hundred million dollars additional to bury the line (based on the cost estimates for the Tysons tunnel)? Lower MoCo has lots of parks and trails. The reason to be worried about a particular trail is its use by cyclists for transportation, and that will be helped by this project.

Suburbancyclist, have you ever used the trains/mass transit in someplace like Germany? They spend the money to do it right, which includes putting it underground where appropriate to save existing buildings and parkland. It's so easy to use transit over there you don't even need to know the language to get around. Here, I'd rather just bike everywhere than try to use mass transit, with NYC being the only exception to that. We do things by half here because we are afraid to spend the money to do it right--politicians are afraid to be called wasteful. So yes, I'd rather spend the money.

The Moco has plenty of parkland line is silly. Every bit of it needs to be saved at this point. Once it's gone, it's gone forever.

The GBT right of way is park-like and pleasant, but hardly pristine and there are certainly plenty of recreational alternatives in the surrounding area. Unwillingness to sacrifice the slightest bit of one's physical, economic, or social environment for higher goods, e.g., getting cars off the roads, characterizes the "Liberal" elite almost as well as it does the selfish Right.

I have not been to Germany, but my impression is they have lots of surface level transit. And of course putting transit underground does nothing to make using it easier. You're talking about spending hundreds of million dollars to "save" a modest section of trail (trail thats less than useful to many cyclists, BTW, from what I can gather) As for Germany, you will not they have much higher gas taxes than we do. Maybe the folks in ChevyChase should go lobby for higher gas taxes, before they complain about the need to save money on the Purple Line. Also its my impression that the Govt of Germany isnt a fan of other european countries "doing it right" they seem to want catastrophic mass unemployment in Greece and Spain rather than spend the money to revive the euro economy. Evidently limited resources are not just an American thing.

" Here, I'd rather just bike everywhere than try to use mass transit"

In fact metro, despite all the complaints is fantastically useful. Its perhaps not suprising that someone who never uses mass transit is not particularly concerned with keeping this new transit line viable.

I appreciate how someone who gets to use the GBT can be saddened this refuge will soon be gone. Smedley is right on point here about sharing. This is something I try and teach my 4 year old every day. But living in Chevy Chase DC, I constantly hear residents complaining about doing that, a lament that is similar to what DE is saying.

Sharing: good for 4 year olds, good for adults.

@ DE: "The Moco has plenty of parkland line is silly. Every bit of it needs to be saved at this point. Once it's gone, it's gone forever."

1 - The Georgetown Branch is NOT parkland and never has been. It was created to be a railroad transportation corridor, and was purchased by MoCo to be a transit corridor between Bethesda and S.S.

2 - As woodlands go, the Georgetown Branch is very uneven. Much of it is a very thin line of trees on either side of a gravel trail. Some sections have no trees or only invasive scrub trees. It is an extreme stretch to claim 20 acres of trees will be cut down.

3 - There is a 277 acre real park in the immediate area, called Rock Creek Park. Completing the trail with the Purple Line will give residences in the Silver Spring neighborhoods east of Rock Creek much better pedestrian access to Rock Creek Park than they have now.

4 - The Sierra Club certainly loves tress and parks, yet they have endorsed the Purple Line as helping to preserve the environment.

"NO ONE has been willing to "learn" ". Sad but true we live in a world of slow leaners world wars and counting shows that.
Few things are always good. Learning is one of the few things that are always good. It is always better to learn then not.

It's not even Nimbyism for me since I don't live there and only use that link every now and then to connect up to the Rock Creek Park loop. But it's sad to me that we feel we need to pave and develop everything, regardless of whether it is or ever was officially a park. It's a connector of green space that helps link the river with the Rock Creek area. The trees provide local cooling, and of course trees take CO2 out of the air. But development wants, development gets.

I am not anti-Purple line; I do think Metro needs to expand.

"But it's sad to me that we feel we need to pave and develop everything, regardless of whether it is or ever was officially a park."

do you ever feel sad when old rail lines cease to have rail service?

"trees take CO2 out of the air. But development wants, development gets."

building the purple line will result in less C02 emissions due to shifting folks to transit, and more people living in TODs.

I try not to feed the trolls, but good grief. Pull up an aerial shot (e.g., google maps) and just look at the GBT: nowhere along its length is it an important or viable nature preserve--it's just too narrow. You can't even tell where it is for much of its length because it is overshadowed by larger surrounding parks or wooded neighborhoods (which will remain even after the rail line is built). The "save the park" rhetoric is disingenuous and tiresome.

Burying the line is just code for killing the project. It is prohibitively expensive, and there are no benefits (economic or environmental) to justify the costs.

If we spend millions extra to bury the GBT and then cannot buy truly pristine parkland elsewhere as a result of that added expense, I would argue we have lost.

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