The Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail believe that the Obama Administration has fallen prey to greenwashing, as evidenced by the Administration’s recommendation for partial funding for the Maryland Transit Administration’s (MTA’s) Purple Line. Serious environmental concerns from multiple stakeholders remain unresolved, but yet, MTA is not being held accountable by the process as evidenced by the funding proposal.

A main concern is that the Alternatives Analysis specifically compares a build option with a no-build option based on 5 year-old data.  Rather than objectively looking at alternative modes of transportation or even considering Montgomery County’s recent BRT proposal to address the same transportation goals indicates the process has been fully outcome-driven.

Success of rapid transit systems throughout the world, including the highly touted Select Bus Service in NYC, also beg the question whether Maryland’s persistent pursuit of an on-street fixed rail system in the middle of one of the most congested metropolitan areas is the most efficient use of tax-raised transportation dollars.

Also curious is FTA’s seemingly rubber stamp of MTA’s August 2013 Final Environmental Statement. Ajay Bhatt President of Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail emphasizes, “There is a failure to take a hard look at missing key environmental impacts and mitigations for the following factors: Noise, vibration, storm water, environmental justice, parkland, wildlife and mental and physical health.” These issues are raised in our detailed FEIS response.  

Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail is dedicated to preserving and augmenting the opportunities to appreciate nature and recreation on the segment of Trail between Bethesda and Silver Spring.  Our vision is a World Class Park stretching from Georgetown to Silver Spring. Clear cutting and removing a mature forest ecosystem inside the Beltway — where it can never be replaced — is contrary to the goals of smart growth and sustainability that so many environmental proponents of the Purple Line supposedly espouse.

CONTACT: AJAY BHATT (301) 500-0124