Greater Greater Replies

Between the ad hominem snarks at me and Chevy Chase, Greater Greater Washington’s David Alpert has a cogent response to my critique. Read it to check out their point of view on my recent series.

Ironically, the demonization of Chevy Chase just demonstrates vividly what I wrote about earlier today in terms of GGW’s negative view toward existing communities. Rather than assuming that reasonable people can and do disagree, this is the standard approach taken by GGW to dissenters.

My objections to the Purple Line are hardly a secret as I’ve written about it many times on this blog. You’d never know from reading GGW, but I don’t belong to a country club, my home won’t be affected by the Purple Line, and I very much favor smarter smart growth–the final upcoming portion of the series.

So why do I object to it? It’s far too expensive. The costs keep rising suspiciously fast, it places the State’s credit rating at risk, and the ridership numbers calculation remain a secret. The BRT alternative would capture almost all of the benefit at much less cost. This leaves more money for other projects–liking fixing Metro–which sounds like a good deal to me. Most of the planned development will occur even if no version of the line is every built. And this transit line will do nothing for traffic.

It’s more environmentally harmful than the alternatives. The trains will actually generate more greenhouse gases than the cars they replace. It will destroy the Capital Crescent Trail east of Bethesda by turning it into a narrow treeless bike path between sound walls and and the Purple Line.

But hey, it’s a free country. GGW is entitled to their view. Even if sometimes unpleasant, debate is healthy because it informs people and improves the decision-making process.