For those of us working on the new Capital Crescent Trail and the Purple Line, it was a surprise to learn recently that the Maryland Transit Administration believes that in order to achieve the original objective to have the trail travel through the Wisconsin Avenue tunnel, it will cost an additional $40 million – 43 % of the total coast of constructing the entire trail. As a result the MTA is now asking the County to provide guidance on this and other issues related to the design of the Trail. The State will design and build the Trail, and the State expects the County to pay the cost of the Trail.
I want to make sure that we have looked at all the options carefully before we make this important decision. The Montgomery County Planning Board will consider this issue on November 17th and I look forward to receiving the benefit of their work. We want to ensure that we are capturing a long-term vision, and not a short-sighted solution. We need to look at all the alternatives and be sure we understand the implications from a community point of view while being fiscally responsible.
I will be meeting with WABA’s Executive Director and other stake holders to work to find the best solution. In any case, I remain committed to the Capital Crescent Trail’s future viability.
The author is Chair of the Montgomery County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy, and Environment Committee.