The rail with trail will be green!
Opponents of the Purple Line have difficulty seeing the forest for the trees. Their portrayal of the public interest is narrowly defined to minimizing transit passing through their neighborhoods. They fail to consider the broader regional issues.
The two largest local organizations dedicated to protecting our environment, the Sierra Club, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, have both endorsed the Purple Line as the best option for supporting the smart growth needed to protect livable communities and our environmental resources.
Purple Line concept plans call for the transit to be on "grass tracks" rather than on a gravel railbed in sensitive evnironmental areas like the Georgetown Branch Corridor. Grass tracks will reduce stormwater runoff and reduce heat gain during summer months.
Additionally, over one half of the Georgetown Branch Corridor right of way is 90' wide or more. There will be room for trees in a generous buffer along both sides of the corridor over much of its length. Planted buffers and grass tracks will preserve much of the park-like character of the Georgetown Branch Corridor. Claims that rail will make this corridor a barren wasteland are unfounded.
The Montgomery County Executive and Council have recommended that even though the Georgetown Branch Corridor is not technically designated as a park, strong measures should be taken to limit tree loss to only that absolutely necessary for construction, and tree loss should be remediated by replanting trees elsewhere in a manner similar to that required for official parks. Purple line opponents wrap themselves around individual trees in Chevy Chase and have lost sight of the larger environmental issues.