Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gov Supports Subway Purple Line

In a speech on transportation, Gov. Martin O'Malley stated that he prefers a "subway" version of the Purple Line instead of various above-ground alternatives:

The region has ‘‘one of the greatest Metro systems in the world,” he said. ‘‘But it will not continue to be the greatest if we don’t invest in our own time.”

He pledged to ‘‘advance the Purple Line,” which is envisioned as a light-rail line or a rapid transit bus line.

O’Malley said he prefers a subway system for the Purple Line, which has yet to receive federal approval. An ‘‘obsession” with above-ground lines and rapid bus service has ‘‘stymied the Red Line in Baltimore,” he said.

‘‘Can you imagine if people 30 years ago, 40 years ago, said, ‘We want a Metro system, but it has to be above ground and fast bus’?” he asked the audience. ‘‘What ... kind of region would we have?”

The interconnection between a subway version of the Purple Line and and the already existing Red Line would be much quicker and smoother. Above-ground light rail or rapid bus options would require changing lines via a bank of elevators, probably like the Jenifer St. entrance to the Friendship Heights stop. Besides being safer, it would also save all of the thousands of trees along the existing trail from destruction.