Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Deep Purple, Dark Red

Yesterday morning, Governor O’Malley appeared at New Carrollton to announce his support for light rail on the Purple Line. He then rode a MARC train to Baltimore to announce his support for light rail on the Red Line. The Governor may well have ridden a MARC train to the moon because these two events were worlds apart.

Purple Line Event, New Carrollton

The leaders of both Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties welcomed the Governor as a conquering hero. Action Committee for Transit activists, some of whom have been working for the Purple Line for decades, celebrated this important milestone. Rail opponents in the Town of Chevy Chase issued a press release but did not crash the Governor’s party. Following are a few photos of the occasion from Delegate Bill Bronrott (D-16).

Red Line Event, Baltimore

Red Line supporters were met by Red Line opponents, who aggressively took it to the Governor. The protestors are part of a large coalition from the east and west sides of Baltimore who oppose surface light rail. They are especially unhappy about the Maryland Transit Administration’s single-track tunnel proposal, which they label a “Death Trap Tunnel.” The Maryland Daily Record said that the Governor met a “sharply divided crowd” and “angry boos” and even reported, “At one point, it appeared that some protestors were close to a physical confrontation with a supporter of the line.” The Baltimore Sun’s Mike Dresser says the protestors exaggerated their strength in their press release, but one thing is sure: there was no one at New Carrollton holding up “Purple Lies” signs. Check out the picture below.