Bus Rapid Transit, the Purple Line, and a Burgeoning Population

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Dear Constituent,

Thank you for reaching out to me with your concerns.

I agree with you that inefficiencies and fiscal irresponsibility are best avoided by a proper analysis of potential externalities prior to initiation of construction.

I also agree that having more pedestrian friendly neighborhoods is a good thing and that vehicular traffic often is horrendous in our area.

I will add to you analysis that Montgomery County's population has just grown above 1 million residents and is continuing to grow at an accelerating rate. Currently 2,500 new pupils enter MCPS every year. The White Flint Redevelopment effort is expected to bring thousands of units and tens of thousands of new residents to Rt. 355 and the Metro Red Line.

I believe that our current transportation infrastructure is insufficient to address the needs of our current population, and are woefully unprepared to support the needs of our population in the imminent future. Something needs to be done.

In an ideal world where resources are infinite, the proper solution would be to add a third underground tunnel and rail line on the Red Line to Metro rail at a cost of no less than $300 million per mile (i.e. billions of dollars for the entire line). Given the fiscal constraints that we have, there are a few options that remain available to us:

Add new cars to current Metro trains to make more of the trains 8 cars long (the maximum length that can be accommodated by the platforms). We can also start all trains at Shady Grove instead of every other one at Grosvenor. We also need to invest more in maintenance of the tracks, tunnels, bridges, switches, and cars. All of this is being planned to be done.

Still, the most knowledgable transportation officials with whom I have spoken believe that this will be insufficient. Without the construction of new public transportation infrastructure, our traffic congestion in the Washington metropolitan area will only worsen.

We need to create a Montgomery County where, at least around current transit nodes, individuals can live, work, and play without needing to use their car.

Simply put, the growth projections for Montgomery County make the historical trend of ubiquitous car ownership an unsustainable and unrealistic path forward.

We need to expand bike lanes, we need to reinvest in Metro rail system, and we need to invest in new options.

Though I don't believe the Bus Rapid Transit plan is the most ideal plan by anyone's estimation, it fits the bill at about $17 million per mile. It will stop with more frequency than the 2 mile interval between current Red Line Metro stops, and will ease congestion on Metro's Red Line by providing local commuters within Montgomery County an alternative option to the Red Line, thereby accommodating more long distance commuters into DC on the the Metro rail line.

The Purple Line will facilitate travel especially between Silver Spring and Bethesda, will permit the continued use of the Capital Crescent Trail for transportation and recreational purposes, and will follow the route of the old Trolley Line that predated the Crescent Trail between Silver Spring and Bethesda.

So though I hear your opposition to these individual transportation plans, considering the lack of alternative options and the need for some investment in our transportation infrastructure, I do currently support both the Bus Rapid Transit system and the proposed Purple Line. I am always open to new ideas and to considering new arguments, but given the circumstances that I'm aware of, I believe that in the long term these two systems will bring economic development and ease of movement to our region.

Please feel free to contact me with any additional concerns.


On Jul 20, 2013, at 11:39 AM, Constituent wrote:


When you stopped by the house last week I did not mention an issue of foremost importance to me and the neighbors:
the BRT and the Purple Line. We are totally opposed to both. It would destroy our neighborhood because Wisconsin is the only way out
for us,  and the notion of  the BRT taking 2 feet of the already shallow front yards of the West side of Wisconsin is the death knell for residential
liveability.  The Purple Line is environmentally and fiscally unaffordable.  Remember that we already have to pay for Ike 's $42 million misbegotten boondoggle of the "transportation Hub". The opportunity  of a 7 Billion project for cost overruns etc. must make every contractor and developer salivate and gives us tax payers nightmares.
The construction of a sidewalk on the East side of Wisconsin however is a good idea to make our neighborhood more pedestrian friendly and
might cut down on automobile use as well. Long promised it still has not been built as yet.
Thank you for letting us know your position on these issues.

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The Daily Advocate- Responding to Problems, Finding Solutions, Making Government Responsive and Accountable

There is no problem too large or too small, no question too simple or too complex; Jordan hears your issue and finds you answers. Here, Jordan advocates for YOU, navigating local, state, federal, and private sector bureaucracies to get you the solutions you deserve.

Jordan P. Cooper is a Democratic candidate for Delegate of District 16 in the Maryland General Assembly. Jordan was born and raised in North Bethesda, attended K-12 in MCPS, and began his lifelong commitment to public service in the same community which he now seeks to represent in the state legislature. Jordan has extensive legislative experience in Annapolis, where he first worked a decade ago. Jordan is a health care professional with experience working on health policy in academic, legislative, clinical, non-profit advocacy, and private sector settings. This work includes the submission of public comments which were subsequently included in final federal regulations pertaining to Health Care Reform.

Jordan has a BA in Political Science from Vassar College and a MSPH in Health Policy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Learn more about the campaign at www.CooperForMaryland.com.

Website: www.CooperForMaryland.com


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