Group raising funds to continue legal fight against Purple Line

Graphic courtesy of the Maryland Transit Administration.

Update: At last night’s meeting, the Town Council voted 4-1 to deny the $50,000 request mentioned below.

Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail is circulating an email in an attempt to raise funds for legal fees to continue its opposition to the Purple Line construction.

“If you’re reading this, you are telling the money interests pushing this wasteful project, ‘IT AIN’T OVER!’ We’re not done fighting for the Trail,” the text begins.

The same email, a copy of which was obtained by the Source, urges readers to sign a petition addressed to the governor and the County Council. The group is asking for a halt to any tree-cutting until the U.S. Court of Appeals makes a final ruling on a pending lawsuit questioning projected ridership and safety issues related to the light rail.

The court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case on Nov. 1.

The trail advocacy group in a separate suit last month failed to convince U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon to issue a temporary injunction halting the tree cutting.

According to Bethesda Beat, the group also asked the Town of Chevy Chase for a $50,000 donation to help fund its legal battles.

The minutes of a Sept. 18 meeting of the Town Council reads “Jim Roy, 4511 Elm Street, commented on issues related to the Purple Line and asked the Council for $50,000 to fund the legal efforts of the Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail regarding the Purple Line.”

A public hearing was set for last night on that issue.

Action Committee for Transit President Ronit A. Dancis responded by email to a request for comment with the following:

“The Purple Line has been endorsed by a broad bi-partisan coalition that includes groups rangings from the Sierra Club, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, CASA de Maryland, and WABA (the Washington Area Bicyclists Association). It has been supported by both Republican and Democratic governors of Maryland as well as thousands of commuters stuck in traffic on East West Highway and the Beltway. That’s because the Purple Line makes environmental, transportational, financial and just plain common sense. Students at the University of Maryland College Park and Montgomery College are desperately need light rail that will allow them to get to their campuses quickly, as well as get to internships at NIH. We look forward to riding the trail in 2022 alongside a new and improved bike trail.”

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