|Sierra Club Hails Purple Line As One of Best Transportation Projects in U.S.|
The Sierra Club this morning named the Purple Line as one of the 25 best transportation projects in the United States.
The planned light rail line from Bethesda to New Carrollton was lauded by the nation's largest environmental organization in a report released today, entitled "Smart Choices, Less Traffic: 50 Best and Worst Transportation Projects in the United States." The Sierra Club identified the 25 projects in the country that would do the most to reduce oil consumption, increase safety, improve public health, and save money for taxpayers and commuters, and also identified the 25 most harmful projects.
"We are delighted that the Purple Line was named one of the best transportation projects in the US," said Maryland Department of Transportation Acting Secretary Darrell B. Mobley. "This honor is a testament to Governor O'Malley's commitment to invest in a healthier, greener, more sustainable future. The cost-effective, environmentally conscious Purple Line will decrease the number of cars on the road, reduce emissions in the air, strengthen our economy and improve our quality of life."
The report was released this morning at the site of the future Bethesda Purple Line station. Ethan Goffman of the Montgomery County Sierra Club presented an initial copy to Ralph Bennett, president of the Purple Line Now coalition.
"Climate change is with us, it will get worse, and transit is the best antidote," said Goffman. "If we're serious about fighting climate change, we must build the Purple Line soon."
"This project will help make getting to work, school, shopping and recreation without a car easier, make walking and biking in our city safer, and increase access to transit," said Tina Slater, president of the grass-roots advocacy group Action Committee for Transit. "We should heavily invest our transportation dollars in this kind of forward-looking project."
The new report emphasizes that automobile exhaust and sprawl intensify climate change, harm local air quality, and destroy biodiversity. Because the Purple Line links different Metro lines and is near the core city, it will draw development inward, encouraging revitalization and development where it is most needed. The Purple Line is expected to carry 68,000 passengers per day, replacing an enormous amount of automobile traffic.
The full report is available here: http://content.sierraclub.org/beyondoil/content/smart-choices-less-traffic.
About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is the nation's largest and oldest grassroots environmental organization, with 1.4 million members and supporters and chapters in all 50 states. The Sierra Club advocates for more and better transit and to cut our addiction to oil.
About Purple Line Now: Purple Line Now is a coalition of business, labor, environment, neighborhood, and civic organizations that works with local, state, and federal government officials in pursuit of our mission to build the Purple Line.
About the Action Committee for Transit: The Action Committee for Transit is a 600-member volunteer-based organization with a vision of a Montgomery County where it is easier to travel and more pleasant to live -- a county built for people and not for automobiles.