Montgomery and Prince George’s Planning Chairs Push for Purple Line

The Chairs of the Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties planning boards recently sent a letter to Governor-Elect Hogan urging him to move forward with the Purple Line light rail project. As reported by the Bethesda Beat,

The letter to Hogan from Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson and Prince George’s County Planning Board Chair Elizabeth Hewlett, dated this past Thursday, reiterated many of the economic development arguments Purple Line proponents have made in recent years. But the Anderson/Hewlett letter also sought to rebut at least one point Hogan made in criticizing the project during his upset victory in this year’s campaign, while addressing the political pressures the Republican governor-elect is likely to encounter over a move to direct several hundred million dollars to two Democratic-dominated counties – both of which voted overwhelmingly for Hogan’s Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.

“We know that money for the DC suburbs is a hard sell in some other parts of the state,” Anderson and Hewlett told Hogan at the close of the letter. “But as appointed officials responsible for strengthening the key assets in our counties – particularly those assets needed to be competitive within the DC metro areas for jobs and residents in the future – we urge you to support the Purple Line as beneficial to the economic health of our region and state.”

The proposed Purple Line will connect New Carrollton in Prince George’s County and Bethesda in Montgomery County.

“…The debate over the Purple Line is not totally about roads versus transit,” the planning board chiefs told Hogan. “If you cancel the project to build a bridge over the Chesapeake Bay or to widen I-270, for example, any federal funding will come out of the state’s highway aid allocation and reduce the money available for other roads projects, not transit.” Meanwhile, the state would risk losing $900 million in federal funding tentatively set aside to help build the $2.5 billion Purple Line, Anderson and Hewlett added.