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Plans For Purple Line Route Nearing Completion

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By Matt Bush

In Maryland, Montgomery County councilman Roger Berliner is defending his recent inquiries on the route of the proposed Purple Line.

Earlier this month, Berliner asked state transportation authorities whether the proposed light-rail line could be single tracked from Connecticut Avenue into Bethesda, the area Berliner represents.

Many residents in the area fear if the line is double-tracked, it will force the removal of trees and adversely affect the Capital Crescent Trail.

The state transportation authority responded by saying single-tracking the line would mean delays for trains in other areas. Berliner says he accepts the MTA's decision, and isn't apologizing for bringing the matter up so late in the planning for the Purple Line's route.

"If there was evidence that single-tracking had worked in some places, why couldn't it work here? And I was under the assumption that single-tracking would in fact save a lot of trees, because that is so important to our community," says Berliner.

The MTA says it will take out the same number of trees for the Purple Line, regardless of whether it's single or double-tracked.

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