Moving Forward with the Met Branch Trail Alignment at Georgia Avenue

Last week, WABA met with representatives of Montgomery Preservation Inc. (MPI), the County Executive, Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), and the offices of Councilmembers Riemer and Ervin to work to resolve the impasse on the trail alignment as it crosses Georgia Avenue and passes the historic B&O Train Station that serves as a headquarters and event space for MPI.  At this meeting, MCDOT officials stated that the agency, the County Executive, and the County Council were committed to the Master Plan Trail Alignment and to a grade separated crossing of Georgia Avenue, and that design work is beginning. Thanks to the hundreds of WABA members and supporters who wrote to County leaders to prompt this movement, and special thank to Councilmember Ervin for attending last week’s meeting and remaining personally involved in this important trail project in her District. There is still much work to be done to ensure that the trail is well-designed to serve the expected usage, as this trail will be a major point of access to the Silver Spring Transit Center as well as a key commuter and recreation route.  MPI remains committed to ensuring that the historic character of the train station is maintained and enhanced.  WABA remains committed to ensuring that the trail is a safe, functional trail for riders of all ages and abilities.  These commitments are not incompatible. With the question of alignment resolved, our work is now to ensure that the work progresses expeditiously toward a Metropolitan Branch Trail that will meet deliver on its promise as a transportation and recreational amenity and be an asset to the entire community. Both MPI and WABA sent letters to MCDOT Deputy Director Gonzalez providing feedback on Friday’s meeting.  They are shared below.     WABA Letter to MCDOT re: MBT 10.19.2012 MPI’s Letter to Deputy Director Edgar Gonzalez