Group Argues New Transit Options Key To Growth In Bethesda, Montgomery

A new group is joining the cause for transportation dollars to build the Purple Line light rail and Bus Rapid Transit system, both of which supporters say would ease congestion in Bethesda.

The Coalition for Smarter Growth, a D.C.-based nonprofit that until now has dealt largely with North Virginia transportation and sprawl issues, has turned its attention to Montgomery County and will host an event focused on the area next week in Silver Spring.

“The Next Generation of Transit: The Key to Montgomery’s Green Future” is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 13 at the Silver Spring Civic Building and will feature County Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac), Smart Growth America CEO Geoff Anderson, Montgomery County Planner Larry Cole and Purple Line project manager Mike Madden.

The Coalition for Smarter Growth helped host a happy hour on White Flint development last week. It will focus its message next week on what the group argues are the environmental benefits of transit projects:

Montgomery County residents care about the environment. The county has been a leader in progressive planning from its award-winning Agricultural Reserve and extensive stream valley parks, to affordable housing and the revitalization of Silver Spring.

Now, Montgomery County is at a crossroads.  The county is expected to add over 200,000 new residents and over 100,000 new jobs in the next 20 years. Traffic and pollution will only grow worse if we don’t give people better options for moving around. Over 34% of greenhouse gas emissions in Montgomery County come from transportation.  Linking transit and transit-oriented communities can make a major contribution to fighting climate change and reducing air pollution.

But among our transit projects, the Purple Line may fail for lack of funding, WMATA needs to continue restoring its aging infrastructure, and the county needs more rapid transit connecting more places. We need to act now as a community and support a three-part transit agenda linking the Purple Line, Metro and the proposed Rapid Transit System. Investing in transit alternatives will be critical for doing our part to solve climate change, improve our air quality, support sustainable development and create good green jobs.

Join us with Geoff Anderson of Smart Growth America and Roger Berliner of the Montgomery County Council to discuss transit and smart growth solutions to climate change. We’ll also get the latest updates on Montgomery transit projects and strategize with us about how we can do our part through investing in transit.

For more information, visit the event website.

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