Purple Line imperils Bethesda recreation trail

BETHESDA, Md. -  

Maryland transit planners say it's too expensive and impractical to keep a popular recreation trail inside a downtown Bethesda tunnel alongside future Purple Line trains.
 
The state is seeking federal funding to pay for half the nearly $2 billion light-rail project. The Purple Line would connect the Metro's Red Line in Montgomery County with the Green Line in Prince George's County and is scheduled to open in 2020.
 
The Washington Post reports that the Maryland Transit Administration has rejected two proposals to run Purple Line trains alongside the recreation trail. Officials say one plan would cost too much and the other would reduce Purple Line ridership and lengthen travel times, making the project less competitive for federal funding.
 
As a result, trail users may be forced onto busy streets.
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