The State of Maryland has been planning a light rail project around the state’s Washington suburbs. Called the “Purple Line”, the project is cheered by urbanists and college kids (as it will go right along the UMD campus).
But a federal court just shut it down. Guess why.
Incredibly enough, this great Green project to get people out of cars and onto trains, was shut down because of insufficient environmental impact reports. Yes, that’s right, the favorite tool of the green left is now being used against them!
Drink their tears as they howl about how terribly unfair it is, and that the rules of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) create an “unreasonable standard” when they are held to it the same as everyone else.
It’s so terribly wrong and unfair in their view that the people of Chevy Chase, Maryland are using their own rules against them. See, the opponents of the left have this happen all the time: non-profit and otherwise-funded activist groups make their living going around suing the government to get what they want. They also sue vilified corporations to get their way. But now that it’s used against them, they start sounding like Donald Trump complaining how it’s very unfair.
It turns out the key here is a real one, as much as they don’t like it. Arguments for the Purple Line were driven by Great Recession-era trends of people driving less and taking public transportation more. But now that the economy is tepidly growing at a couple percent a year, that’s been enough to destroy that anomaly.
People are driving again. Ridership on the DC area subway is going down every year. But Maryland ignored that. The court ruled it is “arbitrary and capricious” to ignore the region’s major transit system, when looking at the effects of building a new one. Isn’t that true?
The problem here isn’t that it’s unfair that Chevy Chase residents are using the courts. The problem is that green laws are so heavy handed and unreasonable, they prevent us from doing anything anymore as a nation. This includes big, stupid transit systems.
Sadly I think these urbanists are so beholden to the Democrat establishment that they won’t realize the actual problem here.