Last week, The Sun asked Anne Arundel County readers for their views on a proposal to extend Washington's Metro rail line from Greenbelt to Fort Meade to handle the planned addition of thousands of jobs there. Local officials say the cost of extending the rail line by 10 miles would be at least $1 billion, possibly much more. We also asked whether there are better ways to manage Fort Meade's growth. Here is the response we received:
Electric railway should be revived
Political and transportation leaders claim "decades of planning would have to be done" (The Sun 6/10/05). They apparently have forgotten that at one time, the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric RR (the WB&A;) ran from downtown Baltimore to downtown Washington to downtown Annapolis with major connections at Academy Junction (Odenton and Ft. Meade).
Rather than reinvent the wheel, planners should look at reviving this network. Most of the right-of-way still exists and most importantly, is owned by public agencies.
Using the existing right-of-way should mean that many environmental objections can be avoided and the cost of acquisition would be substantially reduced.
Robert J. Dvorak
We want your opinions
ISSUE: Last week, state education officals stated that schools serving Annapolis children would not receive a $558,000 challenge grant. County school officials credit it with helping improve performance at nine elementary schools, six of which have high populations of low-income students.
It's the second time Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. tried to kill the program in its final funding year -- he removed it from his original budget proposal. The General Assembly returned it in their spending plan, but the governor controls whether it's paid out.
Ehrlich representatives said the governor has increased financial support for education overall, particularly in Anne Arundel County. But some criticize that the governor is playing "political football" with a pet project of House Speaker Michael E. Busch, because the two have often grappled over whether to use money from slots to fund education.
YOUR VIEW: Should state officials reinstate the grant? Tell us what you think at email@example.com by tomorrow. Please keep your response short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be published Sunday.