Maglev is a boondoggle

Reporter Kevin Rector's comprehensive, in-depth, and well-researched article about the magnetic levitation train described in reader-friendly narrative the issues surrounding this sleek, futuristic boondoggle (defined by Miriam-Webster as "a wasteful or impractical project or activity often involving graft"). We who gathered at the Rally Against the SCMaglev at Bladensburg's Waterfront Park on Oct. 6, which I organized, appreciated that he covered our event and took the time to interview a number of the participants. We were pleased to see some of our commentary interwoven throughout his article in text, photos, and video (“‘It can be done’: Futuristic Japanese maglev train could revolutionize travel from DC to Baltimore, and beyond,” Oct. 25).

Opponents of this train proposed for the Northeast Corridor are neither short-sighted nor fearfully clinging to the past. We are, in fact, forward-thinking as we envision a future of well-considered, human-centered technological innovation. We are data-driven and question the arguments presented by the proposed project's private developers, deep-pocket financial backers, and high-level, international political proponents revealed in Mr. Rector's article. An abundance of information resides at stopthistrain.org, which I suggest your readers visit to have a more complete picture of the opposition movement.

We are concerned with social, racial, ethnic, class and environmental justice for our communities along the proposed routes. We are joined in a hard-fought battle for the residents to have a real voice in the shaping of carefully-reasoned future development. Better travel and transportation must be conceived of and advanced to truly serve the needs of our residents and their built environments, which can and should be preserved as we move forward into the future. We maintain that the SCMaglev train is not the appropriate harbinger of that future. Private project developers are patronizing the public, feeding us pablum with a side dish of double-talk. However, pats on the head and dubious reassurances are not sufficient to placate the loud opposition to the train.

Susan McCutchen, Bladensburg

The writer is community liaison for Bladensburg Citizens Against the SCMaglev.

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