Maglev isn't the answer

When I read the article, “‘It can be done’: Futuristic Japanese maglev train could revolutionize travel from DC to Baltimore, and beyond” (Oct. 25), I felt a sense of deep sadness. Our green space and forests should not be sacrificed for “faster.” Natural ecosystems all over the world are disappearing. Humans are destroying and tampering with these ecosystems which should be left alone and preserved for future generations and for the wildlife that live there.

Tunneling, development and operations may destroy ecosystems and scare wildlife from their natural habitats. The maglev project proposed for the U.S. will leave a negative legacy as future generations will have to live with this environmentally destructive project. Wayne Rogers, former Maryland Democratic Party chairman and now the chairman and CEO of Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail, brushed aside the concerns of opponents as “overstated” and “misplaced.” His comments are insensitive and indifferent to the human aspect and the long term harm this project will cause.

Many people who will be impacted by the train have lived in their homes for many years and have built a sense of community in their neighborhoods. This project would forever greatly change the character of these neighborhoods. I believe Mr. Rogers is also wrong about this project being a benefit to Maryland. Many will be unable to afford this train. I believe we should stop focusing on building new infrastructure and focus on maintaining and improving our mass transit systems which serve all Marylanders.

We need to preserve the natural environment from any more destruction. Like the great leaders from the past who preserved our natural parks, I believe we need to start protecting and preserving the little bit of natural environment left in urban and suburban areas. According to the article, the U.S. would be foolish not to take advantage of five decades of Japanese development. We do not have to follow in the footsteps of Japanese technology. I propose that the U.S. preserve our natural environment and work to improve the already built infrastructure. It is time for us to slow down and think about what is best for the people, the wildlife, the trees and the ecosystems that hold it all together.

My academic background in counseling has taught me the value of natural settings for good human mental health. Our elected officials, who are supposed to serve the people, need to say “no” to developers and investors who want to eliminate our natural environment.

Donna Almquist, Greenbelt

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