The Purple Line, a proposed light rail project that would run from New Carrollton to Bethesda, will add a crucial connection to Metro, MARC, and bus lines. It will also spur economic development across the region. But thanks to one judge who seems determined to kill the project through endless delay, the Purple Line’s future at risk.
The more attention the matter gets, the more likely it is the judge will make a ruling and stop holding the project up. Sign our petition to help keep the spotlight on the Purple Line.
Last year, the Purple Line’s future was bright, with the project set to break ground in the fall. But in August, US District Judge Richard Leon overrode bipartisan support from elected officials and policy experts to halt the project just days before state officials were set to sign the full funding agreement with the federal government.
Judge Leon claimed he needed additional information about how declining Metro ridership would affect the project before he could reconsider. But tellingly, despite receiving an updated analysis addressing those concerns five months ago, he has still yet to issue any kind of update on the case.
To be clear, the problem isn't that Judge Leon rejected the analysis and upheld his previous ruling; that decision could at least be appealed. The problem is that he has literally done nothing either way. With the possibility for federal funding in jeopardy of expiring in just a few months, that inaction increasingly seems like a deliberate strategy to “run out the clock.” At a cost of $13 million for every month of delay, Judge Leon’s negligence is also costing taxpayers an unnecessary expense.
Judge Leon and Purple Line opponents seem to be hoping the stall tactics will pass by unnoticed until it's too late. As of Wednesday, it looks as though a federal appeals court will force judge Leon to make a decision soon. Let's do our part and keep the public pressure on: we need to keep the Purple Line in the spotlight.
Sign our petition today to raise your voice; keep this story alive, and tell Judge Leon it's time to stop playing politics with the judicial process and issue a ruling.