April 7, 2021

"This is an Earth-built landscape millions of years in the making. When you crush, excavate and finally smother this land with fill and concrete..."

"... you destroy forever an entire interlocked, respiring and breathing community, the home for thousands of organisms living deep in the soil up to the treetops. You don’t get it back.” 

Said the wildlife biologist Sam Droege, quoted in "A maglev would be a speedy option over protected land. But research and wildlife might suffer" (WaPo). 

The question is whether there should be a magnetic levitation train connecting Washington and Baltimore. The 40-mile trip could be accomplished in 15 minutes instead of whatever it takes using the existing roads. 

I have a lot of trouble understanding why it is so important to facilitate trips between Washington and Baltimore. Driving is not the only alternative to a high-speed train. There's also the alternative of not going. If the train would make the trip take half as long, I propose going from Washington to Baltimore half as often. 

Haven't we learned, during Covid, how to minimize the need to shuttle from place to place? We need to reevaluate travel and commuting. It's not a rock-solid need that must be accommodated. Put less weight there, more on environmentalism.

FROM THE EMAIL: Matureteach writes:

I had to laugh when I read your article about the proposed mag-lev train between Baltimore and Washington. When I first met my husband, he was part of the planning team to design a mag-lev train for that route. My husband and I have been married over 50 years now, and it seems to me that if this high-speed train had been deemed feasible then or at any point since, someone would have built it by now.