A Guide to Opposition Groups
Over the years, a succession of organizations have served as vehicles for the opposition to the Inner Purple Line. The core energy and funding for these groups comes from “NIMBY” not-in-my-back-yard opposition along the route of the trail and rail. This small group of self interested neighbors has dumped a vast amount of energy and cash into defeating the Inner Purple Line. They have spread misinformation about impacts on the trail, noise and general support for their position. This web site and our communications efforts have refuted their claims and spread truth on the debate.
For many years, the core of the opposition was the Columbia Country Club and its membership. But in June 2013, the country club had to face a choice between continued political struggle and cooperation with the state to maintain the quality of its championship golf course. It chose cooperation and dropped its opposition. An exchange of real estate will move the light rail tracks 12 feet to the side and allow the golf course's tees to remain at the most desirable locations.
There has been an alphabet soup of anti-Purple Line organizations. Click on each name for more details.
- Alliance for Smart Transportation (A4ST)
- Columbia CC = Columbia Country Club
- COST = Committee to Save the Trail
- FOCCT = Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail
- GBCCC = Greater Bethesda Chevy Chase Coalition
- Rethinking the Purple Line
- Smartpac = Smart Alternatives for Rail Transit
- Town of Chevy Chase
- Save Our Shared Neighborhoods
The Town of Chevy Chase and other anti-Purple Line homeowners long denied their association with Columbia Country Club, but the record shows that they were close allies until the club's recent reversal. For years, all worked under the umbrella of the country-club-financed Greater Bethesda Chevy Chase Coalition and Committee to Save the Trail. In 2008, two separate coalitions were established, the club-linked A4ST and the Town-funded Rethinking the Purple Line. Rethinking later morphed into the Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail, which registered itself as a revival of the dormant GBCCC.
But Town and country club continued to work hand in glove behind the scenes. In November 2008, the country club sent the Maryland Transit Administration a letter requesting certain data and threatening a legal demand if the data was not provided. A month later the follow-up letter arrived - signed by the Town's lawyers, Sidley Austin.
In 2013 an anonymous anti-Purple Line website appeared, claiming to be a grassroots organization called Save Our Shared Neighborhoods. Only on May 1, 2015, did any real person identify themselves with this website. It turns out to be run by a long-time corporate lobbyist, Missy Foxman, who recently set up a PR and social media consulting business.
Follow the money trail.