They’re Either One Or The Other

Somewhere back there in earlier posts, I said most of the people who oppose new transit systems fall into one of two groups: the uninformed or the selfish.

Those in the selfish category are generally people who live in an area that will not be directly served by transit, but whose taxes will help pay for the system. These are the same folks who send their kids to private school, then grouse about having their taxes go to the public school system.

There’s a proposal now in the Washington, DC, area to extend the Metro system into the hoity-toity suburb of Chevy Chase, Maryland. Because the existing system is so successful, prevailing public sentiment has been positive. In recent weeks, however, a new web site has popped up opposing the new transit line … lots of criticism, but no alternate solutions.

There’s also no mention of who’s behind the web site … just a vague reference to “concerned citizens”. That obvious omission peaked the interest of some of the pro-transit people who did a little digging.

It turns out that the web site’s owner is a company located in the Madeira Islands off the coast of Portugal. And like the famous Swiss bankers, this company won’t reveal the names of its clients. Undaunted, there was more sleuthing that included research into the State of Maryland’s tax records.

Aha! It turns out that the mysterious company’s founder is a board member of the Columbia Country Club in Montgomery, Maryland. And guess what? The proposed route for the new transit line would cross part of the 100-year-old golf club’s property.

The head of the pro-transit organization summed it all up rather neatly:

“What’s going on here is a battle between commuters who want to get to work and a bunch of people who don’t want to look at trolley cars while they play golf.”

Those country club bozos definitely belong in the ‘selfish’ category.