BREAKING: In an unprecedented show of unity, a diverse coalition of student leaders, local elected officials and advocacy groups have mounted a broadside against the University of Maryland’s planned summer trial closure of Campus Drive to most buses. In a letter written to University System of Maryland Chancellor Brit Kirwan, they connected the UMD administration’s bus plan, which is set to begin in June, with UMD’s continued opposition to the only feasible Purple Line route through campus. They implored the University to keep “the buses where they are,” and to “become an ardent champion and outright supporter of the Purple Line.” The coalition called the proposed at-grade Campus Drive alignment “the only achievable option” and demanded the University coordinate campus transportation plans more effectively with the Maryland Transit Administration and the Purple Line planning process.
The letter, drummed up and drafted by Rethink College Park Founder and Co-editor David Daddio, represents the consensus view of every major local stakeholder on and off campus and joins a chorus of other voices (including the Prince George’s County and College Park City councils) opposed to UMD’s transportation plans. The two-page salvo was signed by the leaders of the Student Government Association, the Graduate Student Government, the Residence Hall Association, the Action Committee for Transit President, and Purple Line NOW (signed on behalf of their board – on which Prince George’s County Councilman Eric Olson and College Park Mayor Andy Fellows sit). The letter today represents the strongest and most diverse coalition ever put together to support the Campus Drive alignment and is timed to alter UMD’s planned summer bus trial so it will support rather than work at cross purposes to the Purple Line: READ THE LETTER.