Diamondback: Campus Drive is Best for Purple Line

Purple Line 5

In a long-planned editorial today, the Diamondback declared the “debate should be over” when it comes to the Purple Line location on campus. In their view, the “people have spoken” in support of the Campus Drive alignment, which “would be the most accessible for commuters, least disruptive for students in dorms and most easily incorporated into the overall layout of the campus.” They argue the Campus Drive alignment would reduce the University’s “heavy reliance” on private automobiles and advance the institution’s stated environmental goals. The editorial critiques the administration’s handling of the debate and has kind things to say about this website.

The editorial also points out University leaders and community members have a stake in the next transportation funding bill Congress will take up later in this congressional session. The re-authorization of the old bill (called “SAFETEA-LU”) will set funding levels and policies for much-needed transit projects like the Purple Line across the nation. While state planners have said they’ll apply for funding before this new law takes effect, it is certainly possible additional delays mean the project would be considered under new rules.

> Diamondback Staff Editorial: “The People’s Line

15 thoughts on “Diamondback: Campus Drive is Best for Purple Line”

  1. It’s April 1st. I would have expected this post to say that Mote is now supporting the campus drive alignment.

  2. Actually their is near total agreement that the old Federal transportation bill should NOT be reauthorized, but that a radically different bill needs to be adopted with a much higher level of funding that better sets funding priorities. Some have dubbed the possible bill “Green Tea.”

  3. Best line by FAR from the Diamondback article.

    “History, as we know, is littered with the catastrophes created when ignorant old men draw lines on maps.”

    Oh SNAP no he didn’t!

  4. MTA will be returning to the City of College Park with a focus group scheduled for April 9th at 7-9 pm in CP City Hall (4500 Knox Rd). This is an opportunity for interested members of the community to see MTA’s progress in presenting a side by side comparison between the Campus Drive and Chapel Lawn alignments. It is crucial that Purple Line supporters attend these meetings.

    The Diamondback editorial is really quite eloquent – no doubt in part due to the longer term development of the arguments in support of the Purple Line presented in Rethink College Park. It is fitting that the editorial gives credit to Rob and Dave as they transition to the next phase of their lives. Let us hope that Rethink will survive them!

    Dr. Mote’s pessimism on the issue seems to mask an outright wish that this would just go away in favor of his anachronistic I-95 Connector Rd. The truth is that the Purple Line – with ridership projections now ranging up to 68,000 boardings a day -is very competitive with other projects elsewhere in the country.

  5. “with ridership projections now ranging up to 68,000 boardings a day”

    Where do you hear this mullarkey. I sure hope that if government sponsored fraud is committed to advance this White Elephant people will be held accountable. Perp walk here we come.

  6. I agree with the Diamondback that the best place for the Purple Line is the Campus Drive Alignment. The four proposed places for the Purple Line run along Chapel Field, the South Campus Dining Hall, Stadium Drive, and Campus Drive. I feel that the Chapel Field Alignment and South Campus Dining Hall Alignments aren’t centrally located and therefore wouldn’t be as helpful as if the Purple Line was located somewhere else. Both of these alignments are too far into South Campus to be completely effective. Students who live on or are trying to get to North Campus would most likely be very opposed to the Chapel Field and South Campus Dining Hall Alignments. That leaves the decision of where to put the Purple Line between the Campus Drive and Stadium Drive Alignments. The Stadium Drive Alignment is a little too far towards North Campus in my opinion and isn’t a place where students often go which is why the Campus Drive Alignment is the best option. The Campus Drive Alignment location is perfect for many reasons. First of all, it’s right next to the Stamp Student Union and bus stations which are both centers of student activity. There’s so much going on around there all the time which is good because it means students will already be in the area and can easily access it. Also, it’s very close to the mall and McKeldin Library which is where a lot of classes and studying take place. This means students won’t have to worry about walking far to get where they need to go after taking the Purple Line to campus. In addition to this, it’s pretty centrally located between North and South Campus housing so it’s fair for students who live on either side of campus. Lastly, it’s far enough from most residence halls that when it comes rumbling in late at night or early in the morning, it won’t disturb students that much. I think all of these reasons prove why the Campus Drive Alignment is the best place for the proposed Purple Line.
    The Purple Line also has many benefits for this campus. The Purple Line will cut down the need for many of the cars and buses on campus which will cut down campus traffic, a major issue at times. Fewer cars and buses also means less emissions from those cars and buses which is good for the environment’s sake. It also means more available parking spaces for students, guests, and faculty members which is beneficial because there is always a struggle to find parking options on campus. The Purple Line will also make a lot more places in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. more accessible to students. For example, if a student wants to go to Bethesda or Silver Spring, he/she has to take the Green Line to Fort Totten, switch to the Red Line and take it relatively far in either direction. With the proposed Purple Line, both Bethesda and Silver Spring would be just a few stops away from College Park on the same line. The final advantage of bringing the Purple Line to campus is the business it can bring in. Because of their Metro stations, Bethesda and Silver Spring have really developed into urban activity centers. If the Purple Line went through College Park and more specifically the University of Maryland campus, it may further the development of the area, an area that many know needs to be cleaned up. These reasons are why the Purple Line should be brought to the University of Maryland campus and use the Campus Drive Alignment.

  7. The Purple line should not run through Campus, especially not through campus drive. Through my analysis over this past semester at College Park, I have come the conclusion that the Purple Line will destroy the campus identity, turning it more into a city than a college campus. Running the Purple Line up Campus Drive will cause the destruction of some of the Campus’s most recognizable landmarks. One of the most important of these is the flowerbed that lies in middle of the circle, which campus drive runs directly through. Now, for a commuter like me, I see that flowerbed and I know that I am on the University Maryland Campus. I pass the gates and feel honored to be a part of the Campus with such great student, teacher, and faculty pride. That one symbol in the entrance of campus defines the University identity.
    Also, I would like to bring to attention the dangers that will be imposed as a result of the new Purple Line. The amount of pedestrian traffic that runs through this campus is very high. It is important to remember that University of Maryland houses around 25,000 students. This massive amount of people in such a relatively small area is already dangerous when looking at the potential for someone to be hit by a car. I know when I first drove on the University of Maryland campus I came very close to hitting a student because I was not aware of how many students cross the street without looking. Students come from all directions, not just in the designated crosswalks. Now, observing this fact one can see the high potential for pedestrian injuries from a Light Rail. Unlike a car, light rails don’t have the ability to stop quickly and on demand. The best thing a light rail can do is shut down power, and sound its horn to warn the pedestrian of an incoming train. In my observations of city light rails, I have seen on many frequent occasions, instances where someone got too close to the tracks and almost got hit by the oncoming light Rail. It would be a shame for students to be put at such high risk while going to class or going out at night.
    Traffic congestion caused by the Purple Line will also be maxed further than it already is, as light rail track will cause car lanes to be relocated. Any student that walks to class on daily basis sees the congestion that flows up Campus Drive. Where will these cars be relocated? Another route through campus must be run, which means even more construction and destruction to the existing serene environment that makes up the Maryland Campus. Also, Route one will become more congested as light rail crossings will cause more lights to be put it in and thus halt traffic more than times than existing traffic lights.
    Another important aspect is the issue of gentrification that may take place as result of the Purple Line running through Campus. Students are going to be pushed out, as they will feel less inclined to sit and relax and use the current environment as they do today. The enacted environment will change from relaxing to a more urban city rush. Students will not feel at home anymore as they go to sleep and wake up to the sound of bells and alarms from the Light Rail track. The area outside Hornbake Library may not be used for leisure study as noise from the Light Rail and the commuter traffic disturbs the environment.
    Overall I really don’t think that this project satisfies the land-based interests of the College Park community. The land that makes up the University Campus is defined as a place to learn and bond with friends and classmates. It was not meant to become a self-supporting city with massive a Light Rail running directly through it. Therefore, I feel that is in the better interest of the students at the University of Maryland to take action and use tactics against this project so that the land and identity of this Campus may be protected and preserved to maintain its long history of tradition. The Purple Line can be run around campus or somewhere nearby, and it will accomplish the same ends for the community. The Red and Green lines would still be linked, however the University of Maryland Campus will not be disturbed.

  8. I do as well agree with the Purple Line being placed on Campus Drive. Not only is the location right but also it brings lots of pros to the community. First of all, the Purple Line will bring so much to the college park community, both the University and the city of College Park. Researching and working on a project about the Purple Line made me more familiar with why the Purple should be placed. With the first concern that should be considered when constructing the Purple Line would be the safety issue and the great amount of traffic that is present every single day at the University of Maryland. With the traffic concern, the Purple Line will essentially create less traffic because more people would use the Purple Line instead of their own cars, because it is not much of the traffic they are concerned but as well the limited parking space. More commuter students would not have to worry about getting out of their houses so early to get to class because either they can take the Purple Line and go straight through to the University or because of less traffic they can drive to the University in a reasonable time out of their house. This is usually a great concern for students, which in most cases are the commuters. Now with the safety issue, with less cars, the risks of being hit would decrease. The students would not have to worry about having the cars stopping or not because this usually happens when there is lots of traffic and the cars are in a hurry. The students would know that cars would stop more for them because there is less traffic and they can get to their destination faster, without worry about traffic. Not only are pedestrians affected by this but also the bikers. Because there are no bike lanes, bikers usually ride on the streets because there are lots people on the sidewalks. However, with less cars because of the Purple Line, more bikers would feel less worried about getting hit by a car.
    In terms of the location in where the Purple Line will be placed, it will make students reach Mckelden Library faster. Most students when it is time for studying, for finals or midterms, they would go to this library because it is the perfect spot in a quite environment. With having the Purple Line located not that far from the Library, the students could reach the library fast when they are in a hurry to study, as well as leave to go home. Also, this station is located around the center of the University, basically where most students are located.
    The Purple Line located in from of Stamp and just having the Purple Line created in the first place will be beneficial to all the students from the University as well as the community of the city of College Park. The residents will be able to take this line to reach the University as well as pass through it to a destination on route 1. Overall, the students and the residents will be able to interact with each other more while on the Purple Line of course.

  9. I do as well agree with the Purple Line being placed on Campus Drive. Not only is the location right but also it brings lots of pros to the community. First of all, the Purple Line will bring so much to the college park community, both the University and the city of College Park. Researching and working on a project about the Purple Line made me more familiar with why the Purple Line should be placed. With the first concern that should be considered when constructing the Purple Line would be the safety issue and the great amount of traffic that is present every single day at the University of Maryland. With the traffic concern, the Purple Line will essentially create less traffic because more people would use the Purple Line instead of their own cars, because it is not much of the traffic they are concerned but as well the limited parking space. More commuter students would not have to worry about getting out of their houses so early to get to class because either they can take the Purple Line and go straight through the University or because of less traffic they can drive to the University in a reasonable time out of their house. This is usually a great concern for students, which in most cases are the commuters. Now with the safety issue, with fewer cars, the risks of being hit would decrease. The students would not have to worry about having the cars stopping or not because this usually happens when there is lots of traffic and the cars are in a hurry. The students would know that cars would stop more for them because there is less traffic and they can get to their destination faster, without worry about traffic. Not only are pedestrians affected by this but also the bikers. Because there are no bike lanes, bikers usually ride on the streets because there are lots of people on the sidewalks. However, with fewer cars because of the Purple Line, more bikers would feel less worried about getting hit by a car.
    In terms of the location in where the Purple Line will be placed, it will make students reach Mckelden Library faster. Most students when it is time for studying for finals or midterms, they would go to this library because it is the perfect spot in a quite environment. With having the Purple Line located not far from the library, the students could reach the library fast when they are in a hurry to study, as well as leave to go home. Also, this station is located around the center of the University, basically where most students are located.
    The Purple Line located in front of Stamp and just having the Purple Line created in the first place will be beneficial to all students from the University as well as the community of the city of College Park. The residents will be able to take this line to reach the University as well as pass through it to a destination on Route 1. Overall, the students and the residents will be able to interact with each other more while on the Purple Line, of course.

  10. “History, as we know, is littered with the catastrophes created when ignorant old men draw lines on maps.” This quote states that as new urbanism rises the world is becoming more and more man made therefore the world is becoming less and less natural and corrupted. I do not agree with this quote I believe human use the land in good ways by taking gentrification into good use. Men take not as well developed locations and mold it into a society where others can benefit from. Therefore, I believe if the purple line was to be placed on/ trough Campus drive, student, facility, and visitors would gain a plus.
    First of all, with all the traffic concerns the purple line creates less danger for both drivers and pedestrians. As a student more so as a College Park commuter, I go trough many obstacles parking and walking to class due to the high traffic rates in the University of Maryland College Park. The front stage of the college park, for example the BIG pretty M in the entrance makes College Park seem like a peaceful and non hectic school. However, the back stage says the opposite once you enter the school there is crazy I mean Crazy traffic early in the morning, especially. I feel Purple line would reduce the stress of my everyday commuting. With less traffic and a well or at least better organized road with the Purple line many will benefit traffic wise.
    Second of all, the purple line will give students opportunities to travel the Maryland Virginia, and Washington D.C areas. Let’s say a student wanted to visit his friend in Virginia they could switch to different lines and go easily to their destination.
    From this easy usable line I am sure or even CONFIDENT that the near by College Park Business would ameliorate in their profits. With these businesses booming there will be great development especially new urbanism. With College Park becoming more and more city like and more developed it will also bring in more and more people who in turn would increase store sales.
    Lastly, I feel like the College Park community is a low brow environment. There are so many low class mama papa stores around college Park like the china café and the café delite. With the Purple line… the community will become more developed so more popular culture name food chains would come in. In return that would make the College Park Community a higher brow kind of place.
    HOWEVER, with every pro there are cons. I believe the Purple lines ONLY flaw is the construction. This period of time may last a long LONG time and cause traffic and commotion. With the purple line many questions rises. How would the contraction take place? Or for that matter, WHEN would the construction take place?
    The gentrification that would be happening in College Park after the construction may be disastrous. The University of Maryland College Park’s Identity will be gone and a new identity would take over, a more city like place…. And many students go to College Park because of the School’s vintage taste. And I believe TASTE is an important and vital piece in a student’s everyday life and study habits.
    Besides the New Urbanism reconstruction I feel student, teachers, faculty members, community members, and visitors will benefit from the Purple Line! It would do so much for The University of Maryland College Park and those who live close by.

  11. The idea of the Purple Line going through campus is nice, however I do not believe it is applicable for the College Park campus. After looking at this website, others, and thinking back on my classmate’s projects on the topic, I am still trying to figure out, what is the purpose of the light rail? Sure it would be make Silver Spring, Bethesda, and DC, more accessible, however will students really take advantage of this system? I believe in the beginning when it’s new everyone will be excited to use it, yet after a year or two, it will be more convienient for non-CP students/ residents. Would it really make parking better? I’m a commuter and yes traffic is horrible on Campus Drive at the top of each hour (that’s why I avoid it), nonetheless I do not see myself using the Purple Line. If I do not park on campus, I would have to leave my car at the metro center and still pay a fee to use their garage. Even on the simulations, there would be more traffic than shown because of everyone entering and waiting to leave the campus. So the beautiful trees and few people walking around, wouldn’t be the case.
    My main concern is the construction and all the chaos that it will cause. Even with detours, students will hear the construction in the nearby classrooms like Jimenez Hall or the apartments (i.e. St. Mary’s Hall). How will the detours affect the local metro buses and their routes and so forth?
    In conclusion, I believe the government and the University could be using this funding in another and better way. This project will only benefit a few. For example, they could spend it on more housing for their students and better lighting across the campus. Some of the concerns were crime and we are already an open campus, so they are inviting more and more people onto campus. Since students tend to walk around in the late hours, with such dim lights they are susceptible to robbery and other crimes that plague the campus and surrounding area. In the end, I feel that the University is looking at dollar signs more than what the actual students need during their years on campus. Even with the Purple Line, Campus Drive or whichever street they decide to put the light rail on, traffic will be horrible. This will be like that picture of Cabrini Green we saw in class. The light rail is the beautiful homes and in the back the projects, which would be all the other problems the University need to tackle, yet the light rail would be an asethetic and helpful for non-CP people.

  12. I agree that the Purple Line should run through Campus Dr. as well and I think it is the obvious choice. When coming from a commuter’s perspective that is in walking distance of Metro in DC, this will further encourage them to take the Metro as a substitute for driving. If, for example, the Purple Line were located on an extreme of the campus, some student might rather take a short drive than to use the Metro and then walk another 25 minutes to class.
    This location gives prospective students a more available opportunity to go to DC as well. Some students I know have barely been to our nation’s capital at all and we’re right next to it! They don’t feel like taking the bus and waiting for the Metro, but if it right in the middle of campus, many more would be inclined to go.
    I also think that for students as well as citizens in the DC area getting off of the Metro to visit our campus would be greater pleased if on Campus Drive. It is the best-kept and most visually appealing part of campus. It presents a real front stage atmosphere and ignores the over-piled trashcans and run-down sidewalks in other areas of the campus.
    Most of all, this allows DC residents to easily come admire our sporting events, concerts, and anything going on at the University of Maryland and further widens the variability of visitors to our campus, and inevitably proves to be a positive effect on our reputation.

  13. This is really good news! Campus Drive is convenient and accessible place for commuters.
    After some prior research on this issue, many concerns have been presented such as: traffic and pedestrian safety. Two major problems!! Well after looking more into the issue, the train will have brakes!! And even without the purple rail being present, as of right now, pedestrians are bound to get hurt by cars that students are driving. Professional drivers will be put behind the wheels of the purple line trains (hopefully). And secondly, yes there will be major traffic re-routing due to construction. A great solution to help prevent too much traffic is to have the University hold meetings for students and faculty. Also emails should be sent out to students prior to the school day to let everyone know what roads closed and what are opened. I have to admit, that yes traffic is bound to happen but the end result will be a beautiful efficient form of transformation for both commuters and on campus students.

  14. I do not think that the Purple Line should run through Campus Drive. First of all, I don’t see aesthetics as the big issue here – I don’t think that a light rail line will necessarily threaten the character or feel of campus as a whole. In fact, I think it might look very sleek. I just think that there are many issues that aren’t being seriously considered.
    First of all, I don’t believe that adding the purple line will not decrease on-campus traffic. People love to drive if it is more convenient for them. Students who live off campus may not necessarily be close enough to a purple line stop to warrant utilization of it. For example, if a student may have to drive to a purple line station, find parking there, wait for a purple line train, and pay a daily fee, when they could easily drive their car directly to campus. Housing near the purple line stops will probably become extremely expensive and difficult to acquire due to high demand, and students will still continue to live far off campus and rely on their cars.
    Therefore, all of the traffic that clogs up Campus Drive will have to find somewhere else to go – it will not just disappear because of the Purple Line. This will make traffic much worse in other areas like Stadium Drive.
    Also, the purple line will allow anyone on campus at any time, causing a decrease in security. The security guards at the gates now who check cars after dark are obviously there for a reason, but you cannot check for ID from everyone on a purple line rail car.
    The strategies used by developers in creating the redeveloped East Campus area create a more Aristotlean space, full of both public and private areas, including a proposed purple line stop, that will be integrated well. Hopefully this area will differ from the Nietzschean feel of the rest of College Park. If there was a better utilization of space surrounding the other purple line stops, then perhaps it would be beneficial to construct it, because more students would be able to live in areas where they wouldn’t even feel the need to have a car on campus, due to the presence of nearby shops and a purple line station. Yet it would be impossible to have these kinds of developments all over the place. I can only really see students benefitting from the purple line if they commute from Montgomery County or live on East Campus.

  15. Although the campus’s transportation services have dramatically changed (for the better) over the past few years, considerably since the bus system has extensively changed its’ routes and has added more stops, there is a still a need for an improvement to the system. The purple line would dramatically improve the apparent lack of transportation on campus, as well as bring a more easily accessible route on to, as well as off campus, that to say the least, can at times be a hassle. The best plan, which is the proposal that would place the purple line through the heart of the university, would expand the Campus Drive to accommodate the purple rail. However, despite Campus Drive being the most convenient place for the line, it is quite hard to fathom such a road and place that is already extremely crowded and condensed. The proposed plan would in fact have the light rail be placed on the same place as where the cars would be able to drive over the ground when the rail is not present (similar to that of Baltimore’s system). Right now with the current bussing system there can be very late waits for the busses to arrive, especially when pertaining to the stops that are off campus and further from the center of the campus. The purple line, which would complete a transit from the metro and all the way to 193, would dramatically enhance the accessibility of travel throughout the College Park metropolis. Right now, many graduate students live off of 193 and Metzerott road and most have to drive to on campus classes because the walk is at least 2-3 miles at the if they’re lucky. The system that is in effect right now with busses coming periodically throughout the day (typically 15 min intervals) can be very inconvenient. At times the shuttles stop at nights and on weekends not allowing many students to reach on-campus or going back to off-campus housing at certain times. The easily accessible purple line will enable students that live off campus to get on campus in a much easier manner that will be much more efficient with less time for error (the bus system is often times inconsistent). The line will also allow for the easier traveling to and from on campus to off campus sites that were not reachable by shuttle before (193 and Metzerott etc.) however, this will also allow for the quicker traveling to and from the Metro without the hassle of the shuttles only coming every 25 min. With the purple line, the traveling will not be confined to certain shorts loops and routes, but expanded to a whole new larger and broader system that would allow for more frequent stops but also allow for travel on the bus system as well (to more specific locations). The construction of the purple line will overall enhance he traffic on, to and from campus and would create a dramatic improvement to the University of Maryland and the city of College Park as a whole.

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