Big news on the purple line front. Gov. Martin O’Malley yesterday endorsed what is known as the “Locally Preferred Alternative” for the purple line. What is the LPA you ask? Here is a quote from the MTA site.
A Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) is the physical design concept and scope for a major corridor transit investment being proposed by the State for funding by the FTA. For the Purple Line in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, the decision on the LPA identifies the transit mode (bus or light rail), and the location and description of the alignment.
There are plenty of sites dedicated to the purple line so I wont dive into all the details here. The basics fact is that the State of MD has settled on the light rail option and a route across campus. What is interesting it they have left themselves an “out” when it comes to the route taken on campus.
The Purple Line LPA passes on surface directly through the center of the University of Maryland campus, crossing US 1 on Rossborough Lane to enter the new East Campus Development.
So what does “the center of the University of Maryland Campus” mean? The map provided show the route going down campus drive and stopping in front of the Student Union. However the list of stations only states “UM Campus Center” when describing the stations.
The document goes on to explain that MTA is working with UMD to resolve outstanding issues.
University of Maryland: The MTA is working with the University of Maryland to resolve outstanding issues. UM concerns include potential impacts to research from electromagnetic interference and vibration. A cooperative Working Group composed of University and MTA staff has been formed and will work together to address all university concerns, to the extent feasible.