Purple Line Receives Green Light for Next Phase – CP Open House 11/1

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The Purple Line, a proposed light rail line that is a critical part of College Park’s future development, has cleared an important hurdle on the way to becoming a reality. On October 7th Governor Martin O’Malley announced that the Federal Transit Administration has given the go ahead for the project to proceed to the “Preliminary Engineering” phase. This means that the project now can move on to developing more detailed plans, construction schedules, and cost estimates, and can complete the relevant environmental studies. This latest approval is no guarantee of ultimate federal funding for the project, but it moves the project an important step closer.

The Purple Line is a planned 16 mile light rail line that will run from Bethesda in the west to the New Carrollton Amtrak station in the east. The College Park/University of Maryland area will be one of the main beneficiaries of the project, with 5 planned stations (University College, UMD Student Union, East Campus/Route 1, College Park Metro, and River Rd./M Square). Important progress was made earlier this year when University of Maryland President Wallace Loh announced that the university was dropping its opposition to a route that passes through the middle of the UMD campus. That route received strong support from the Maryland Transportation Administration (MTA) and from the local community and officials.

The MTA has announced a series of Open Houses to update community members on this next phase of the project. The first of these will be held in the Prince George’s Room at the Stamp Student Union, in the middle of the UMD campus, on Tuesday November 1st, from 5:30 – 8:30 pm. All are welcome.

5 thoughts on “Purple Line Receives Green Light for Next Phase – CP Open House 11/1”

  1. I noticed that the new revised plan is upsetting a lot of people, who were promised that their houses etc.. wouldn’t be encroached on, only to find out that they will be compulsory purchased. It also seems like they are deliberately making it harder to use the trail, now that access to it requires walking across a bridge to get to it (what about people with bikes and disabled?).

    Yet again it doesn’t seem thought out, except of course, in encouraging high density development in locations its not needed. (see last week’s Gazette for the details).

  2. I assume Paul is referring to the Oct. 5 article “Silver Spring residents question Purple Line redesign”: http://www.gazette.net/article/20111005/NEWS/710059578&template=gazette . This includes quotes from residents of Lyttonsville, who are upset at last-minute changes to the design that would change the location of a Metro maintenance facility. I find it hard to believe anyone would intentionally make a trail harder to use, but perhaps I’m naive.

    While there are concerns that the maintenance facility would lower the quality of life for residents of Lyttonsville, I don’t see anything in this article claiming that the Purple Line would encourage high-density development in locations it’s not needed. These are not the same thing.

  3. Is this remark primarily related to the ongoing dispute on the western end of the Purple Line over the routing through Bethesda/Chevy Chase/Silver Spring?

    Dense development will happen near major public transportation infrastructure. And that is a good thing. Encouraging people to live in situations where they take up less space and drive less is one of the best things we can do for the environment.

  4. No, it should have minimal impact on Paint Branch Parkway. The Purple Line will approach Route 1 by crossing the Engineering Fields at UMd, then pass through the middle of the new East Campus development. It will briefly coincide with Paint Branch Parkway as it approaches the underpass beneath the Metro/CSX tracks, before turning into River Road. The Purple Line description says that the trains and cars will share lanes on that short stretch of Paint Branch Parkway.

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