After nearly three weeks of waiting, the University has responded to student concerns about their new position against an at-grade alignment of the Purple Line on campus.
Not only does the response completely ignore the basic point of the original student letter (we weren’t simply advocating the benefits of the Purple Line), it maintains the University’s wildly unresponsible position against an at-grade alignment through campus. All we asked is that the University work pro-actively and collaboratively with MTA to ensure that we get the best possible alignment through campus. Instead, Dr. Mote’s letter only reinforces the fact that the University fundamentally misunderstands the Purple Line planning process.
Response to the response:
I appreciate your response to our April 25th letter concerning the University’s position on the Purple Line. I also appreciate the University’s continued support for the project (in the abstract). That being said, I’m extremely disappointed to see that the University is apparently holding to its opposition of an at-grade Purple Line crossing of campus. Our letter was not simply advocating the benefits of the project, but pointing out the fundamental misconceptions about the project’s planning process which reach the highest levels of the University administration.
As has been made abundantly clear by various MTA officials we have spoken with, an underground alignment through College Park has long since been abandoned because of cost constraints. After much study, the only alignment through campus which MTA is considering is an at-grade light rail or bus rapid transit option along Campus Drive. I’m confident that this alignment can be pursued in a safe and effective manner while maintaining and enhancing the aesthetic beauty and pedestrian safety on campus. This ideal can only be accomplished through proactive and collaborative effort with MTA’s Purple Line planning team – an effort which is hindered by the University’s continued opposition to an at-grade alignment. Again, we urge your administration to rescind its at-grade position in order to pursue the best possible options for the Purple Line.