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Posts tagged ‘Purple Line’

Jun 30 14

Purple Line Mandatory Referral Responses Available Online

by Bridget Schwiesow

Purple Line

Public invited to view responses to the Planning Department’s March comments on the Purple Line Mandatory Referral

SILVER SPRING, MD – Responses to the Montgomery County Planning Board’s Purple Line Mandatory Referral recommendations are now available on the Planning Department’s website. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) all responded to the Planning Board’s input.

At the Mandatory Referral Hearing on March 20th, the Planning Board reviewed and took testimony related to four projects: the Purple Line, the Bethesda Metro Station South Entrance, the Capital Crescent Trail and the Silver Spring Green Trail. Mandatory referral review allows the Board to make recommendations to the appropriate agencies for consideration.

In an effort to assure compatibility with communities and businesses along the right of way, many of the recommendations concern ways to improve station access for pedestrians and bicyclists, enhance urban design along the corridor, reduce environmental impacts, and mitigate impacts to parkland.

In addition, the Planning Board recently sent a letter to Councilmember Roger Berliner, Chair of the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy, and Environment, and Committee, identifying the Board’s priorities for enhancing these projects.

And in an effort to highlight a particularly critical recommendation, the Board sent a letter to the County Council asking them to advocate for a direct connection between the existing Red Line station and the planned Purple Line station in downtown Silver Spring.

webpage features an interactive map that highlights the recommendations that the Planning Board will be considering, provides a link to the March 20th staff report, includes descriptions of the individual projects, and includes all of the documents submitted to the department for review.

About the Purple Line
The Purple Line is a proposed 16-mile Light Rail Transit (LRT) line with 21 stations, connecting Bethesda to New Carrollton. It will provide direct connections to the Metrorail Red Line in Bethesda and Silver Spring, the Green Line at College Park, and the Orange Line at New Carrollton. The Purple Line project will be constructed along with three other projects: the Capital Crescent Trail, the Silver Spring Green Trail, and a new entrance to the Bethesda Metrorail station. Learn more on the Maryland Transit Administration’s Purple Line webpage.

What is a Mandatory Referral?
Government agencies planning construction projects located in Montgomery County must refer their plans to the Planning Board for review, in a manner similar to that followed by private developers. However, because the Planning Board’s decision and recommendations are advisory only, an applicant may decide whether to incorporate them or not. Read more about mandatory referrals. Public projects must also comply with other applicable laws and regulations.

Purple Line Functional Plan
The Purple Line Functional Plan was adopted by the County Council in September of 2010, and includes a series of recommendations for the proposed transit line’s route, mode and stations, and for the Capital Crescent Trail and the Silver Spring Green Trail. Download the approved and adopted Purple Line Functional Plan

M-NCPPC Planning Department Staff Contact:
David Anspacher, Functional Planning and Policy
david.anspacher@montgomeryplanning.org
301-495-2191

Tom Autrey, Functional Planning and Policy
thomas.autrey@montgomeryplanning.org
301-495-4533

Mar 13 14

Planning Board Considers Purple Line Mandatory Referrals – Thursday, March 20

by Bridget Schwiesow

Public will have the opportunity to comment on the Purple Line project at Planning Board meeting 

Purple LineSILVER SPRING, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Board will hold a public hearing on the mandatory referrals for the Purple Line and related projects between Bethesda and Takoma Langley Crossroads at their meeting on Thursday, March 20, in the Planning Board Auditorium (8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD). The Planning Board will review and take testimony related to four projects – the Purple Line, the Bethesda Metro Station South Entrance, the Capital Crescent Trail, and the Silver Spring Green Trail – all of which are mandatory referrals, which means that the Board is not the final decision maker but has an opportunity to make recommendations to the appropriate agencies for consideration.

In an effort to assure compatibility with communities and businesses along the right of way, many of the recommendations concern ways to improve station access for pedestrians and bicyclists, enhance urban design along the corridor, reduce environmental impacts, mitigate impacts to parkland, and improve transitions along the Capital Crescent Trail.

A webpage features an interactive map that highlights the recommendations that the Planning Board will be considering, provides a link to the staff report on the March 20 agenda, includes individual project descriptions, and includes all of the documents submitted to the department for review.

Purple Line Projects: Planning Board Public Hearing and Discussion of Comments to Submit
Purple Line, Bethesda Metro Station South Entrance, Capital Crescent Trail, Silver Spring Green Trail
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Planning Board Auditorium
Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland
Sign up to testify before the Planning Board

About the Purple Line
The Purple Line is a proposed 16-mile Light Rail Transit (LRT) line with 21 stations, connecting Bethesda to New Carrollton. It will provide direct connections to the Metrorail Red Line in Bethesda and Silver Spring, the Green Line at College Park, and the Orange Line at New Carrollton. The Purple Line project will be constructed along with three other projects: the Capital Crescent Trail, the Silver Spring Green Trail, and a new entrance to the Bethesda Metrorail station. Learn more on the Maryland Transit Administration’s Purple Line webpage.

What is a Mandatory Referral?
Government agencies planning construction projects located in Montgomery County must refer their plans to the Planning Board for review, in a manner similar to that followed by private developers. However, because the Planning Board’s decision and recommendations are advisory only, an applicant may decide whether to incorporate them or not. Read more about mandatory referrals. Public projects must also comply with other applicable laws and regulations.

Purple Line Functional Plan
The Purple Line Functional Plan was adopted by the County Council in September of 2010, and includes a series of recommendations for the proposed transit line’s route, mode and stations, and for the Capital Crescent Trail and the Silver Spring Green Trail. Download the approved and adopted Purple Line Functional Plan

M-NCPPC Planning Department Staff Contact
David Anspacher, Functional Planning and Policy
david.anspacher@montgomeryplanning.org
301-495-2191

Tom Autrey, Functional Planning and Policy
thomas.autrey@montgomeryplanning.org
301-495-4533

About The Montgomery County Planning Department:
The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, aims to improve quality of life by conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment for current and future generations. The Planning Department creates great communities by developing master plans, reviewing applications for development and analyzing various types of information to help public officials plan for Montgomery County’s future. The Department is comprised of 140 staff members and provides recommendations, information, analysis and services to the Montgomery County Planning Board, the County Council, the County Executive, other government agencies and the general public. Visit www.montgomeryplanning.org 

 

Mar 15 12

Lyttonsville Residents Praise Purple Line Rail Yard Proposed Relocation

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING – Residents of Lyttonsville, a small community west of downtown Silver Spring, were buoyed tonight to hear from state transit officials that a proposed rail yard and maintenance facility to store future Purple Line trains is slated to move farther from their residential neighborhood to an industrial area along Brookville Road.

The Purple Line maintenance and storage site is now proposed west of Lyttonsville Place, near the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission property. The change might require relocating Brookville Road and result in a surface train crossing at Stewart Avenue.

Maryland Transit Administration officials announced the new rail yard location at a meeting attended by about 70 people at the Coffield Community Center. Some of those attending had expressed their concerns about the original rail yard location last fall to Planning Director Rollin Stanley. Planners, who had engaged with Lyttonsville residents to solicit input on the ongoing Zoning Rewrite Project, analyzed the potential Purple Line rail yard locations and framed the discussion for County Council members and MTA officials, who then made the relocation decision.

Building on the community’s interest in the Purple Line project and to continue a dialogue, planners will host a community open house event in Lyttonsville on March 28. They aim to collect impressions from residents and business owners to inform a new master plan scheduled to begin early next year. The proposed rail yard change likely will provide more flexibility for planners when they consider potential land uses in the area.

The 16-mile Purple Line will connect Bethesda with New Carrollton in Prince George’s County. One of the proposed 21 stations is in Lyttonsville, a close-knit, primarily residential community bordered by a the Brookville Road industrial area. Lyttonsville was once a predominantly African American community that was founded by a freed slave in the 1800s.

WHO:
Montgomery County Planning Department

WHAT:
Lyttonsville Open House

WHEN/WHERE:
6-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 (drop in anytime)
Coffield Community Center
2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring

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Jan 15 09

Montgomery County Planning Board Recommends Light Rail for Purple Line

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING – After hours of testimony and consideration on the Purple Line, the Montgomery County Planning Board voted today for the public transportation project to take the form of light rail rather than bus rapid transit.

Proposed for years as a new east-west public transit route across Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, the 16-mile Purple Line is proposed to run from Bethesda to New Carrollton, and provide connections to Metro at Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park and New Carrollton, as well as connect with major bus routes, the MARC train and Amtrak.

The Board will send its input to the County Council, which will take up the transit project next week. The Council will then forward its recommendation on the Montgomery County section of the Purple Line to the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), which is in charge of the project.

“Our existing and future density will support light rail,” said Planning Board Chairman Royce Hanson, adding that light rail has greater capacity to move passengers than bus rapid transit. Hanson added that light rail will be better for air quality, especially as electricity generation gets cleaner, and that noise levels would be less, particularly important in urban areas.

The light rail decision, which trumped bus rapid transit in a 4-1 vote, (with Commissioner Amy Presley dissenting), was the biggest consideration of a host of recommendations, including station locations, tunnels versus street level, and the future of the popular Capital Crescent Trail that runs along the line’s proposed path. The Board agreed with staff recommendations to go with a surface route along Wayne Avenue in Silver Spring and eliminate a proposed station at Wayne Avenue and Dale Drive.

Board members agreed with staff that the Capital Crescent Trail recreational path can parallel a light rail track and share an existing tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue. Planners also recommended – and the Board endorsed – that the trail be rebuilt above the train through the tunnel. The Board also specified, following staff’s recommendation, that large trees be planted as a screen between the trail and the tracks along the route.

The Board received a near-record amount of public input on the project, with close to 50 speakers and some 950 pieces of correspondence.

State transportation officials estimate that up to 63,000 passengers will ride the Purple Line daily.

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Dec 22 08

Montgomery County Transportation Planners Recommend Light Rail for Purple Line While Protecting Popular Trail

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING – On Thursday, January 8, the Montgomery County Planning Board will cast its vote on the best way to build the Purple Line, proposed for years as a new east-west public transit route across Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The Board will make recommendations about bus versus light rail, the route and other issues, such as station locations and ways to protect and improve a popular bike trail that runs along the line’s proposed path.

Today, the Board’s transportation planners issued their recommendations, the most significant of which was that the Purple Line run on light rail rather than bus rapid transit. Light rail can better handle the expected ridership, forecast to reach 2,000 passengers during the busiest weekday hour in the year 2030, planners say.

The Board will weigh the planners’ recommendations during its January 8 public hearing, then send its input to the County Council and to the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). Its decision concerns only the Montgomery County section of the Purple Line.

MTA will make the final decision on the biggest public transportation project in the county since Metro built the Red Line. The proposed 16-mile  Purple Line would run from Bethesda to New Carrollton, including stops at  and provide connections to Metro at Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park and New Carrollton, as well as buses, the MARC train and Amtrak.

State transportation officials estimate that up to 70,000 passengers will ride the Purple Line daily.

The planners’ report endorses one of MTA’s Purple Line alternatives (called “medium investment light rail”) specifying the type of transit, the route and 22 stations, with two significant differences.

Planners recommend the state eliminate the station at Wayne Avenue and Dale Drive in Silver Spring because their analysis showed that riders will tend to board either east of the area or closer to the Silver Spring Transit Center now under construction.

Planners also call for preserving the Capital Crescent/Georgetown Branch bike trail tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda. They say the trail should continue through the tunnel but be constructed above the train. Planners also recommend widening the trail to 12 feet where possible as part of the Purple Line project.

The transit line will do more than just create a shortcut between the two legs of the Red Line and reduce reliance on cars. If done right, planners say, the Purple Line will create better connections to where people work, live and spend their time as well as spur opportunities for new housing in some communities. Moreover, the Purple Line should promote new street activity in the downtown areas along the route.

Since planners first envisioned the Purple Line in the mid-1980s, they studied the route and impact of the section proposed between Bethesda and Silver Spring. In today’s report, planners recommend that the state better analyze travel demand and other issues on the east side of the line through East Silver Spring and Takoma-Langley. For example, some residents in East Silver Spring favor a Purple Line tunnel under Wayne Avenue. Planners recommend new analysis to gain understanding about the impacts of a surface versus tunnel path – although they prefer a street-level line on Wayne Avenue.

Planners worked with a Planning Board-appointed citizens’ advisory group that provided input for the report. While the citizens’ group was unable to reach consensus on whether the Purple Line should be light rail or bus – or over what route it should run – the report recognizes the group’s work and recommendations on many of the issues.

Learn more about the Purple Line project.

The public is welcome to speak at the Board’s January 8 public hearing, although given the large number of people who may want to speak, Chairman Royce Hanson is encouraging people to send written testimony of any length. Written testimony should be received by noon on January 2. Testimony will be limited to two hours, with each speaker receiving no more than three minutes.

People signing up to speak on January 8 will need to specify which segment of the Montgomery County Purple Line they wish to address – Bethesda/Chevy Chase; Silver Spring; Long Branch/Takoma/Langley; or the entire length – using the online sign-up system or by calling 301-495-4601.

WHAT:   
Public hearing on the Purple Line

WHEN:   
Approximately 2 p.m. Thursday, January 8

WHERE:
Park and Planning Headquarters
8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring

Nov 24 08

Montgomery County Transportation Planners Identify Issues for Planning Board Review of Proposed Purple Line

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING – In response to a Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) report specifying alternative approaches for the Purple Line, Montgomery County transportation planners will brief the Planning Board in early December on key issues to consider as Board members form a local recommendation for the project.

On January 8, the Board will hold a public hearing on the Purple Line to inform its decision on a recommendation for the route and type of transit – light rail or bus rapid transit – for the Montgomery County section of the Purple Line. The Board’s recommendation will go to the County Council and then to MTA, which will make the final decision.

The Purple Line, a proposed 16-mile light rail or bus rapid transit line, would run from Bethesda to New Carrollton and provide direct connections to Metrorail, local and inter-city bus and the MARC train.

In preparation for the January decision, the Board has invited MTA on December 8 to review key issues in a work session format. No public testimony will be accepted.

Also in advance of the January hearing, the Board’s transportation planning staff will present some of the main issues to its advisory group, among them:

  • Ridership data for each Purple Line segment contrasted for bus rapid transit and light rail
  • Funding opportunities and constraints
  • Whether the route should run along Jones Bridge Road between Bethesda and Jones Mill Road
  • How the Purple Line route might impact the Georgetown Branch trail, a popular bikeway along which the county and state have acquired right-of-way for an eventual transit route
  • How to accommodate the route through downtown Silver Spring and East Silver Spring

The public is welcome to speak at the Board’s January 8 public hearing, although Chairman Royce Hanson is encouraging people to send written testimony, which can be of any length, given the large number of people who may wish to be heard. Written testimony should be received by noon on January 2. Testimony will be limited to two hours, with each speaker receiving no more than three minutes.

People wishing to sign up to speak on January 8 will need to specify which segment of the Montgomery County Purple Line they wish to address – Bethesda/Chevy Chase; Silver Spring; Long Branch/Takoma/Langley; or the entire length – using the online sign-up system available in late December on the Planning Board website or by calling 301/495-4600.