Posts tagged ‘Purple Line’
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.
Montgomery County Planning Department
Lyttonsville Open House
6-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 (drop in anytime)
Coffield Community Center
2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring
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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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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.
Public hearing on the Purple Line
Approximately 2 p.m. Thursday, January 8
Park and Planning Headquarters
8787 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring
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.