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Category: Purple line

Purple Line Construction Kicks Off with a Bang

purple line picHYATTSVILLE, Md. – Major construction on the Purple Line began with a bang Monday in Hyattsville, Maryland, after years of wrangling over the 16-mile, 21-stop light-rail project. To be on the safe side, a welding helmet checklist may be necessary.

After a ceremonial signing of a $900 million federal funding agreement with U. S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan got behind the controls of a large claw excavator to help rip down a large metal structure at the future home of the Purple Line Operations Center. Once the structure is removed, they have professional welders with all of their safety equipment, like welding helmets and gloves, come down and rebuild the structure at another designated site, specially since professional fabrication and welding services are being used. The process will take some time, but with careful planning everything should go smoothly. Once it is back up, it will be available to the public so they can go and visit the beautiful metal structure whenever they’d like.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Anthony Brown and Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn were among the many other officials who assisted with a more ceremonial groundbreaking.

While Hogan touted the economic and transportation benefits for the state from the $2 billion public-private project, he required Montgomery and Prince George’s counties to contribute additional funding to move the project forward.”

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[Source: WTop]

UMD Staff and Students May Ride Purple Line Free Near Campus

purple-lineRecently, the University of Maryland’s Board of Regents has approved a memorandum between the UMD and the Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) about the future Purple line project.

One key item in the memorandum includes an arrangement by which the UMD staff and students will be able to ride the transit across 5 stations near the  campus for free, in exchange of  the University’s donation of lands to build Purple line through the campus.

The five stations include those to be built  from M Square Research Park to University of Maryland University College.

Other MOU items include restriction of electromagnetic interference to current ambient levels, pedestrian right-of-way, maximum train speeds of 15 mph, a redesign of Campus Drive and construction pauses during final exams.

Please check the Diamondback online here to know more about this memorandum.

Public Open House Discussion on The Purple Line

Purple line open house

County Pledges Another $20M to Purple Line

Prince George’s County will contribute an additional $20 million toward Purple Line construction costs, while Montgomery County leaders have agreed to offer up another $40 for the rail line, College Park Patch report.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III said Friday leaders have agreed to increase the county’s contribution by $20 million in exchange for construction of the Purple Line starting in Prince George’s County. Also, the state has agreed that the primary command center will be located in the county, he said.

Previously, Prince George’s County had committed $100 million toward the project.

The increased county pledges come after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan cut state spending on the proposed 16-mile light rail line extending from Bethesda to New Carrollton. Current estimates to build the line stand at $2.4 billion.

Council to Discuss Purple Line’s Impact on UM and College Park

At tonight’s workseesion, the Council will discuss the transportation and environmental impacts of the Purple line, the east – west light trail system between New Carrollton and Bethesda.

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has recently published the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Purple Line, which is be available here. The MTA is asking public comments until Monday, October 21.

As proposed, the Purple Line  will be in the median of University Boulevard and will cross Adelphi Road at grade to enter the UM Campus with a station location directly across from the UMUC. It then turns left at Presidential Drive and follows a future extension of Union Drive and Campus Drive with a station near the Cole Student Activities Building. It continues along Campus Drive to Regents Drive. A new exclusive transit way will be constructed from Regents Drive, next to the Armory , behind the Visitors Center to Rossborough Lane. It would cross Route 1 and continue east of Paintbranch Parkway in mixed use lanes. It turns and enters the metro station area in front of the parking garage and runs adjacent to the tracks where the station would be.

In College Park, the following impacts should be noted:

1. Some local bus routes will have to be relocated. They include diversions of some  UM-Shuttle routes and Routes 111 and 104  are likely to be eliminated.

2. New traffic signals are proposed at Campus Drive and Regents Drive, Paint Branch Parkway and Rossborogh lane, River Road and RiverTech Court and River Road and Haig Drive.

3. 61 on street parking spaces and 897 spaces from surface parking lots would be removed from the UM campus.

4. Vibration sensitive buildings will be analyzed and mitigated under an agreement between MDOT and UM

5. The “M” traffic will be relocated and several intersections will be relocated

6. Noise from PA system at stations , wheel squeal and transformer hum will be mitigated.

7. 4.5 acres of Paint Branch 100-year flood plan will be affected by cut and fill construction.

8. The driveway at the University Baptist Church on Campus Drive will be relocated to a new signal at Presidential Drive.

The Council will consider sending a letter to the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) with these concerns.

Purple Line TOD Study: What is your Vision?

Purple line through Campus Drive (ReThink College Park)

The Prince George’s County Planning Department of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is sponsoring a series of public meetings to consider the future of transit-oriented development (TOD) along the planned Purple Line light rail transit corridor.

The next one is scheduled today in Riverdale, where there will be a discussion on M-Square and UMD station. The meeting will take place at the Department of Parks and Recreation Administration Building, 6600 Kenilworth Avenue, Riverdale, MD 20737 (6:30pm – 8:30pm).

The Planning Department is working with community residents, property owners, and businesses to prepare TOD plans for five proposed Purple Line stations in Prince George’s County.

You will have an opportunity to define a vision and give input on each station’s identity, streetscape, architectural character, uses, and amenities. Your ideas and comments will inform the development of preliminary concept plans for each of the five station areas.

Two more sessions are coming in the next two weeks – one on Feb 9 at Hyatsville Hyattsville Library ( 6530 Adelphi Road) and another on Feb 15 in Riverdale (Beacon Heights Elementary School, 6929 Furman Parkway). Both meetings are scheduled at 6:30pm.

Purple Line Press Conference, Cafritz Development Meeting, Tonight

Purple line through Campus Drive (ReThink College Park)

Legislators and community leaders from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties will call for funding the Purple Line with new transportation revenues in the next legislative session at a press conference tonight, 6:00pm at the University of Maryland College Park, Stamp Student Union

The event will coincide with a Purple Line open house organized by the Maryland Transit Administration.

Speakers will include State Senator Jamie Raskin, Delegate Susan Lee, College Park Mayor Andy Fellows, and representatives of the University of Maryland administration and student government.

The press conference is sponsored by the Purple Line Now coalition, the Action Committee for Transit, and Prince George’s Advocates for Community-Based Transit.

Karren Pope-Onwukwe, co-chair of PGACT, will preside.

The open house and press conference follow on the Federal Transit Administration’s endorsement of the Purple Line. The project received a “medium-high” rating, ranking it above most of the competition in the race for federal funding.

Purple Line backers are now urging the state to step up to match this important federal commitment when transportation funding is debated in this winter’s session of the legislature.

Also, an informational meeting on the proposed development at the 36-acre Cafritz property will take place tonight at the College Park City Hall (4500 Knox Road).

As I wrote before, the Cafritz property is located adjacent to Route 1, immediately south of College Park and east of University Park. The meeting will include a presentation on the latest development plans from the Cafritz developers and provide an opportunity for a public Q&A.

The Council may consider taking a position on the property – both University Park and Riverdale Park have sent letters expressing concern about the traffic impacts and the additional density that this project will create.

Purple Line Project’s Neighborhood Meeting, This Thursday

There will be a Purple Line Project’s Neighborhood Meeting for the proposed College Park Station and the surrounding area. The proposed College Park Station would be located at the current College Park Metro Station. The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 8, 2011 at College Park City Hall located at 4500 Knox Road, College Park, Maryland, 20740 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

At this meeting the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will present an overview of the current plans for the College Park Station, explain what light rail stations are like and lead detailed discussions about station issues such as community access. The Purple Line Study team will present this information.

Please contact Michael D. Madden, Project Manager, Office of Planning at 410-767-3694 or at, if you have any questions regarding the Purple Line project.

Please see a copy of the Powerpoint for the briefing below.

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With Loh On Board, Hopes Run Fast on the Purple Line

President Loh at the forum (PupleLineNow)

It has been nearly a decade of continuous opposition to the purple line for the University of Maryland President and his administration.

That policy changed last week, when UMD’s new president Dr. Wallace Loh threw his clear backing behind the Purple Line development.

“Not having a Purple Line is not an option,” Loh said in front of an enthusiastic audience at a town hall meeting last week.

“It is very important that all of us engage in the issues that the Purple Line raises, but do keep in mind we can’t forever debate this at this early stage.” – Loh added.

Rethink College Park, College Park’s smart growth blog site, reports: “Wallace Loh reiterated his view that no issue is more important to the future of the university and surrounding communities than the Purple Line.  He pointed out that the timetable for recommendations from the university and the state is now rather compressed.

The PurpleLineNow, the advocacy group for the project was equally excited:

Purple Line NOW! welcomes the healthy discussion of the campus alignment seen at the Feb. 1 Town Hall Meeting, and also agrees with President Loh that we can’t forever debate this.

With Loh’s approval now under the belt, supporters now expect the next step will be for MDOT/MTA to get approval from the Federal Transit Administration to move ahead with the engineering phase.

College Park’s City council members are equally optimistic that the time is ripe for things to move forward on this development.

“I was very enthusiastic about the forum Purple Line last week. Dr. Loh has shown that he understands the importance of thePurple line to the future of the campus and the city as well as the importance of having an open and transparent decision process.” said District 4 council member Marcus Afzali.

Afzali went on to say: “The quality of the panel was impressive, the comments from the audience largely supportive of the Campus Drive alignment was reassuring, and the fact that the importance of local consensus to getting federal funding was strongly pushed was key.”

Afzali’s comments were shared by Patrick Wojahn, district 1 council member.

“Of course, I’m very excited about Dr. Loh’s commitment to making the Purple Line happen.  This means that all the relevant parties are committed to the project moving forward, and will not let disagreement on the alignment prevent the project from happening. ” – said Mr. Wojahn.

Moving forward, Afzali wants supporters of Purple line to get engaged in moving their cause further. “People who believe in a 21st century infrastructure for our community and support the Purple Line  should take some steps” – Afzali recommends.

Afzali wants Purple Line supporters to e-Mail Dr. Loh at voicing their support, write a letter to the Gazette or Diamondback.

But he also asks supporters to be patient. ” (We should) understand that this is a big decision for Dr. Loh and he understands the time pressures and importance and is following a well thought out process.”

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