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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.


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  1. Bill Smith

    How does it run on Paint Branch? Under where the Metro crosses? Will it share one of the two lanes under that crossing? Or will cars lose a lane down that road?

  2. Fazlul Kabir

    Bill, here is what happens after it crosses the Metro. The transit way turns to parallel the south side of River Road after passing behind the existing lot and turns right into the median of Kenilworth Avenue where it rises on an aerial structure that begins near Quesada Street and continues over the intersection of Kenilworth avenue and East West Highway where it turns left onto the south side of Riverdale Road. There would be an M square station just west of Haig Drive and a Riverdale Park station on the elevated structure.

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