Purple Line NOW News - October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Please feel free to share this bi-weekly newsletter with others who may appreciate information about the project. As always, if you have any feedback on how we can improve the newsletter, drop us a line! 

If you find the information contained in our newsletter useful, please consider a donation to us - we are a not-for-profit organization with an active group of volunteers and one quarter-time employee. We operate on a bare-bones budget and appreciate every donation we receive.

Take a peek at our terrific supporters to date and please consider joining these folks as you are able. The benefits of sponsorship are listed on our website and donating is easy - just follow this link: I'd like to become a sponsor! Thank you for your support!

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

For this newsletter, we’re back to focusing on construction news. The second half of October has included meetings for half of the Purple Line’s Community Advisory Teams (CATs), which are offered to both share information with the public and to provide feedback. In our next newsletter, we will focus on big picture news, but in the meantime, we wanted to let you know the Purple Line will again be making an appearance in the Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade (on the Saturday before Thanksgiving from 10 a.m. to 12 noon), thanks to coalition member Action Committee for Transit. If you think that sounds like fun (and it is!), please bundle up, put on your purple, and join us for the march!

Long Branch CAT

The largest construction challenges in this round of meetings were related to the tunnel construction. To help make up for the year lost to a frivolous lawsuit after financing had already been secured, the Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) authorized 24/7 work on the tunnel, which is part of the critical path for the entire project. Progress did come quickly, with the excavation of the top 20 feet of the tunnel already at the 60% mark and completion planned in spring of 2019.

However, in recent weeks, the underground excavation work has prompted complaints from a group of residents living above the excavation area with loud and sustained overnight noise. The Long Branch CAT was focused around this issue, and provided additional information and proposed next steps, but did not resolve the situation. The neighborhood group subsequently sought out a meeting with Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn, first by letter, then by request in person. Secretary Rahn spoke with the group and after elaborating on the circumstances, was receptive to their concerns.

Purple Line NOW has been tracking this issue and appreciates the way the neighbors worked through the CAT and expressed both their support for the project along with their strong concerns over specific side-effects of present tunneling efforts. We commend Secretary Rahn for his choice to take the meeting and intervene. We will keep tracking this issue as MTA works to implement his assurances.

Riverdale Park CAT and Ellin Road

The Riverdale Park CAT included discussion of community parking permits, access to the neighborhood from Route 450, and the exposure of bus stops. There was also a strong community interest in seeing more details on the stops, including images. MTA reported that while the artists for the station work had been selected, they had several projects each and the final selection of projects from each artist was not yet complete.

Further east along the line in the New Carrollton area, Ellin Road (between Highway 410 and Hanson  Oaks Drive) closed at the start of October. The closure is due to utility relocation and construction of facilities for the Purple Line and is expected to last approximately one year.

College Park CAT

The news from the College Park CAT was lower profile in visible scope. For example, utility work proceeds, University of Maryland building 212 was demolished, tree clearing and protection progressed, and a new pump station is being built. The Campus Drive east bound lane between Library Lane and Regents Drive is closed and a detour has been established.


Campus Drive Lane Closure

Pump Station Work on Campus Drive


Silver Spring CAT

The update for the Silver Spring segment focused primarily on ongoing work, including the 16th Street Plaza demolition, the Rite Aid/FedEx demolition, and the new and updated parking lot for Silver Spring International School, which is estimated to be completed in summer of 2020. The briefing also included a look ahead at future work, with a variety of roadwork expected to start in the early winter months of 2019. This will include the Bonifant Street two-year closure and eventual conversion to a one-way street.

There will also be a temporary reduction of lanes for Wayne Avenue. The CAT included a presentation by a resident who argued that the Wayne Avenue changes should be permanent. In a future newsletter, we will take a closer look at efforts to publicize affected businesses. While this work will involve disruption, the end result will greatly improve transit accessibility for residents, workers, and customers in the affected areas

The work we are most excited about is the revisions to the Silver Spring Transit Center, which will include a direct connection from the upper level of the transit center to the metro platform, saving time not just for Purple Line riders, but also also for those approaching the station from the northeast or those using the kiss and ride area.


Future Silver Spring Transit Center rendering, overhead

 

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Next Purple Line NOW Forum - Mark Your Calendars!

Although we will do a formal invitation blast soon, we wanted to bring you the news first - MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW! The next forum in the Envisioning the Purple Line series is going to be in...drumroll, please...COLLEGE PARK on January 10 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the CP City Hall! Stay tuned for all the details about how to reserve your seat, who the speakers are, and other details. Plan to come and hear the latest about all the development plans for College Park as the new Purple Line takes shape!

Upcoming Community Advisory Team (CAT) Meetings

  • Bethesda - November 27, Bethesda Chevy Chase High School (Cafeteria) 4301 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814 from 6:30 – 8 pm.
  • Glenridge – November 29,  Purple Line Project Office (6811 Kenilworth Avenue - 1st Floor Training Room, Riverdale, MD 20737 from 6:30 – 8 pm.
  • Lyttonsville – December 4, Rosemary Hills Elementary School (All Purpose Room) 2111 Porter Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910 from 7 – 8:30 pm.
  • University Boulevard – December 6, Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School, (Multi-Purpose Room), 8201 15th Avenue, Langley Park, MD 20783 from 6:30 – 8 pm.

 

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

Get Connected!

Make sure you are signed up for timely alerts from Purple Line NOW via our Twitter and Facebook pages, and at our website Purple Line NOW


PLN News October 17, 2018

Please feel free to share this bi-weekly newsletter with others who may appreciate information about the project. As always, if you have any feedback on how we can improve the newsletter, drop us a line! 

If you find the information contained in our newsletter useful, please consider a donation to us - we are a not-for-profit organization with an active group of volunteers and one quarter-time employee. We operate on a bare-bones budget and appreciate every donation we receive.

Take a peek at our terrific supporters to date and please consider joining these folks as you are able. The benefits of sponsorship are listed on our website and donating is easy - just follow this link: I'd like to become a sponsor

Thank you for your support!

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Ribbon Cut on First Private Development Around Purple Line Station

Ordinarily, this space is reserved for construction updates on our favorite light rail line; however, from time to time, we’ll also be highlighting private development projects that are under construction near future Purple Line station areas.

Why? Because many of the developments will improve the way people get to and from the stations and they will contain public amenities that will help create a sense of place along the corridor, so they can be every bit as transformative as the Purple Line itself. If you miss construction news, don't worry, we'll be covering construction news coming out of the Purple Line Community Advisory Teams in future newsletters.

This week, we’re taking a field trip to Chevy Chase Lake to visit “The Lindley” apartment building, which celebrated its ribbon cutting on Monday. The Lindley, located along Chevy Chase Lake Drive, is mere steps away from the future Chevy Chase Lake station. The only way you could live closer to the Purple Line is if you were living inside the station! The 11-story apartment building was a joint venture between the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC), which owns the land, and private developer EYA.


View from rooftop deck of The Lindley, looking northeast. Purple Line trains will run in Georgetown Branch right-of-way, pictured in bottom left)

Before The Lindley, the site was home to 68 garden style apartments. The Lindley allowed HOC to replace every unit from the old community and add an additional 22 units, so the development represents a net increase of 22 units of affordable housing. In total, The Lindley will contain 200 apartments, 40 of which will be affordable to households at 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI), or approximately $41,000/year for an individual, and another 40 units will be set aside for work­force housing. Thirteen of the units will be 3-bedrooms, all of which will be geared towards families making 50% AMI.

Beyond the apartment building itself, the development also includes a new half-acre park, which will be programmed and operated by the Montgomery County Parks Department. The Jean Banks Park, named after a former HOC commissioner, will undoubtedly become a popular gathering space not only for local residents, but for users of the Purple Line and the Capital Crescent Trail. 


You don’t have to wait until the Purple Line opens to enjoy the park. The park is now open to the public.

The landscaped park features generous open space, a granite slide for children to play on, and a water feature that runs through the length of the park.


A water feature spans the length of the park, but you’ll have to wait until next spring for the water!

The Lindley may look ordinary from the outside, but an incredible amount of thought was put into how it interfaces with the surrounding community. The building was designed from the ground up to integrate with the future Purple Line station. An open-air passageway was incorporated into the design of the building to enable residents who live further down on Chevy Chase Lake Drive to cut through the park to make their way to the station. 


The passageway will give pedestrians easy access to the future Chevy Chase Lake station

The passageway connects Jean Banks Park to a brand-new street, Chevy Chase Lake Terrace, which will run underneath the Purple Line. In the future, Chevy Chase Lake Terrace will connect with Manor Road to the north, further enhancing the walkability of the neighborhood.


Chevy Chase Lake Terrace, which currently dead ends at the Georgetown Branch right-of-way, will one day connect to Manor Road to the north

The Lindley is one of the first, if not the first, projects to deliver around a future Purple Line station, but it won’t be the last. We’ll be bringing you additional stories on residential and office projects that are transforming neighborhoods along the Purple Line corridor for the better in the months to come.

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Upcoming Community Advisory Team (CAT) meetings:

  • Riverdale - October 18, Purple Line Project Office (6811 Kenilworth Avenue - 1st Floor Training Room, Riverdale, MD 20737) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
  • College Park - October 23, Purple Line Project Office (6811 Kenilworth Avenue - 1st Floor Training Room, Riverdale, MD 20737) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
  • Silver Spring - October 25, Sligo Creek Elementary School (Cafeteria located in basement of the school, 500 Schuyler Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910) from 7 - 8:30 pm.
  • Bethesda - November 27, Bethesda Chevy Chase High School (Cafeteria) 4301 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814 from 6:30 – 8 pm.
  • Glenridge – November 29,  Purple Line Project Office (6811 Kenilworth Avenue - 1st Floor Training Room, Riverdale, MD 20737 from 6:30 – 8 pm.
  • Lyttonsville – December 4, Rosemary Hills Elementary School (All Purpose Room) 2111 Porter Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910 from 7 – 8:30 pm.
  • University Boulevard – December 6, Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School, (Multi-Purpose Room), 8201 15th Avenue, Langley Park, MD 20783 from 6:30 – 8 pm.

Purple Line NOW will host its next forum in College Park in January. Stay tuned for all the details coming soon!

 

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

Get Connected!

Make sure you are signed up for timely alerts from Purple Line NOW via our Twitter and Facebook pages, and at our website Purple Line NOW.


Purple Line NOW News - October 3, 2018

Please feel free to share this bi-weekly newsletter with others who may appreciate information about the project. As always, if you have any feedback on how we can improve the newsletter, drop us a line! 

If you find the information contained in our newsletter useful, please consider a donation to us - we are a not-for-profit organization with an active group of volunteers and one quarter-time employee. We operate on a bare-bones budget and appreciate every donation we receive!

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Construction Progresses at Silver Spring School

The first phase of Purple Line related construction at the Silver Spring International Middle School is showing signs of real progress as it enters its fourth month of construction.

Following the end of the most recent school year, Purple Line Transit Constructors began work on reconfiguring and reconstructing the parking lots at the school, which are immediately adjacent to the future Dale Drive station stop. So far, construction has been primarily confined to the planned “middle parking lot” which is one of three areas designated for construction at the school. Construction is also planned for the lower and upper parking lots, the latter of which was closed for a brief period this summer, but it reopened in time for the beginning of the school year. The middle parking lot remains closed while crews work to grade the site to prepare it for paving and build the retaining walls.  


Middle parking lot is denoted by area contained in purple. Upper parking lot is directly above it and lower parking lot is to the right.

At first blush, it may seem odd that a school parking lot is being reconstructed as part of the Purple Line project; however, the old entrance to the lot was located directly across the street from the planned Dale Drive station, so it would have undoubtedly created issues for Purple Line trains as well as pedestrian/vehicular traffic. As a result, the entrance on Wayne Avenue has been moved around the corner to Dale Drive to facilitate ingress and egress from the parking lot. In time, the lower parking lot’s entrance on Wayne Avenue will also be shifted several hundred feet east of its old location on Wayne Avenue to avoid any impacts to the station.


PLTC constructed a new entrance for the upper parking lot this summer

The first phase of construction also involved the removal of over a dozen trees on the grounds of the school, which understandably caused some consternation among community members over the loss of tree canopy. What many people may not realize, though, is that electricity can jump a considerable distance from the catenary lines that power the Purple Line trains to surrounding trees. The Purple Line utilizes a 1500 watt power system, so there is a heightened concern about electricity jumping from the catenary lines to trees. At PLN’s last Envisioning the Purple Line Forum in July, Fred Craig, CEO of PLTP, noted that electricity can jump up to 30 feet from the catenary to nearby trees. For that reason, and out of an abundance of caution, the concessionaire is removing trees that lie outside of the Purple Line’s direct path, but which may impact operations.


Soil compactors and excavators are pictured here in front of the school

Purple Line Transit Constructors is expected to continue work on the middle parking lot at the school on Saturdays during the month of October, while work on the upper and lower parking lots will wait until next summer.

Year-Long Road Closure Begins in New Carrollton

On Monday, a 1000-foot long section of Ellin Road, located just outside of New Carrollton, was officially closed to traffic, and will remain that way for the next twelve or so months to enable the relocation of utilities and to construct other facilities that will support the Purple Line's operations.

The closure spans from the intersection of Ellin Road and Veterans Parkway down to Henson Oaks Drive. During the closure, motorists are encouraged to use the official detour that has been developed.

Construction on Ellin Road will be phased over the course of the next few years to minimize disruption to the residents who live off of Henson Oaks and to ensure continuous access to their homes. The first phase will consist of utility relocation. Subsequent phases will include construction of the track foundation, road reconstruction and installation of electrical systems.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Ellin Road, it’s the final turn that Purple Line trains will take before they arrive at the final destination on the eastern end of the line in New Carrollton. Prior to its closure, Ellin Road was a four-lane road with two lanes in each direction, but it will be going on a diet and converted to one lane of traffic in each direction to make room for the Purple Line.


Ellin Road as it looks today

We often like to talk about the “multiplier effect” that the investment in the Purple Line has in communities beyond the travel time benefits in these construction updates, and New Carrollton is no exception to this effect. The Purple Line will have the added effect of improving pedestrian safety in an area that is decidedly autocentric. At present, there are no pedestrian crossings at the intersection of Ellin Road and Veterans Parkway, however, as part of the project, a new crosswalk will be installed across Veterans Parkway, thereby enabling residents on the western side of Veterans Parkway to walk to the New Carrollton Purple Line station, as well as all of the other transit lines at New Carrollton: Amtrak, Metro, MetroBuses, and the Prince George's County “TheBus” system.


The purple overlay shows the approximate location of the future crosswalk across Veterans Parkway
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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Some Purple Line-related events for you:

  • MTA is hosting an open houses in Prince George's County, tomorrow, Thursday, October 4, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, UMD Stamp Student Union Atrium. The Montgomery County open house was held this past Monday and was well attended by the community.
  • They have also set the fall's Community Advisory Team (CAT) meetings:
    • Long Branch - October 16, Oak View Elementary School (All Purpose Room, 400 East Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20901) from 6:30 pm to 8 pm.
    • Riverdale - October 18, Purple Line Project Office (6811 Kenilworth Avenue - 1st Floor Training Room, Riverdale, MD 20737) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
    • College Park - October 23, Purple Line Project Office (6811 Kenilworth Avenue - 1st Floor Training Room, Riverdale, MD 20737) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
    • Silver Spring - October 25, Sligo Creek Elementary School (Cafeteria located in basement of the school, 500 Schuyler Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910) from 7 - 8:30 pm.
    • Bethesda - November 27, Bethesda Chevy Chase High School (Cafeteria) 4301 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814 from 6:30 – 8 pm.
    • Glenridge – November 29,  Purple Line Project Office (6811 Kenilworth Avenue - 1st Floor Training Room, Riverdale, MD 20737 from 6:30 – 8 pm.
    • Lyttonsville – December 4, Rosemary Hills Elementary School (All Purpose Room) 2111 Porter Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910 from 7 – 8:30 pm.
    • University Boulevard – December 6, Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School, (Multi-Purpose Room), 8201 15th Avenue, Langley Park, MD 20783 from 6:30 – 8 pm.

Take a peek at our terrific supporters to date and please consider joining these folks as you are able. The benefits of sponsorship are listed on our website and donating is easy - just follow this link: I'd like to become a sponsor

Thank you for your support!

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

Get Connected!

Make sure you are signed up for timely alerts from Purple Line NOW via our Twitter and Facebook pages, and at our website Purple Line NOW.


Purple Line NOW News - September 19, 2018

Please feel free to share this bi-weekly newsletter with others who may appreciate information about the project. As always, if you have any feedback on how we can improve the newsletter, drop us a line! 

Just a reminder, we have added a new page to our website where we will keep a running list of businesses that have relocated (or will be soon), some that have closed, and others that will be able to remain open during construction. If you have any updates we missed, now or in the coming months, please email our Executive Director, Christine Scott (cscott@purplelinenow.com) and we will update our list accordingly.

If you find the information contained in our newsletter useful, please consider a donation to us - we are a not-for-profit organization with an active group of volunteers and one quarter-time employee. We operate on a bare-bones budget and appreciate every donation we receive!

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Bridge Reconstruction Reaches Halfway Point

The demolition and replacement of the Lyttonsville Place bridge, which closed in mid-June, is just about halfway to being completed.

When we last visited the construction site in June, the bridge was still in the process of being demolished. Now, as you can see in the photos further down, the new bridge is under construction and well on the way to meeting its target completion date. As of last month, Purple Line Transit Partners CEO, Fred Craig, reported that the project was on schedule to be completed by the end of December. 

Following the completion of demolition, construction has primarily been focused on building the abutment closest to Brookville Road. In mid-August, construction crews began driving steel piles into the ground, which will form the foundation of the new bridge. Installation of the soldier piles continued through early September, but by mid-September, the western abutment was beginning to take shape. The photos below, taken just ten days apart, demonstrate the pace at which the project is advancing. When members of the local media toured the construction site on September 5th, the construction piles were still visible. 


Photo credit: @AdamTuss of NBC Washington

This photo above, taken on September 15th, shows a filled-in abutment

Large infrastructure projects are notorious for taking years and years to complete, but the Lyttonsville Place bridge stands out for how quickly it is progressing. This is due in no small part to the P3 delivery approach for the project which holds the concessionaire accountable with staying on schedule. As part of the contract with PLTP, the state can impose financial penalties if the bridge is not completed within the specified six-month period, so PLTP has a financial incentive to deliver the project on time.

When the bridge is complete, it will represent one of the most significant construction milestones for the project, thus far. We’ll keep you up to date as the bridge marches toward completion.

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Some Purple Line-related events for you:

  • The Montgomery County Council's Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment committee will receive a briefing from the Purple Line Transit Partners and the Maryland Transit Administration on September 27 at 9:30 am. You can watch the briefing live on County Cable Montgomery at: https://montgomerycountymd.gov/CCM/ccmlive.html.
  • MTA is hosting two open houses, as we reported in our last newsletter: 
    • Purple Line Open House (Montgomery County), October 1, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, Silver Spring Civic Building
    • Purple Line Open House (Prince George's County), October 4, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, UMD Stamp Student Union Atrium
  • They have also set the next four Community Advisory Team (CAT) meetings:
    • Long Branch - October 16, Oak View Elementary School (All Purpose Room, 400 East Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20901) from 6:30 pm to 8 pm.
    • Riverdale - October 18, Purple Line Project Office (6811 Kenilworth Avenue - 1st Floor Training Room, Riverdale, MD 20737) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
    • College Park - October 23, Purple Line Project Office (6811 Kenilworth Avenue - 1st Floor Training Room, Riverdale, MD 20737) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
    • Silver Spring - October 25, Sligo Creek Elementary School (Cafeteria located in basement of the school, 500 Schuyler Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910) from 7 - 8:30 pm.

Stay tuned for our next forum in the Envisioning the Purple Line series to be held in the coming months. We are busy working to find a date, so keep an eye out for that announcement soon.

Take a peek at our terrific supporters to date and please consider joining these folks as you are able. The benefits of sponsorship are listed on our website and donating is easy - just follow this link: I'd like to become a sponsor

Thank you for your support!

action.png

PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

Get Connected!

Make sure you are signed up for timely alerts from Purple Line NOW via our Twitter and Facebook pages, and at our website Purple Line NOW.



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