Purple Line NOW News - May 9, 2019

In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:

  • The Debut of MTA's Redesigned Purple Line Website
  • Riverdale and Glenridge/New Carrollton CAT Meeting Summary and Art-in-Transit
  • Our Treasurer is Nervous, Consider a Sponsorship to PLN Today - All Levels Welcome!

Please feel free to share this newsletter - no permission from us needed! You can always find a link to our newsletter on our website (www.purplelinenow.com) which makes it easy to share with your friends, neighbors, constituents, customers, and employees.

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Highlights from the MTA Website Redesign

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) made a big announcement at the April 30 Community Advisory Team (CAT)  meeting in Riverdale Park. They have launched an updated version of their Purple Line website, PurpleLineMD.com.

The new home page looks pretty snazzy and the site is still the place to go to sign up for construction updates, to see CAT materials, and even to see the P3 contract. However, what we're most excited about is the addition of some long-requested content. The most fun to browse may be found by clicking on the new “Gallery” tab at the top of the page. Here, you’ll find lots of photographs showing the progress of construction.

Additionally, you can go to the "Public Involvement" tab to see the materials the state has been presenting both at special purpose neighborhood meetings, such as the Greater Lyttonsville Community Meeting that took place before the bridge construction, as well as overall project summaries presented to the Montgomery and Prince George's Councils. We've previously been able to share some of these materials with you, our newsletter readers, but we are glad the full range of materials is now officially available.

We will definitely be highlighting relevant parts of the site in future newsletters, but please let us know if you find something particularly interesting in your own exploration!

Riverdale and Glenridge/New Carrollton Community Advisory Team Summary

The first meeting of the latest series of Community Advisory Teams was held on April 30 and focused on the section of the project from Riverdale Park through New Carrollton, which encompasses Beacon Heights, as well as the new maintenance yard at Glenridge. The Riverdale and Glenridge/New Carrollton CAT meeting presentation is on the new website in both English and Spanish.

The presentation included a number of interesting topics, including the art-in-transit program, construction progress with a particular focus on Ellin Road, and concerns about Glenridge construction noise. We encourage you to view the presentation and holler back to us if you have any questions - we'll try to get the answers for you.

We were entranced by the art plans at the elevated Riverdale Park station, which, according to their presentation, will create a “dynamic experience where vertical folded columns gently sway offering the public an iconic gateway outside of the station entrance. The kinetic sculpture is activated by engagement; as people sit in the folded seats it will cause the columns to gently sway and reflect a play of colored lights above them." We can't wait to see this!

A lot of terrific citizen input, public official advocacy, and county resources have gone into making sure the Riverdale Park station will be effectively integrated into the community and we are glad to see the appearance of the ground level approach has not been neglected. Check out the presentation for a preview of the art at the other three stations!

We'll have a wrap-up of the May 7 CAT meeting in College Park in our next newsletter.

Have any questions about who handles what aspect of the design, construction, or maintenance of the line - or anything else Purple Line-related, for that matter? Just drop us an email and we'll find an answer for you.

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Next Envisioning the Purple Line Forum

We are working on the next Purple Line NOW forum happening this summer. The topic will be "Completing the Capital Crescent Trail" and will be held at the Jane E. Lawton Community Recreation Center in Chevy Chase. We will announce the date and time very soon, so watch this space. We expect a good crowd for this forum. As always, all of our fora are free and open to the public and media, but we require a seat reservation, so look for your invitation to arrive in your email box soon. We are working on a terrific and informative panel of speakers who will bring us all up to speed on the trail as it relates to the Purple Line.

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

Purple Line NOW Needs Your Sponsorship Today

Sponsorship is another way to help Purple Line NOW continue our efforts to bring you important Purple Line related news and information via our newsletters, outreach, and public events. Our organization has been around for a long time and is almost entirely run by dedicated volunteers. We don't hold big fundraisers and we do not receive underwriting grants from any source, government (local or otherwise), nor are we a membership organization (we do not ask for annual dues). We operate solely on donations from individuals and businesses who care about the Purple Line and whose generosity allow us to continue our work.

If you need more information before you push the donate button, we sent out a request a few weeks ago that will give you a good, indepth idea of how hard we make your donations dollars work. Click here to read all about what we do with your donations!

All levels of sponsorships are welcomed and appreciated!

As always, we are happy to share financial information about our operating expenses and our income. Just shoot us an email or give us a call. When we say we do a lot on a skinny budget, we mean it. We try to only ask for donations when our bank account gets low enough to make our treasurer nervous - and that is usually around the $3,000 mark.  

We hope you will consider joining the sponsors already on board (you can see these awesome folks here) – and remember, with your donation, your name (or your business name) will be listed on our website and in event literature and signage for a year following your donation.

Thank you!

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 - April 24, 2019

In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, you'll find a whole bevy of good information:

  • A warm welcome to Peter van der Waart van Gulik and our thanks to Fred Craig
  • A short glossary of all those confusing Purple Line-related acronyms
  • Upcoming Community Advisory Team dates
  • A heartfelt appeal from Purple Line NOW

Grab your coffee (or iced tea as this summery day may necessitate) and have a read!

Purple Line NOW Welcomes New CEO of Purple Line Transit Partners

Purple Line NOW extends a warm welcome to Peter van der Waart van Gulik, incoming Chief Executive Officer of the Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) after his appointment was announced last week. Purple Line NOW works closely with the concessionaire (the private sector partner of the Maryland Transit Administration) to stay abreast of construction issues and to provide the public in-depth information whenever possible. We look forward to continuing our work with the new leadership of the project’s builder. Mr. van der Waart van Gulik brings nearly 30 years of industry experience with extensive background in public-private partnerships (P3s), both of which will serve the project well. We are also heartened to know that the new CEO has served on the PLTP Board of Directors for the past several years, so he will hit the ground running with a short learning curve.

Our organization also wants to take a moment to highlight the hard work of outgoing CEO, Fred Craig, whose dedication, candor, and management has laid a solid foundation for the project which included the completion of the tunnel excavation and the acceleration of construction following a year-long delay resulting from a frivolous lawsuit. Purple Line NOW is especially appreciative of Mr. Craig’s work to keep the public informed of project status in a forthright and clear manner.

Feel Free to Share

Please feel free to share this newsletter - no permission from us needed! You can always find a link to our newsletter on our website (www.purplelinenow.com) which makes it easy to share with your friends, neighbors, constituents, customers, and employees.

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Who Are All These Groups and What Do They Do?

Confused by all the acronyms surrounding the Purple Line?! This week, we thought would share a short glossary of the some of the most frequently used acronyms and terms and how Purple Line NOW relates to each of them. We’ve even provided a hyperlink where possible so you can read more about the particular group. Fun fact: many of them start with the letter P!

1) CATs (Community Advisory Teams)

MTA has divided the 16-mile Purple Line corridor into eight areas, each represented by a Community Advisory Team (CAT). The MTA and Concessionaire have committed to maintaining open dialogue with the communities surrounding the Purple Line via CATs with the objective of building a long-term relationship through completion of the project. The CATs are member-driven teams with representatives appointed from neighborhood and civic associations adjacent to the alignment. There are also representatives from business associations and local governments. Purple Line NOW Board and Team members sit on many of these CATs and bring information back to our organization regarding issues and hurdles any particular community is experiencing. The CAT materials are one of the best sources for detailed information about current and near term construction plans.

 2) Concessionaire

The concessionaire is the entity responsible for designing, building, operating, and maintaining the Purple Line under the supervision of the owner, the state of Maryland. The term "concessionaire" is used because it is a public-private partnership between Maryland and a consortium of companies rather than a single lead vendor. The concessionaire for this project is Purple Line Transit Partners.

3) MTA (Maryland Transit Administration)

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is the lead agency, the Purple Line’s owner, and they work in close coordination with other transportation entities, governments, and parks and planning commissions. For the Purple Line, MTA works closely with Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Montgomery and Prince George's counties, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the Maryland State Highway Administration, and local municipalities in the project area.

4) P3 (Public-Private Partnership)

A P3, in this case, is essentially a partnership between MTA and PLTP to build and operate the Purple Line. The main benefit to using a P3 model is the private capital and alignment of concessionaire incentives with reduced costs and better performance while giving more flexibility to efficiently build and operate the line.

Want to know more about P3s? Here’s a terrific article that does some great explaining: Greater Greater Washington.

5) PLCC (Purple Line Corridor Coalition)

The Purple Line Corridor Coalition (PLCC), formed in 2013, is a multi-sector collaborative led and administered by the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) in partnership with a coalition of community organizations, state and local governments, nonprofits, philanthropies, and businesses. PLCC led the creation of the Community Development Agreement for the Purple Line Corridor which articulates a collective vision for vibrant economic and community development along the 16-mile corridor.

Purple Line NOW is a separate entity (we receive no funding from PLCC), but we work closely with them, along with many other organizations, to achieve the goals set out in the Agreement. Last year, Maryland received a $2 million federal grant to help work on some of the goals of the Agreement, especially in the area of economic development, accessibility to the Purple Line stations, and keeping housing affordable along the Purple Line Corridor. NCSG will administer the grant.

6) PLN (Purple Line NOW)

Since you are already receiving our newsletter, you probably know all about us, but just as a refresher, PLN was incorporated in 2002, though many on our team have worked on behalf of the Purple Line for a decade or two before that!

We are a coalition of business, labor, environment, neighborhood, and civic organizations that works with local, state, and federal government officials in pursuit of our mission to build the Purple Line. Our mission is ensure the completion of the light rail Purple Line from Bethesda to New Carrollton, integrated with a hiker/biker trail between Bethesda & Silver Spring. We have one quarter-time executive director, but operate mostly on the elbow grease of a large and dedicated team of volunteers. We are governed by a Board of Directors with balanced representation from the environmental, civic, business and labor support for the Purple Line. More about what we are up to now in the section below!

7) PLTP (Purple Line Transit Partners)

PLTP is led by three public-private partnership (P3) developers who will build, operate and maintain the Purple Line. The companies that fall under the Purple Line Transit Partners umbrella are Meridiam Infrastructure Purple Line, LLC (Meridiam), Fluor Enterprises Inc. (Fluor) and Star America Purple Line, LLC (Star America). The team will operate and maintain the Purple Line for 30 years after opening.

Have any questions about who handles what aspect of the design, construction, or maintenance of the line - or anything else Purple Line-related, for that matter? Just drop us an email and we'll find an answer for you!

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Next Envisioning the Purple Line Forum

We are working on the next Purple Line NOW forum happening late spring/early summer 2019. The topic will be the trail and we are already lining up terrific speakers, so stayed tuned for the date announcement and official invitation SOON!

Upcoming CAT Meetings

  • Riverdale & Glenridge/New Carrollton – April 30, 2019, 6:30 – 8 PM
    Purple Line Project Office
    6811 Kenilworth Avenue (1st Floor Training Room)
    Riverdale, MD 20737

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

What Are We Doing With Your Sponsorship Dollars?

We hope you had a chance to consider a sponsorship to Purple Line NOW in last week’s blast. Here’s a cut-to-the-chase version of our need. We are grateful for your support!  

Need a reason to donate? Read on - we simply could not exist without you!

(A reminder: Purple Line NOW does not receive underwriting grants from any source, government (local or otherwise), nor are we a membership organization (we do not ask for annual dues). We operate solely on donations from individuals and businesses who care about the Purple Line and whose generosity allow us to continue our work.)

Purple Line NOW exists on a very skinny budget – we have only one quarter-time employee, we pay for upkeep and maintenance of our website, and we pay for the resources necessary to get information out to the community through our email blasts, literature, and supplies. We also cover any expenses associated with hosting our regular forums – the event is always free and open to the public (we don’t charge you to attend!)

  • Purple Line NOW News

With your support, Purple Line NOW publishes this bi-weekly, information-packed newsletter, with the latest in construction news, photos, and insider information to keep you on top of what is going on in the field. It’s a big undertaking and we appreciate your support in making it happen!

  • Envisioning the Purple Line Series

We continue the very popular Envisioning the Purple Line series of fora hosted in a variety of communities along the corridor in both Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Last year, we held an update in Riverdale Park, focusing on specific construction and development going on in that neck of the woods, and this past January, we took the forum to College Park, where our panel of speakers focused their updates on the College Park corridor. Next, we’ll be heading back to Montgomery County for an update on the completion of the Capital Crescent Trail. Stay tuned for more details on that event soon.

  • Connecting People

Behind the scenes, Purple Line NOW has been a clearing house of sorts for calls from residents and businesses who are looking for answers to issues they are experiencing while the project is under construction. We don’t always have all the answers, but we do try to connect folks with the proper resources.

  • Sharing Information

Purple Line NOW board members have a long tradition of attending hearings, testifying on behalf of the project, being a part of Purple Line oriented neighborhood groups, and connecting to elected officials on behalf of line. Our board leadership continues to meet every single month, as they have done for over a decade, to share information gathered and exchange ideas on keeping the project on track. Purple Line NOW also is a strong supporter of other transit organizations and an active participant in the Purple Line Corridor Coalition. We attend meetings, provide updates, and take notes! Our members are very active on the Community Advisory Teams.

  • Maintaining a Presence

Finally, Purple Line NOW maintains a strong social media presence, staying connected to thousands via Facebook and Twitter via our website, Purple Line NOW.

We hope you will consider joining the sponsors already on board (you can see these awesome folks here) – and remember, with your donation, your name (or your business name) will be listed on our website and in event literature and signage for a year following your donation.

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.


Here's What We Do With Your Donations!

Thanks to you, Purple Line NOW has ushered in another terrific year with renewed energy as we moved our focus from advocating for funding and approval of the project to the daunting task of keeping the communities along the Purple Line corridor on top of breaking news, construction woes, and exciting new developments being built around the new line.

We’ll cut right to the chase – we write today to ask you to become a sponsor by making a donation to Purple Line NOW.

Need a reason to donate? Below you’ll read all we are doing with your financial support. We simply could not exist without you!

A reminder: Purple Line NOW does not receive underwriting grants from any source, government (local or otherwise), nor are we a membership organization (we do not ask for annual dues). We operate solely on donations from individuals and businesses who care about the Purple Line and whose generosity allow us to continue our work.

How Will Purple Line NOW use my donation?

As we always say (because it has always been the case!), Purple Line NOW exists on a very skinny budget – we have only one quarter-time employee, we pay for upkeep and maintenance of our website, and we pay for the resources necessary to get information out to the community through our email blasts, literature, and supplies. We also cover any expenses associated with hosting our regular forums – the event is always free and open to the public (we don’t charge you to attend!)

Purple Line NOW News

With your support, Purple Line NOW has published a bi-weekly, information-packed newsletter, with the latest in construction news, photos, and insider information to keep you on top of what is going on in the field. Next week, we will publish our 22nd issue of Purple Line NOW News, thanks to the many contributors who help us write and release the newsletter every other week. It’s a big undertaking and we appreciate your support in making it happen! As always, feel free to forward those newsletters to your neighborhood lists, client and community groups, or anyone who will benefit from the information. If you would like to see archives of previous newsletters, you can find them all right here: Newsletters.

Envisioning the Purple Line Series

We continue the very popular Envisioning the Purple Line series of fora hosted in a variety of communities along the corridor in both Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Last year, we held an update in Riverdale Park, focusing on specific construction and development going on in that neck of the woods, and this past January, we took the forum to College Park, where our panel of speakers focused their updates on the College Park corridor. Next, we’ll be heading back to Montgomery County for an update on the completion of the Capital Crescent Trail. Stay tuned for more details on that event soon.

Connecting People

Behind the scenes, Purple Line NOW has been a clearing house of sorts for calls from residents and businesses who are looking for answers to issues they are experiencing while the project is under construction. We don’t always have all the answers, but we do try to connect folks with the proper resources.

Sharing Information

Purple Line NOW board members have a long tradition of attending hearings, testifying on behalf of the project, being a part of Purple Line oriented neighborhood groups, and connecting to elected officials on behalf of line. Our board leadership continues to meet every single month, as they have done for over a decade, to share information gathered and exchange ideas on keeping the project on track. Purple Line NOW also is a strong supporter of other transit organizations and an active participant in the Purple Line Corridor Coalition. We attend meetings, provide updates, and take notes! Our members are very active on the Community Advisory Teams.

Maintaining a Presence

Finally, Purple Line NOW maintains a strong social media presence, staying connected to thousands via Facebook and Twitter via our website, Purple Line NOW. If you haven’t signed up for those, do so today. You’ll get the latest news and be able to participate in discussions happening in those formats.

We hope you will consider joining the sponsors already on board (you can see them HERE) – and remember, with your donation, your name (or your business name) will be listed on our website and in event literature and signage for a year following your donation.


Purple Line NOW News - Prince George’s T&E Briefing

As promised, this edition of Purple Line NOW News brings a recap of the Prince George's County Council T&E Committee Briefing on February 28, 2019. Additionally, if you live inside the Purple Line corridor, we ask you to take a brief survey created by the Purple Line Corridor Coalition. Please take a moment to do so - and feel free to pass the link on to your friends and neighbors. 

Please feel free to share this newsletter - no permission from us needed! You can always find a link to our newsletter on our website (www.purplelinenow.com) which makes it easy to share with your friends, neighbors, constituents, customers, and employees.

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Our March 27 edition of Purple Line NOW News highlighted the Montgomery Council Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy, & Environment (T&E) Committee briefing by Chuck Lattuca, Executive Director for Transit Development and Delivery for the Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) and Fred Craig, the Chief Executive Office for the Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP).

We would like to share with you the February 28th Prince George’s County Council briefing from Mr. Lattuca and Mr. Craig, which includes updated construction information specific to the county.

We encourage you to listen to the Prince George’s T&E briefing (which starts at about the 1:40 mark) as the presentation contains all sorts of interesting tidbits and slides, but in this newsletter we will attempt to give you the highlights, as well as share some of those slides with you.

The briefing was hosted by T&E committee chair Councilmember Deni Taveras and attended by other councilmembers of the committee.

Much of the general information overlapped with our previous newsletter (see link above), so we will focus on the Prince George’s County specific information in this edition.

Mr. Lattuca began by saying that MDOT was pleased to assist the University of Maryland’s Center for Smart Growth in obtaining a $2 million grant from the FTA which must be spent down in two years, so work is gearing up right now.

Mr. Craig reiterated that they are still working hard to be operational in late 2022 and moving quickly to catch up from the year-long lawsuit delay. County-wide, but especially in Prince George’s, this is one of the largest utility jobs (outside of hurricane reconstruction) in the country. He talked about the transformational aspect of the project and emphasized that the Purple Line will “give the community mobility to jobs and connections to cities as far as Boston and Richmond.”

Economic Growth and Opportunity

Making jobs accessible is another feature of the project, and the two slides below show how access to jobs will significantly increase once the line is operational. Pretty awesome, right?!

The project has been a “catalyst for renaissance,” Mr. Craig said, with billions (in dollars!) being spent in construction around the project. The slide below cites two examples - one in New Carrollton where Urban Atlantic and Forest are building a 2.7M square foot mixed-use development, and another in College Park where Corporate Office Properties Trust is developing a 75K square foot building. 

Specific to Prince George’s County, the Purple Line is already expanding economic opportunities.

Art-in-Transit

The goal of Art-in-Transit is to make the stations NOT look like a railroad and enhance neighborhood identities. A total of $6M has been allotted for artwork at the 21 stations, allocated equally among Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. You may recall a number of public meetings in the past few years that enabled selected artists to gain community input and get a better feel for their designs. Community representatives participated in the selection of the final art proposals and currently, contract negotiations are underway with selected artists. We are happy to hear that the station artwork is to be installed prior to passenger service!

Ellin Road and Veteran’s Parkway

As you can see by the slides below, work continues on Ellin Road and Veteran’s Parkway, as well as on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

Coming later in the year (October 2019 through May 2020), Ellin Road Phase 2 will begin. At that time, Hanson Oaks will route to Veterans Parkway (which is a similar traffic pattern to what the area is currently experiencing.)

University Boulevard and University of Maryland

Both University Boulevard and the University of Maryland are dealing with utility relocation resulting in lane closures. MDOT SHA is currently evaluating lowering the speed limit on River Road to 35 mph.

Phase 1 of the Northwest Branch at University Boulevard will begin this month and last until March 2020. Traffic will shift to the south side to demolish and replace the north bridge. A pedestrian crosswalk has been added for sidewalk access.

Aesthetics and Landscaping

Trees are being replaced at "better than the 2:1 requirement stipulated in the contract," the concessionaire reported. Additionally, Mr. Craig said, "13 acres along the corridor is being reforested while every effort is being employed to spare trees during the construction process."

The councilmembers had a lot of questions following the presentation and we encourage you to listed to the entire briefing.

Slides courtesy of MDOT, MTA, and the PLTP. 

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

We are working on the next Purple Line NOW forum happening late spring/early summer 2019. The topic will be the trail and we are already lining up terrific speakers, so stayed tuned for the date announcement and official invitation SOON!

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

PLCC Purple Line Housing Plan Survey

Purple Line NOW is working with the Purple Line Corridor Coalition as they create a Purple Line Housing Action Plan this spring, with a principal focus on preserving and producing affordable housing for the corridor from New Carrollton to Bethesda. The coalition is made up of public, private, and non-profit organizations who have banded together to ensure equitable outcomes for residents, small business owners, and neighborhoods along the corridor.

Before the group starts writing the plan, they are reaching out to residents, community groups, and many other stakeholders to gather input and guidance on what the plan should focus on specifically and what it should prioritize. On their behalf, we would greatly appreciate it if those of you living and working inside the corridor would take the following survey (which should take no more than 5-7 minutes to fill this out) and to let your friends and neighbors know about the survey, too. 

Click on this link: Take Me to the Survey! If you would like the survey in Spanish or would prefer a PDF version, contact our Executive Director, Christine Scott at cscott@purplelinenow.com.

Consider a Donation to Purple Line NOW This Spring

If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to become a sponsor - your name will appear at all events and on all promotional materials for a year following your donation. The benefits of sponsorship are listed on our website and donating is easy - just follow this link: I'd like to become a sponsor! There are several levels of sponsorship - and we appreciate them all! 

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.

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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