Purple Line NOW News - August 28, 2019

We want to wish everyone a safe and happy Labor Day holiday this weekend! We have a shortened newsletter for you this week, but will be back to full speed ahead in September. In the meantime, enjoy this last dribble of summer!

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

  • What We Know About Landscaping Plans Around the Purple Line
  • Our Fall Appeal is Coming

Share This Newsletter

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

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

What We Know About Landscaping for the Purple Line

Are you interested in what the landscaping might look like in and around some of the Purple Line stations? Did you know that you can find links to landscaping plans for eight of the station sites on the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) website? For example, here is a sample of the Silver Spring station:



We found this slide show from the Bethesda/Chevy Chase Community Advisory Team (CATs) held in January 2018, which gives additional landscaping graphics and photos for that particular station:


If you scroll through the presentation slides (which, along with notes from all the other CATs, can be found on MTA’s website under Public Involvement), you will even find a few slides which list many of the shrubs, trees, grasses, and perennials that may be used for landscaping.

On a related topic, just as we were going to press, we saw this Maryland Today article that has a colorful slide show of the Art-in-Transit plans at several of the stations located near the University of Maryland.

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Where Would You Like Us to Hold the Next Forum?

These events are an invaluable source of information and we hope you’ll join us at one in the future! We are always open to ideas about where we should host our next event. Send your suggestions to us atcscott@purplelinenow.com.

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

Each fall, we send out a heartfelt appeal for donations (we call them sponsorships) to individuals and businesses who support the project and our organization's work. Look for that appeal in the coming weeks. As always, if you need more information before you push the donate button, 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. 

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 - August 15, 2019

We hope you are enjoying the last bit of summer and finding some time to relax and recharge. Purple Line NOW News will back in two weeks, but we wanted to leave you with a little something in the meantime. Thanks to our volunteer, John Wetmore, our recent forum last month in Chevy Chase is nowup on YouTube. For those of you unable to make the forum, you can now see it here: Completing the Capital Crescent Trail.

Share This Newsletter

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

Thank You to our Many Sponsors!

We hope you will join us in thanking our sponsors and donors for their dedication to making sure Purple Line NOW continues its work and we hope you will take a moment to join them! If you need more information before you push the donate button, 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. 

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.


Purple Line NOW News - July 31, 2019

We hope everyone is staying cool during these very hot and sunny days of summer!

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

  • A Recap of our latest forum on Completing the Capital Crescent Trail
  • Show Your Support by Becoming a Sponsor of Purple Line NOW - All Levels Welcome!

Share This Newsletter

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

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Completing the Capital Crescent Trail

Thank you to all who came out to the Jane E. Lawton Community Center last Thursday evening for Purple Line NOW’s forum on Completing the Capital Crescent Trail, our seventh forum in the Envisioning the Purple Line series that we host along the project’s corridor.

We had a packed house to hear an energetic, informative, and expert panel who helped walk us through where the trail is right now, in terms of construction, but also gave us a sneak preview of what we can expect when it is all finished. At the end of their individual presentations, the panelists spent over an hour answering audience questions and explaining how the process works and how the different entities are working together. A big thank you all of our panelists for the insightful answers they provided to our audience's thoughtful questions.

One of the panelists had an awesome announcement to make. You’ll have to keep reading to find out what brought smiles to the faces in our audience last Thursday and we are sure you will give a silent cheer, as well!

(Never fear, if you were not able to make the forum, we are only providing an overview of the highlights here, but thanks to our dedicated volunteer, John Wetmore, we will have the entire forum up on a YouTube channel soon.)


Ralph Bennett, President, Purple Line NOW

Purple Line NOW Board President, Ralph Bennett, welcomed everyone to the event and thanked all of our generous and awesome donors who continue to make this series possible. You can see all of our sponsors at the end of this newsletter. We could not continue our services without their financial support!

First up to speak was Peter van der Waart, the new CEO of the Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP). They are sometimes known as the concessionaire – the folks who are building the line.


Peter van der Waart, CEO of PLTP

Peter began by showing a series of slides and gave a status update of the project all along the corridor. He then turned his attention to the completion of the trail between Bethesda and Silver Spring with a series of slides that brought into relief how much improved the trail will be for the community once it is finished. To illustrate those changes, we want to highlight one slide, in particular, because we think you may be as tickled as we were to read how the new trail will differ from the old trail.


Photo Courtesy of Purple Line Transit Partners

As you can see in the graph above, during the period when the interim trail is closed during construction, the old gravel surface of the trail will be replaced with a paved surface (the bikers in the audience may have cheered a little at this news!) The new trail will also be nearly 12-feet wide for most of its length. There will be two-foot shoulders on both sides of the trail, with 23 well-marked access points. For those wanting just a smidge more trail to bike, ride, and hike, the new version will be about a mile longer and extend into downtown Silver Spring, creating new connections with other trails.


Photo Courtesy of MTA

Even better news? The trail will be ADA accessible and, for those using the new Purple Line to access the trail or vice versa, Purple Line trains will provide bike storage.

Fun fact: Did you know that the Netherlands, Peter’s home country, is the only country with more bikes than people? Twenty-two million bikes versus 17 million people!

And now for the big news...

Peter said his group is working very hard to find a way to open the trail earlier than expected! As you may recall, the trail was due to open concurrent with the opening of the Purple Line, but, he said, they understand the desire to seek ways to allow public access during the rail car testing phase as the right-of-way would no longer be an active construction site. This could move forward the complete trail’s opening day by as early as a year before the light rail project opens in late 2022 or early 2023. Peter cautions the decision is not yet final and the public will need to be aware the trail may open and close during this phase to allow for the safety of both trail users and construction staff, and the opening may only involve a portion of the trail at any given time. But, this is the kind of progress we love to hear!


Councilmember Hans Riemer

Next up to speak was Montgomery County Councilmember At-Large, Hans Riemer. Councilmember Riemer brought the group through the history of the project, noting that he first became involved with county politics when he participated in meetings on the project in his neighborhood and saw the project as a great idea, but one that needed defenders. He then acknowledged some audience members in the room who played key roles in his early involvement. The Councilmember touched on related bigger picture issues, including the question of how to ensure there is sufficient nearby affordable housing for people who would be using the trail and the Purple Line.

He cited progress that the county is making with 900 units already constructed and 1,700 additional units in the pipeline. Bethesda is part of that pipeline with affordable unit set-asides for even some of the tall, privately owned, and not mission-driven new residential buildings. Councilmember Riemer ended his remarks by saying he believes the pipeline of new construction, nonprofit developers, and county purchase is the way to address housing affordability.


Peter Gray, WABA Board Member

Peter Gray, Board Member of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), spoke about the potential of building out the trail underneath Wisconsin Avenue, with the caveat that this will cost millions of dollars which are not presently in the county budget. He remarked that the design for this portion of the trail looks great, but it will need the county’s funding to be realized.

Peter noted that the interim trail route currently in place is problematic, and emphasized that Montgomery County Department of Transportation, as well as the town and villages of Chevy Chase, should have a “direct and signed route between Bethesda and Rock Creek." He asked for regular updates about any proposed changes and for follow-up from all the entities involved when those changes occur.


Matt Johnson, MCDOT

Matt Johnson, Project Manager, Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), spoke next and reminded us that although the trail is being built by the Purple Line Transit Partners, it is being funded by Montgomery County. Many of you may not realize the Capital Crescent Trail is owned by Montgomery County and they will be responsible for maintaining it into the foreseeable future.

Matt agreed with the previous presenters about the necessity to open the trail as soon as it is safely possible. He also discussed the surface trails and bike routes through Bethesda and the larger network to which the trail will connect. He gave more detail on the tunnel, noting that the new Carr property building is being constructed with a shell that will allow easy connection once the tunnel under Wisconsin is in place. The tunnel itself is funded for design, but not construction as Peter mentioned above. At the other end, the transportation department is working with the Parks Department about the entrance to the tunnel portal. 

Matt also highlighted the redesign of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenue which will tighten up the turn radii to protect pedestrians, as well as the creation of bicycle tracks in both Silver Spring and Bethesda which will connect with the trail. The Woodmont Avenue cycle track is in the first phase of construction, as well as the Montgomery Lane track near East-West Highway. You may remember that Silver Spring has already built separated bike and pedestrian lanes. And, the project design includes a secure bike parking area near the Silver Spring Metro station.


David Anspacher, MC Planning Board

The next panelist, David Anspacher, who is the Transportation Supervisor for the Montgomery County Planning Board, emphasized the importance of bike trails of sufficient width, so both walkers and bikers can be accommodated side-by-side. David also said that Montgomery County is looking at lighting for the Capital Crescent Trail for nighttime use. The Planning Board has created a Bike Stress Map and is now kicking it off for pedestrians, as well. He invited everyone to check out the Bike Master Plan and Walking Plan on the Planning Board’s website. This will help prioritize investment for Purple Line stations. Access right now to some of the stations, he said, is not great, so this tool will help them understand where investments need to be made.


Councilmember Andrew Friedson

Our final speaker for the evening was District 1 Councilmember Andrew Friedson. Councilmember Friedson began by stating that he is a life-long member of District 1 in Montgomery County and that the project “is as old as he is,” having begun in his birth year. Many of our long time volunteers can appreciate that sentiment! He remembers, as student body president while completing his studies at the University of Maryland, the route through campus being heavily debated. Interestingly, Andrew was also on staff of the Board of Public Works when the project came before their body in Annapolis.

The councilmember emphasized the trail is not just for recreation, that residents and workers use the trail for commuting to and from work and school, as well. With over a million people using the trail per year, the trail is “one of the most important trails in our region and one of the most heavily used trails in the country,” he said. He agreed the trail will not be considered complete until the pedestrian tunnel on the Bethesda portion of the trail is complete. Councilmember Friedson also highlighted the need for the restoration of the tree canopy once the project is finished.

Again, a big thanks to all of the panelists, for their time and dedication to this project and most certainly to making the trail better for all of us who live, work, and play in the community. Thank you, as well, to our audience, who came to learn about what's happening along the trail. We hope this overview was helpful for those who use the trail and are eager for its grand reopening!

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Next Forum: TBD

These fora are an invaluable source of information and we hope you’ll join us at one in the future. We are always open to ideas about where we should host our next event. Send your suggestions to us at cscott@purplelinenow.com.

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

Thank You to our Many Sponsors!

We hope you will join us in thanking the following folks for their dedication to making sure Purple Line NOW continues its work and take a moment to join them!  If you need more information before you push the donate button, 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. 

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.

WE APPRECIATE THE GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM OUR SPONSORS!

FEATURED SPONSORS

CHEVY CHASE LAND COMPANY

THE MALLOY AND SANDERS FAMILY

TINA, DON, AND JESSIE SLATER

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND UNIVERSITY COLLEGE (UMUC)

SUPPORTING SPONSORS

ATU Local 689

ENGINEERS

Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

Bee and Brian Ditzler

Nancy and Rob Soreng

CONDUCTORS

Action Committee for Transit

Anne Ambler

John Carroll

Dr. Troy Jacobs and Dr. Kawsar Talaat

Landmark Realty, Inc.

Ben Ross

Christine Scott and JohnR Llewellyn

Sam Statland

COMMUTERS

Dave and Linda Anderson, Elizabeth Barbehenn, Ralph Bennett, Glen Bottoms, Jonathan Elkind, 
Andrew Fellows, Neil Greene, Virginia Haufler, Melanie Isis, Kevin Kirby, Mary Lanigan, Rhonda Long, 
William Mallari, Anita Morrison, Gareth Rosenau, Bill Strein, Eric Talbot

PASSENGERS

Tim Anderegg, Charles Bell, Douglas Bowen, Casey Brennan, Jeff Cronin, Ronit Dancis, Joseph Fainberg, 
Miti Figueredo, 
Patrick Flaherty, Cody Goebel, David Hondowicz, Greg Madde, Mark Mesiti-Miller, 
Judith Morenoff, Rodolfo Perez, Mark Posner, 
Jason Poteat, Dan Reed, Frederick Schultz, 
Elizabeth Shannon, Jerry Withers, William Young

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 - July 17, 2019

We hope everyone is enjoying a safe and sunny summer! Read on for a photo-filled update on the upcoming forum, the Glenridge Operations and Maintenance Facility (you're not going to believe the size of that structure!), and why Purple Line NOW needs your support to continue bringing you the latest news via its website, fora, and this newsletter.

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

  • Last Chance to Reserve Your Seat for Next Week's Purple Line NOW Forum: Completing the Capital Crescent Trail!
  • A Construction Update on the Glenridge Operations and Maintenance Facility
  • Show Your Support by Becoming a Sponsor of Purple Line NOW - All Levels Welcome!

Reserve Your Seat for the Next Purple Line NOW Forum

When?
Thursday, July 25, 2019 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm (Meet & Greet starts at 6:30 pm, program will start promptly at 7:00 pm.)

Where? 
Jane E. Lawton Community Center in Chevy Chase, 4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. Parking is free and first come, first served. Attendees are encouraged to use transit when possible.

How?
Because we want to ensure enough seats for everyone who would like to attend, please make sure you have RSVP'd by clicking on this link: RESERVE MY SEAT!  

Join us for an evening all about the Capital Crescent Trail! We'll have a status update, a peek into the future, and answer your burning trail questions! 

Here's a sneak preview of our terrific panel of experts:

• Montgomery County Planning Board Transportation Supervisor, David Anspacher. David supervises multi-modal transportation planning efforts at the Montgomery County Planning Department. He has worked on the Purple Line project since 2010 and was the Project Manager for the recently approved Bicycle Master Plan.

• Montgomery County District 1 Councilmember, Andrew Friedson. Councilmember Friedson is an advocate for comprehensive transportation solutions and a lifelong resident of District 1. He serves on the Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee.

• Board Member of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Peter Gray. Peter has worked on transportation issues for many years as a bicycling advocate and was Chair of the Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail for five years and a board member for seven years. He is also a member of the Purple Line Now Board - lucky us!

• Project Manager at the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, Matt Johnson. Matt manages the implementation of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Priority Area program and other projects, including bicyclist and pedestrian projects in Silver Spring and Bethesda. He also manages the Capital Crescent Surface Trail project.

• Montgomery County At-Large Councilmember, Hans Riemer. Councilmember Riemer, a long time advocate of the Purple Line, serves as chair of the Planning, Housing, and Economic Development Committee and as a member of the Transportation & Environment Committee.

• The new CEO of the Purple Line Transit Partners, Peter van der Waart. We are excited to welcome Peter to our forum and we know you will enjoy meeting him as much as we have. Peter joined Purple Line Transit Partners as CEO in May, having previously served for two years as a director on the PLTP Board.

Purple Line NOW, a non-profit organization, works hard to ensure these events are always free to the public. Thanks to our many sponsors who make our work possible! (Scroll down to see the list of these generous folks.)

Share This Newsletter

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

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

The Glenridge Operations and Maintenance Facility



Those of you able to attend the groundbreaking in Glenridge for the Purple Line two years ago may remember the small shed in the background. During the signing ceremony that day, Governor Hogan took part in the demolition festivities to make way for the new Glenridge Operations and Maintenance (O&M) facility.

The new Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF) will be the primary facility to service the Purple Line trains. As you can see, structural steel beams have already been erected this spring and summer. Those beams will form the bones of the immense building.


OMF Exterior. Photo courtesy of Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP).

Even those with only a passing interest in watching the construction sausage being made will find the scale of the new building impressive. While the building is not a perfect rectangle, its longest section is 358 feet and its widest, 277 feet. For (American) football fans, that’s roughly the same as two football fields laid side to side!


OMF Exterior. Photo courtesy of PLTP.

Why so big? When the building is finished, it will house a total of eight train bays, six for service, one for washing, and one for painting. Purple Line trains will be locally tested on a test track that will run from Glenridge to the New Carrollton Metrorail station with the first piece of track being laid this summer. As you can see below, steel pans have been set for the floor decks. This area will eventually serve as an equipment storage room.



Steel Pans Set in SW Corner. Photo Courtesy of PLTP.

Below you can see that steel rebar has been set and is awaiting pours of concrete that will form a walkway in one of the eight train bays. This one in particular will serve as the bay in which trains will be washed.


SE Corner, Facing Veterans Parkway. Photo Courtesy of PLTP.

If you live or work in the area and you are signed up for the Maryland Transit Administration's helpful construction updates, you will likely have received the following:

During the month of July, crews will continue construction of the future Operations and Maintenance Facility at the Glenridge Yard. Road work will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and weekends. Concrete pours will occur between 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on an as-needed basis on weekdays and weekends.


Photo Courtesy of PLTP.

We hope you have enjoyed a peek behind the scenes of one of the largest structures being erected along the route. Even though construction of the facility is not on the radar of most residents, it will serve an important role in testing, maintenance service, and keeping those rail cars looking spiffy!

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Next Forum: Completing the Capital Crescent Trail

Don't forget to reserve your seat for this informative evening (see above). This is the first time we will focus solely on the Capital Crescent Trail. We have a brilliant panel of experts to get us up to speed on what is currently happening on the trail and what we can expect down the road (or, in this case, trail!)

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

Purple Line NOW Needs Your Sponsorship Today

Thanks to our many sponsors who make our work possible! (Scroll down to see the list of these generous folks.)

If you need more information before you push the donate button, click here to read all about what we do with your donationsAll levels of sponsorshipsare 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 hope you will consider joining these generous sponsors already on board – 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.

WE APPRECIATE THE GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM OUR SPONSORS!

FEATURED SPONSORS

CHEVY CHASE LAND COMPANY

THE MALLOY AND SANDERS FAMILY

TINA, DON, AND JESSIE SLATER

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND UNIVERSITY COLLEGE (UMUC)

SUPPORTING SPONSORS

ATU Local 689

ENGINEERS

Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

Bee and Brian Ditzler

Nancy and Rob Soreng

CONDUCTORS

Action Committee for Transit

Anne Ambler

John Carroll

Dr. Troy Jacobs and Dr. Kawsar Talaat

Landmark Realty, Inc.

Ben Ross

Christine Scott and JohnR Llewellyn

Sam Statland

COMMUTERS

Dave and Linda Anderson, Elizabeth Barbehenn, Ralph Bennett, Glen Bottoms, Jonathan Elkind, 
Andrew Fellows, Neil Greene, Virginia Haufler, Melanie Isis, Kevin Kirby, Mary Lanigan, Rhonda Long, 
William Mallari, Anita Morrison, Gareth Rosenau, Bill Strein, Eric Talbot

PASSENGERS

Tim Anderegg, Charles Bell, Douglas Bowen, Casey Brennan, Jeff Cronin, Ronit Dancis, Joseph Fainberg, 
Miti Figueredo, 
Patrick Flaherty, Cody Goebel, David Hondowicz, Greg Madde, Mark Mesiti-Miller, 
Judith Morenoff, Rodolfo Perez, Mark Posner, 
Jason Poteat, Dan Reed, Frederick Schultz, 
Elizabeth Shannon, Jerry Withers, William Young

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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