Remembering Former Purple Line NOW Board Member Keith Haller

We were shocked and saddened to learn this morning that longtime Purple Line supporter, former Purple Line NOW board member, Rockville resident, pollster, and dreamer of big dreams, Keith Haller passed away yesterday, far too soon, at age 70. We are still processing the news, but wanted to immediately express our gratitude for his support after the 2014 election, when he helped explain the value of the Purple Line to the incoming Governor and convey his grand vision for the bright economic future of the project. We also appreciate his role in supporting local media as a co-founder of Maryland Matters, which is already playing a vital role in covering local news in a time when such journalism is under threat or already lost in much of the nation. We regret that we won’t be able to take the first ride on the Purple Line with you, Keith, but your legacy will live on in your work to make our county more prosperous and better informed.

Reserve Your Seat NOW - Space is Limited!

If you haven't already done so, please mark your calendar for the next Purple Line NOW forum on January 10, 2019, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at City Hall in College Park.

Attendance, as always, is free and open to the public and media, but your seat must be reserved in advance. Seating is limited to the first 100 folks with reservations, so make sure to save your seat.

Plan to come and hear what is happening right now in College Park and what is on the horizon once the project is completed. The speakers for this forum will include College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn, Purple Line Transit Partners CEO Fred Craig, Assistant Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George's County Economic Development & Public Infrastructure Bradley Frome, Associate Vice President, Facilities Management, for University of Maryland University College George Trujillo, and Anna McLaughlin, Assistant Director – Sustainability, UMD Department of Transportation Services. As you can see, this is going to be a very informative evening for the community and we hope you will join us!

Media is invited and inquiries can be made to Christine Scott,cscott@purplelinenow.com.

Please Consider Becoming a Purple Line NOW Sponsor

Purple Line NOW exists because generous individuals, businesses, and organizations support us by becoming a sponsor of the Envisioning the Purple Line series. The financial support we receive from your sponsorship allows us to put on these events, provide educational newsletters and information about ongoing construction issues, and keep abreast of any hurdles along the way.

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! Thank you for considering us in your holiday giving this year - we appreciate you more than you know.

 

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

 

Have You Heard About the Purple Line’s Railcars?

We have been updating you for several months about the construction of tunnels and right-of-ways for the Purple Line. However, one of the most exciting things for us are the railcars themselves, as the rails alone don’t transport you anywhere! The biggest news about the railcars themselves is the innovative design that came out of the contract competition. As you might remember, Maryland paid each of the companies a fee so that they could keep the best ideas from each proposal. One of the more inventive ideas was to use only a single modular railcar rather than two railcars, back-to-back, which is the default for light rail systems around the country. This style is increasingly common in railcars, including heavy rail, around the world but new to the United States.

These open gangways mean about 10% more capacity for the cars, which holds 80 people seated and up to 431 people shoulder-to-shoulder. There’s also planned wall racks for bikes to allow them to fit in even when the trains are crowded. The railcars' maximum speed is 50 miles per hour, with an average speed of 20 miles per hour across the 90% dedicated right of way. At 136 feet across five modules, the Purple Line will have the longest railcars in America as reported by Greater Greater Washington. The manufacturer is the Spanish firm CAF which also made the Cincinnati streetcar. The steel frames are fabricated in Spain and then shipped to Elmira, New York for assembly. There’s a drive test track in New York to test them on, but final testing after assembly will be at the Glendridge yard in Prince George’s County.

We had an early peek at the arriving railcar frames on Twitter. At the last Envisioning the Purple Line forum in July, Fred Craig, CEO of Purple Line Transit Partners, gave a positive update on the manufacturing process and commented on how quiet the light rail vehicles are. He compared the noise they produce to that of an electric car, though of course they will have bells and other options to make noise when needed. Fred Craig also compared the cars to rolling computers and we look forward to sharing more with you about their features as we learn more. Towards the end of 2019, we’ll have a chance to see them in action, running back and forth on a test track at the Glenridge facility.

 

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Just a note - the next edition of the Purple Line Now NEWS will be delivered on January 9, 2019. In the meantime, we wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season. Once again, a great big thank you for your interest and your time in making this project come to life!

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

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.

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 - Upcoming Forum

Mark Your Calendar and Reserve Your Seat

If you haven't already done so, please mark your calendar for the next Purple Line NOW forum on January 10, 2019, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at City Hall in College Park!

Attendance, as always, is free and open to the public and media, but your seat must be reserved in advance. Seating is limited to the first 100 folks with reservations, so make sure to save your seat.

Plan to come and hear what is happening right now in College Park and what is on the horizon once the project is completed. The speakers for this forum will include College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn, Purple Line Transit Partners CEO Fred Craig, Bradley Frome, Assistant Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George's County Economic Development & Public Infrastructure, and representatives from both University of Maryland University College and The University of Maryland. As you can see, this is going to be a very informative evening for the community and we hope you will join us!

Media is invited and inquiries can be made to Christine Scott,cscott@purplelinenow.com.

Become a Sponsor and Help Us Continue These Terrific Events

Purple Line NOW exists because generous individuals, businesses, and organizations support us by becoming a sponsor of the Envisioning the Purple Line series. The financial support we receive from your sponsorship allows us to put on these events, provide educational newsletters and information about ongoing construction issues, and keep abreast of any hurdles along the way.

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! Thank you for considering us in your holiday giving this year - we appreciate you more than you know.

Purple Line NOW is Thankful for Supporters Like YOU

We hope you all had a good Thanksgiving! In the lead up to ours, Purple Line fans and other transit supporters participated in the Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade. We are thankful for those bringing the Purple Line into reality and for everyone constructively participating with the Community Advisory Teams as both suggestions and critiques provide valuable feedback. If you would like to see more pictures of the multi-modal parade marchers, check out a small collection we’ve shared on our Facebook page, courtesy of Action Committee for Transit.

 

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

 

Lyttonsville Bridge On Pace to Reopen Next Month


The reconstruction of Lyttonsville Place bridge appears to be on schedule to deliver before the calendar turns to 2019

When we last visited the construction site in mid-September, the abutments (i.e. support elements) on either side of the bridge were just beginning to take shape. But, as you will see in the pictures below, a lot has happened since then.


In addition to Purple Line trains, the Capital Crescent Trail will travel underneath the bridge against far wall in above photo

The biggest change is that the steel girders that form the backbone of the bridge have been put into place. Next, concrete will be poured into the structure to form the roadway.

It appears construction of the bridge has entered the final stage, but there's still much that needs to occur before the bridge can reopen to vehicular traffic. Among other things, the concrete and stone parapets need to be built, the road needs to be paved and the connection to Brookville Road needs to be completed. Nonetheless, judging by the progress made so far, it shouldn't be long now before this vital neighborhood link is restored.


The new bridge will intersect Brookville Road approximately 50 feet northeast of its old location

The timing of the bridge replacement is fortuitous because the old bridge, which was constructed in 1966, had exceeded its useful life. In recent years, access was restricted to heavier vehicles due to its deteriorating condition. If the bridge were not being replaced as part of construction on the Purple Line, the county would have needed to spend several million dollars to replace the deck. 


Another view of Lyttonsville Place bridge from Brookville Road

 

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Upcoming Community Advisory Team (CAT) Meetings

  • 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

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.

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 - Mark Your Calendars Now

Mark Your Calendars Now and Reserve Your Seat for the Next Forum

We are very excited to announce the next forum in our Envisioning the Purple Line series will be held at City Hall in College Park on January 10, 2019, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

We have a terrific slate of speakers - if you live in, study in, play in, or work in College Park - you won't want to miss this informative forum!

Attendance, as always, is free and open to the public and media, but your seat must be reserved in advance. Seating is limited to the first 100 folks with reservations, so make sure to save your seat!

We have an amazing slate of knowledgeable and insightful speakers for you - so come and hear what is happening right now in College Park and what is on the horizon once the project is completed. The speakers for this forum will include College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn, Purple Line Transit Partners CEO Fred Craig, Bradley Frome, Assistant Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George's County Economic Development & Public Infrastructure, and representatives from both University of Maryland University College and The University of Maryland. We will keep you informed of additional speakers as we line them up. As you can see, this is going to be a very informative evening for the community and we hope you will join us!

Media is invited and inquiries can be made to Christine Scott,cscott@purplelinenow.com.

Become a Sponsor and Help Us Continue These Terrific Events

Purple Line NOW exists because generous individuals, businesses, and organizations support us by becoming a sponsor of the Envisioning the Purple Line series. The financial support we receive from your sponsorship allows us to put on these events, provide educational newsletters and information about ongoing construction issues, and keep abreast of any hurdles along the way.

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. Here are our terrific sponsors to date - we hope you will consider adding your name to this awesome list! 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! Thank you for your support.

 

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

 

Median Removal Begins on University Boulevard

 


Construction has finally found its way to the International Corridor of University Boulevard, one of the last remaining areas along the corridor where construction activity was not readily apparent.

For the last few weeks, crews have been working to remove the medians along University Boulevard between Riggs Road and Adelphi Road in Prince George’s County. Similar to Kenilworth Avenue, the Purple Line will run in the median of University Boulevard, thus necessitating the removal of the existing median.


An excavator removes median and places rubble into a waiting dump truck

The removal of the median is the first step towards a complete overhaul of University Boulevard. When all is said and done, University Boulevard will be reduced from three lanes in each direction to two, and the pedestrian and cyclist facilities will be much improved. The sidewalks on University Boulevard are, for the most part, 4 feet wide and directly against the roadway; however, construction of the Purple Line offers an opportunity to set the sidewalks back from the road and to widen them. The sidewalks will be widened to five feet or more depending on the available right-of-way, and they will be buffered from traffic by green space or by the five-foot bikes lanes which will run the entire length of University Boulevard.

In addition, the road reconstruction will fill in several gaps in the sidewalk network along the north side of University Boulevard in the Adelphi area, thereby enhancing access to the nearby recreational facilities, including an archery range, cricket field, and neighborhood pool.


Road work stretches all the way to edge of University of Maryland, College Park campus, pictured in distance

Median removal has not begun on the portion of University Boulevard that lies in Montgomery County, but the medians there will also have to be removed and reconstructed as part of the project.

 

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

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.

The Purple Line Parades Again in Silver Spring

This Saturday, November 17, the Purple Line will be making its annual appearance at the Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade. If you haven't had a chance yet to participate in this fun civic tradition, the thanksgiving parade involves a wide mix: bands, floats, elected officials, cute dogs, and our very own Purple Line! If you come and wave at us, we'll try to make sure you get a sticker. If you want to be part of the fun and join the train, plan to wear layers (it will be cold!), don all the Purple you have and join us in the Ellsworth garage staging area no later than 9:30 am. Note: this is a good day to walk or use transit as the open parking garages fill up fast. Reach out to our friends at the Action Committee for Transit who are organizing the event to get more information and let them know if you can join us.

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

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.

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 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



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