Purple Line NOW News - Montgomery County T&E Committee Briefing

We have lots to share in this edition of Purple Line NOW News, with a recap of Montgomery County T&E Committee Briefing on March 21, 2019. Not to be outdone, we’ll also be sharing the Prince George’s County Council briefing with you soon.

Please share this newsletter with your neighbors, friends, and constituents - each edition is jam-packed full of great information! 

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Below is a short overview of the March 21, 2019 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 encourage you to listen to the Montgomery County T&E Committee Briefing as the presentation contains all sorts of interesting tidbits and slides, but we’ll 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 Tom Hucker and attended by other councilmembers of the committee including Hans Riemer, Andrew Friedson, and Evan Glass.

Mr. Craig began by confirming that passenger service remains targeted to start in late 2022. Right now, he said, project design is about 85% complete with remaining utility placement still outstanding, while construction on the project is about 10% complete, and vehicle (transit cars) is at 10% complete. He said that the Plymouth Tunnel and the Glenridge Operations Facility in Prince George’s county is slightly ahead of schedule.

Did you know the vehicles used for the Purple Line will require 600 hours of test time before they are put into service? In order to meet the appropriate hours of testing, those vehicles need to be stored and thus the storage facility on Veterans Highway is what is known as a “critical path item.” This means this part of the project is critical to the overall schedule which is why the construction there started early to accommodate the vehicle testing necessary. Right now, Mr. Craig said, the site is a “beehive of activity.” Mr. Craig described the cars as “rolling computers” – we can’t wait to see one in person soon!

Plymouth Tunnel and Noise Issues

The blasting work on Plymouth Tunnel was completed on February 26 and we wrote all about that milestone in our March 13 newsletter. It was a great day for the project and the crew working on it, with no surprises and no injuries. With the excavation complete, Mr. Craig describe the remaining work as “light, quieter, and with little vibration for the surrounding area” as was before. He went on to say the noisiest part of construction on the Plymouth Tunnel is largely over, except for truck traffic which can occur between 7 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. He said that nighttime activities are much quieter now and any noise-heavy activities will be done in the daytime from now on in this area.

Bethesda Station Shaft

Mr. Craig thanked the Council for their investment in the shaft and said the elevator shaft is currently about halfway to the Red Line depth. Weekday blasting will continue, as needed, but notifications will be sent via email and text ahead of time.

Because of the depth, he noted, the work is very dangerous. He described the crew taking on that work as “international caliber talent” and diligent in making sure that safety of the crew is the top priority. The noise from this work is quite muffled and when it happens, it is typically during the mid-day hours and of short duration.

Silver Spring Transit Center

Mr. Craig and Mr. Lattuca were asked about working with WMATA and CSX to make sure any closures have the least impact on pedestrians and current passengers. Both gentlemen stressed they are working closely with both WMATA and CSX to work simultaneously to minimize construction pain by piggybacking closures in the area. Pedestrian activities around the station should have minimal impact, but when and were there are detours, they will both make sure signage is abundant for safe passage. The work is to begin later this spring.

Lyttonsville Bridge

Although the bridge was opened about two weeks late, the community is satisfied with the result and happy to have the access back.

Public and Business Outreach

Mr. Hucker asked about how both MTA and PLTP are working to mitigate the impact on businesses as a result of the construction. Mr. Craig said they are doing their best not to schedule closures or work on the most active days for restaurant deliveries and patronage. Mr. Hucker asked both men to be as “creative as possible” in finding solutions to reduce the impact these businesses are experiencing, while acknowledging that once the project is built, the area will once again be a magnet for businesses and residents alike.

Workforce Diversity and Employment

Mr. Craig explained the project employs hundreds of workers and they have tried very hard to be a symbol of diversity by employing women and minorities in leadership positions. He also highlighted that even though the work on the project is short-lived, they will be leaving behind a legacy of skilled workers once completed.

Purple Line Safety

Mr. Lattuca said they are coordinating with MCDOT for good pedestrian access. He also pointed out much of the sidewalk construction will be a large improvement over what is in place now. All will be ADA compliant.

There will be adequate lighting and over 600 cameras deployed to monitor safety and security. MTA police (as well as campus police) will have a presence.

Project Delay and Cost Over-run

Mr. Hucker asked both gentlemen about the potential project delay and the resulting cost over-run. Mr. Craig said that despite what has been reported in the news, they are doing their best to stay on schedule and looking for areas where they can accelerate construction safely to meet the deadlines. Mr. Lattuca reminded everyone that the FFGA (Full Funding Grant Agreement) expires at the end of 2022 and they are certainly shooting to have the project completed by then. He said MTA is “bugging the concessionaire to work in a parallel fashion rather than a sequential one when appropriate.” Our readers will remember that there is a financial disincentive to the concessionaire for a delay in project completion.

Councilmember Glass asked about the potential for budget over-run, to which they both reiterated their goal of completing the project “safely, quickly, and on budget.”

The Trail

Councilmember Friedson wondered whether the trail needed to be closed until completion of the project. Mr. Craig said he will discuss with the contractor whether opening portions of the trail early might be a possibility down the line. He promised to find out and get back to the Council with some answers. Mr. Friedson emphasized that the trail is important to the community – folks rely on it not only for recreation, but to get their kids to school and to commute to work.

Mr. Hucker concluded the meeting by saying the project was the biggest “economic opportunity to enhance quality of life” in our community and thanked both Mr. Lattuca and Mr. Craig for their continued diligence in making sure the project was well built, done quickly, reliable, and safe. And, he added, on budget.

Again, we encourage you to watch the briefing (about 45 minutes long) for information and answers to a whole host of questions. And do sign up for construction updates so you are aware of closings and detours.

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!

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

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! 

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 - Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson Briefs Purple Line NOW

We have lots to share in this addition of the Purple Line NOW News, with a recap of Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson's presentation to the Purple Line NOW Board on housing trends and affordability in the county, as well as an exciting construction update (with photos!) of the major milestone breakthrough of the Plymouth Tunnel. So, grab a cup of coffee and settle in!

We also have more good news to share. Did you know a federal judge last week dismissed a second lawsuit brought by opponents of the Purple Line, saying they had not "proven an 'injury' under the law"? You can read about it here: Judge dismisses second lawsuit against Purple Line project.

Montgomery County Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson Briefs Purple Line NOW

At our January Purple Line NOW Board of Directors meeting, we were thrilled to welcome Casey Anderson, Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board, to brief us on housing trends and affordability in the county.

Casey acknowledged that he hears a lot of concern about real estate development near the new Purple Line stations that could force out existing affordable housing (especially, he noted, in Long Branch and Lyttonsville). In his presentation, Casey gave us the opportunity to take a closer look at what is actually happening along the route.

The first concern he hears is that existing Multi-Family Housing (MFH) stock will be torn down and redeveloped. Many residents believe that older garden apartments and currently affordable MFH near transit stations will be redeveloped into luxury apartments/condos.

So, the Planning Board decided to do some research (you can find some links to the study at the end of this article). Staff studied all MFH parcels which were redeveloped since 1990. Casey asked us to guess how many MFH parcels were redeveloped during this 30-year period (someone guessed 50, someone guessed 2!)

The real answer: only six MFH were redeveloped in the past 30 years! Two are affordable MFHs (the Bonifant in Silver Spring and another HOC in Chevy Chase Lake.) Others are the Blairs in Silver Spring, several apartments in Glenmont, “The Lauren” at 4901 Hampden Lane in Bethesda, and “The Cameron” on Cameron Street in Silver Spring, close to United Therapeutics.

Casey went on to say that the six MFH units which were redeveloped since 1990 yielded a net increase of 318 regulated affordable units (MPDUs). Bottom line: fears that existing MFH near transit will be redeveloped has not been borne out by the statistics.

The second concern he hears is centered around displacement of Single Family Housing (SFH) units. According to Planning Board research, there have been 4,400 SFHs torn down since 1990 – the average has been about 150 teardowns per year. However, since 2015, that number has been increasing and is currently around 250 teardowns per year. About half of those are in Bethesda and the rest are in Potomac, Chevy Chase, and Silver Spring. These teardowns are due to market pressure – some people may move here for our good schools, while many others may not be able to afford a SFH in DC and therefore come to Montgomery County.

And, more so than “teardowns”, it is the improvement and additions to existing SFSs that is causing much of the displacement and again, it’s market pressure driving this. Ultimately, the impact is on middle income folks, who are important for our workforce, being priced out of the close-in SFHs. Casey reminds us to note that it is NOT the affordable units that are being displaced or upgraded. In fact, expensive homes are being torn down to build even more expensive homes.

A few other notes from Casey’s presentation:

  • Concerns about “upzoning” are not supported by evidence. In fact, it is the opposite. The increased remodeling and additions to existing SFH units result in reduced opportunity for moderate income families to find housing.  
  • The number of affordable units has held steady over time. Granted, the population has also increased during this time, BUT the number of affordable units has not decreased.
  • What we are not dealing with is the issue of supply. In 2018, only 1,500 to 2,000 new units were built (much lower than in prior years). Between 1990 and 2005, we were building 3,000-5,000 units per year!
  • Population growth in the county is slow and steady. Meanwhile, there is a decline in the annual supply of housing being built and we have had weak income growth.
  • We simply do not have enough housing supply, and it is not because of fancy condos. We are simply not building enough units!

In closing, Casey highlighted the three most defining factors affecting affordable house availability in Montgomery County:

  • Slow, but steady population growth.
  • A decline in annual supply of housing being built.
  • Weak economic growth and stagnant wages.

A big thank you to Casey and his staff for all of their hard work!

Want more information?

  • See highlights of Gwen Wright’s/Planning Staff research in a January 24 Washington Post article by Katie Shaver:

Study: Montgomery County has grown older, more diverse and pricier

  • See actual Planning Staff research report (100 pages). This will help inform the General Plan being developed:

Montgomery County Trends A Look at People, Housing and Jobs Since 1990

 

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Plymouth Street Breakthrough!

From Wikipedia:

Tunnel hole-through, also called breakthrough, is the time, during the construction of a tunnel built from both ends, when the ends meet, and the accuracy of the survey work becomes evident.

The Purple Line reached a major milestone last week when it broke through the western portal of the Plymouth Street Tunnel

Work crews broke through the bottom portion of the tunnel’s western rock wall, substantially completing excavation of the tunnel. Excavation of the top portion of the 1,020-tunnel was completed in December 2018. Enjoy the pictures, (courtesy of MTA, the Purple Line Transit Partners, and our own Greg Sanders who was in attendance) and the awesome video (Plymouth Tunnel Hole-through). Call us geeks, but this stuff is exciting!



Purple Line NOW joined the media to witness an excavator piercing through the final portion of rock and the moment of breakthrough. It was an exciting morning for the crew, the team, and all who are eager to see the project up and running soon!

 

A few other tidbits:

  • Most of the Purple Line construction is still in front of us, but the completion of the half-mile Plymouth Street two-layer excavation effort is a major accomplishment.
  • Completion is ahead of schedule and is progress towards the goal PLTP CEO Fred Craig stated at our January Purple Line NOW Forum in College Park of making up time lost to the lawsuit.
  • There is still much work to be done in the tunnel, including milling of the walls, laying the track-bed, and water-proofing. It should be ready for test runs in early 2022, or late 2021, if things run smoothly.
  • This should bring to an end the loudest of the overnight work in the tunnel, which is exempted from county noise ordinances, though neighbor groups are in communication with MTA about what the next step will entail.

Fun details:

  • The construction site is also the location of the Manchester Place Station, between the Wayne Avenue station to the west and the Long Branch station to the East.
  • The tunnel is necessary because of the large Wayne Avenue hill, which is also known to prompt despair or exultation in bikers depending on their direction of travel.
  • There were pillars because the large wall predated the construction effort, the construction site presently has an extensive series of horizontal support pipes, each over a meter in diameter, and one is purple (and we love it!)

Purple Line NOW Vice President Greg Sanders described the hoe ram as, "not just jack hammering, but also nudging small boulders off of their rebar cage, as if the crane arm were the helpful head of a civic-minded dinosaur." How do you like that for some visual?!

Congratulations to everyone on the team! What an exciting day for the Purple Line!

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

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

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

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! 

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 - February 27, 2019

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! 

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

This week, courtesy of the Maryland Transit Administration, we're excited to bring you some behind-the-scenes photos of construction progress from across the Purple Line corridor. There's so much happening in Montgomery and Prince George's counties that we couldn't pick just one construction zone to highlight for this edition. Enough talk, let's get to the pictures!

Storm drains are being installed left and right along the Purple Line route. In Prince George's County, crews are busy installing storm drains along the section of Ellin Road that is currently closed to traffic.

And, in Montgomery County, crews are putting storm drains into place along the Georgetown Branch Trail near Connecticut Avenue.

As we reported last month, rebar is going in and concrete is being poured at the Glenridge yard for the future Purple Line Operations and Maintenance Facility. Crews are working around the clock to construct the facility, as evidenced by the nighttime photo below.

The Lyttonsville Place bridge reopened to vehicular traffic in mid-January and since that time crews have continued to work on the rest of the bridge, including construction of the sidewalks. Crews will remain on site through 2019 to complete the drop-off lanes and access to the future Lyttonsville Station and Capital Crescent Trail.

About a half a mile from the Lyttonsville Place bridge, crews are removing the deck of the Rock Creek trestle bridge along the Georgetown Branch Trail. The trestle will be replaced with a new pedestrian bridge which will be wider than the former bridge and allow trail users to stop and enjoy the view while cyclists and runners continue on their way.

Finally, we have some pictures from the Plymouth Street Tunnel being constructed in Silver Spring. Crews celebrated break through to daylight at the end of 2018 and have moved on to installing electric cable through the length of the tunnel. And, at the tunnel's western portal, workers are installing tiebacks along the northern wall, which will provide stability to the retaining wall.

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Stay tuned for an announcement of the next Purple Line NOW forum - coming soon!

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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.


Recap of Purple Line NOW College Park Forum

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! 

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Recap of Purple Line NOW College Park Forum

On January 10, Purple Line NOW held an informative forum for the College Park community. We were thrilled to welcome so many of you on a cold winter’s night. In case you were not able to join us, we will put the forum up on YouTube soon, thanks to our volunteer videographer, John Wetmore.

In the meantime, here is a short recap of the evening’s presentations.

A great big THANK YOU to our amazing panel of speakers: College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn, Fred Craig from the Purple Line Transit Partners, Bradley Frome from the Prince George's County Executive's office, Anna McLaughlin, from the University of Maryland’s Department of Transportation, and George Trujillo, from the University of Maryland University College.

Below each recap, you can see a short bio of the speaker. They were all terrific!

Mayor Wojahn welcomed everyone to City Hall and spoke about some of the opportunities and challenges facing the College Park community as the Purple Line rolls into town. One of the most visible developments as a result of the light rail project coming to College Park is the completion of the new high-end hotel, with space for academic conferences and events. The new investment in the community brings more people and businesses to the area, which in turn has a positive impact on the tax base.

The Mayor also reminded the audience that there will be five FREE stations along the campus portion of the route for students and faculty, allowing for more efficient movement throughout campus and less automobile traffic. Patrick also spoke about some of the challenges construction is presenting with the closure of Campus Drive, although they are trying to focus construction during the summer months when fewer students are around. The Mayor also said that they are working hard to keep College Park affordable for residents and businesses as the line nears completion, "as the goal is not just development and new jobs, but to forge College Park as a community."

The Honorable Patrick Wojahn, Mayor of College Park
Patrick is an advocate for trails and safe bicycle and pedestrian networks as Director of Government Relations at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Previously, Patrick worked as a policy and legal advocate for the rights of people with disabilities and for people living with HIV/AIDS in the DC metro area. Patrick has served in various leadership roles in the past, including as Chair of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board and as chair of the National League of Cities Transportation and Infrastructure Service Policy Committee. He was a founding member of the Board of Director of the College Park Community Foundation and served on the Boards of Directors of the College Park Community Food Bank and Equality Maryland. Patrick is also a member of the Board of Directors for Purple Line NOW.

Next up was the Purple Line Transit Partners’ CEO, Fred Craig. Fred and his team are charged with building the Purple Line. Fred talked about the satisfaction of building the line - not just for the folks in the room that evening, but for the next generation of users. “You don’t plant a tree for your generation, but for the next generation,” he said. We are grateful that our generation will be riding the Purple Line in just a few years, too!

 

Fred said that one of the most important things he does each day is drive from one end of the Purple Line to the other to get an eye on the work being done on the ground (and below!) To illustrate the work being done, he brought an excellent slide show - as soon as we have the video up on the internet, we will give you the link so you can watch it yourself! One of the highlights of the video was watching the underground crew, working in hot, dark, and dangerous tunnels, break through to the other side – cheering and celebrating this milestone for the project. Fred also talked about the fact that the Purple Line will greatly expand job opportunities, giving a geographic reach to those who will be able to easily commute to their jobs.

You may remember news broke the morning of our forum that the project might be delayed and the original cost estimate exceeded. Not one to shy away from bad news, Fred addressed the media report head on, explaining that the year-long lawsuit resulted in the potential time delay and increase in costs, but that his goal is to make up as much of the lost year as possible.

Fred Craig, Chief Executive Officer, Purple Line Transit Partners
As CEO of PLTP, Mr. Craig is directing the development of this 16.2-mile light rail project for the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) and brings 35 years of experience in similar ventures, including the successful Cincinnati Street Car and Ohio High Speed Rail Programs, and the South Capitol Street reconstruction program including Nationals Park.

Brad Frome, an advisor to the Prince George’s County Executive, spoke eloquently about his belief that “accessibility to affordable transportation is a human right.” We couldn’t agree more! He said our communities and government owe its residents affordable transit to jobs and education and he believes that the Purple Line project reflects where the state of transportation is going in the future. “Having a light rail network in our backyard,” he said, “is something many jurisdictions would envy!”

Moreover, the climate action plan will benefit greatly once the project is built – enabling people to get out of their single occupancy vehicles and allow for new development on former parking lots. He gave credit to the University of Maryland’s President Loh who played a big part in getting the University on board with the project in the early days. Brad also talked about the need for blended housing, in addition to separate high income and low income housing.

He said that Prince George’s county has invested a lot in making sure the stations will be focal points of the community with appropriate landscaping and public arts, including redesigning the area around Adelphi station to be an artfully designed and welcoming entrance to the University of Maryland. He also said, "while the county bus service currently ends at 7:30 pm, we are working to change that, though it will be a costly endeavor." Lastly, Brad reminded everyone to support businesses in the community during construction!

Bradley Frome, Senior Policy Advisor for Prince George’s County Executive
Brad Frome was born outside of Philadelphia in 1975 (though he is a steadfast fan of America’s team, the Dallas cowboys). He graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland with a BS in Government and Politics and attended George Washington University Law School. Mr. Frome started in government working for a member of the House of Delegates as a Legislative Director for four years before serving as Chief of Staff to a member of the Prince George's County Council for six years. Mr. Frome joined the Baker Administration as a Deputy Chief of Staff transferring to become an Assistant Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for economic development and public infrastructure in early 2014.

George Trujillo, the Associate Vice President for Facilities Management gave us some background on UMUC – did you know they are present in 20 countries and they are the largest online college in the world with 86,000 students?!

George said since the Purple Line station will be located behind one of the UMUC buildings, he is planning "sidewalks, artwork, and pathways to highlight and create a sense of place for people coming and going from the station." We can’t wait to see plans for that! He also said that every single one of their infrastructure lines runs through campus.

We want to give a special thanks to UMUC which provided Purple Line NOW with a generous sponsorship last year. We are grateful for all they are doing, not just for the College Park community, but for students all over the world.

George Trujillo, Associate Vice President, Facilities Management, for University of Maryland University College (UMUC)
George manages an annual budget of $20 million and oversees construction, maintenance, security, housekeeping, landscaping, and parking for facilities totaling more than 980,000 square feet. He joined UMUC in 2001 after a 17-year career with Emcor Facility Services. He is a 2007 graduate of University of Maryland University College with a degree in Business Management and maintains professional certification/licenses/membership in District of Columbia Steam Engineer 3rd class, Maryland Steam Engineer 1st class and holds a Realtors license in the Maryland.

Anna McLaughlin, Assistant Director of Sustainability at the University of Maryland’s Department of Transportation, wrapped the evening up for us by highlighting the good work she and her team are doing on campus to encourage “smart commuting.” One of those activities is a “pool” party, where people can meet RideShare partners to plan their daily commute. (Bring your cue stick and not your bathing suit for this kind of “pool” party!)

In 2018, Anna said that her team met their goal of reducing parking spaces by 3,000 – well before the Purple Line is scheduled to come to town. They are strategizing ways to encourage students and faculty to get around without driving, including discounted permits for carpools, bike commuter incentives (like discounts on gear, covered/locked places to leave bikes, showers, etc.), and an online platform where commuters can see all the route options available to help with routes and schedules. They are also working on a Parking Cash-Out program which provides a $425 reward at the end of the year for giving up a parking permit. Anna explained, “$425 is so much cheaper than building a parking space!”

On a final note, Anna said they recently put up some transit screens in the Student Union so students can see the many transportation options – and also leave them time for another cup of coffee if they see their bus is not due to arrive for another 20 minutes!

Anna McLaughlin, Assistant Director of Sustainability at the University of Maryland’s Department of Transportation
Anna is responsible for the university’s transportation demand management program. Anna has supervised the launch of the mBike bikeshare program with the City of College Park and established the University’s Smart Commute Program. Prior to joining UMD, Anna was the TDM Coordinator at the District Department of Transportation where she launched a city-wide TDM program and was part of the team that launched Capital Bikeshare.

As you can see, it was an information-packed evening, full of the latest breaking news on the project and lots of highlights about current and future development in and around College Park. There’s even more information on the video, and we will let you know when it is available for viewing. We are already planning the next forum, to be held sometime later this spring. 

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Stay tuned for an announcement of the next Purple Line NOW forum - coming soon!

action.png

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.



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