PLN News October 17, 2018

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

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

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

Thank you for your support!

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Ribbon Cut on First Private Development Around Purple Line Station

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Upcoming Community Advisory Team (CAT) meetings:

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

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

 

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


Purple Line NOW News - October 3, 2018

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

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

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Construction Progresses at Silver Spring School

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

Year-Long Road Closure Begins in New Carrollton

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

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

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

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


Ellin Road as it looks today

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


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

Some Purple Line-related events for you:

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

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

Thank you for your support!

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

Get Connected!

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


Purple Line NOW News - September 19, 2018

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

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

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

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Bridge Reconstruction Reaches Halfway Point

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

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

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


Photo credit: @AdamTuss of NBC Washington

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

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

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

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Some Purple Line-related events for you:

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

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

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

Thank you for your support!

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PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

Get Connected!

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


Purple Line NOW News - September 5, 2018

Before you dig into this edition of our chock-full-of-information newsletter, a few dates for Purple Line related events we wanted to call your attention to hosted by MTA:

  • Purple Line Open House (Montgomery County), October 1, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, Silver Spring Civic Building
  • Purple Line Open House (Prince George's County), October 4, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, UMD Stamp Student Union Atrium

And, as you'll read below, we have added a new page to our website where we will keep a running list of businesses that have relocated (or will be soon), some that have closed, and others that will be able to remain open during construction. (Hat tip to the Source of the Spring for rounding up the state of Spring Center businesses last year.) If you have any updates we missed, now or in the coming months, please email our Executive Director, Christine Scott (cscott@purplelinenow.com) and we will update our list accordingly.

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). 

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Strip Mall Demolished to Construct Future Purple Line Station

Another demolition that is essential to the construction of the Purple Line got underway late last month.

The Spring Center strip mall on 16th Street in Silver Spring was demolished to clear way for the construction of the Purple Line tracks, as well as the future Woodside/16th St. station, which will sit towards the rear of where the shopping center once stood, adjacent to the CSX train tracks. The property will also serve as the primary construction staging area in Montgomery County, meaning that materials and heavy equipment used for construction will be stored there. 


The above map shows path the Purple Line will take through property and location of Woodside/16th St. station

The majority of the property had been fenced off since the beginning of the year, but demolition was put on hold until all of the businesses had relocated. The last tenant to move out was the United States Post Office, which closed at the end of July. Coincidentally, the post office has temporarily relocated to a location just steps away from another Purple Line station: the Silver Spring Library! 


Half of Spring Center has been demolished. The other half is still in process of being torn down

Though construction of the Purple Line requires the complete demolition of the shopping center, not all of the property will be utilized by the Purple Line. Approximately four acres of land will be available for redevelopment once construction of the Purple Line is finished, making it a prime location for a new mixed-use retail/residential development.


The southern portion of the strip mall has been completely demolished

The demolition displaced more than twenty businesses, but, on the bright side, many of them have found new homes in and around downtown Silver Spring. When people think of supporting businesses during the construction period, they tend to think of the businesses that will remain open during heavy construction; but it’s important for us, as community members, to also patronize businesses that were forced to relocate through no fault of their own. To that end, we’ve created a handy dandy webpage with a listing of the businesses that were impacted by the demolition of the Spring Center, as well as information about their other locations or their relocation addresses.

We encourage you and your neighbors to continue to frequent these businesses during the construction period and beyond. 


Lane Closure Goes Into Effect at The University of Maryland

A new traffic pattern has gone into effect on a major artery through the heart of the University of Maryland's College Park campus.

On the eve of the first day of classes, Campus Drive permanently transitioned to a one-way road in order to accommodate the forthcoming construction of the Purple Line tracks that will line either side of the street. From this point forward, the road will only be open to westbound traffic with the exception of buses and emergency vehicles, which will be permitted to travel in both directions when the tracks are clear of trains. 


Traffic headed west on Campus Drive with Stamp Student Union pictured in background

This isn't the first time Campus Drive has been restricted to one-way travel. The eastbound lane was previously closed to traffic while the beautiful Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center was being constructed on Campus Drive. Unlike that closure though, this one will remain in place even after construction is complete.

To help drivers adjust to the new traffic pattern, Purple Line Transit Partners has disseminated a map highlighting alternate routes around the closure. 

But wait, there's more!

As part of the construction project, a nearly 1-mile long bike path will also be constructed parallel to the Purple Line as it crosses the campus. The separated bi-directional bike path will run from Presidential Drive on the west side of campus to Baltimore Avenue (aka Route 1) on the east side.


The bike path is indicated by the green line, and stations by train icons

For the latest information on construction affecting UMD, visit the University's Purple Line webpage or the official project website.

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PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS

Stay tuned - our next forum in the Envisioning the Purple Line series will be held later this fall. We are busy working to find a date right now and will send an invite in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that announcement. 

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. Your feedback is always welcome - let us know where we can help!

action.png

PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION

Get Connected!

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



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