In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:
- Stay Tuned for Exciting Purple Line NOW News!
- An Update on Tree Replacement Resources
- A Recap of Greater Lyttonsville Place/Woodside Community Advisory Team Meetings
We hope you had a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday and are staying warm and toasty as autumn turns to winter!
We are so grateful to everyone who has sent in a donation or clicked on the DONATE button below in the past few weeks! You will see an email in your inbox in the next few days entitled "The First Purple Line Ride" announcing an exciting way to help Purple Line NOW continue its work. We have received a generous matching donation challenge from one of our supporters and we will spill all the details early next week. In the meantime, we are grateful to all who are helping us through these next 3.5 years. Opening day will be here before we know it!
In case you missed our appeal a few weeks ago, please take a moment to have a look:
Purple Line NOW is approaching a turning point in the services we will be able to offer as we go forward in 2020. With visible construction all around our communities, it is easy for the community to believe our work is done, and by and large, it is thrilling to see our advocacy efforts (and yours!) over the years come into focus in such an exciting way.
For us, though, a nearly all-volunteer organization, with one quarter-time employee, fundraising has been difficult and dwindling over the past year, despite enthusiastic attendance at our very popular forums, a widely read bi-weekly newsletter, and increasing calls and emails from the community for problem-solving help due to construction woes. We simply cannot continue our work without the funding necessary to provide these services.
As we head into the holidays, we ask you to consider a donation to Purple Line NOW. We are working on a winter forum right now, and as you can see in the newsletter below, we continue to push out as much information as we can. Please click the black "DONATE" button below to help us continue our work and forward to any friends or colleagues who will benefit from the Purple Line once opened. As always, we proudly list all of our donors on our website and in all event literature. Thank you.
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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW
Resources for Replacing Trees
We often hear concerns about the number of trees removed along the route to construct the Purple Line. It is sad to see those tree go, even if their removal will bring about a transit line that will help reduce the number of cars (and their emissions) on our roads in just a few short years. Trees are important for environmental, aesthetic, and shade reasons and that's why we think it's so important to share resources available to private property holders in Montgomery County (where much of the tree loss has occurred) to plant new trees with support from the county.
In the September 25, 2018 edition of Purple Line NOW News, we reported on some of the reasons for loss of trees, especially along Wayne Avenue, in many cases, to accommodate increased volts and to prevent arcing. The builder emphasized in the previous Montgomery County Transportation and Engineering Committee briefing that they are not removing any trees unless “absolutely necessary,” but to maintain the same amount of lanes, they had to widen the road which meant more tree loss. The concessionaire is operating within the guidelines of the Maryland Forest Conservation Act and is replacing 80 acres of tree banks. Thirty overstory trees, along with 25 flowering trees, will be replanted adjacent to Wayne Avenue.
As we also reported, Tim Cupples from Montgomery County MDOT mentioned that he has been connecting folks to Tree Montgomery which will work with residents to replace additional trees. They are also working with the county arborist for advice on where replanting will occur, as well as tree maintenance after planting. Tree Montgomery is the primary county program for putting trees into homeowners yards and is in the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.
We have since learned of two other programs available to residents for acquiring trees for their yards from the Planning Department: Shades of Green and Leaves for Neighborhoods. The county's program for street trees (from the curb in to about 10') is out of MCDOT and is run by Brett Linkletter.
(Thank you to Don Slater for informing us of some of these resources.)
Greater Lyttonsville/Woodside Community Advisory Team Meeting
On November 12, 2019, residents and CAT members gathered to hear an update on their segment of the Purple Line. Presenters for this CAT meeting were:
MDOT MTA Public Outreach & Communications, Deputy Project Director
PLTC Sr. Manager, Public Affairs/Community Outreach
PLTC Area 1 Lead Structural Engineer
You can view the entire presentation on their website, but some of the highlights are below. Stations in this segment include Lyttonsville and 16th Street/Woodside.
The team gave a quick overview of the entire project and then focused on the work that has been completed over the past year or so on this segment of the line. As you know, a year and a half ago, the Talbot Avenue Bridge was deconstructed to make way for a stronger and wider bridge with sidewalks. The Purple Line will pass under the new bridge, next to the CSX tracks. The new bridge, as well as the Lyttonsville station itself, will incorporate elements from the historic bridge.
In Rock Creek Park, the demolition of the remaining bridge over Rock Creek was completed, while construction of retaining walls continues.
At Lyttonsville Place, Phase One of the Montgomery County DOT parking lot has begun and on Stewart Avenue, utility relocation continues, along with the installation of the storm drainage system. For those who have children who attend Rosemary Hills Elementary School, you may have noticed that last summer, crews began pile driving for the Talbot Avenue Bridge. The former bridge has been completely removed.
Photo Courtesy of PLTP and MTA MDOT
On 16th Street (from the CSX corridor to Spring Street), tree removal continues, and the grading along the CSX tracks has started.
Looking ahead six months, you can expect the mass excavation to continue in Rock Creek Park. Crews will also begin the installation of a temporary bridge across Rock Creek so that construction crews can have access to the west slope. At Lyttonsville Place, the water and sewer relocation will be completed, while the installation of retaining walls will continue. The Noland Plumbing building will be demolished and the foundations for the Lyttonsville OMF administration building will begin, along with the erection of a new WSSC radio tower.
At Rosemary Hills Elementary, crews will complete the pile driving for the new Talbot Avenue Bridge while students are on holiday break.
Along 16th Street, tree clearing will continue and slab at the Spring Street Shopping Center will be demolished. Please note that Spring Street will close between 16th Street and 2nd Avenue to traffic in late spring of 2020 while the demolition of the existing bridge occurs. The closure duration will be limited to 7 months. See the Spring Street Detour below.
Photo Courtesy of PLTP and MTA MDOT
As always, you can see the complete presentations at the MTA/MDOT website: Community Advisory Teams. The team encouraged everyone with concerns to call the Purple Line Hot-line at 240-424-5325. They will get an answering machine instead of a real person because they want a record of concerns. A text of the message left by the caller will be forwarded to the outreach team and they will respond as soon as they can.
PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS
- Next Purple Line NOW Forum: Stay tuned for an announcement of the next Purple Line NOW forum happening late winter 2020!
PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION
Can You Help Purple Line NOW Continue Its Work?
If you haven't already given this year, would you consider a donation to Purple Line NOW? We have reprinted the appeal here as it contains all the bits you might want to know about what we do with your donations - those dollars work hard!
As we reported earlier this year, we here at Purple Line NOW have shifted our energy from our prior focus of advocating for funding and approval of the project to the daunting task of keeping communities along the Purple Line corridor up-to-speed regarding breaking news, construction woes, and exciting new developments being built around the new line.
Purple Line NOW operates on a very small budget and, as you know, we don’t hold special event fundraisers. Instead, we rely on an email outreach to our most dedicated supporters to help us meet our bottom line each year during our fall appeal campaign.
To that end, we ask for your financial support so that we may continue our work. Donating is easy via our secure link or by sending a check through the mail – all the information to do so can be found on our website.
Below, you will read what it is we do each year with your generous donations. As always, we are happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Just shoot us an email or give us a ring.
A reminder: Purple Line NOW does not receive underwriting grants from any source, government (local or otherwise), nor are we a membership organization (we do not ask for annual dues). We operate solely on donations from individuals and businesses like you who care about the Purple Line and whose generosity allow us to continue our work each year.
How Will Purple Line NOW Use My Donation?
As we said, Purple Line NOW exists on a very slender budget. Our work is done by a dedicated and hardworking group of volunteers, as well as one quarter-time employee. We pay for our website maintenance and for the resources needed to reach the community through email blasts, literature, and supplies. We also cover any expenses associated with hosting our popular educational forums – as you know, these events are always free and open to the public (we don’t charge you to attend!)
Purple Line NOW News
With your support, Purple Line NOW has published a bi-weekly, information-packed newsletter with the latest in construction news, photos, and insider information to keep you on top of what is going on in the field. We have a large following and we are often surprised that readers come from all over the country, from Baltimore to California! Thanks to the many volunteer contributors who help us write and release the newsletter every other week. It’s a big undertaking and we appreciate your support in making it happen! Did you know you can view all of our previous newsletters on our website?!
Envisioning the Purple Line Series
We continue the very popular Envisioning the Purple Line series of forums hosted in a variety of communities along the corridor in both Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Just last month, we held an update in Chevy Chase, focused on Completing the Capital Crescent Trail where we brought in the CEO of the Purple Line Transit Partners (the builders), Montgomery County councilmembers, bicycle and trail advocates, and others to offer lots of information to the 70+ folks who attended. We try to do at least two events each year around the Purple Line Corridor. Previous events have been held in Silver Spring, Bethesda, Riverdale Park, University of Maryland, College Park, and more. We are currently working hard on organizing the next forum, so stay tuned!
Behind the scenes, Purple Line NOW serves as an unofficial clearing house of sorts for calls from residents and businesses who are looking for answers to issues they are experiencing while the project is under construction. We don’t always have all the answers, but we do try to connect folks with the proper resources.
Purple Line NOW board members have a long tradition of attending hearings, testifying on behalf of the project, being a part of Purple Line-oriented neighborhood groups, and connecting to elected officials on behalf of the Line. Our volunteer board leadership continues to meet every single month in person, as they have done for over a decade, to share information gathered and exchange ideas to keep the project on track. We attend meetings, provide updates, and take notes! Many of our members stay on top of transit news through their membership and support of other local and regional transit organizations and many are also very active on the neighborhood Community Advisory Teams.
Maintaining a Presence
Finally, Purple Line NOW maintains a strong social media presence, staying connected to thousands via Facebook and Twitter and through our website, Purple Line NOW. If you haven’t signed up for those, do so today. You’ll get the latest news and be able to participate in discussions happening on those platforms.
Remember, with your donation, your name (or your business name) will be listed on our website, as well as in event literature and signage for a year following your donation.
We are grateful for your consideration of our request and for your support, financial and otherwise. We wish you a happy and healthy fall season.