Purple Line NOW News - November 20, 2019

A very happy Thanksgiving to everyone in our community from all of us here at Purple Line NOW!

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

  • An Important Message from Purple Line NOW
  • A Recap of the University and Riverdale/Glen Ridge/New Carrollton Community Advisory Team Meetings

Dear Friends:

We hope you had a chance to read our appeal from last week, but in case you missed it, 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.

Update: We are so grateful to everyone who has sent in a donation or clicked on the DONATE button above in the past few days! We will share our progress in the next newsletter – including a matching donation challenge from one generous donor that will pay homage to those who are no longer with us, but whose hard work and dedication to seeing the Purple Line become a reality remains. Stay tuned for that good news -and 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!

 

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

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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

This week, we continue the recap of some of the area Community Advisory Team (CAT) meetings occurring this fall. We hope these short summaries, attended by Purple Line NOW Board members and friends, provide information and context for those not able to attend. Today, our focus is on the University Boulevard and Riverdale/Glen Ridge/New Carrollton communities.

As always, you can see the complete presentations at the MTA/MDOT website: Community Advisory Teams.

University Boulevard

The University Boulevard CAT was held on October 15, 2019. The presenters were: Gary Witherspoon (MDOT MTA Public Outreach & Communications, Deputy Project Director), Barry Bernstein (PLTC Area 3 Construction Manager), and Shaquanna Shields (PLTC Communications Supervisor). The stations in this segment include Takoma-Langley, Riggs Road, Adelphi Road-UMGC-UMD. 

The team reported that work is continuing on University Boulevard with the removal of medians and the ever-present utility relocations to allow for the eventual Purple Line tracks (which will be in the center of the road alongside vehicular traffic.)

On University Boulevard, crews have demolished, graded, and paved the medians and installed storm water drainage. On Guilford Road, the underground utility work has been completed and is now open. Along Northwest Branch Bridge, traffic is shifted to the south-side of University Boulevard, with Phase I underway (this phase is expected to last until next summer. It is currently about 15% complete.) The north side bridge demolition is complete. Temporary crosswalks have been installed for access to the south pedestrian path.

As for the next six months, there was a TON of information, so again, make sure you check out the full presentation at the link above. Here are some areas to note:

Temporary signals will be installed at the intersections of University Boulevard/Campus Drive and Adelphia Road/Campus Drive. The eastbound lands of University Boulevard will be shifted to the north to widen the road and Campus Drive will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Short term pain for long term gain! Two lanes will be maintained in each direction on University Boulevard.

There was an extensive update on the upcoming traffic shifts as a result of the Northwest Branch Bridge construction:

• Phase I: Began June 1, 2019 – expected through June 2020 
• Phase II: Expected to begin the Summer of 2020 
• Phase III: Expected to begin the Summer of 2021 

A final slide, which we've shown before, but is always an interesting snippet into the future, is how the final configuration will look:

Riverdale and Glenridge/New Carrollton

Riverdale and Glenridge/New Carrollton CAT was held on November 5, 2019. The presenters were: Gary Witherspoon (MDOT MTA Public Outreach & Communications, Deputy Project Director), Tim Pinkerton (PLTC Area 3 Construction Manager), and Shaquanna Shields (PLTC Communications Supervisor). The stations in this segment of the Purple Line are Riverdale Park-Kenilworth, Beacon Heights-East Pines, Glenridge, and New Carrollton Metro.

As with all of the CATs, the team started out with an overview of progress along the entire line. You can read more about that progress by visiting their website by clicking on the link above. 

The Riverdale Road bridge piers have been constructed. These piers (below) will support the Riverdale Park-Kenilworth aerial station.


Photo Courtesy of MDOT MTA and PLTP

You may remember that back in July, the steel framing of the Glenridge Operations and Maintenance Facility was completed. (If you missed it, you can read all about that in the July edition of Purple Line NOW News.) This facility will maintain and clean the Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs), as well as house the Purple Line administration and operational staff.

In September, a ceremony was held for when the first section of rail was laid for the project on Ellin Road.


Photo Courtesy of MDOT MTA and PLTP

Along with all of the above, work continues to relocate water and sewer lines, as well as the overhead and underground power lines. The crews have also began replacing traffic signals and continued the massive utility relocation work. Along the south side of Riverdale Road, tree clearing has continued.

Along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, if that is on your commute, you may have noticed that traffic was shifted onto temporary bridges and the demolition of the existing bridge abutment has started to make space for the LRV underpass. Along Veterans Parking, grading, retaining wall and drainage installations have continued.

Looking ahead, six months, here are some highlights, but as always, to see the full extent of the presentation, click on the link above.

Along Kenilworth Avenue, the traffic will be shifting to widen Kenilworth, leading to the Riverdale intersection. Sidewalk and curb reconstruction will also begin (yes!). At the intersection, grading for the LR track will occur, as will the installation of the concrete bridge girders that will support the station.

On Baltimore-Washington Parkway, the precast concrete arched underpass section will be installed, and the concrete work for the Parkway will begin.

Traffic will be shifted to the north side of Riverdale Road (near Veterans Parkway) next spring – alerts and announcements will occur ahead of time, so make sure you are signed up for those if this area affects your daily commute. The first phase of the Maintenance of Traffic shift will occur to establish a left turn lane at the Annapolis Road intersection at this time, as well. 

At the Glenridge Yard Maintenance Facility, work will continue and the hope is that within the next six months, WSSC will connect water service to the facility. 

Please note, on or around the first week of December, there will be a long-term right-hand lane closure on Ellin Road near Harkins Road. Additionally, the sidewalk between this closed lane and the parking lot will be closed. And, finally, the large Metro Parking lot (at the New Carrollton Station Work Zone), which is adjacent to Ellin Road will be closed to establish a work zone. Community concerns focused on traffic issues during construction including the timing of lights.

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.

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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!
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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!

Connecting People

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.

Sharing Information

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.

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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