The Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) is hosting an important community forum regarding Wayne Avenue THIS Thursday , May 26th, 7-9 PM at the Silver Spring Civic Center. The Purple Line Transit Partners, the private sector vendors, will also be in attendance.These events can both be an important medium for informing people about changes and soliciting input about specific implementation choices. However, local opponents often try to turn the events into gripe sessions and promote poison pill proposals rather than taking the opportunity to collaborate. Opponents should get a fair hearing, but so should the strong majority of area resident (two-thirds in Montgomery County!) who support the Purple Line.
We hope you can attend - please feel free to share these important facts.
For those attending and others who are curious, here is a roundup of some key facts on that part of the Purple Line. We've talked a lot about the big picture. The Purple Line connects four Metro stations: Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park, and New Carrollton. That's on top of all three MARC and two Amtrak lines and bus hubs like Takoma-Langley. Ninety thousand people will be within a half mile of a station for the first time and seventeen thousand cars will be taken off the streets. Here are some key details:
The Dale Drive station, like other Silver Spring stations, dramatically expands the range of jobs, shops, and schools that residents can get to without a car (map courtesy of PLCC).
- Bethesda, Wheaton, University of Maryland campus center, and Fort Totten will now all be less than a half an hour away.
- The Purple Line will not be run by WMATA. It will be a Maryland Transit Administration line run by the vendors you can meet at Thursday's meeting. The vendors' revenue directly depends on how good a job they do running the trains on time and keeping the line in good working order.
The Purple Line promotes pedestrian safety!
- While a left-turn lane is being added to Wayne Avenue at Dale Drive, the speed limit on Wayne has been lowered to 25 MPH in response to community concerns. This is not planned to change during or after construction.
- Adding that left turn lane allows for continued use of existing arteries without rerouting traffic through side streets or unintentionally encouraging drivers to race the train.
- MTA has emphasized that safety is a top concern and that trains will operate at lower speeds entering and leaving the Dale station.
- There will continue to be dedicated crossing guards when students are arriving or leaving school, as well as warning lights at Wayne and Springvale.
- Communities with better transit access also tend to be safer, because they take seriously the needs of all road users - not just drivers.
The Purple Line produces value for those nearby!
- Multiple studies have shown that proximity to light rail stations generally increases values for nearby homeowners, a benefit even for homeowners who aren't riding.
- You can see this in the DC area, as well. Land near rail stations is disproportionately valuable.
- The contract includes a range of incentives to minimize noise during both construction and operation - if they are too loud it will cost the private operator.
- In response to community concerns about noise, the concessionaires have added solar power rail lubricators to their proposals.
- The contract mandates that the concessionaire engage a certified arborist to monitor and approve plans for tree preservation efforts during construction.
Thanks for your support of the Purple Line and special thanks to all who can attend and voice their support for the project. Please feel free to share.