In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:
- MDOT Briefing on Purple Line Status to Montgomery County Council
- Photos from Around the Purple Line Corridor
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PURPLE LINE NEWS AND EVENTS
Please Help Us Continue Our Work!
In order for us to provide events like last month's forum for you at no cost and information like that which is contained in this newsletter, we ask you to consider supporting Purple Line NOW at whatever level you are most comfortable - all donations are very much appreciated! The black DONATE button below will take you directly to our donation page.
We will publicize your name (or your organization’s name) on our website and at our events as a way of thanking you and letting the community know how much you care about seeing this project finally become a reality. We appreciate all donations, small or large. Thank you, thank you!
CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW
Maryland Department of Transportation Briefing to Montgomery County Council
Purple Line NOW has been advocating for the transit line for the better part of three decades and we have seen our share of ups and downs throughout that time. The news this week, out of the circuit court, which allows the project’s builder to abandon the project is certainly the most recent hurdle the project is facing.
If you missed Purple Line NOW’s official response to the news, you can read that press release here: Yesterday's Ruling: Purple Line NOW Presses for Path Forward.
Members of our organization sat in on yesterday's briefing by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) on the Purple Line. Expected representatives were to include Greg Slater, Secretary, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Kevin Quinn, Administrator, Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT/MTA), Matt Pollack, Purple Line Project Director, MDOT/MTA, and Christopher Conklin, Director, Montgomery County Department of Transportation (DOT). Secretary Slater was unable to attend.
The key points to come out of the meeting involved timeline, plans, and pressing Governor Hogan to publicly comment and commit to finishing the project.
According to Mr. Quinn and Mr. Pollack, it will take about 30 days for them to assess the entire alignment, and by the end of that period, they expect to have a segment-by-segment, district-by-district breakdown of what can continue immediately, what may need to be locked up, where pedestrian access can be improved, etc. They are doing a walk-through with the concessionaire to makes sure areas under construction will be made safe for pedestrians.
Silver Spring Station - Deck Installation
Each reiterated that their focus is on keeping construction moving throughout the corridor in the short term while a long term plan is being worked out. This will be determined by a legal evaluation of the subcontracts, staffing capacity, as well as other critical areas of assessment.
The pair said that within four to six months, they will have a better idea of a path forward and what kind of package they will put together. Much of it will depend on how the litigation falls out, but Quinn repeated that it is their intent construction will continue during that time.
Mr. Pollack said that they are looking at all options and the “cure” could involve one of, or a combination of, the following:
- The state and PLTP comes to a fair and reasonable agreement and move forward.
- The state takes over the project entirely.
- Rebidding the project out for construction and/or design.
He emphasized that the final plan may include a combination of two or more options.
We did have a bit of good news yesterday. The Community Advisory Teams (CATs) will likely begin meeting again in November. We will let you know those dates when they are put on the calendar.
One of the questions we have been asked most in the wake of the news is what will happen to the workforce – will they be rehired or laid off in the face of an unprecedented pandemic?
Right now, with very little information being shared while the state works on assessing their options, Quinn reminded the Council that the answer depends on whether or not they hire subcontractors who could insist on managing the hiring of their own personnel. He said that until they come up with the plan, they would not be able to rehire workers immediately, but that current workers will certainly have a “leg up” having worked on the project. Purple Line NOW will keep asking these questions as more information comes out.
Councilmember Andrew Friedson asked the following questions and they are important ones as we gather more information and as the MDOT makes decisions concerning the future of the project:
- What are the options?
- How much will those options cost?
- Who will pay for them?
- When will they be delivered?
We all deserve answers to these questions as quickly as possible. One concern raised by some state and national elected officials is that these costs might disproportionately fall on other mass transit services.
Public Response from Governor Hogan
All Councilmembers pressed Mr. Quinn to communicate to Governor Hogan the need for a public statement about the state’s commitment to seeing the project built. Councilmember Reimer notably said, “Governor Hogan isn’t just a passenger on the train, he’s driving the train!”
Many Councilmembers noted the “punch in the gut” and were highly critical of the Purple Line Transit Partners (the project’s concessionaire) for potentially abandoning the project.
After the meeting was over, a new development reported by Katie Shaver of the Washington Post came to light -- both sides were considering using mediation to complete the project together. (K. Shaver, Washington Post, September 15, 2020.) Stay tuned.
If you have further questions, we are happy to try to get answers for you, so send them along.
Photos from Around the Purple Line Corridor
New Carrollton Metro Station
Talbot Avenue Bridge, Photo Courtesy of Ralph Bennett
Yesterday afternoon, over the State of Maryland’s objections, a Maryland Circuit Court judge ruled that the Purple Line Transit Partners (the concessionaire) will be allowed to depart the project, if they so choose, with a potential transition period measured in weeks.
Purple Line NOW President Ralph Bennett clarified what this ruling has not changed, “Maryland needs the east-west mobility, access to jobs, environmental benefits, and economic development the project will bring. The Purple Line remains a great value, so it was reassuring to hear Acting Project Director of Transit Development and Delivery for the Maryland Transit Administration Vernon Hartsock promise at Purple Line NOW’s forum in August that ‘the state is fully committed to the completion of the Purple Line project, regardless of how those negotiations end.’”
Mr. Bennett is disappointed, however, that the state and concessionaire had not used the time granted by the stay to reach an agreement, “If the concessionaire abandons Maryland, it will add delays as alternate financing must be arranged while extending the disruption that Montgomery and Prince George’s counties will have to endure.”
Bennett noted that the Maryland Department of Transportation has led the negotiations with the concessionaire and has been exploring alternate ways to finish the job. “The next step is clear,” he added, “whether the resolution will be a last-minute agreement or whether Maryland ultimately takes over construction, the buck stops with Governor Hogan. Maryland is the owner of this project and this disagreement has been allowed to fester for too long. The future riders of the Purple Line, residents and businesses disrupted by construction, and the workers braving a pandemic to keep the project moving forward need decisive leadership from the Governor. Whatever the outcome, a clear statement of commitment and a sense of the path forward should come from Governor Hogan.”
Purple Line NOW Vice President Greg Sanders reviewed what we have learned from the Washington Post (K. Shaver, Purple Line Builders May Quit, 10 September 2020) regarding the next steps forward. “Tough decisions await our elected leaders, but the Purple Line has already overcome greater challenges and delays. While Maryland has disputed the alleged magnitude and source of cost overruns, either a negotiated settlement or Maryland taking over the project will involve some increases in cost. The good news is that the Purple Line remains a great value. (Maryland Matters, 23 May 2020.) This dispute does not undermine its fundamental strengths and even a significant cost increase will be offset by the billions in annual economic activity the completed line will stimulate.”
The immediate challenge is not the increase in cost, but the shift in financing to the public sector. Mr. Sanders summarized, “There are roughly a billion dollars in existing project financing that Maryland will need to take over. This financing would take six to twelve months to obtain, as the pandemic is already depleting the transportation trust fund.”
The concessionaire walking away from this project would be immensely harmful, but Sanders observed that there is some good news, "Fortunately, interest rates have dropped since the project began, the state retains a AAA bond rating (J. Sullivan, Baltimore Business Journal, 25 February 2020) and recent reports show that state finances are weathering the pandemic better than had been feared (P. Wood, Baltimore Sun, 9 September 2020). There are options, which is why we believe it was so important that Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater and Maryland Transit Administration Administrator Kevin Quinn repeatedly expressed their commitment to work hard to find solutions."
Purple Line NOW Treasurer Tina Slater pointed to the progress that has already been made as a vital reminder of the importance of the project, “Construction is 30 percent complete and can be seen in Bethesda, where the Purple Line will connect with a new entrance to the metro station, in Silver Spring, where a tunnel has been dug and bridges replaced, in College Park, where track has been laid past the new rail yard and maintenance facility where the first trains are being tested to New Carrollton, and where private sector construction is already booming.”
Ms. Slater recommends that Marylanders check out our recent forum to hear about concrete developments that have already taken place. Slater added that “In addition to our elected leaders, civil servants, and entrepreneurs highlighting developments in their neck of the woods, a study has found that there is already a ten percent increase in value for properties along the line. The Purple Line just makes sense, within its 16.2 miles, it connects major job centers, the University of Maryland, four branches of the Metro, all three MARC lines, as well as the Amtrak station at New Carrollton.”
Slater noted that state and county officials have reiterated their commitment to the project, even in the face of these challenges, emphasizing that “we now need to hear from our state’s top elected official. The Governor was understandably reticent to speak while key issues were being resolved in court, but now the time is right for him to lay out a vision that cannot simply be deferred to his capable transportation officials. The speed with which we can finish the job will be a vital part of Governor Hogan’s legacy and we need his leadership.”
In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:
- Recap and Highlights from the August 20 Webinar
As the state continues to open and schools begin classes, we hope each of you are remaining healthy during this continuing pandemic.
PURPLE LINE NEWS AND EVENTS
Please Help Us Continue Our Work!
In order for us to provide events like last month's forum for you at no cost and information like that contained in this newsletter, we ask you to have a look at the generous donors who make our work possible and, if you can, take a moment to join them. The black DONATE button below will take you directly to our donation page. Thank you to everyone!
THE CHEVY CHASE LAND COMPANY
THE MALLOY AND SANDERS FAMILY
TINA, DON, AND JESSIE SLATER
ATU Local 689
Nancy and Rob Soreng
Anne Ambler and John Fay
Bee and Brian Ditzler
The Martin Architectural Group
Christine Scott and JohnR Llewellyn
Elizabeth Barbehenn, Tyler Christensen, Sean Dobson, Jonathan Elkind, Elaine Emling, Joseph Fainberg, Neil Greene, William Holleran, Melanie Isis, Ginanne Italiano, Greg Madden, Debbie and Ray Marquardt, Anita Morrison, Mark Posner, Frederick Schultz, Shirley Storms, Jerry Withers, College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn
Merrie Blocker, Steve Brigham, Cathy Carr, Kris Colby, Nick Finio, Patrick Flaherty, Bradley Green, David Helms, Alexandra Knox, Daniel Marcin, Judith Morenoff, Tom Pogue, Martin Posthumus, John Undeland, Julie Zavala
Purple Line NOW, as you know, has been around for decades and we work hard to stay on top of the news, answer your questions, publish a bi-weekly newsletter, and host these informative fora several times a year. We don’t hold special event fundraisers, but when our coffers get low, we ask those of you who can, to consider a donation to Purple Line NOW. We will publicize your name (or your organization’s name) on our website and at our events as a way of thanking you and letting the community know how much you care about seeing this project finally become a reality.
We appreciate all donations, small or large. Thank you, thank you for your help in making this event a success!
CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW
Getting Ready for the First Purple Line Ride - Webinar Recap
After many years of hosting in-person fora for the communities along the Purple Line corridor, Purple Line NOW hosted its first virtual forum on Thursday, August 20, 2020 with about 100 people in attendance. We had a jam-packed schedule of speakers, each of whom brought their own vision of what we can expect when the project is complete and we are finally able to hop on board to take that first ride!
Tonight's event looked at how we can prepare for the economic benefits of the Purple Line, as well as related questions of how we can help make sure that existing residents and businesses can participate in this brighter future.
For those who were not able to make the event, or those who want a refresher, we provide this recap which highlights some of the information our speakers shared with us. If you would like to listen to the webinar in full, a link is at the bottom of this recap.
Attendees were asked to submit questions in advance and we had a bunch! Answers to many of those questions are after the recap, but if you don’t see an answer to your specific question, please know that we are reaching out to the appropriate folks to gather that information for you and will either contact you directly (if your question was quite specific) or print answers here in an upcoming newsletter.
Purple Line NOW Board President, Ralph Bennett welcomed and thanked our panel, which included:
• Vernon G. Hartsock, PMP, Acting Project Director, Transit Development and Delivery, Maryland Transit Administration;
• The Honorable Dannielle M. Glaros, Prince George’s County Council Member (District 3);
• The Honorable Andrew Friedson, Montgomery County Council Member (District 1);
• Kipling Reynolds, AICP, Division Chief, Community Planning Prince George's County Planning Department;
• Casey Anderson, Chair, Montgomery County Planning Board; Vicki Davis, President, Urban Atlantic Development;
• John L. Ziegenhein, President and CEO of Chevy Chase Land;
• Justin Kennell, Development Manager, Bozzuto Development Company.
Greg Sanders, Vice President of our Purple Line NOW spoke first and shared why he gives not only of his time as a volunteer for the organization, which was begun by his father, but also donates to Purple Line NOW. “With over 150,000 people living a half mile or less from a Purple Line station, east-west connectivity a quick under-10 minute ride from Silver Spring to Bethesda, and a forecast of removing 17,000 cars from the road with 69,000 new riders by 2040,” Greg told the group, “the Purple Line is important to our region.” Greg highlighted the fact that for much of its history, Purple Line NOW has convened an active group of labor, environmentalists, business,and transit activists, all volunteers who help guide its mission.
Vernon Hartsock, who has been with MTA for 29 years, introduced himself to our attendees. He was the chief engineer for the project in a previous capacity, and going even further back, told us he comes from a railroad family, so this was in his blood! Eleven years ago, Vernon worked with Mike Madden and authored the engineering support contracts. Vernon’s enthusiasm for the project was evident when he said that "it was a dream to be an engineer on such a project!”
Vernon also introduced Matt Pollack who is the new Executive Director on the project, coming to MTA from private industry as a transit executive. While Mr. Hartsock was not able to discuss the issues of the open court case or the ongoing negotiations, he did say that he wanted to share his hope that it will be settled soon, and to reiterate that “the state is fully committed to the completion of the Purple Line project regardless of how those negotiations end."
Next up to speak was Prince George’s Councilmember Dannielle Glaros who updated us about some of the construction work that is ongoing right now in Prince George's County. She also discussed the Housing Action Plan put together by the Purple Line Corridor Coalition. The pandemic has only accelerated many of the concerns on housing.
Councilmember Glaros has nine of the 21 stops in her district and said, “with roads closed and her district heavily under construction, we are eager for the project to finish.” She went on to say that, “with the connection to MARC, WMATA, and Montgomery County, a lot is at stake with the Purple Line.”
Montgomery County Councilmember Andrew Friedson spoke to some of the economic development history of his district, even quoting Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez, who famously said, "bumpy rides lead to beautiful places!" Councilmember Friedson noted the importance of the environmental, economic, and east-west connectivity and said that the “benefits have only grown since the project was first conceived.” He noted that Purple Line NOW worked closely with him, along with his colleagues, to advocate for funding the tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue, which is scheduled to open in 2026. He said that he hears from residents that, regardless of who ultimately is going to finish building the project, they want no further delays.
The Purple Line is already seeing value, even before opening day with headquarters, residential, and retail moving in throughout the corridor. Councilmember Friedson ended his remarks speaking about affordable housing, saying that he and his colleagues will have to be creative with all the other challenges facing the region, but he is confident that they can succeed.
Kip Reynolds, Division Chief for Community Planning, Prince George's County Planning Department briefed attendees on a range of efforts ongoing in Prince George’s county, including a number of pedestrian and bike improvements along University Boulevard, Riggs Road, and Cool Springs, and improved way-finding for residents and businesses which will include signage to identify the new Purple Line stations, parks, and community assets. Kip also provided a link to an app that they have developed to share information about the Purple Line in Prince George's County: Purple Line In Our Community.
Casey Anderson, Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board, gave a concrete demonstration of some of the benefits of the Purple Line that cause the increase in housing values. Improved connection will be important, not just to future residents, but for those who live there now, and will dramatically improve access to jobs in the corridor. He also spoke to why project costs had increased, citing the choice of opponents to litigate the issue by “finding one federal judge that followed them down the rabbit hole and cost the public hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Casey also added that another lesson learned and something that has driven up the cost is that transit projects do not have the same “quick-take” authority that road projects do, emphasizing that MTA and transit projects need a similar level of authority, to avoid time and cost increases stemming from a prolonged property acquisition process. Casey said one of the things he is most looking forward to after the Purple Line opens is the ability to travel to Maryland’s flagship university for sports and other activities.
Vicki Davis, President of Urban Atlantic Development, was an early supporter of the Purple Line and transit-oriented development. She related to the crowd some of the development that her company is leading around New Carrollton, at the eastern terminus of the line. She spoke about new and planned commercial and residential space, some of it already in place as major job providers like Kaiser Permanente have moved in. She also shared some of the exciting changes planned, such as a wetland restoration effort and art planned from plazas to parking garages.
Vicki also mentioned the new WMATA headquarters with 350K square feet of space and 1,300 employees which will break ground in October, along with other development already in place, including an interactive park, a multi-family residential development, and a new 1,900 car garage serving many who take the train to New York and other parts from the New Carrollton station. She highlighted the sense of space they are trying to create with illustrative ideas and integrating art and light into the project.
John L. Ziegenhein, President and CEO of Chevy Chase Land and Justin Kennell, Development Manager at Bozzuto, spoke to the history of their project at Chevy Chase Lake. The company has held the property since 1892, back when it was originally a streetcar suburb. The lake was formed to be a power source for the original trams! Justin said that with the installation of the Purple Line station, they feel like their project "is coming full circle in bringing back public transportation history to the area." They are building new housing that emphasizes tranquility and charm and includes ground-level retail, anchored by a grocery store. There is going to be a Purple Line plaza that directly connects to the station and the Capital Crescent Trail.
Their project is being built in two phases, with the first well underway and about 60% complete. Some of the architecture will include a grand stair, which will be a passageway feature from the new station to the development and include art, lighting features, convenience, and mobility.
Finally, here are answers to some of the questions sent in from attendees:
1) Are there more plans for development in the works along the Purple Line route in both counties that haven't been approved yet?
Kip Reynolds: Prince George’s County does have pending applications, but things are on hold while the Countywide Map Amendment process is finished up which will facilitate development.
Casey Anderson: Long Branch development has some potential, but right now we have to have housing infrastructure first.
2) I have driven in the past week along several miles of the Purple Line path and notice few workers, and alarmingly, the track work on Arliss Street was cancelled. Did the judge require work to continue at a regular pace until the deadline?
Answer: In preparation for the original stoppage, some of the sites were indeed shutting down in the weeks prior, noting that some of the larger equipment sites had to be secured, etc. But, once the continuation order was announced, all work is ramping back up and they are fully complying with the directive.
3) Many large trees were cut down along the Purple Line corridor. How are these trees going to be replaced?
Vernon Hartsock: MTA is committed to replanting and leaving things in better conditions than they found them. Trees have been a hot topic for a long time. All loss of trees is being mitigated in accordance with the Maryland Forest Conservation Act.
Below are restrictions that impact where trees can be planted along the alignment. All of this has been taken into consideration when developing the landscape plans (which are posted online).
• Sight lines: 20 feet from the edge of travel lane primary at intersections
• Utility relocations: Utility offsets are dictated by the individual utility owners but are generally within the range of 10 – 20 feet
• Catenary wires: 20 feet from the catenary wire
• Right-of-Way: The Purple Line has done everything possible to minimize the limit of disturbance in order to minimize the impact to the community. We cannot plant anything outside of our project’s limit of disturbance.
• Medians must be greater than 6 feet in width to host any plantings.
We recommend that if a homeowner is interested in trees on their property where we removed one, they can contact their county and work directly with their tree programs to get a new tree. We are only able to plant with our right-of-way and not on a property owner’s private property.
Casey Anderson: Casey provided a slide before redevelopment at Pike & Rose and after development, and drew our attention to the “ocean of asphalt” in the before photo and the abundance of green in the second. He emphasized that many of the sites that are being redeveloped will be required to have trees replanted, sometimes in other areas, but that must be weighed against the benefits of providing transit, showing in the slide the environmental benefits with urban infill with storm water upgrades instead of run-off on untreated asphalt.
4) What will happen to existing affordable housing along the Purple Line?
Casey Anderson: It is important to have supply to support the workforce, but, he said, if we can’t manage that, we won’t be able to provide affordability. He went on to say that we need to increase the housing supply, and that we must include both affordable housing and market priced housing.
Andrew Friedson: We must have a creative approach, with a variety of solutions. We will want to maintain specific affordable housing providers within the county. He went on to say that we do not want a “one size fits all” approach and will work on a case-by-case basis to build enough housing to keep up with the demand.
Dannielle Glaros: Important to maintain and grow diversity and livelihoods in Prince George’s county. She is working hard with other councilmembers to keep small businesses alive during the pandemic currently.
5) How much will it cost to ride the Purple Line? Can we use our SmartTrip card? Will kids ride free?
Vernon Hartsock: Ticket prices have not been set yet. Not sure whether the SmarTrip card will be used – or another platform like cellphone app, etc. They will make an announcement when those decisions have been made.
Dannielle Glaros: Reminded everyone that the five University of Maryland stops will be free to University staff and students!
6) How are the Counties contemplating or already changing current zoning of communities for the stations that are adjacent to residential areas, like Woodside/16th St and Dale Drive?
Casey Anderson: Hopeful for redevelopment along 16th Street that is more ambitious and progressive. Potential for mid-use and retail. In Lyttonsville, residential and streetscape groundwork has been laid, but much will depend on the private sector.
Dannielle Glaros: They will be updating zoning ordinances after they finish the countywide map amendment process.
7) When will we be able to see the mock-up of Bonifant Street between Fenton & Georgia Ave?
8) Our question concerns train noise. We live near the Talbot Avenue bridge, and as Purple Line construction continues, we have noticed a higher incidence of trains using their horns in the late night and predawn hours, considerably exceeding the standard allowable decibel level for street noise. Is this expected to continue and/or increase once the Purple Line is operational and foot traffic increases? If so, this will cause the area to be unlivable for those who live near the tracks.
Vernon Hartsock: Noise is a prime concern and they are installing noise walls at various points, but we have zero control over what CSX does. It is CSX policy to sound a horn when approaching an at grade crossing, which there is one north of Talbot Avenue that I believe is what the homeowners are hearing. It is also their policy to sound the horn when entering a construction zone (such as the area of the Talbot Avenue Bridge). Both of which are safety requirements.
Thanks to our fantastic panel, to all attendees who made time to watch and listen, and for all the good questions that were submitted!
As we mentioned, we are working to get answers to as many of the questions asked that we can. You can watch the video of the webinar here: PLN Webinar Aug 20 2020. (Make sure you click the start arrow to begin the webinar.)
We hope you are planning to join us this evening (Thursday, August 20, 2020, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm) for the Purple Line NOW Webinar: Getting Ready for the First Purple Line Ride!
We wanted to be sure you saw the bios for our terrific slate of speakers tonight! We are looking forward to hearing from each of them about what we can look forward to once the Purple Line is built!
- Casey Anderson, Chair, Montgomery County Planning Board
Casey Anderson has served on the Montgomery County Planning Board since 2011 and was appointed Chair in 2014. He also serves as vice chair of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the bi-county agency established by state law that regulates real estate development, plans transportation infrastructure, and manages the park systems in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. Before he was named Chair of the Planning Board, Anderson founded a jury consulting firm after working as a congressional staffer, government relations executive, newspaper reporter, and lawyer in private practice. He has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the Committee for Montgomery, the Woodside Civic Association and the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board. Anderson holds undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He lives in Silver Spring with his wife Mary Boyle and their two children. He enjoys mountain biking, coaching competitive high school debate, and volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America.
- Vicki Davis, President, Urban Atlantic Development
Vicki Davis is responsible for managing the acquisition, planning, design, and implementation of all Urban Atlantic projects, and asset management of properties that the company owns and its Mid-City Community CDE investment portfolio. With over 30 years of experience in real estate development, she formerly served as Deputy Director of the Maryland Housing Fund at Maryland DHCD. Her experience also includes portfolio management for MNC Financial-South Charles Realty and multifamily development for Trammell Crow Residential. As President of Urban Atlantic Development, Ms. Davis has managed development of over $2 billion in real estate projects and asset managed over $4 billion in real estate investments. She has led the development of large scale, urban, mixed use communities, over 6,000 multifamily residential units and 600,000 commercial square, including eight HOPE VI mixed-use redevelopment projects, as well as transit-oriented TOD mixed-use projects. Ms. Davis holds an MBA in Finance from American University, an MS in Engineering & Construction Management from University of Texas, and a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland. She taught for 12 years in the Johns Hopkins Real Estate MBA program. She serves as Board member of the DC Building Industry Association; Board member of the Capitol Riverfront BID, and Board member of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing and Board member of Cultural DC.
- The Honorable Andrew Friedson, Montgomery County Council Member (District 1)
Andrew Friedson is the District 1 Councilmember representing western and southwestern Montgomery County from the D.C. line to the Frederick County border. He serves on the Planning, Housing, & Economic Development committee and the Government Operations & Fiscal Policy committee. A lifelong resident of District 1, Andrew grew up in Potomac, resides in Bethesda and is a graduate of the University of Maryland – College Park. In 2019 spearheaded landmark legislation to ensure all county bills include a thorough economic analysis and to strengthen financial oversight by requiring a regular review of spending by all county departments and agencies. A longtime volunteer, advocate, and leader with local charities and community-based organizations, Andrew has continued his passionate advocacy for nonprofits while on the Council and awarded the 2019 Phyllis Campbell Newsome Public Policy Leadership Award from the Center for Nonprofit Advancement. Prior to joining the Council, Andrew served as senior policy advisor and deputy chief of staff to the Comptroller of Maryland. Andrew has dedicated his career to making government more effective, efficient, and responsive by holding public agencies accountable and scrutinizing billions in government contracts, securing a dignified retirement for teachers and public servants, and improving customer service to make the public sector actually work for the public.
- The Honorable Dannielle M. Glaros, Prince George’s County Council Member (District 3)
Dannielle M. Glaros (D-District 3) was elected to her first four-year term on the Prince George’s County Council in the 2014 General Election and was re-elected in 2018. After serving for two years as Vice Chair of the Council, Glaros was elected by her colleagues to serve as Council Chair for the 2018 Legislative Year. She is the Chair of the Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee and a member of the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (TIEE) Committee. Glaros serves as Vice Chair for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Region Forward Coalition and is the Council’s representative on the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB). Glaros chairs the Prince George’s County Housing Opportunity for All Workgroup and is the co-chair of the Purple Line Corridor Coalition’s Purple Line Caucus.
- Vernon G. Hartsock, PMP, Acting Project Director, Transit Development & Delivery, MTA
Since March of 2020, Vernon Hartsock, as the Acting Project Director for Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) Transit Development & Delivery has been overseeing the design, construction, and commissioning of the Purple Line. Vernon has served with the MTA for over 28 years, starting in Railcar and Systems Maintenance and joining the Office of Engineering in 1998. Previously, Vernon held the position of Chief Engineer overseeing the design and construction of MTA’s capital projects. Vernon has provided leadership over multiple major transit projects including Light Rail Double Track, Metro SCADA, Light Rail Vehicle Overhaul, Kirk Bus Maintenance Facility, and Metro New Fleet & Signals. Vernon is a published author and speaker and has previously held technical positions with CSX Transportation, General Instrument Corporation, Aircraft Armaments Industry (AAI) in addition to working for 5 years as an Adjunct Instructor and textbook author for Howard Community College. Vernon holds a BS. Degree in Computer Science & Information and a Master’s degree in Software Engineering from the University of Maryland University College.
- Kipling Reynolds, AICP, Division Chief, Community Planning Prince George's County Planning Department
Community Planning Division Chief for the Prince George’s County Planning Department with over 25 years of experience working in local government in Maryland. Ms. Reynolds has been with M-NCPPC since 2008 in a variety of capacities, most recently as the Division Chief for Community Planning, Prince George’s county Department of Planning. She has a Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in Regional Planning and a Bachelor’s Degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs from Indiana University, Bloomington IN.
- John L. Ziegenhein, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Chevy Chase Land Company
John L. Ziegenhein is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Chevy Chase Land Company, overseeing the company’s new development and two-million square feet of commercial and residential properties. John has 20 years of experience in real development and management, most recently as Chief Operating Officer at McCaffery, Inc. He is as a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc., Urban Land Institute, and National Multifamily Housing Council. John currently serves on the Land Company’s Executive Committee and is active locally serving on the Board of the Arlington Food Assistance Center and Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing.
- Justin Kennell, Development Manager, Bozzuto Development Company
Justin Kennell is responsible for managing the development activities from preliminary financing and entitlements through design and construction for mixed-use and multifamily projects throughout the Baltimore-Washington DC region. He is currently leading the development of Chevy Chase Lake, a two-phase project consisting of 466 apartments, 65 condos, and 95,000sf of retail located in Chevy Chase, MD. Justin is an active member of the Urban Land Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Finance from Towson University and a Master of Science in Real Estate and Infrastructure from Johns Hopkins University.