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Purple Line NOW News - May 29, 2024

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

  • What's Happening at PLN?
    • Beyond the Rails Grant Applications Due
    • Next Purple Line Forum
    • Thank You for Continuing to Support PLN
  • Happening Along the Purple Line Corridor
    • Spring Community Advisory Teams Meetings Completed
  • Construction Updates and Project Features
    • Historic Talbot Avenue Bridge Reopens
    • Portion of Capital Crescent Trail Slated to Open Earlier
    • MDOT MTA Releases May Newsletter
    • Summer Traffic Pattern Shift at Dale Drive and Wayne Avenue
    • The Summer Red Line Shutdown and Spring Street Bridge Closure

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What' Happening


Beyond the Rails Grant Applications Due

Just a quick reminder that the Beyond the Rails Grant Applications are due at the end of the week!

The Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) has funded a grant program that will support organizations dedicated to improving our communities. Grants will range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year and will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Community – Projects that support the overall wellbeing of adjacent communities (e.g., environment, health, recreation, education, economic opportunity, etc.). Potential example: Tot-lot equipment for a pre-school.
  • Environment – Projects that enhance or protect the natural environment. Potential example: A local tree-planting initiatives.

If you know of an organization or group that might meet the criteria above, please share this information, but hurry -- the deadline for application is May 31. Details on how to apply can be found on their website.

Next Purple Line NOW Forum

Thanks to a grant from the Purple Line Transit Partners, Purple Line NOW will continue our popular Envisioning the Purple Line Forum series this year! We are busy pulling together an educational and informative event and will announce the panel of speakers and date soon. As always, our events are free and open to the public and media, so keep an eagle eye out for the big announcement!

Thank You for Your Continuing Support!

Our need is ongoing - we operate on a budget between $20,000 and $25,000 each year, so please know that your donation in any amount is welcome and necessary for us to continue our work. You can easily donate by clicking the Purple "Donate" button below. Not sure if you've given in the past twelve months? Check our website to see if your name is listed. Thank you from all of us here at Purple Line NOW!

Features and Highlights


Spring Community Advisory Teams Meetings Completed

Please click on the website to watch the presentations for the remaining CAT meetings held since our last publication:

May 9 University Boulevard, 6:00 p.m.

May 14 Bethesda/Chevy Chase, 6:00 p.m.

May 16 College Park, 6:00 p.m.

May 21 Lyttonsville, 6:00 p.m.

May 23 Long Branch, 6:00 p.m.

Construction Updates


We have a lot of construction information to bring you in this issue, specifically surrounding the closures of the Red Line Metro stations and the Spring Street bridge. But first, we have two pieces of very good news – true signs of progress and a real-time glimpse of the finish line! 

Historic Talbot Avenue Bridge Reopens

Officials from MDOT MTA, the Purple Line team, elected officials, members of Purple Line NOW's Executive Committee, as well as community leaders and residents gathered last Friday, May 24, to officially reopen the Talbot Avenue Bridge in Silver Spring after its closure six years ago. Replacing the bridge was necessary to allow for the construction of the Lyttonsville Purple Line station and to allow for trains and the Capital Crescent Trail, as well as improving pedestrian access.

Photo Courtesy of MDOT MTA

According to a press release from MDOT, "The new bridge is ADA compliant and features multi-layer safety fencing and an updated two-way road surface, as well as a ramp, new curbs and wider sidewalks that are intended to improve safety for cars and pedestrians crossing CSX train tracks and the parallel Purple Line tracks under construction below."

Of the bridge's reopening, Delegate Jared Solomon remarked, "This morning was a long time coming as we celebrated the official opening of the new Talbot Avenue Bridge between Lyttonsville & North Woodside! This bridge symbolizes progress but also our history, once as a means of segregation but now as a connection between communities."

Photo Courtesy of Donna Nelson

Photo Courtesy of Donna Nelson

Portion of Capital Crescent Trail Slated to Open Earlier

The second piece of good news is the potential earlier opening of a portion of the Capital Crescent Trail than originally projected! In their bi-monthly report to the Maryland State Legislature earlier this month, MDOT has updated the timeline for the opening of a portion of the Capital Crescent Trail. According to the report, the portion of trail from Bethesda to Silver Spring is now slated to open in Spring 2026!

Along with good news and progress come construction detours and traffic woes. While patience is encouraged with an eye to the immense benefit the Purple Line will afford everyone who lives, works, or visits our communities along the alignment, we know this is going to be a difficult summer for many as we navigate those detours.

If you are interested in seeing photos of what construction was like way back in the early 1970s, before the Washington Metro grand opening in 1976, have a look at WMATA’s archived photos of what the city looked like on opening day and during construction and this amazing gallery of construction photos from George Washington University archives. Hopefully, they can serve as motivation for all of us to keep our eye on the prize!

MDOT MTA Releases May Newsletter

The May newsletter from MDOT MTA Purple Line is out and it features the Silver Spring Station:

Photo Courtesy of MDOT MTA

We can’t help but remember when Purple Line NOW held a press conference back in May 2017 in the future tunnel of the Purple Line at the Silver Spring library to rally elected officials like Congressman Jamie Raskin and others who spoke passionately at the early morning event demanding a legal decision after the project had been stalled for many months when Judge Leon issued his original order vacating its environmental approval. We are certainly glad those days are behind us, thanks to our terrific supporters and Purple Line advocates!

Summer Traffic Pattern Shift at Dale Drive and Wayne Avenue

One of our readers sent this door knocker left on their door that we thought might be of interest to those living in or commuting through this part of the alignment. We will continue to monitor any changes to these patterns and bring you links where you can find the latest information.

The Summer Red Line Shutdown

With the summer closure of the Red Line at five busy stations beginning on Saturday, June 1, it bears repeating the information that MDOT MTA has distributed and how you might best navigate your commute during these closures.

Beginning THIS Saturday, June 1 through Saturday, August 31, the Red Line will be closed between Glenmont and Takoma. Additionally, the closure will extend to Fort Totten through Saturday, June 29, 2024. Make sure to check out this website to see what types of alternative transportation is available for those who must commute between or through those stations. Express, local, and limited services will be available in addition to new bus-only lanes and traffic mitigations.

Important Dates and Service Information: June 1 - Aug. 31, 2024

  • Free shuttle buses replace Red Line trains between Glenmont and Takoma
  • Station closures: Glenmont, Wheaton, Forest Glen, and Silver Spring
  • Red and Green line available at Fort Totten

Note: The closure will extend to Fort Totten from June 1 - 29 only

We understand that all the shuttle buses will be boarding and off-loading in the Silver Spring station garage and, according to the station manager, they do not expect any standing buses on Colesville Road, Second Avenue, or Wayne Avenue (with the exception of heavy traffic times.) We have been assured that there will be plenty of Metro staff to help direct riders to the local and express shuttle buses which are described on the WMATA website  and in pamphlets located at station kiosks.

Additionally, the sidewalk and mid-block crosswalk from the north side station across Colesville Road, and the adjacent sidewalk, is currently under construction. MTA expects the (sidewalk) project to be completed in about two weeks. Until the north side sidewalk and stair construction is completed, we are advised that it will be most direct to cross at Colesville/Second/Wayne from the northern neighborhoods to reach the shuttle buses beginning this Saturday, June 1st.  

Spring Street Bridge Closure

Below is a detour map for the Spring Street bridge closure -- which will be in effect until January 2025.

Photo Courtesy of MDOT MTA

Purple Line NOW will stay on top of construction news and help where we can. We understand it is going to be a hard summer for all living and working in Prince George's and Montgomery counties, but we are determined to keep our eye on opening day. If you have questions about closures or cannot find the information you need, please let us know and we'll try to provide some answers for you.

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