In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:
- Silver Spring Plaza Construction and Cyclists
- Early Opening of the Purple Line
- Metro Ridership Numbers Up
- Financing Urban Tree Canopy Programs
- October Community Advisory Team Meetings
- Purple Line NOW Needs Your Financial Help - Please Consider a Donation Today
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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW
For today's newsletter, we have a series of brief updates for you along the Purple Line corridor:
Silver Spring Plaza and Cyclists
The plaza between the Silver Spring Metro station and the Silver Spring Transit Center is under construction, which has resulted in the temporary closure of adjacent bike racks. After reading about the confusion on social media and then visiting the site in person, Purple Line NOW reached out to the concessionaire about a week ago to see if we could get more way-finding signage to help bikers find the alternate locations for bike racks during construction. We are happy to report, they responded quickly and the multiple types of signs have already been created and installed. A-frame signs, small posters on the perimeter fences, and metal bike rack signs all work together to lead bikers from the old location to the new biker location. Depending on the direction you are coming from, Purple Line NOW Vice President and Silver Spring Metro commuter Greg Sanders also suggests that, "if you don't mind doubling up, consider taking your bike under the bridge by the Penguins mural and parking by the entrance on the NOAA."
As always, if we can help solve a problem, let us know and we’ll do our best to connect you with the right people. You are often among the first to know of construction pain points in your community, and when you reach out to us, we work to make sure those concerns reach the right people.
As we mentioned in our previous newsletter, the Purple Line will open in two stages, the first in late 2022, and the rest just a few months later, in 2023.
As you probably know, the test track, about two miles long, will likely be the part of the segment that opens first. The track is along Veterans Highway in Prince George’s county. Maryland transit officials have promised more details by the end of year.
More information can be found in this September 19 Washington Post article.
Metro Ridership Numbers
WMATA reported that daily passenger trips are up 2.3% in the first half of 2019 and 3.3% in the second quarter of 2019 (compared to last year during the same time period.) This is good news for all in our area, and especially for the Purple Line as we draw closer to opening day! You can read more about the numbers, nation-wide, here: A Glimmer of Hope as Ridership Rebounds.
Financing Urban Tree Canopy Programs: Guidebook for Local Governments in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
This document from the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay presents "practical strategies for funding and financing municipal urban tree canopy (UTC) programs in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Its target audience is policy makers and urban forestry managers in towns and cities throughout the region, but its content may be of interest to anyone involved in promoting the development and maintenance of thriving community forests."
You can link to the Guidebook here: Chesapeake Trees
An Update in Photos
We’ve written about many of these areas of construction along the route, but wanted to bring you some photos of crews in action. Thanks to MTA for sending these our way!
Silver Spring International Middle School
Silver Spring Transit Center
PURPLE LINE NOW NEWS AND EVENTS
October Community Advisory Team Meetings
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Silver Spring International Middle School
313 Wayne Avenue (Media Center)
Silver Spring, MD 20910
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School
8201 15th Avenue
Hyattsville, MD 20783
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Oak View Elementary School
400 E. Wayne Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20901
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
North Chevy Chase Elementary School
3700 Jones Bridge Road (All-Purpose Room)
Bethesda, MD 20815
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.