Monday, August 13, 2007

purple line haze: twenty years of debate

An MTA light rail train arrives at the BWI Business Station outside of Baltimore. Light rail is one option for the proposed Purple Line.

Nearly twenty years after Montgomery County first proposed an east-west transit line between Bethesda and Silver Spring, the debate rages on. Once former Governor Glendening's top transportation priority, the Purple Line has become mired in debate and utter confusion. Most people aren't even familiar with the technologies - bus rapid transit or light rail - that it'll use if built.

Last year, we explored the Purple Line route in East Silver Spring and on the buses that currently run along it. But what do people on the other side of Rock Creek Park think about the Purple Line? And has anyone actually ridden a light-rail train before?

Over the next two weeks, Just Up The Pike takes a further look into the once and future Purple Line debate:

WEDNESDAY: Chevy Chase wants to do a quarter-million-dollar study on the impact of the proposed line on their town. Why do the extra legwork? JUTP interviews Mier Wolf, the town councilman who conceived the study.

THURSDAY: The Purple Line won't be the first time trains are running through some Bethesda and Silver Spring neighborhoods. Guest blogger Adam Pagnucco looks at the history of the Georgetown Branch.

FRIDAY: Activist Pam Browning says the Purple Line would be an "ecological disaster" on a popular trail, but do its users necessarily agree? JUTP takes a long walk down the Capital Crescent Trail.

FRIDAY: Check out this slideshow of the Purple Line route through Bethesda and Chevy Chase.

MONDAY: While most feel strongly about the need for light rail trains on the Purple Line, few have actually ridden one before. JUTP travels to Baltimore to experience light rail first-hand.

WEDNESDAY: Supporting the Capital Crescent Trail often means taking sides on the Purple Line. JUTP meets Peter Gray, chair of the Coalition for the Capital Crescent Trail, a group struggling to stay objective on this controversial issue.

FRIDAY: Silver Spring's chunk of the trail doesn't inspire calls for preservation. In fact, it's not even finished. JUTP walks to the end of the Capital Crescent Trail with Wayne Phyillaier, editor of

1 comment:

David Daddio said...

Looking forward to the completion of this series. Do keep in mind that that the Baltimore light rail is complete garbage because it is not synchronized with the traffic lights (for some legal reason which I cannot recall). I'm not sure whether the Purple Line will be any different, but it would be worth looking into if you're interested.