WHAT'S UP THE PIKE: InterCounty Connector could be finished before opponents' court case is settled.
Dense, complex and sophisticated, Montreal is an amazing city, filled with great food and an amazing urban fabric. Hopefully, I'll have the opportunity to write more about it in the future. (Tomorrow, we'll talk more about shopping malls.) In the meantime, here's a look at what's going on in East County:
A rendering of the proposed Purple Line along Wayne Avenue east of Downtown.
COMPUTER MAGIC BRINGS PURPLE LINE TO LIFE: Google SketchUp is a program that allows anyone from computer novices to professional designers to point-and-click their way to amazing, three-dimensional models. Our very own Maryland Transit Administration is using SketchUp to give East Silver Spring residents a taste of what the Purple Line will look like if built. The listservs have been buzzing this week after MTA released the first renderings of the controversial transitway in its future habitat. Wayne Avenue, which is currently four lanes wide east of Fenton Street, would lose two lanes for auto traffic to accommodate either bus or light rail vehicles. Other new images show a stop at the proposed new Silver Spring Library at Bonifant and Fenton streets, first visualized at a series of MTA Open Houses last fall.
The entire PowerPoint presentation is available online right here.
ALSO: The Food and Drug Administration announced this week that they want to expand their new campus on New Hampshire Avenue, still under construction, to hold nearly 8,900 employees, twelve hundred more than originally proposed. I complained last summer that the Gazette "spoke too soon" in calling White Oak "booming," but their proposal could light the spark I've been waiting for. While the FDA's ongoing move - set to finish in the next two years - has already lured a handful of sit-down restaurants to the new WesTech Village Corner at 29 and Tech Road, throwing even more jobs into the mix could bolster demand for higher-end food and retail in East County. (Can anyone say Clyde's?)
Next week, the FDA will be holding an Open House for residents to check out their expansion plans and ask questions. It'll be next Thursday, March 27th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the CHI Center on New Hampshire Avenue.