Tuesday, August 4, 2009

it's light rail on the trail for purple line (updated)

purple line at columbia country club
The day's finally come, y'all. This morning, Governor Martin O'Malley will announce the Locally Preferred Alternative for the Purple Line. He's endorsed light-rail for the proposed sixteen-mile transitway between Bethesda and New Carrollton, along with a route following the Capital Crescent Trail. And, after that, he'll head up to Charm City to announce the LPA for the Red Line, a light-rail through Baltimore and its western suburbs that will give that area a much more effective transit network.

(Even better: the Post's Maryland Moment blog says it'll go to Columbia, which is pretty exciting for those of us on the east side because there's no way it can get there without coming Right Up The Pike. I don't know where they get this information from, but they sure as hell didn't get it from me, because I don't see JUTP in their little "We Also Read" box down on the left.)

The announcement will be at 8:30am at the New Carrollton MARC Station, located where the Beltway meets Route 50. Much as I like sleeping in (an impractical habit given I work 9-to-5), I will be there to show my support for the Governor's decision. And now, the $750,000 question is: how long until the Town of Chevy Chase delivers a lawsuit to try and kill the Purple Line once and for all?

UPDATE: O'Malley just made his announcement. A full description and map of the selected Purple Line route are now available on the project's website. The alignment will include:

- Light rail at-grade along the Capital Crescent Trail between Chevy Chase and Silver Spring.

- In Downtown Silver Spring, trains will be routed at grade along Bonifant Street, across the proposed library site at Fenton Street, and then down Wayne Avenue. New stops will be located at the library, Fenton Street, and Dale Drive.

- A brief tunnel segment between the Manchester Drive and Arliss Street stations in Long Branch, avoiding the congested intersection of Flower Avenue and Piney Branch Road, and another beneath Adelphi Road in College Park.

- An at-grade route through the University of Maryland along Campus Drive, through the Engineering Fields, and on Rossborough Drive through the proposed East Campus development. New stops at Adelphi Road, Cole Field House ("Campus Center"), and East Campus.

- Aerial segments over Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase and the intersection of Kenilworth Avenue and East-West Highway in Riverdale Park, both locations of new stations.

ALSO: check out my previous Purple Line coverage, including the six-part series "Purple Line Haze," in which I walked the Capital Crescent Trail with the project's foes and supporters alike, and "The Purple Line Diaries," in which I try to commute across Montgomery and Prince George's counties by rail and bus.

Rendering of the Purple Line in Chevy Chase courtesy of MTA.


Melanie said...

Awsome scoop on the purple line. Keep us posted.

Beltway Progressive said...

Great job - better than Lisa Rein!

At WaPo, she was "promoted" to Maryland after fawning all over Virginian ladies man/government contractor profiteer/ homewrecker/95% George Bush voter Tom Davis (R-VA11th) (now a lobbyist). If you want to be a journalist for our hometown paper, you need to start sucking up to power!


Tina & Drew said...

A stop down the street from my house? AWESOME! Can't wait till they break ground (crossing fingers)