Tuesday, May 15, 2012
State funding hurting from gas tax rejection. Future federal funding uncertain until 2015.
The Purple Line, the proposed 16-mile light rail transit system extending from New Carrollton to Bethesda, could be missing one vital component for its progression: funding. With the Maryland budget in crisis and a congressional stalemate over highway funding, the Purple Line’s construction could be pushed back, although several officials interviewed about the project would not predict how long the delay might be. The federal government approved preliminary engineering for the project in October, qualifying it for funding through New Starts, a federal program for new transit projects such as the Purple Line, bringing it a significant step closer to construction. From there, cost estimates and construction schedules could be fine-tuned …
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Talk with other residents about development in the Ward 6 corridor.
I bet you didn't think talking about redevelopment of one of Takoma Park's main business cooridors was a social event. But if you add Indian food it helps the conversation about planning, developement and transit go down. Takoma Park will be hosting a discussion of what residents want to see in the New Hampshire Avenue corridor Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Tiffin Indian Kitchen. Let us know what you think should happen to the New Hampshire Avenue corridor.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Members of Action Committee for Transit staged a protest for the Purple Line Thursday.
Banners waived and bodies shook to the beat of "Come on Ride It," the 1996 single by Quad City DJs, Thursday as seven members of the Action Committee for Transit, a local organization advocating for the Purple Line, dodged raindrops to let people know why they thought the Purple Line was essential for Montgomery and Prince George's counties. Their numbers were small, but their message was clear. "The Purple Line would be a driver for both the environment and business. It would make Bethesda and Silver Spring hubs," Ben Ross, a Bethesda resident and flash mob participant, said. "You can get in and out of D.C. from the north and south, but you can go east and west." The Purple Line would get people out of their cars and help clear congestion…
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The flash mob will occur at 5 p.m. in Silver Spring.
A Montgomery County-based grassroots organization is planning a flash mob in support of the Purple Line Thursday. The Action Committee for Transit is hoping the flash mob planned for 5 p.m. at the Silver Spring metro station will draw attention for the need of the Purple Line in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The light rail system would connect Bethesda and New Carrollton with 21 stations in between to stretch across 16.3 miles. The project, estimated to cost $1.6 billion, is still only in the planning stages. Ted Van Houten, a board member for Action Committee for Transit, said Thursday morning that the flash mob will not disrupt the evening rush hour traffic flow as the group will be set up on the corner of Wayne Avenue and …
Friday, November 18, 2011
Running both rail and trail through a tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue could be cost-prohibitive. The MTA is considering other options, including putting the Bethesda Purple Line station east of Wisconsin Avenue, near Chevy Chase's Elm Street Park.
In case the variety of options available for how to route both the Purple Line and the Capital Crescent Trail across (or under, or over) Wisconsin Avenue at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase border wasn’t broad enough already, a couple more options have been added to the mix. At a Montgomery County Planning Board meeting on Thursday, planning commissioners asked Maryland Transit Administration staff to consider building the Bethesda Purple Line station east of Wisconsin Avenue, rather than west of it or under it, as previous options had suggested. Right now, the Capital Crescent Trail, which follows an old CSX railroad right-of-way from Bethesda to Silver Spring, crosses Wisconsin Avenue underground, through a tunnel that passes (from west to east…
Monday, October 10, 2011
The Federal Transit Administration gave the Purple Line project approval to enter the preliminary engineering phase, clearing the way for construction on the light rail to begin as early as 2015.
The Purple Line project received approval last Friday from the Federal Transit Administration to enter the preliminary engineering phase, Gov. Martin O'Malley announced last Friday. With FTA approval, plans for the Purple Line—the 16-mile light rail planned to connect Bethesda and New Carrollton with 19 station stops in-between—can become more detailed, work schedules and cost estimates can be drawn up, and environmental studies can be completed. The FTA review of the Purple Line proposal focused on the project’s projected "high daily ridership [with an average of 60,000 riders a day by 2030] and many significant benefits," as well as Maryland ’s "financial commitment and technical capacity to build and operate the project. By granting …
Monday, October 3, 2011
Community members of Lyttonsville, in Silver Spring, are concerned about the construction of a rail yard and maintenance facility in a residential neighborhood.
Community criticism for the Purple Line continues this week, as Purple Line officials with the Maryland Transit Administration meet with residents of Lyttonsville, a historic community in Silver Spring, on Monday at 7 p.m. at the Coffield Community Center (2450 Lyttonsville Rd., second floor, Silver Spring) to discuss plans to construct a rail yard and maintenance facility in the neighborhood. "MTA presented major rail yard design changes to the community at a meeting on Sept. 13, surprising many who thought they were there to provide Lyttonsville station design preferences," wrote Susan Buchanan of the Lyttonsville Civic Association in a press release. "Instead, residents learned that the rail yard and maintenance facility had been 'super…
Monday, February 21, 2011
Representatives from Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, along with state legislators, joined Gov. O’Malley in opening the first stretch of the 18-mile road.
Maryland leaders past and present gathered in the rain on Monday to cut a ceremonial green ribbon, opening the first segment of the Intercounty Connector, which will eventually connect Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Officials say the new toll road is just the beginning of a push toward major improvement in transportation in Washington’s Maryland suburbs. Detractors call the road that will link Interstate 370 and Interstate 95 unnecessary and a drain on the environment but lawmakers stressed that it is a necessary part of other badly needed big-ticket transit projects in the area. “It’s bigger than a road, it really is,” Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) told the crowd of about 200 gathered at the ICC/MD200 intersection in Gaithersburg …
Thursday, January 20, 2011
A report on U.S. traffic delays finds the D.C. area tied with Chicago.
Commuters, the “aha” moment has arrived in the form of a report released Thursday, and it’s not a glee-filled moment. Unfortunately, your worst fears and concerns have been confirmed: The Washington metropolitan area is No. 1 in traffic delays. The Texas Transportation Institute’s (TTI) annual study on nationwide traffic congestion paints a bleak picture for our area. The D.C. region consistently ranks on the list of congested areas in the institute’s Urban Mobility Report. In the previous two years, Washington has ranked second to Los Angeles in traffic congestion. “There’s nothing in this report that it’s a surprise to us. They really tell us the obvious — what people experience every day, that congestion is an issue in the central …