the Rosemary Hills neighborhood representative quickly informed us that MTA and MCDOT had a “walk through” of the area with Rosemary Hills and Lyttonsville neighbors a few weeks ago, and as a result the property owners along Talbot Avenue have expressed they are content with the MTA Purple Line plans that they had been shown.
John Thomas gave PLIAG the good news during his presentation that MCDOT and CSX have been working together toward achieving a mutually agreeable CCT alignment along the baseline master plan route on CSX property behind Park Sutton... MCDOT does not believe they need to explore the alternative alignments any further, they now expect to be able to complete the trail as planned including the grade-separated crossing under the 16th Street Bridge.
The future Capital Crescent Trail/Purple Line will pass through this area.
The Montgomery County Planning Department will be hosting a community workshop for the Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan onTuesday, July 15 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to identify existing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges for the Plan Area.
The workshop will take place at the Gwendolyn E. Coffield Center (2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, MD) and all are invited to attend. RSVP's are encouraged, but not required.
As a follow-up to the successful relaunch meeting held in early May, the planning team would like to invite the public to give their feedback on preferences for the Plan Area which will help to contribute to the overall plan, which will form the foundation for transforming the heart of Greater Lyttonsville.
Details: What: Greater Lyttonsville Sector Plan Community Workshop
Who: Anyone focused on the future of Greater Lyttonsville When: Tuesday, July 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Where: Gwendolyn E. Coffield Center - 2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, MD
As part of the Purple Line Project the Georgetown Branch Trail, which currently ends in Lyttonsville, will become the new Capitol Crescent Trail extension. So this is relavant to those who might use it.
Community invited to re-engage and learn about existing conditions for Greater Lyttonsville
Details: What: Greater Lyttonsville Relaunch meeting hosted by the Montgomery Planning Department Who: Residents, property owners, and anyone focused on the future of Greater Lyttonsville When: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. Where: Gwendolyn E. Coffield Center – 2450 Lyttonsville Road, Silver Spring, MD Social Media: #GreaterLP
The Post has a story on how rebuilding the CCT with the Purple Line will cost about twice as much as previous planned, with the headline "Costs rise to rebuild Capital Crescent Trail along proposed Purple Line route" which makes it seem that the cost of the trail is just going up. Only way down in the text do you find out that one reason why the cost has gone up is that the county wants to make the trail better than they had previously planned.
Some of the higher costs stemmed from county requests to widen the trail from 10 to 12 feet to provide better emergency vehicle access and add lighting, officials said.
So yeah, when you decide to buy something better than what you had budgeted for, it will usually cost more. Furthermore
Berliner and Erenrich said county officials considered the previous trail estimate to be a budget placeholder that would grow as engineering progressed. The MTA has now designed about 30 percent of the project.
After years of complaining and letter writing the Post finally got it right when describing where the Purple Line would run (emphasis mine)
The project has government-owned right of way preserved between Bethesda and an area west of downtown Silver Spring, where trains would run along an extension of the Capital Crescent Trail. While the western section requires less private property, it has created controversy because of the number of mature trees that would be cut along the wooded trail.
Gary Erenrich, MCDOT’s Purple Line project coordinator, broke the news at the 20 March 2014 Planning Board Purple Line/CCT mandatory referral. Mr. Erenrich announced that CSXT was now refusing to grant right-of-way to MTA for the CCT, MCDOT was now responsible for any further negotiations with CSXT for trail right-of-way, and that as things stand now the CCT would end at Talbot Avenue as an off-road trail. I have since had an email exchange with Mr. Erenrich, and he has clarified that MTA received a letter from CSXT mid-January stating they would not grant any CSXT right-of-way for a trail alone, and that MCDOT was now evaluating the physical feasibility and the cost of alternative trail alignments. Mr. Erenrich expects their preliminary evaluation of the alternatives to be completed in a month or so.
Oh CSX, everytime I think you might not be so bad, you prove me wrong. You're worse than Arvin Sloane. I can tell you what, I know who I won't be using to ship my future coal tonnage.
There is hope though
Fortunately there is a good alternative trail alignment that can avoid CSXT property behind the Park Sutton building, shown above. This alternative would go around the front of Park Sutton by using Lyttonsville Road and 16th Street. Lyttonsville Road is overbuilt, and that extra wide road right-of-way can accomodate a full width trail with no need to ‘take’ private property. A trail along the west side of 16th Street will require either taking a strip of right-of-way from the Park Sutton Condominium Association, or putting 16th Street on a “road diet” and closing a southbound lane of the roadway for trail and sidewalk use.
If you're interested in this, you should read the whole post.
The county Planning Board on Thursday, March 20 will hold a public hearing about comments it will send to the Maryland Transit Administration, the agency in charge of the Purple Line.
The state and federal governments will have final say when it comes to the final design of the estimated $2.37 billion project. On Thursday, the Planning Department showed off a special web page dedicated to what it will tell the MTA in a series of mandatory referrals on the light rail, the Capital Crescent Trail, Silver Spring Green Trail and Bethesda Metro Station South Entrance.
Many comments are small in nature — planners ask the MTA to provide bicycle channels on stairway connections on the Capital Crescent Trail, to widen a planned sidewalks along East-West Highway and to build a Connecticut Avenue traction power substation into the tracks and trail to reduce visual impacts.
Staff also is asking the MTA to accommodate a stair on the north side of the trail at the planned Chevy Chase Lake Purple Line station. That stair would be provided by the developer of the area.
Staff also put together an interactive map that points to parts of the Purple Line design where county planners would like to see changes.
Other ideas from the website (the map really. It's very useful)
In addition to lighting the Capital Crescent Trail under the Lyttonsville Place bridge, provide wall-wash lighting along the bridge abutment walls to enhance pedestrian safety
Widen the proposed 5-foot wide sidewalk on both sides of Lyttonsville Place to at least 7 feet to meet AASHTO recommendations and provide bicycle lanes by removing the “activity lane”.
Provide a larger landing area at the base of the proposed ramp down to the Capital Crescent Trail from Lyttonsville Place. The landing and crossing could be designed to incorporate local historical and cultural enhancements.
Eliminate both rows of parking on the Spring Street bridge. Widen the proposed 5-foot-wide sidewalks to 13 feet wide. Separate the 16-foot-wide shared travel lane into 11-foot-wide thru lanes and 5-foot-wide bike lanes.
SSTC Trail Access - Evaluate whether it is possible to provide direct access to the Purple Line mezzanine from the Capital Crescent Trail to the east of the escalator.
Relocate the stormwater management facility proposed on the remnant of 1110 Bonifant Street to an offsite location. After completion of the Purple Line, the County should be given first right of refusal for use of the remnants of this parcel for the Silver Spring Bicycle Parking Facility.
Manchester Place Station Bicycle Access -Continue to explore ways for cyclists traveling on Wayne Avenue to cross the Purple Line tracks at a 60 to 90 degree angle.
Extend the Piney Branch Road culvert at Long Branch to permit future construction of a 10-foot wide sidewalk.
Construct cycle tracks (or buffered bike lanes) on University Boulevard where right-of-way is available, and transition from the cycle tracks (or buffered bike lanes) to bicycle lanes where the right-of-way is constrained. However, if there is not agreement to construct cycle tracks, provide 8-foot-shared use paths along both sides of University Boulevard where right-of-way is available or property acquisitions occur as recommended in the Long Branch Sector Plan and Takoma/ Langley Crossroads Sector Plan. Where sufficient space is not available, the shared use path should transition into a sidewalk.