The Purple Line Is a Go—And We’re Pumped
On Wednesday morning, Maryland’s Board of Public Works approved a contract for a team of companies to build, operate and maintain the Purple Line, a 16-mile transit line that will link the Red, Green, and Orange lines in the Maryland suburbs. So why does something as administrative as contract approval have us smiling? The Purple Line project includes substantial improvements to the region’s trail network. Here’s what the Purple Line means for the trail system:
- Paved and extended: The trail segment known as the Georgetown Branch Trail will be widened, paved, and extended into downtown Silver Spring. Currently, the off-road section of this corridor is unpaved and underused, and the on-road section is unprotected and difficult to navigate. The continuous trail from Bethesda to Silver Spring will be rebranded as part of the Capital Crescent Trail.
- Grade-separated from motor vehicles: This means that at street crossings at roads like Connecticut Ave and Jones Mill Road, long waits, blind corners, and narrow sidewalks will be replaced by bridges.
- Connections: When completed, Silver Spring will be an important trail crossroads with direct links to Georgetown (via the Capital Crescent Trail), the National Mall (via the Metropolitan Branch Trail), and the Sligo Creek Trail (via the Silver Spring Green Trail).
- Transit Access: Trail users will benefit from improved trail access around transit stations, which is good news for multi-modal travelers in both Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties.
- Momentum: Purple Line service cannot start until the trail is complete, which keeps the pressure on to get the trail built.