SILVER SPRING, MD – Following a wide call for applicants, the Montgomery County Planning Board yesterday appointed a committee of 28 area residents who will help its transportation planners analyze the potential impacts of the proposed Purple Line, a transit corridor that will link Bethesda with New Carrollton by light rail or a rapid bus line.
While the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is leading the planning for the Purple Line, Montgomery County planners have begun an effort that will highlight the Planning Department’s recommendations for the type of transit, route and station locations in Montgomery County. Once the study, called a functional master plan, is complete, it also will amend the county’s existing master plans through which the new route will travel.
Staff expects the plan to provide a framework for the Planning Board to react quickly to the MTA’s Purple Line recommendations, which may emerge next summer.
More than 80 applicants responded to the department’s call for committee members. While the size of the committee approved today is larger than typical, planners recommended that the board include members from throughout the Purple Line area, including Bethesda/Chevy Chase, Silver Spring and Takoma Park.
Planning staff recommended individuals who offer background in transportation, landscape architecture, mass transit and public service as well as those with a history of working with Purple Line issues. Planners also sought committee members who might be able to spread the word among broad constituencies, particularly those who may not typically involve themselves in civic outreach.
The committee meetings, expected to begin in October with a briefing from MTA on the alternatives under review, will be open to the public and advertised at www.mcparkandplanning.org/transportation/projects/bicounty.shtm. Everyone who expressed an interest in the committee will receive invitations to the meetings.
Edward “Ted” Power
# # #