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Posted at 12:40 PM ET, 07/27/2010

Montgomery adds Purple Line to plans

By Washington Post editors

A state proposal to build a 16-mile Purple Line is now officially part of Montgomery County's master plan.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday to add a double-track rail line between downtown Bethesda and Langley Park -- Montgomery's section of a transit link that would extend east into Prince George's County to New Carrollton. The Montgomery master plan previously included only a single-track trolley line between Bethesda and Silver Spring.

The new plan also added access points to the Georgetown Branch trail between downtown Bethesda and Silver Spring.

Council members said they were committed to keeping the popular walking and biking trail adjacent to any Purple Line tracks despite the fact that cost estimates to rebuild the trail recently ballooned from $25 million to at least $65 million. Council Member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda), whose district includes the trail, said residents in the Town of Chevy Chase remain concerned about the safety of running it adjacent to train tracks. State transit officials have said barriers would be built between the trail and tracks.

The council also said the county has no plans to change the zoning to allow more density around any future Dale Drive station in Silver Spring. Current Purple Line plans do not include a Dale Drive station, but tracks would be laid in such a way that it could be built later if the community wanted it, the council official said.

The Maryland Transit Administration is seeking federal funding to help cover the Purple Line's construction, now estimated to cost $1.68 billion.

-- Katherine Shaver

By Washington Post editors  | July 27, 2010; 12:40 PM ET
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And the much-needed Purple Line draws that much closer.

Posted by: krickey7 | July 27, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

connect PG county to Montgomery County, what could go wrong?

Posted by: WhatBubble | July 27, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

This is the next step in the Council's mindless determination to destroy green space in this part of Montgomery County. Southern Montgomery County is already below state standards for green space and it will only get worse as acres and acres of trees are ripped out for this project.

They try to hide the weakness of this proposed alignment of the Purple Line by suggesting it is part of the Washington Metro system. It is not part of metro and it will simply divert time and resources from the needed safety and capital improvements the Metro Syatem needs.

Posted by: bamboo3 | July 28, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

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