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Posted at 2:13 PM ET, 07/28/2009

Purple Line Planning

By Stephen Stromberg

Jacob Feinspan

The Purple Line promises to reduce commuting time, take thousands of cars off the road, benefit the environment and create economic opportunities. But some people along the proposed route could find themselves priced out of their communities. We are particularly concerned with the impact that the Prince George's County's draft sector plan could have on Langley Park.

The Langley Park community includes a large immigrant population and a vibrant local business scene. Construction of the Purple Line through this community would likely spur more development, but it is important that the people who currently live there get to benefit from that development, instead of being priced out of their homes and businesses.

We join a wide variety of community groups, including CASA of Maryland, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, and the Prince George's Justice and Advocacy Council of the Archdiocese of Washington, in expressing significant concerns about Prince George's County's draft sector plan. As the draft stands, thousands of families could be displaced, and small businesses could be forced out by rising rents.

Prince George's County needs to encourage carefully selected mixed-use development, make a commitment to improving and maintaining the stock of affordable rental housing and create protections for locally owned small businesses that form the backbone of the Langley Park community. We look to William A. Campos (D-Hyattsville), the County Council member representing Langley Park, to take leadership on this issue. Only then can the Purple Line realize its promise for our entire community.

The writer is the executive director of Jews United for Justice.

By Stephen Stromberg  | July 28, 2009; 2:13 PM ET
Categories:  Purple Line  
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