Berliner Says Hearing in Works for Changes to Purple Line ‘Rules’ (VIDEO)

Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner said Monday a hearing would be convened on Sept. 28 to discuss changes to the “rules of the game” surrounding the construction of the Purple Line.

Signs went up last week closing the Georgetown Branch Trail, which part of the Purple Line follows. The trail, an abandoned rail right of way, is a popular strip of greenery between Bethesda and Silver Spring.

The 16-mile rail link will connect Bethesda with New Carrollton in Prince George’s County, with 21 stops including ones in Silver Spring and College Park.

Berliner said residents and the county expected a 30-day notice of when construction was to begin. Instead, the notice has been changed to seven days.

“Montgomery County plays by the rules. The state needs to play by the rules. If we know the rules, we can absorb this in a much better way,” Berliner said.

A lawsuit has delayed the start of the light rail line construction. Once an appeals court ruled in favor of the state late last month, the state started work on the Purple Line.

“One of the questions that comes up all the time is how are we going to make sure that the new trail is what has been promised. So that’s a conversation we need to have with our county. To make sure our county DOT officials are on top of this and making sure that the reconstructed trail is in fact promised. That’s on us,” Berliner said.

“But it’s on the state to make sure that this process works, that is so terribly transparent, that we have our citizens advisory groups coming together so that they are informed of what is taking place, that you have a website that is second to none in terms of showing everything that is taking place. That we know week by week that the construction schedule is so our citizens understand what inconvenience will happen.”

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

Comments

One Response to “Berliner Says Hearing in Works for Changes to Purple Line ‘Rules’ (VIDEO)”

  1. On September 12, 2017 at 10:04 am responded with... #

    First, credit Councilmember Berliner with at least going through the motions, and hopefully doing a lot more. But why is it going to take until Sept 28 just to have a hearing, and then who knows how long after that to actually do something. Please imagine, just for a moment, that the government decided to suddenly a major car commuter access road, like the Beltway, for 4-5 years. First, it would never ever try something like that to car drivers. Second, it would reverse itself within seconds, once all the hysterical screaming began. And yet this is in fact the main commuter access road for bicyclists going from Montgomery to DC… Yes, there are more car drivers on the Beltway than bicyclists on that trail, but perhaps this kind of treatment is at least part of the cause of that wide imbalance rather than the excuse for it to continue… Many bicyclists are all for the Purple Line, but treating the bicyclists like afterthoughts right from the start is not a good sign of underlying intentions and the supposed sustainability that seems to be underlying projects like the Purple Line…




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