Updated with a gmaps aerial photo at 6 pm on 09/15/11
I haven’t posted to this blog recently because the summer has been a quiet period for trail development in the Silver Spring area. But planning activity is picking up now that summer is over.
The MTA briefed local residents on new plans for the Purple Line and CCT in the Lyttonsville area at a neighborhood work group meeting this Tuesday, Sept. 13. The Gazette reports on this meeting at Proposed Purple Line stop for Silver Spring raises residents’ eyebrows. The new plans are significanly different than shown before – the future CCT and the Purple Line work yard are flipped in their positions, so that the CCT is proposed to run along the north side of the Purple Line transit/trail corridor from Rock Creek to the CSX corridor.
I was at the meeting, and my first impression is that this change is roughly neutral for the CCT. The Gazette report mirrors the very negative reaction of the local residents, and is very inaccurate. For example, the Gazette reports the CCT will be moved to the north side of Brookville Road, but the new plan does NOT put the trail on the north side of Brookville Road at all. The new plan has a few benefits for the trail and community that the Gazette does not mention, for example providing a new grade-separated crossing of Stewart Avenue for both the Purple Line and CCT.
MTA promised to post the drawings on their website in a week or so. I will revisit this issue here as soon as the drawings are available, and will show then point-by-point what the changes are for the proposed CCT. You will see why I am so critical of the Gazette report – the drawing shows the Gazette is just so wrong on some of the big “facts” they reported.
I am being taken to task by local residents for my assertion that the local area is so industrial that the proposed changes will not detract seriously from the back yards of the south side residents. While we wait for the MTA Purple Line plans to be posted on the web, I offer the Gmap aerial view below to support my claim. The nearest residential back yards are on the Albert Stewart Lane cul-de-sac, the yards seen below in the lower right corner. They are now separated from the Interim CCT by the landscaping storage yard seen in the center, and will still be separated from the Purple Line storage tracks and Purple Line transit by most of that industrial area after the project is built. Claims that these back yards will be harmed by the Purple Line are gross exagerations.
I also invite everyone interested in this topic to walk or bike the trail here, see the existing uses, and judge for yourself.