Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Purple Line and Pedestrians

The Purple Line is a light rail transit system connecting Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC.  It is currently scheduled to begin operations in 2022.

The Spring Center strip mall on the east side of 16th Street in Silver Spring was demolished to make space for the Woodside Purple Line Station.

There are several large apartment buildings across from the Woodside Station on the west side of 16th Street.

But the sidewalk on the west side ends at Spring Street.

There is no sidewalk going past the apartments.

The sidewalk picks up again on the bridge over the railroad tracks.

But then ends as soon as you finish crossing the bridge.

There is no more sidewalk on the west side until you reach Lyttonsville Road.

What would it take to have a sidewalk in place so that the thousands of residents on the west side could walk to the Woodside Station on opening day in 2022?  Working backwards, the sidewalk would have to be built in 2021.  So funding would have to be put in place in 2020.  So planning and design would have to be completed in 2019.  That doesn't leave much time for bureaucratic inertia and delay.  Will Maryland, Montgomery County, and the Purple Line Transit Partners be able to work together to make it happen?


  1. There's only one "large apartment building" on the west side with access to this section, 8600. Summit Hills has no points of entry or egress on this section of 16th. Everyone from SH would need to cross at Spring St., as they did for decades to get to the shopping center. How would a sidewalk on this side of the street provide access to the station for SH residents, as there are also no other obvious points for a crossing?

    1. The circuitous route you describe adds a half mile detour for Summit Hills residents living directly across from the Woodside Station. We have to do better than that, with sidewalks and improved crossings. See the map on Page 19 of this report: