The Maryland Transit Authority has plans to develop a new light rail line. The new Purple Line will run mostly east to west in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, connecting Metrorail’s Red, Green, and Orange Lines.
According to the Purple Line’s official website, “The MTA has made it a priority to avoid the acquisition of private property where possible, and minimize the acquisitions, where they are unavoidable.”
Be that as it may, (and though the plans are not final) of the 330 parcels of property currently slated to be permanently condemned by the construction of the Purple Line, thirty-one are homes and forty-three are businesses. And of course plenty of people who get to keep their homes will lose their front yards; some businesses could lose their parking spaces.
And because Silver Spring and points east only recently began accounting for Light Rail construction in their development plans, those areas have had less time to keep the likely Purple Line path clear, and so they stand to be the most affected by property acqusitions.
Of course, even if you don’t find yourself displaced by the construction plans, a new light rail line will change the culture of the area, for better or worse.
Construction on the Purple Line won’t begin until at least 2015, which is either three more years of waiting to finally be more connected to DC, or three more years to dread the carving up of your home or business property. On the other hand, the MTA is encouraging public involvement in the finalization of the Purple Line plans. So if you’ve got an opinion about it, you can voice it.