Sligo Ave dodges Purple Line alignment

Proposed Purple Line alignments

The Purple Line won’t roll down Sligo Avenue, but it could chug along Bonifant Street on its way to Long Branch, according to reps for the state transit administration.

At Monday night’s focus-group meeting in downtown Silver Spring, project manager Mike Madden said a route along Sligo Avenue was no longer under consideration. That alignment would have carried the light-rail line at street level between Long Branch and the Silver Spring Transit Center.

Impacts on the community, as well as the cost of tunneling beneath East Silver Spring to avoid those impacts, dictated the alignment’s elimination, Madden told The Penguin.

Instead, a street-level alignment could snake south from the transit center, then eastward on Bonifant Street. The alignment would turn north on Fenton Street, then eastward on Wayne Avenue. (See map above.)

However, tunneling beneath Bonifant Street won’t be possible, Madden said. From its elevated station at the transit center, the Purple Line would not have enough distance to transition into a tunnel, he explained.

Tunneling would be likely if a proposed east-west route between Thayer and Silver Spring avenues is selected, said Joe Romanowski, a consulting engineer for the state.

However, that alignment would not burrow beneath the proposed Studio Plaza development off Georgia Avenue, Madden said. Instead, it would run beneath Silver Spring Avenue, then turn north near Fenton Street. (See map above.)

Tunneling is also likely if a route is selected from Silver Spring Avenue near Georgia Avenue, directly to Wayne Avenue near Cedar Street. The tunnel would be deep enough so as not to disturb homes or trees on the street surface, Madden said.

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8 Responses to “Sligo Ave dodges Purple Line alignment”

  1. [...] The state transit administration has eliminated the alignment running beneath Studio Plaza. Click here for more information. (Apr 24, [...]

  2. thecourtyard says:

    I want to see the alignment which follows Bonifant Street to Wayne Avenue. There would be minimal building/property impacts, would run along a street with lower traffic volumes than surrounding streets, and would best encourage redevelopment south of the Downtown Silver Spring complex while, at the same time, improving access to it with a stop at Fenton and Wayne (if that’s in the works).

  3. [...] take riders from Bethesda, through Silver Spring, to New Carrollton. Possible alignments through downtown and East Silver Spring were discussed recently with the state transit [...]

  4. elster says:

    It should be mentioned that the proposed Thayer alignment will take an acre of Sligo Creek park, including 50 mature trees. Each tree absorbs 50 gallons of runoff water per week. In addition, green space was not included in the downtown Silver Spring development plans Sligo Creek Park is about all that’s left of major green space in Silver Spring. Also it is home to diverse wildlife including owls, deer, herons, white squirrles, and woodpeckers.

    In addition, it was mentioned that an elevated overpass will cross Dale Drive through Sligo Creek onto Piney Branch. This will block window views of the creek and could be very unsightly in addition to noisy.

    Furthermore, Thayer Avenue will be widened 8 feet and all on-street parking will go away.

    Please contact your representatives and mention the impact of the proposed Silver Spring/Thayer route. More info is at:

  5. MBP says:

    Most of the noise concerns and alignment concerns could have been solved by a monorail train. The energy advantages of noisy metal wheels on (constantly worn) track represent about 3% of operating costs (fuel costs). It may be a bit unsightly but you wont have to remove many trees. The passenger cars can be every bit as big – and convenient – see Hitachi monorail. It wouldn’t have any slower average speeds (WAG) and UMD would probably allow a monorail to intrude on campus. I realize the train plan is a done deal (sigh)

  6. Jack says:

    OH HEAVEN FOR FEND!!! NOT 50 TREES!! OH NO, OH NO, OH NO!!! Good God, if you DON’T build the train, then more vehicles are on the road, thus negating any benefit you purportedly would reap by saving 50 f@$#ing trees.

    Editor’s note: This comment was edited for content. — JD (Jun 18, 2008)

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