Our Community Issues page contains detailed information and links regarding a wide variety of local interests. Use the inks below as a means to explore some of the most recent developments in our community and feel free to peruse the other resources on our web site to develop a greater understanding of matters of concern to the citizens in our community.
The Purple Line is a proposed 16-mile light rail that will be operated by the Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) and will run from New Carrollton to Bethesda. The current plans call for a station at Connecticut Avenue, near the Chevy Chase Lake Shopping Center. The Purple Line will run on the Capital Crescent Trail in close proximity to many homes in our community.
On May 14, 2012, representatives from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) met with our community to discuss the latest Purple Line plans. This meeting focused on the segment of the Purple Line that is planned to run through our community, between Connecticut Avenue and Rock Creek Park. A copy of the slide presentation can be viewed by clicking here. Drawings depicting the segments of the Purple Line and the Capital Crescent Trail that will run through our community can be viewed by clicking here.
There are several milestones that must be reached before the Purple Line becomes a reality. The main issue now is how to fund the Purple Line. The estimated cost is $2.2 billion. Governor O'Malley recently pledged $400 million in State money, and the State is counting on $900 million in federal grants from the Federal government. The State plans to raise the rest of the money through a private-public partnership. This Fall will be a critical time for the Purple Line, as the Federal government will decide whether to provide funding and, if so, how much.
Recently, the MTA released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Purple Line. CRCA believes that the FEIS fails to adequately desribe the Purple Line's impact on our community and the environment in many respects, and that the MTA should commit to additional mitigation measures before the Federal Transit Administration deems this project as being eligible for federal funding. You can read our comments to the FEIS by clicking here. Our County Councilmember for District 1, Roger Berliner, also provided comments to the FEIS, which echoes many of our key concerns. You can view Councilmember Berliner's comments by clicking here.
For more information about the Purple Line, please click on the links to the articles listed below:
- MTA Releases Requests for Purple Line Proposals (Bethesda Now, July 29, 2014)
- Amphipod Recovery Plan Could Spell Trouble for Purple Line (Bethesda Now, July 29, 2014)
- Environmental Groups Plan Suit Over Purple Line (Washington Post, June 25, 2014)
- Price of Maryland's Purple Line hits $2.37 billion (Washington Post, March 6, 2014)
- FTA recommends federal funding to build light-rail Purple Line in Maryland (Washington Post, March 4, 2014)
- Six teams compete to build, operate light-rail Purple Line in public-private partnership (Washington Post, December 12, 2013)
- Purple Line's obscure obstacle: The endangered Hay's Spring amphipod (Washington Post, November 29, 2013)
- Maryland gets approval to seek public-private partnership to build, operate Purple Line (Washington Post, November 7, 2013)
- Maryland delays Board of Public Works vote on Purple Line proposal (Washington Post, October 16, 2013)
- Purple Line: Public-private transit partnership would be one of the broadest in U.S. (Washington Post, October 12, 2013)
- Purple Line Route Changed to Spare Part of Country Club Golf Course (Washington Post, September 26, 2013)
- Purple Line Presents Noise, Pedestrian Crossing Concerns in Chevy Chase (Chevy Chase Patch, September 18, 2013)
- Purple Line light-rail system would bring new infrastructure to neighborhoods (Washington Post, September 14, 2013)
- Study reveals impact of Purple Line (Gazette, September 9, 2013)
- Purple Line study details impacts of building and operating light-rail line (Washington Post, September 5, 2013)
- Public-Private Purple Line Partnership Will Be Rare Use Of The Strategy (Bethesda Now, August 8, 2013)
- Jump start for the Purple Line (Washington Post, August 6, 2013)
Chevy Chase Lake Re-Development
We live within what the County refers to as the Chevy Chase Lake Sector. Planners are laying the ground work for a major re-development of the commercial and residential area along Connecticut Avenue, Manor Road, and Chevy Chase Lake Drive. The biggest landholder in this sector is the Chevy Chase Land Company, which is proposing a large, mixed-use re-development on the shopping center site.
In July 2013, the County Council approved a Sector Plan for the Chevy Chase Lake area. Overall, the Sector Plan adopted by the Council would permit less re-development than the plan proposed by the Planning Board. The Sector Plan has two phases of re-development, with Phase I being allowed to proceed before the Purple Line and Phase II being allowed to proceed only after Purple Line construction begins. Phase I re-development will include the Chevy Chase Lake shopping center on the west side of Connecticut (where the supermarket and TW Perry's are located) and the Housing & Opportunities Commission apartments on Chevy Chase Lake Drive. Phase II re-development will include the Chevy Chase Lake shopping center on the east side of Connecticut (where the Starbucks and Manoli Canoli are located) and the Newdale Mews apartments. The re-development is to be a mixed-use, town-center style development, consisting of new apartments with ground floor retail and restaurants, townhomes, and possibly a hotel. Click here to see a copy of the Sector Plan.
Bear in mind that the Sector Plan is just a "blue print" for long-term growth; no new development has actually been approved yet. Before any specific re-development project can begin, the property owners must get approval by the Planning Board (which consists of traffic and school capacity tests).
For more information about the re-development of Chevy Chase Lake, please see the articles below.
The schools in the B-CC cluster are some of the best schools in the State of Maryland, but overcrowding is a serious concern. The Board of Education recently selected the Rock Creek Hills Local Park as the site for a new Bethesda-Chevy Chase Middle School. To see the Board's official action paper, click here.
The County also plans to expand elementary schools and the high school within the B-CC Cluster, including Rosemary Hills Elementary School and North Chevy Chase Elementary School. The proposed expansions of the elemenary school are to be completed by August 2015. The new middle school is to be built by 2018, and the expansions to the high school are to be completed by 2018.
Click here to view the FY 2013-2018 Capital Improvements Program, which contains the enrollment projections for the schools within the B-CC cluster, the current enrollment vs. school capacity, and information related to the planned expansions of our schools.
- Judge clears way for middle school on Kensington park site (Gazette, April 13, 2013)
- Montgomery County school board votes Rock Creek Hills for new B-CC middle school (Gazette, April 17, 2012)
- B-CC Ranked Sixth in the State (Patch, May 9, 2012)
- Montgomery County school board votes Rock Creek Hills for new B-CC middle school (Gazette, April 17, 2012)
- Montgomery superintendent recommends Kensington park for new middle school (Gazette, March 30, 2012)
- New Process, Same Results for Rock Creek Hills (Chevy Chase Patch, February 23, 2012)
- MCPS Narrows Middle School Search to Two Sites (Chevy Chase Patch, February 9, 2012)
- "Middle School Committee Whittles Down Options (Chevy Chase Patch, January 12, 2012)
- Starr Details New Middle School Site-Selection Process (Chevy Chase Patch, November 9, 2011)
- Timeline: In Bethesda-Chevy Chase, a school becomes a park becomes an (almost) school (Washington Post, November 9, 2011)
Traffic and Pedestrian Safety
In April 2012, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) implemented several traffic-calming and pedestrian-safety improvements to Jones Bridge Road, including raised pedestrian crosswalks and medians to prevent the dangerous use of the middle turn lane as a passing lane (which has caused many accidents over the years). These improvements are a great first step in making this road safer for everyone, especially our community's children. As everyone can see, BRAC has caused a great increase of traffic in our local area. In the effort to address that traffic, Maryland's State Highway Adminstration (SHA) has embarked on several projects, including the widening of Connecticut Avenue.
Next up is the widening of Jones Bridge Road, which is estimated to begin in February 2015 and be finished in the Spring of 2017. The plans, which you can view by clicking here, consist of widening Jones Bridge Road from Platt Ridge Drive (which is just west of Connecticut Avenue) almost to Montgomery Avenue (in front of the elementary school). The primary change on our side of Connecticut Avenue is to extend the right turn lane only lane from Connecticut Avenue almost to Montgomery Avenue. Fortunately, as a result of our and the PTA's efforts, these plans involve less of a widening than the SHA originally planned, and as a result the current configuration of the cross-walk and pedestrian island used by the school kids (which requires crossing only two lanes) remains intact. Also, pursuant to the new Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan, the sidewalk in front of the school will be widened into an 8-foot wide shared-use "hiker biker" path, which is the continuation of the recently constructed shared-use path along Jones Bridge Road near Walter Reed. This improvement is in line with our push to make our area much more pedestrian friendly, and will provide a continuous shared-use "hiker-biker" path all the way from our community to Walter Reed/Medical Center metro stop.
On May 22, 2012, a task force appointed by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett issued a report providing a comprehensive proposal for a 160-mile County-wide bus rapid transit network. The system is estimated to cost about $1.8 billion to build and $180 million a year to maintain. This proposed network includes a route that will run down Connecticut Avenue (from the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Connecticut Avenue in Aspen Hill) to the proposed development at Chevy Chase Lake, with a "spur" that travels west on Jones Bridge Road to Walter Reed/Bethesda Naval. The task force proposes paying for the network by creating special tax districts.
For more information about the proposed County-wide bus rapid transit network, please click on the links to the articles listed below: