After the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) official Mike Madden notified the Lyttonsville community that MTA will review the county's Purple Line rail yard, slated to be built in their community, the Lyttonsville Civic Association released the following statement:
The community expressed serious concerns during two recent meetings with MTA about new design options for the heavy industrial purple line support facility, which called for the rail yard and maintenance shop to be larger and built along the northern and eastern borders of the neighborhood. The new design also separated the community from the Capital Crescent Trail.
Earlier designs, supported by the community, had placed a smaller-scale facility on county-owned property to the west of the neighborhood, further from homes, and placed the trail closer to the community.
The community's main concern is the viability and future of Lyttonsville, a small, modest neighborhood between downtown Bethesda and downtown Silver Spring.
"We would like Lyttonsville and surrounding neighborhoods to share in any prosperity that the Purple Line might bring to the area," said Susan Buchanan of Lyttonsville. "The latest design proposal was a complete insult. It threatened to isolate all neighborhoods south of the Purple Line behind an industrial wasteland. Nobody would benefit from a 24-hour a day heavy industrial rail yard and maintenance shop in their back yard."
The community asked MTA to build the rail yard and maintenance shop to the west of the neighborhood on county-owned land to preserve the commercially zoned property on the neighborhood's northern and eastern borders for much needed jobs, tax revenues and possible future amenities.
Based on community concerns, MTA said it will evaluate shared use with nearby county facilities to the west of the neighborhood, other locations for the parking garage, options to enhance the trail and increase green space, options to increase bridge widths for wider sidewalks, minimizing the size of the yard and exploring landscaping and green roofing options.
"We're thankful that MTA has agreed to address our concerns and we look forward to seeing a new design proposal that moves the entire rail yard and support buildings back to the western side of the neighborhood where no one lives," Buchanan said.
MTA will contact the Lyttonsville Civic Association for further discussion upon completion of additional design studies.