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Report: Sidewalk Possible Along Purple Line In Wisconsin Avenue Tunnel

Pedestrians would need to leave the tunnel through the planned Purple Line and Metrorail platforms, however, the Washington Examiner reports.

State transit officials will likely be able to fit a five-foot-wide sidewalk in a tunnel beneath Wisconsin Avenue alongside the planned Purple Line, the Washington Examiner reports. However, pedestrians using the Capital Crescent Trail would need to access the planned Purple Line platform in order to cross beneath the busy thoroughfare using the sidewalk, according to the report.

County and state transportation officials have said that it would be when the planned 16-mile light rail line is built, pointing to a less expensive option that would route trail users across Wisconsin at street level. Some trail advocates, however, have argued that it would be unsafe for trail users to cross at grade.

Local officials including County Council President Roger Berliner (D—Dist. 1) have supported a street-level crossing and asked for further study of building the five-foot sidewalk in the tunnel alongside the rail, affording trail users another option to cross the street. 

MTA Purple Line Project Manager Mike Madden told The Examiner the sidewalk, which is still being studied by the Maryland Transit Administration, may be possible. However, because of insufficient room beneath the Apex building, the sidewalk could only run along the north side of the tunnel and pedestrians would need to leave through the planned Purple Line and Metrorail platforms, the Examiner reported.

"It would provide access for people into the station," Madden told The Examiner. "It would not be a trail for people to ride their bikes on."

Read the full story at The Washington Examiner.

MS June 15, 2012 at 11:42 AM
What? Make walkers and bicyclists cross Wisconsin Avenue at grade level? You mean like walk along a sidewalk and cross Wisconsin Avenue at a red light? That sounds like a hardship. Better to spend millions or tens of millions of dollars to keep them in the tunnel or build them a skyway pedestrian bridge!
A Taxpayer June 15, 2012 at 05:01 PM
23,000 pedestrians crossing Wisconsin Avenue including small children at one intersection. Sounds like a receipe for disaster. Too bad that O'Malley and Madden can't be held personnally responsible for the impending tragedy. Dump the trolley line and leave the trail alone. Save the taxpayer Two Billion dollars.
Mike Johnson June 15, 2012 at 07:44 PM
the Purple Line is being pushed thru by developers who want to exploit at each stop. It does nothing to alleviate the real problem, getting 40,000 people into Bethesad Naval Medical. What's going to happen when the Purple Line dumps all those people in the center of Bethesda with still no way to get on the base? Bus Rapid Transit solves all these problems and costs less and doesn't ruin one of our areas finest assets, the Capitol Crescent Trail.

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