If the proposed Purple Line is built, it’s going to need electric substations—about 20 of them—one almost every mile along the 16-mile rail from Bethesda to New Carrollton, according to The Washington Post.
The substations needn’t be big, but they do need to be near the tracks, which are planned for the old CSX rail bed along part of which the Capital Crescent Trail runs, The Post reported. Three of the substations are proposed for residential areas: at Montgomery Avenue in Bethesda (about one-third of a mile east of Wisconsin Avenue); near Kansas Avenue, Silver Spring; and at Wayne Avenue, between Cloverfield Road and Greenbriar Drive, in Silver Spring (pictured in the Google Maps widget), according to the Purple Line’s Final Environmental Impact Statement.
The substations are likely to be about 50 feet by 14 feet (some could be bigger, some smaller), The Post reported, and the Maryland Transit Administration will work to make the substations blend into their surrounding environments as much as possible, the MTA's lead Purple Line planner Michael Madden told The Post.
Photographs provided by the MTA to The Post of sample substations (scroll down below the map at this link) include a little ranch house-like design.
But at Wayne Avenue and Greenbriar Drive, the substation could be hard to hide, and some neighbors aren’t all that enthused about it: "Montgomery County Council member Valerie Ervin (D-Eastern County) [who lives near the proposed substation] said she learned only in June about [it]. She said she plans to 'dig my heels in' to persuade the state to bury the substation instead," The Post reported.
Perhaps more appreciated will be the proposed noise wall that will line the light rail line—currently estimated to cost $2.15 billion, The Post reported—between Bethesda and Rock Creek Park. It will be a minimum of four feet tall and will be adjacent to residential properties in that area, according to the Final Environmental Impact Statement.
Submit comments on the Environmental Impact Statement by Oct. 21 via the online comment form, by sending an email to FEIS@purplelinemd.com (with "FEIS COMMENT" in the subject line), or by sending written comments to: FEIS Comment, Maryland Transit Administration, Transit Development and Delivery, 100 S. Charles Street, Tower Two, Suite 700, Baltimore, MD 21201.
What do you think of the proposed electric substations? Do you think they will be intrusive or are they just part of an urban or semi-urban landscape? Tell us in the comments.