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UMD Coalition Forges Community Strategy for Purple Line Corridor

September 30, 2014

Maggie Haslam 202-258-8946

Purple Line Community Compact will create a plan for vibrant economic development and community preservation

COLLEGE PARK, Md. —The Purple Line Corridor Coalition, a partnership of regional stakeholders formed by the University of Maryland's National Center for Smart Growth, has initiated a plan with officials from the State of Maryland, Montgomery and Prince George's Counties to develop a blueprint for prosperous development and preservation along the MTA's proposed Purple Line Transit Line. The Purple Line Community Compact will articulate a livability strategy designed to foster vibrant economic and community development for those who live and work along the 16-mile corridor.

PLCC Symposium"The Purple Line Community Compact represents the next step in a coordinated effort to promote the economic development, small business growth, cultural preservation, and long-term sustainability of transit corridor communities," said Gerrit Knaap, Director of UMD's National Center for Smart Growth. "This is an enormous investment by the MTA and an incredible opportunity for the communities that line the corridor."

The Purple Line Community Compact will present a common vision for the future of the corridor—revitalizing and stabilizing mixed income neighborhoods, preserving community assets, supporting small businesses, connecting workers to jobs and creating healthy and vibrant communities—and a strategy for achieving that vision.  In addition, the compact represents an opportunity to leverage the funding, construction and operation of the Purple Line to achieve benefits throughout the communities along its route. The compact serves as a continuation of efforts forged at March's Purple Line Corridor Coalition Symposium, "Beyond the Tracks" which brought over 250 regional leaders and stakeholders to UMD's campus to discuss strategies for community development and preservation along the corridor.

"This agreement is a critical step in moving the Purple Line project forward -- a project that ensures more transportation options for Prince George's and Montgomery counties and creates sustainable, family-supporting jobs for more Maryland families and connected communities," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "Working together with our dynamic coalition of stakeholders, non-profits, business interests, and many others, we'll establish a 21st century transportation network worthy of a modern economy and secure a better transportation future for our State."

"This compact will be an important part of building a comprehensive and sustainable strategy for the communities along the Purple Line, which is going to bring 60,000 riders a day back and forth between Montgomery and Prince George's Counties while creating over 10,000 jobs for Maryland's workers," said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. "By partnering with County leaders, local businesses, residents, and community organizations, we'll ensure that we're strengthening all of our neighborhoods while helping to grow our economy."

PLCC SymposiumModeled after other compacts written in Seattle and Baltimore as part of major transit projects, the compact will be developed through an inclusive public process in the form of community workshops, led by committed partners invested in the corridor. The workshops will encourage attendees to participate in activities designed to provide input for the contents of the Purple Line Compact. Leaders are encouraged to attend both workshops to contribute at every stage of the compact development. 

Learn about workshop dates and details here.

"The Purple Line ranks as one of the most significant public infrastructure projects of our day," said Rushern Baker, Prince George's County Executive. "This multi-billion dollar effort will reflect the collective vision of an east-west public transit connector that will revitalize and grow our communities for future generations of Prince Georgians."

"Montgomery County is committed to moving the Purple Line forward in a way consistent with job creation and maintaining and improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods," said Ike Leggett, Montgomery County Executive.

Governor O'Malley and representatives from Montgomery County, Prince Georges' County and the PLCC are expected to sign the compact by year's end.  Cities, towns, community organizations and stakeholder groups across the corridor also will be encouraged to sign the compact.

The Purple Line Corridor Coalition was formed in June 2013 by the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland and represents stakeholders from communities, nonprofits and businesses along the Purple Line corridor. The PLCC's mission is to ensure that investments in the Purple Line will achieve the maximum economic, social, and environmental benefits to the residents and businesses of the corridor.