Greater Greater Washington

How well do you know Metro? It's whichWMATA week 57

It's time for the fifty-sixth installment of our weekly "whichWMATA" series! Below are photos of five stations in the Washington Metro system. Can you identify each from its picture?

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The answers will appear on Thursday. We'll hide the comments so the early birds don't spoil the fun for the rest of you.

The Met Branch Trail could get brighter, safer, and easier to get to

More people would use the Metropolitan Branch Trail if... more people used the Metropolitan Branch Trail. That's the "aha" coming out of a study that started this spring, and it's a thought that's likely to guide efforts to make the trail more inviting and practical to use.

The Metropolitan Branch Trail, just south of Rhode Island Avenue. Photo by Malcolm K. on Flickr.

The MBT is already quite popular, and with good reason: it provides a straight-shot connection between Union Station and Brookland, with a number of entry points along the way that include an entrance to the Rhode Island Avenue Metro stop and a connector to the R Street bike lane.

But some people worry that the trail is unsafe, and others say they'd like it to be more aesthetically pleasing.

In an effort to better understand exact concerns, the NoMa Business Improvement District, along with Edens, the JBG Companies, and Level 2 Development, has partnered with the District Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Police Department to run the MBT Safety and Access Study.

A key part of the study is an ongoing online survey that asks participants why they use (or don't use) the MBT, which segments of the trail make them feel insecure and why, what nearby destinations they wish the trail would connect to, and what types of improvements they would like to see along the trail.

The crowd at a community meeting to discuss possibilities for the MBT. All images from NoMa BID unless otherwise noted.

People feel safer on the trail when they're not alone

While they're still not finished collecting responses, the groups behind the survey held a public meeting in mid-June to share what they had found so far, along with preliminary possibilities for changes along the trail.

Most people travel the trail by bike, and the most common reason to use it is for getting places "other than home or work." After that comes exercise, then commuting to work, then leisure.

Around half of the trail users surveyed indicated that they feel most comfortable on the trail during morning or afternoon rush hour, or when they are with two or more people at mid-day.

Not surprisingly, using the trail alone at night is when a majority of users feel least comfortable on the MBT. A large majority of the total respondents suggested that simply having more activities and increasing the number of people on the trail would significantly improve their sense of security. Better lighting and increased visibility on the trail were the next most favored improvements, while things like security cameras and emergency call boxes were identified as seemingly less effective measures.

To make the trail better, make it more connected

At the June meeting, the groups running the study outlined three key steps for addressing people's concerns: making the trail itself better, connecting it to more parts of the city, and adding neighborhood activity close by.

The Metropolitan Branch Trail framework presented at the public meeting.

Making the trail better could mean adding things like new lights, call boxes, and mile markers. A number of trail users have also suggested realigning it at R and S Streets so that it doesn't turn so sharply.

A portion of the framework showing opportunities for new lighting, mile markers, and green space.

Connecting it could mean adding entrance points at streets that people on bike and foot already frequent. Personally, I'm hoping these efforts will also make the trail more obvious to drivers at existing access points. At some of them, like where service vehicles sometimes cross the trail at W Street, there are no stop signs and vines make it hard for drivers to see people walking and biking on the trail.

A portion of the framework showing connections between the trail and nearby streets.

Adding neighborhood activity could mean a nearby bike station in Brookland or a garden in Edgewood.

NoMa BID and the rest of the organizations running the survey hope to release a report later this summer that includes final recommendations. If you haven't filled out the survey yet, you can do so here.

Forest Glen residents and a state delegate want a MARC station in Forest Glen

Residents of Forest Glen (just north of Silver Spring) are teaming up with Maryland state delegate Al Carr to petition for a new MARC train station in their developing neighborhood.

Base image from Google Maps.

Carr, whose District 18 includes the area, thinks the neighborhood needs this kind of transportation investment in order to grow. "I have long believed that commuter rail has great potential to improve mobility in our region," said Carr. "Between the existing neighborhoods and the recent development that has taken place nearby, restoring the Linden MARC stop makes a lot of sense."

Supporters of the plan hope to convince the Montgomery County Planning Board to add the Linden station to the Lyttonsville Sector Plan. Lyttonsville abuts Forest Glen and borders Rock Creek Park just outside of downtown Silver Spring. The petition emphasizes that a station in Lyttonsville on MARC's Brunswick Line, would serve workers at the Walter Reed research institute and the Naval Medical Research Center as well as residents of the Linden, National Park Seminary and Forest Glen Park neighborhoods.

A MARC station at Lyttonsville would make Forest Glen the only neighborhood in the entire region that had immediate access to a Metro station, I-495, and a MARC train stop. With Governor Hogan's latest announcement on the Purple Line, Forest Glen could become a hub of new development focusing on its proximity to various transportation options.

What makes the timing of this petition interesting is that it comes at a time when the MTA (Maryland Transit Administration) is seeking to add another Montgomery County Station on the Brunswick Line sometime between 2020-2029.

Image from the Maryland Transportation Authority.

The MARC's Growth and Investment Plan projects new growth in suburban Maryland, and it wants to plan for new transportation options accordingly. A stop between Kensington and Silver Spring on the Brunswick Line could serve any additional development prompted by the Purple Line and existing neighborhoods that have expanded in recent times—like the National Park Seminary.


Long before there was a Metro station at Forest Glen and before any talk of a Purple Line stop in the neighborhood, Forest Glen had a train station at Lyttonsville.

Built in 1887, the Forest Glen Train Station was primarily built to service the National Seminary Park campus. All that's left are foundations of the platforms and remnants of the station's walls. By the 1950's, the B&O Railroad demolished the station due to a lack of use and the Capital Beltway (I-495) was eventually constructed over the site.

Image from Save our Seminary at Forest Glen.

Image from Save our Seminary at Forest Glen.

With the Forest Glen Metro Station's parking lot ripe for development and further plans to consolidate master plans with nearby Montgomery Hills, adding a MARC station in Forest Glen could spawn even more development and redefine this otherwise not well-known neighborhood.

Morning links: Money, money, money

Photo by DoctorJ.Bass on Flickr.
Pay to play ball: Nationals Park and the proposed DC United Stadium were billion dollar investments of taxpayer money. But it's still not clear if they are worth it, or if it would be better to lure the football team to the District. (City Paper)

Surface parking now below: Montgomery County's surface parking lots are becoming a thing of the past as the county urbanizes. In places like Bethesda, development is replacing them with larger underground parking garages. (WAMU)

Cramped corners: A redevelopment plan for Seven Corners has too much density, according to a group of area residents. Leaders of local homeowners associations say the number of homes in the plan should shrink by 20%. (Post)

No profit in running Metro: Some riders have called for Metro to be privatized in the wake of last week's NTSB hearings. But a private company would have a hard time making a profit, and lots of service would be cut. (Post)

RIP Ron Linton: Former DC Taxicab Commissioner Ron Linton has died. Linton pushed through several reforms, such as requiring taxis to install credit card readers, and had a long career as a public servant in the area. (Washingtonian)

Hi-Yo, Silver Spring: Metrobus and Ride On drivers are taking part in a bus "roadeo" at the Silver Spring Transit Center to practice entering and exiting the facility. Montgomery Count expects to finish its inspections of the transit center by mid-July. (Post)

Spare a dime?: The Potomac and Rapphannock Transportation Commission is facing a $9 million shortfall. Prince William County is considering everything from adding county funds to cutting service, but riders are happy with existing service. (Potomac Local)

And...: Adams Morgan Day is canceled because of troubles with the sponsor and no money to fund it. (WAMU) ... New York's Central Park is now car-free north of 72nd Street. (Streetsblog) ... Check out where America's worst roads are. (Post)

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Metro floats cutting service for the Green, Yellow, Orange, and Silver Lines

Since the debut of "Rush Plus" in 2012, Metro's Blue Line riders have faced longer waits for trains. Now WMATA wants to fix that, but to do it, would cut service to all the other lines (except the Red Line).

View peak service levels: Today   Proposed change

Staff from the agency are proposing the service reduction to the Riders Advisory Council this week. WAMU's Martin di Caro broke the news of the proposal this morning.

Under the plan, the time between trains would increase from six to eight minutes on the Orange, Silver, Green, and Yellow Lines. On the Blue Line, trains would come more frequently, up from every 12 minutes to every eight. The plan would also eliminate Rush Plus Yellow Line service between Franconia and Greenbelt.

Metro spokesperson Sherry Ly told di Caro the proposed changes are an effort to rebalance trains to better meet demand. The issue is that the service cuts to the Blue Line, which Metro did to make room for the Silver Line, drastically lowered capacity on the line, and crowding has been very bad.

But the Blue/Orange/Silver subway between Rosslyn and Stadium/Armory is at capacity. The only way to add more Blue Line trains is to cut service on the Orange or Silver Lines.

WMATA is proposing to do just that. But their proposed cuts are actually deeper than necessary. Each physical track segment can carry 26 trains per hour (TPH). Currently, the east-west subway is divided at rush hour between 11 Orange TPH, 10 Silver, and 5 Blue. Metro's proposal to change all of those lines to 8 minute headways (7.5 TPH each) only adds up to 22.5 TPH.

The cuts to the Green and Yellow Lines make little sense at all. The shared section of the Blue and Yellow Lines in Virginia currently carries 20 TPH, so an increase in Blue Line service is possible without reducing service on Yellow. And, of course, with no change required to the Yellow Line, there's no need to reduce service on the Green Line.

One of the steepest cuts is the elimination of Rush Plus Yellow Line trains. Right now, the section of the Green/Yellow Line between Mount Vernon Square and Greenbelt hosts 15 TPH (roughly every 4 minutes). Under the proposal, that would decline to 7.5 TPH (every 8 minutes). In the growing Mid-City area, especially south of Columbia Heights, that could create crowding. Between Mount Vernon Square and L'Enfant Plaza, service levels would fall from 26 TPH to 15 TPH.

So, the service cuts are not entirely necessary to support increased Blue Line service. But Metro's proposal will also shift railcars around. Some will go toward lengthening trains on the Blue, Silver, and Green lines until 75% of the trains are eight cars.

Overall, the change would reduce the number of cars Metro needs to run rush hour service by approximately 100. Metro's fleet is stretched thin at the moment. The opening of the Silver Line last July increased the number of cars needed by 64. But because of delays in the production of the 7000 series, Metro had to reduce the time cars could spend getting preventative maintenance in order to operate the line.

That was never meant to be permanent, and it's taken a toll. Cars are breaking down more frequently, and Metro recently had to drastically cut the number of eight-car trains.

If WMATA officials move forward, they would then reach out to the public, survey riders, and hold legally required public hearings. The proposal could go to the agency's board by the fall.

Events roundup: Rivers and bikes

Summer is descending on the region. Wouldn't you like to take a dip? Learn how you can help make our rivers swimmable. Then grab a bike and take a ride through Arlington by day, or down to the mall by night.

Photo by MK Campbell on Flickr.

Reclaiming rivers: What if the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers were clean enough to swim in? The District Department of the Environment has several projects and programs that are working towards this goal. Learn about how to get involved at apublic meeting this Tuesday, June 30, at 2427 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

After the jump: Bike ride in Arlington, BicycleSPACE, and the Purple Line.

Fixing to go: Learn to fix your bike and enjoy a quick ride with Washington Area Bike Association's "Fixing to go" ride through Arlington. The trip begins at 6:30pm at Crystal City Metro and ends around 8:30 pm at the Rosslyn Metro. Make sure to bring your own bike and helmet. Don't miss it!

New bike in town: BicycleSPACE, a community-centered bike shop that offers free rides, classes, and events, officially opened a store in Adams Morgan. Attend a Full Moon Ride with them to the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival on Thursday, July 2, leaving at 6 pm, and later, help them celebrate their opening with a three day extravaganza during business hours on Friday, July 10, through Sunday, July 12 at 2424 18th St NW.

Next up for Purple Line: In light of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's decision on the Purple Line, this month's Action Committee for Transit meeting will celebrate the project's success and look at next steps. The meeting is on Tuesday, July 14. It starts at 7:30 pm at the Silver Spring Civic Center, One Veterans Place.

Do you know of an upcoming event that may be interesting, relevant, or important to Greater Greater Washington readers that should go on our events calendar? Send it to us at

Residents push for stop signs, not a wider road, at one Petworth intersection

In April, two cars collided at Kansas Avenue and Quincy Street NW. Crashes at the intersection aren't uncommon, and residents and ANC commissioners are asking for a four-way stop.

Kansas and Quincy NE. There are stop signs for people driving east and west on Quincy, but there are none on Kansas. Base image from Google Maps.

The two-block section of Kansas that meets Quincy is a wide, tree-lined street. Aside from at Quincy, there's an all-way stop at each street Kansas meets between Georgia Avenue and 13th Street. Quincy, by contrast, is a narrow street that connects the 14th Street corridor to the Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metro station.

There are stop signs for drivers traveling east and west along Quincy, but Kansas is only marked by two crosswalks and a couple of battered "Yield to Pedestrian" signs.

Poor visibility and speeds make crossing difficult

Kansas Avenue intersects Quincy at an angle, and people park cars along both streets, and traffic on Kansas moves quickly in both directions. Southbound drivers take advantage of the wide straightaway to drive downhill quickly and pass through a convoluted series of nine intersections. Northbound traffic cruises through the long green light on 13th Avenue and keep going fast as they make a wide right turn onto Quincy.

To cross, drivers must inch their way into the intersection so they can see enough to account for all these factors. It is no surprise local drivers avoid using this intersection.

People looking to walk along Quincy to get to the Metro, however, have no choice but to cross Kansas. Despite pedestrian crossing signs, drivers often don't yield to people waiting to cross, and even when the road looks empty, that can change quickly when drivers turn off 13th and fly up the hill.

The sister intersection, Quincy and 13th, couldn't feel more different. People driving cars obey the all-way stop signs and cross Quincy quickly and easily, and people on foot step out towards the Metro or 14th Street shops feeling safe.

Neighbors want a four-way stop sign

Following the most recent crash, the neighborhood renewed its push for a stop sign. Residents started requesting all-way stop signs more than ten years ago, according to ANC 4C06 Commissioner Vann-Di Galloway.

In an email exchange on April 1, 2015, a neighbor who observed the immediate aftermath of the collision wrote,

I just don't believe that this intersection is somehow the only one in 4C06 that manages to elude that designation, but that's what they keep telling us. For years now we've been pushing them to make it a 4-way stop, like EVERY other intersection is, but they keep trying other traffic tools, and frankly none of them do enough. That intersection won't be safe for drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians until it is a 4-way stop.

In a May 21st meeting with city officials, neighbors reiterated their longstanding concerns regarding pedestrian and vehicle right-of-way conflicts. Residents at that meeting also expressed serious doubts that DDOT's proposed solutions, which stop short of an all-way stop, would address the central safety concerns.

All-way stops have not ruined traffic patterns along Kansas Avenue or 13th Street. Why would this intersection be any different? Either the street is busy, so drivers and pedestrians attempting to cross need traffic controls, or the street is not that busy, so stop signs wouldn't cause a problem.

DDOT doesn't want to add a stop sign, but that could be for lack of information

In recent years, DDOT conducted studies where Quincy Street intersects both 13th Street and Kansas Ave NW. The agency helped create a four-way stop at Quincy and 13th, which is just 50 feet away from Quincy and Kansas and used to have similar troubles.

Gregg Steverson, from DDOT's Transportation Operations Administration, stated in a March, 2014 email to local residents that "based on standard volume and roadway classification" neither of the Quincy Street NW intersections met the warrants for all-way stop.

Additionally, Mr. Steverson expressed DDOT's concern that if an all-way stop went in, drivers may miss or ignore the stop sign in their rush toward visible green lights at the intersections at at Kansas, 13th, Spring, and Quebec.

DDOT never followed through on a commitment to examine the effect of the new 13th and Quincy stop signs. In meetings, residents expressed confusion as to why DDOT considers hypothetical non-compliance by some drivers as a criteria that weighs against traffic control devices.

Residents also noted that DDOT's studies of Kansas and Quincy have looked at the intersection between 10 am and 2 pm, a time window that might not accurately represent just how many people cross Kansas on foot. Finally, vehicle and pedestrian traffic volumes may be lower—particularly on Quincy—precisely because this intersection is so difficult to cross.

Residents don't want wider roads

One solution Mr. Steverson proposed was to remove parking spaces from along Kansas Avenue to improve lines of sight. Commissioner Galloway has responded to DDOT that this proposal would further tighten parking in a growing neighborhood and also widen the roads, which could increase the untenable speed of traffic.

Neighbors have pledged to continue their push for an all-way stop as long as necessary. They are hopeful that Brandon Todd's office will help make progress on this neighborhood priority before more people get hurt or property ends up damaged.

The five most frustrating things about Metro's problems

For a few years after the 2009 Fort Totten Red Line crash, public confidence in Metro's safety was growing. But a smoke fatality in January, a scathing federal report, and hearings last week have put safety back into the spotlight.

Photo by thisisbossi on Flickr.

I talked about Metro's safety on the Kojo Nnamdi Show last Monday, with guest host Jen Golbeck and Greater Washington Board of Trade head Jim Dinegar. Wednesday, I talked with Mike Coneen on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt after the first day of hearings.

During the first day, details emerged that the operator of the train in the smoky tunnel wanted to pull the train back out, but was told to wait.

A train behind it had already come into the station, and police decided to evacuate that train, which made it impossible to move it out of the way to make room for the train in the tunnel. There didn't seem to be a clear response plan for this kind of situation or someone in charge who could coordinate all of the first responders.

After the Fort Totten crash, it became clear that the Tri-State Oversight Committee (TOC), a group of safety officials from DC, Maryland, and Virginia tasked with monitoring safety, wasn't functioning well. Reforms supposedly set it up to succeed.

Apparently not, though. We discovered that the TOC wasn't able to issue many recommendations because it had to wait for higher-ups in DC, Maryland, and Virginia to agree, and then when it did, WMATA often didn't follow up.

WMATA and regional governments need to quickly address not only the specific failures of the L'Enfant incident, but also deal with the bigger picture issues. A few things stick out as frustrating for riders.

Smoke in a Metro car during the L'Enfant incident. Photo by Jonathan Rogers on Twitter.

1. Reforms around safety haven't fixed safety.

After the crash, some people argued that the WMATA Board had focused too much on service and neglected safety. Under political pressure, many long-serving board members resigned or were replaced. Instead of elected officials, who'd been more focused on what was frustrating riders, the board got a new crop of transit experts like current chairman Mort Downey and last year's chairman Tom Downs.

They brought in an old friend and old grizzled transit veteran, Rich Sarles, to be general manager. They said his experience should help get WMATA on a solid footing of safety and otherwise maintain a firm hand on the wheel. But it doesn't really look like the safety culture is so solid after all.

WMATA has other issues to deal with, too. Customer service is often pretty poor, and the agency is secretive not just with safety information but a lot more as well. It was pretty clear that Sarles was not the man to reform these aspects of the agency, but arguably getting a rock-solid safety foundation first was most important, and then Sarles' successor could tackle other needs. That's not possible now.

General Manager Richard Sarles testifies on safety in 2010. Image from WMATA.

2. Replacing the board didn't fix financial oversight, either.

WMATA also didn't follow procurement laws properly, which led the Federal Transit Administration to put WMATA in a "penalty box." WMATA now can't get its federal money until after it's spent it, creating a cash crunch.

Transit experts disagree on how much of an immediate crisis this represents—Downey and other insiders say it's just a short-term cash flow problem, while some, like DC CEO Jeffrey DeWitt, warn about WMATA being unable to repay its bonds.

Either way, however, it's maddening that this situation arose at all. As with safety, there was a whole push to get "experts" on the board of directors. Where were they?

Surprise image from Shutterstock.

3. All of these problems came as a surprise.

There were people who knew that these safety issues and financial issues created risks, but the public didn't, and neither apparently did many board members. The Inspector General was sounding the alarm on some of these problems, but IG reports tend to be opaque if they're even public.

This is just like what happened with the Fort Totten crash, where there were people aware the track circuits weren't working, but they didn't share that information widely enough. It's not okay to have a culture of hiding problems from superiors. It's not okay to hide this kind of information from policy-makers and the public, either.

Riders aren't so stupid that they can't be trusted to know about the various safety efforts underway. People know about the risks of roads and still drive. It's worse for the agency's reputation to have kept safety and financial pitfalls a secret and more disturbing when they then come to light.

4. Underfunding is a problem, but it's hard to fix now.

These management problems are infurating, but mismananagement is only half of the problem. Underfunding is the other half. WMATA didn't get enough money over decades to keep up with repairs, and now has to contend with a huge backlog.

The radios weren't working during the L'Enfant incident, which is inexcusable, but it would be a lot easier to criticize the agency for not fixing its radio systems if it hadn't been trying to fix the track circuits and a zillion other pieces, all of which work well enough day-to-day but might contribute to a safety problem at some point.

Unfortunately, it's even harder to get that funding when the news is so bad. Congress is planning to cut in half the money it promised for repairs after the 2009 crash. A lot of this might just be ideological opposition to transit from conservative members, but all of these problems, and the lack of honesty in the past, sure don't help.

A crowded train. Photo by philliefan99 on Flickr.

5. We need Metro to not only thrive, but grow.

Metro ridership has stopped growing, but it'll pick up again, and we need to be planning now to deal with the capacity crunches. Metro needs 8-car trains, but now the region won't buy enough railcars to make it possible, let alone upgrade power systems and add yard space.

Metro needs to solve the bottleneck at Rosslyn which now limits the number of Blue Line trains and will only get worse in the future.

Two years ago, we were talking about the Momentum plan to deal with Metro's needs first for 2025 and then beyond. Today, sadly, there isn't much momentum at all.

Which is sad, because Metro still is a very valuable transportation system. Our region depends on it—there isn't enough road space, or parking space, for all of the commuters otherwise. And it's actually quite a speedy way to get around, when it works and when you're going somewhere near a station.

We can't afford to let Metro stagnate or decay. Sadly, it turns out we didn't make nearly as much progress over the last six years as we thought.

You can listen to the Kojo segment here and watch the NewsTalk video below:

Silver Spring is a more complete place thanks to its new library

Downtown Silver Spring's library opened just over a week ago, and it's more than just a building full of books. The new library is full of things that are there to help the community, like meeting spaces and a coffee shop and, in the future, a transit stop.

Residents at the new library's grand opening. Images by the author unless otherwise noted.

Downtowns and town centers are reemerging as increasingly important parts of their communities, and libraries are a big part of that. Parents, for example, can bring their kids during the day before hosting a book club meeting later that evening, and community leaders can use the space to host their meetings.

Meeting space at the library.

Libraries are also not strictly quiet places like they once were. Vibrancy and social connections are a big part of the library experience. You can meet friends, or have kids' play dates—here, you'd do that in the new "Early Literacy Center" on the 5th floor. If you do want the traditional solitude, you can go to a designated "quiet" room, where you can join students quietly typing on their laptops or visitors reading the newspaper.

The library's design puts community first

Why has Silver Spring's library become such a community focal point for residents? After the closure of Border's Books and the rather large Mayorga coffee shop, downtown Silver Spring was left few community gathering areas. Back in 2008, when it came time for the community to give input on the library, people knew they wanted an urban, community-friendly structure.

Among the items included a bulky pedestrian bridge that would connect the library to Silver Spring's main parking garage. Although the bridge concept was cancelled, the library's final plan actually included even more add-ons and amenities. For example, when residents learned that the new plan would include a coffee shop within the building, they raised over $53k to support the opening of a "second location" of the popular local Kefa Café, right inside the library's main entrance.

Kefa Cafe at the library.

In addition to a coffee bar, the library also features other unusual features such as the "Genius Bar" like reception desk, where patrons can check out an E-Reader or a laptop as well as get traditional research expertise from librarians.

Finally, the soon-to-open "Bonifant - Library Residences" will feature 149 mixed-income condos focusing on seniors that will also include 10,000 square feet of additional retail space directly next to the library.

Bonifant Library Residences image from Montgomery County.

This isn't the first time Silver Spring residents have come together to shape their community. Back in 1992, when Mall of America wanted to build the "American Dream" mega-mall in downtown Silver Spring, the residents rose up to fight the behemoth structure. What they wanted instead was community-focused development that truly represented the neighborhood. Today, the Silver Spring Library represents a legacy of this kind of community engagement and is a model for downtown libraries all over the nation.

A rendering of the Purple Line in front of the Silver Spring library. Image from Montgomery County.

The library will have its own Purple Line stop

The new Silver Spring Library has a host of features that aren't traditional for libraries.

For starters, a Purple Line stop is going to run through it, setting it up to become one of the first in the nation to include a built-in train station that will connect it to major regional transportation lines.

Purple Line route map from the Maryland Transportation Authority.

In the future, library patrons will be able to take the Purple Line directly to University of Maryland's campus for further research or take a quick ride to the Silver Spring Transit Center to connect to Metro lines.

Breakfast links: Decisions are hard

Photo by Maryland GovPics on Flickr.
How Hogan decided: Maryland transportation secretary Pete Rahn gradually persuaded anti-transit Governor Hogan to support the Purple Line. (And yes, the purple tie he wore to the press conference was a hint.) Meanwhile, Montgomery and Prince George's counties will have to chip in more funding for the project. The Kojo Show will be discussing these topics on the air today. (Post, WAMU)

Blown opportunity: Larry Hogan could have promoted a great vision to improve Baltimore in the wake of the Freddie Gray incident, argues Dan Rodricks. Instead, he canceled the Red Line and moved the money to suburban roads. (Baltimore Sun)

Springfield evolution: The Springfield Mall went from being the place to be, to being a magnet for crime. Now the mall will be transformed into a town center, a place, along with a possible FBI relocation, that officials hope will revive the town. (Post)

Alley suit in Shaw: Neighbors of the new Shay development in Shaw on Florida Avenue are suing JBG over access to an alley. The suit alleges that JBG is not following through on promises to provide sealed trash containers and alley access. (WBJ)

People counters: A new startup, called Placemeter, uses cameras to detect foot traffic. The meters work better than people counting and can provide accurate data to help businesses or provide data for planners. (Post)

Let's talk about sharing: Cities all over the country are struggling with how to regulate the "sharing economy." Senator Mark Warner wants to start looking at its effects on the labor market and hasn't ruled out federal regulations. (Post)

Which MTA: Hamish Smyth, one of the designers behind the campaign to reprint the 1970 New York City Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manual, now wants to take all the station signs from the subway and turn them into a poster. (Slate)

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