Greater Greater Washington

What about an infill Metro station at the Cafritz property?

Prince George's County recently approved a new town center in Riverdale Park that will have the county's first Whole Foods. This might be a good location for a new Metro station as well.


Map by the author.

The Cafritz Property covers 37 acres along Route 1 between East-West Highway and the University of Maryland. Developer Calvert Tract, LLC plans to build nearly 1,000 townhomes and apartments, a 120-room hotel, 22,000 square feet of office space and about 168,000 square feet of retail space, including the Whole Foods. But the project has been controversial due to concerns about traffic.

Concentrating different uses and activities at the Cafritz Property can make the development more walkable and likely to draw customers willing to patronize the location without adding single-occupant vehicles to local roads. But a new Metro station on the property could make it even easier for people to travel there without a car.

I took a visit to the property last year, not to scout out the area where the store would be built, but to take a look at the area where the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail will extend through the site. One of the things you notice while traveling south from College Park's Calvert Hills neighborhood is that WMATA's Green Line emerges from a tunnel just to the east of the property.

Earlier plans from the developer show that WMATA owns the piece of land that separates the Cafritz property from the city of College Park to the north. What if, as part of the negotiations for future phases of the development, Prince George's County worked with the developers to fund an infill station here?


Current site plan for the Cafritz Property with WMATA property highlighted. Image from the developer and edited by Dan Reed.

The station would be close to the midpoint between the College Park and Prince George's Plaza stations, approximately 4/5 of a mile from the College Park station and 1.1 miles from Prince George's Plaza. Direct rail access to the Cafritz Property would be a win for the property developers as well as the neighbors in University Park, the southern neighborhoods of College Park, and Riverdale Park, all of which can be a long walk from existing Metro stations.

It's probably too late in the process for a Metro station to be built as part of the first phase of the Cafritz Property, but there's no reason this couldn't be seriously considered for the future.

Support us: Monthly   Yearly   One time
Greatest supporter—$250/year
Greater supporter—$100/year
Great supporter—$50/year
Or pick your own amount: $/year
Greatest supporter—$250
Greater supporter—$100
Great supporter—$50
Supporter—$20
Or pick your own amount: $
Want to contribute by mail or another way? Instructions are here.
Contributions to Greater Greater Washington are not tax deductible.

Geoff Hatchard lived in DC's Trinidad neighborhood. The opinions and views expressed in Geoff's writing on this blog are his, and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer. 

Comments

Add a comment »

Its a nice idea but the cost and the disruption to current service comes to mind.

How exactly would this be built; have there been any infill stations built underground anywhere? With the Red line the station was built beside the current tracks and had no real disruption in Red line service until the very end.

If they are building a brand new station why not include the Purple Line in; with a new station they could design a station with both the Green Line and Purple Line in mind instead of shoehorning the Purple Line into existing stations.

Who would pay for this would the taxes from the development and local non material benefits be worth it?

by kk on Oct 15, 2013 2:33 pm • linkreport

Not a bad idea. It'd cost a lot of money though. Far beyond what it would be worth to Cafritz. It'd have to be a PGC thing. The NoMA station cost $150MM about, but that included moving a switch. The cost for a Potomac Yard station is projected to be significantly higher.

by Richard Layman on Oct 15, 2013 2:33 pm • linkreport

I grew up in University Park and live in Mount Rainier now (after a long gap living out West). I have no sense of town politics today, but I don't get the feeling they'd jump for joy at the thought of a Metro stop nextdoor. I could be very very wrong, however.

by Emerson French on Oct 15, 2013 2:34 pm • linkreport

Good idea, and a great way to extend the grid though there as well.

by drumz on Oct 15, 2013 2:44 pm • linkreport

I live in the rt. 1 corridor and would LOVE this...but I agree with @Emerson French...the NIMBYs in UP fought tooth and nail against the Cafritz property to begin with; I have a hard time believing they'd welcome a metro station too.

by Ginevra on Oct 15, 2013 2:53 pm • linkreport

I grew up in Hyattsville, and I love this idea!

by Paul C on Oct 15, 2013 2:54 pm • linkreport

They won't do it because it makes too much sense. PG county is bound by a secret obligation to NoAa and MoCo to do everything wrong so they look better.

by JustDoIt on Oct 15, 2013 2:55 pm • linkreport

The Potomac Yard Station will involve moving the track to the west side of the CSX tracks for better access to future density. Very expensive.

A Univ Park station wouldn't require that. With a little digging, it could be an at-grade station between the CSX tracks and a new tunnel entrance a few hundred yards further west. Yes, there'd be some disruption, but only for two stops on the line. Both of those are also served by MARC.

by novanglus on Oct 15, 2013 2:59 pm • linkreport

I don't think Potomac Yard is going to go with the flyover of CSX tracks. Too expensive for too little extra bang for the buck. It looks like the plans will include shifting the tracks a bit which will certainly cost enough.

by NikolasM on Oct 15, 2013 3:16 pm • linkreport

This is a great idea but it should be funded in part through a special tax district that captures a good chunk of the increased property values for Cafritz and other nearby parcels. This can't be a totally free lunch for land owners. It can also be paid for in part by upzoning parcels along Rt. 1 and capturing some of that value through a tax.

by Falls Church on Oct 15, 2013 3:23 pm • linkreport

Not sure I see it from the Opportunity Cost side. If the local munis want that they really need to upzone all of Route 1 and around existing metro stations. Right now its a mediocre commercial strip and lots of single family homes. Not really enough density to merit a new station given that PG Plaza to CP Metro is under 2 miles. And of course when you talk about Metro building a new station in this case it woudl basically all be on PG County to make it happen.

by BTA on Oct 15, 2013 3:26 pm • linkreport

Might be nice to have, but what with the dozen or so underutilized WMATA stations in Prince George's, this makes no sense. Maybe in 100 years.

by spookiness on Oct 15, 2013 3:28 pm • linkreport

I dunno, before they do that, they could put some infill stations further south on the Green line... ya know, where people are actually moving.

by Eric on Oct 15, 2013 3:30 pm • linkreport

Not to hijack the thread but the lack of infill station that always amazed me was between Ft Totten to West Hyattsville. I'm assuming there was local opposition or at least extreme apathy but it's crazy that there is a ~3 mile gap inside DC even in NE.

by BTA on Oct 15, 2013 3:37 pm • linkreport

It would be fantastic to have a metro station there but there are too many single family homes that would need to be upzoned and rebuilt with higher density to make it even slightly economically viable. This would also help to intensify the current trends at college park and PG plaza metro stations as well as in the Hyattsville arts district.

Unfortunately many of the locals who own said property would fight tooth and nail to stop it and it is one of the few reliable tax bases PG county has.

by Richard on Oct 15, 2013 3:41 pm • linkreport

If they are building a brand new station why not include the Purple Line in; with a new station they could design a station with both the Green Line and Purple Line in mind instead of shoehorning the Purple Line into existing stations.

They probably dont want to put the purple line in a green line station that does not have a MARC station, and if they did they would definitely want to add a Camden MARC station somewhere. That would mean routing the purple line far to the south to get to riverdale and then hit this university park station then skirt the southern side of UMD. Seems like a lot of additional ROW acquisition and additional length to the line just to save a bit with station construction. Skirting the south side of UMD also would not serve it as well and a large reason they are building the purple line is to serve UMD.

In short, a purple line that does not serve College Park Metro and MARC stations and then continues through the heart of UMD probably isnt the best idea.

Further the purple line is in it's engineering phase, as in it is already far enough along that it might get built. This infill station is much longer away, and it would be a shame to hold up the purple line for this, if it is only trying to save a little money.

by Richard on Oct 15, 2013 3:47 pm • linkreport

Nice idea in theory, but will the Cafritz project create the density to make building a new Metro station cost-effective?

And as others have mentioned, neighbors fought like crazy to stop the Cafritz project. They would come out in full force to fight a new Metro station for the same reasons - traffic, "changing the character of the area", etc.

by ceefer66 on Oct 15, 2013 3:48 pm • linkreport

I've noticed that the stations located in municipalities in Prince George's County are much better at putting *something* at their Metro stations than the stations that are just sitting on county land (I believe Prince George's Plaza, College Park, Greenbelt, Capitol Heights, and Addison Road are the only ones actually located on municipal land). In that vein, I think this is a good idea. The towns will do more with them than the county ever will.

On the other hand, if this station were to be built, Riverdale MARC station, M Square Purple Line station, and this new Metro station, let's call it University Park, would all be located within a very short distance but there would be no direct connection between the modes without going up to the oddly isolated College Park station. I think University Park could be served with a streetcar extension through Hyattsville up toward College Park, and if the Cafritz development included pedestrian access to the Purple Line station, that would probably be more effective and far less expensive than a new Green Line station at University Park.

by Dave Murphy on Oct 15, 2013 3:54 pm • linkreport

It's worthwhile to consider the challenges to this idea; both technical and in terms of the development required to support a station (via ridership) and finance it (via an assessment or something else).

Technical considerations: track geometry and grade. You need at least 600' of straight track for the platform, and each station requires more for associated station infrastructure. The grade needs to be fairly level as well - given this is near a portal, that may be a challenge.

If such a station could be added quickly and cheaply, it would be definitely worth pursuing. However, given the cost of the NoMa station and the proposed cost at Potomac Yard, as well as the fact that both of those are above ground examples, not tapping into an exising tunnel, I don't know that cost will be easily controlled.

Land use: just as a point of comparison, the Cafritz site's development program is very small compared to land uses near other existing or proposed infill stations: In NoMa, there is more devleopment in one project (Constitution Square) than all of what Cafritz is proposing; add in the rest of the development within walking distance and you get a huge shift: http://www.nomabid.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/NoMaDevMap_2012.pdf

Look at the plans for Potomac Yard: http://alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/planning/info/potomacyard/Chapter%204.pdf
You're talking on the order of 10 million square feet of development there; much more than Cafritz is proposing by almost an order of magnitude.

Both of those examples show the kind of land use required to support a station, and even then those development fees will only finance a portion of the station's cost. Doing something similar at the Catritz site would likely require more intense development, and that such development not be limited only to the Cafritz property.

by Alex B. on Oct 15, 2013 3:56 pm • linkreport

Well... a RI Ave streetcar is in DDOT's long range plan (they even show it going in MD!) so maybe the Purple Line will be well established by then and there will be an appetite to finish the rest of Rt 1 up to maybe Beltsville or Greenbelt Metro. Would be a agreat addition to the area. Best guess ~ 2040?

by BTA on Oct 15, 2013 4:08 pm • linkreport

@Alex B. Has it pretty spot on. Conceptually, maybe, but the technical challenges would be significant. The actual trackage angles south towards PG Plaza from College Park, so it doesn't fit perfectly under the WMATA plot shown in the Cafritz map. By my quick (and rough) Google Earth measurement, it's only about 1000' from the portal to Rt 1, and that's all definitely not straight. The tunnel itself is fairly shallow and you probably couldn't fit a fully underground station in there - it would need to be below-grade outdoor, like PG Plaza, which isn't likely to happen. I've also heard that there's water infiltration and drainage issues because of an underground stream.

Even putting aside that raft of technical issues, there's still a lot of development potential at existing stations. Maybe someday a station at Baltimore Avenue would make sense, but that's a long way off.

by Distantantennas on Oct 15, 2013 4:23 pm • linkreport

A great idea. May it someday come to pass!

The UP antis might not fight it so hard if it had zero parking and was not a major bus hub.

by Greenbelt on Oct 15, 2013 4:36 pm • linkreport

@BTA
A street car could get to Hyattsville on then transfer onto or next to the CSX ROW to go directly to Riverdale and College Park MARC stations.

by Richard on Oct 15, 2013 4:44 pm • linkreport

spookiness is right: "Might be nice to have, but what with the dozen or so underutilized WMATA stations in Prince George's, this makes no sense. Maybe in 100 years."

This is every mother's basic philosophy of "Clean your plate before you ask for seconds." Before PGC spends a dime on building a new infill Metro station or expanding Metro's reach, they need to build out their 15 existing stations. Alex B. and others re: it not making sense from an opportunity cost perspective.

Over in my neighborhood, there has long been talk of an infill Blue line station at Hill Road & Central Ave, between Addison Road & Morgan Boulevard. Again, that may one day make sense too -- but not in the next 30-40 years.

by Bradley Heard on Oct 15, 2013 4:57 pm • linkreport

After living in Hyattsville for several years, it would seem like a better investment to skip the infill Metro station and instead apply it towards installing a light rail parallel to Rt 1/Rhode Island Ave, from DC through College Park. The communities located along Rt. 1 south of the Riverdale Marc station have no direct rail transit access until you reach the Rhode Island Ave metro station several miles to the south.

However installing a light rail (or streetcar) with stations in beginning in College Park, Hyattsville, Brentwood, Mt. Rainier, etc. would provide some of the necessary infrastructure towards building denser mixed use communities along a major commuter route. More density = more opportunity for diversifying the PGC tax revenue (assuming it's handled correctly).

Cost notwithstanding, this seems (to someone not trained in urban development) like a more feasible option than spending extraordinary amounts of money to install an infill station that would serve a much more limited geographic area. Just my two cents.

by SM on Oct 15, 2013 5:03 pm • linkreport

@SM
From college park you could go down next to the CSX ROW all the way down to union station. It would also hit Langdon and NoMa on the way.

by Richard on Oct 15, 2013 5:17 pm • linkreport

I'm gonna agree with Alex B here - the actual footprint of developable area for this proposed station is pretty minimal. It's all single family houses - even up to Route 1 for the most part. No commercial strip to develop and a radius of almost all single family homess (many of which are all in historic districts with 100 year old homes, which means no redevelopment for a very good reason). Improving the frequency of bus transit on Route 1 past Mount Rainier is really key.

by Jarrett on Oct 15, 2013 6:51 pm • linkreport

Falls Church -- the way that DC paid for the NoMA station was 1/3 DC, 1/3 special tax district, 1/3 federal govt. A lot of the bitching in Alexandria over the Potomac Yard Station was the special tax district. I wrote about it a couple times.

BTA, there is no real development opportunity between Fort Totten and West Hyattsville that would justify paying for another Metro Station in that geography. What I mean is that there isn't development capacity.

BTA/2, you're absolutely right about extending the grid and needing to change the zoning to make putting in such a station worthwhile. BUT it would be a game changer for PGC in terms of changing the land use paradigm.

WRT the other point someone made about stations on the southern end, yes, you're probably right. I am not super knowledgeable on the land use that way. Obviously there is the National Harbor issue, but that has been discussed ad infinitum.

The other thing would be to start pushing the idea of extending the Purple Line south of New Carrollton, which would address that issue.

Dave Murphy, for what it's worth, municipalities in PGC don't do planning and zoning, the county does it. There is more going on at those Metro sites because there is more going on in those communities. FWIW/2, virtually all of the plans for intensity at PG Plaza predate Hyattsville's annexation of that area (plans for intensifying began by property owners there in the 1960s because they knew some sort of rapid rail would be built).

BTA/Richard -- MTA did a plan for streetcar on Rte. 1 in the mid-1990s as a supporting plan to the Gateway Arts District Plan. It predates DC streetcar planning by many years.

by Richard Layman on Oct 15, 2013 9:02 pm • linkreport

Bradley -- many of the PGC Metro station catchment areas aren't worth developing for decades. But it's worth working to densify-intensify the Rte. 1 corridor now.

by Richard Layman on Oct 15, 2013 9:03 pm • linkreport

How about paying for it with a public/private partnership that puts a building in directly over the new station?

by Terp on Oct 15, 2013 9:40 pm • linkreport

@ Richard:

I agree it's worth densifying the US-1 corridor, but the main emphasis in north PGC should be on intensifying the existing Green Line station areas and the forthcoming Purple Line station areas. Light rail or BRT option along US-1 would be a much cheaper and more useful option for supporting any intensification along US-1 (and may make sense now, to support the existing development).

I have to disagree with you, though, that our other Metro stations "aren't worth developing for decades." We cannot and should not wait decades to develop these stations. We need to do what's necessary now to get these station areas ready for development. For example, on the other thread, you and I talked about the need to make necessary infrastructure improvements to facilitate walkable urbanism at these stations. It may take several years (but not decades) to do that, but we should get started now.

by Bradley Heard on Oct 15, 2013 9:47 pm • linkreport

Bringing WF to the PG plaza area would have been a better idea.

by Rich on Oct 15, 2013 10:46 pm • linkreport

Fully agree with Bradley Heard that every attempt should be made to intensify development on existing stops. And cudos to him for highlighting PG county's reluctance to put some muscle behind that effort.

by Thayer-D on Oct 16, 2013 7:50 am • linkreport

@Terp: what makes you believe that real estate in PG is that valuable? You'd somehow have to make that building worth $100M more than the same building in one of the greenfields PG is handing out like candy.

by Mike on Oct 16, 2013 8:52 am • linkreport

If there is no space for Metro to build there a huge parking lot (a.k.a. Metro cash machine), there is no reason they will want to build a new metro station...

by NoNo on Oct 16, 2013 9:53 am • linkreport

many of the PGC Metro station catchment areas aren't worth developing for decades. But it's worth working to densify-intensify the Rte. 1 corridor now.

Totally agree with this. PGC's metro densification efforts are greatly stymied by the location of their stations. Arlington has metro along the key Wilson Blvd corridor, Bethesda has metro along the Wisconsin corridor but PGC has no rail along the Rt. 1 corridor, which is their key corridor.

If you want development, you have to facilitate it in the most desirable areas which in PGC is Rt. 1 / Arts District / College Park. If you don't facilitate it, development won't just go to less desirable areas instead. It simply won't happen or will go to MoCo/DC. Eventually, the less desirable areas get developed but only after the more desirable ones are fully built out.

Light rail or BRT option along US-1 would be a much cheaper and more useful option for supporting any intensification along US-1

Agree, this probably makes more sense than infill given the cost of infill and engineering challenges.

by Falls Church on Oct 16, 2013 10:35 am • linkreport

Bradley -- Falls Church explained better than I did what I meant. The development opportunities aren't there for most of the stations.

This comes up similarly in DC. I remember arguing with people in Takoma in 2002 I think about intensification there. They said no, do it in "blighted areas" (they meant places like H Street--back then I was heavily involved in H St. issues).

The point is that in less desirable areas it is many times harder to spark development. It takes lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of public money to do so, and even then it might not be successful. Developers aren't looking to be ahead of the curve for the most part, they develop where there is existing demand. And people for the most part don't want to be ahead of the curve either, or at least not too much--it takes a lot out of you to be an early entrant into a bad neighborhood, especially if you then try to get involved to improve it.

Frankly, I think the NoMA metro station was far more important to H St. than the more than $100 million spent on realizing most elements of the H Street Urban Renewal Plan, which was almost fully executed, and yet, the corridor still languished.

Making stuff better for poor people doesn't really improve the micro economy of a subdistrict of a city. (Helping poor people move up the economic ladder does, but that's different than merely building better housing.)

But the Metro station changed peoples willingness to live north of H Street. It increased property values of all the houses north of H St. by about $200,000 per property, etc. This was key to the economic improvement of the corridor--along with streetscape and other public sector investments in planning and infrastructure.

As you make the areas that people want to live in more successful, people who can't afford to live there move into the next neighborhood over (LiveBaltimore has coined the term "one-over neighborhoods" to refer to this phenomenon, which AWITC has discussed in other threads, about Logan Circle, but I rejoined that the phenomenon is pretty universal).

So think Capitol Hill to H Street to Trinidad with an additional push from the creation of NoMA...

A bunch of relatively disconnected but improved pods is not a winning strategy for revitalization in PG County... which is why I said you ought to be writing more about learning from DC, MoCo, Arlington, and Fairfax and even the mistakes in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, rather than looking as far afield to Atlanta.

by Richard Layman on Oct 16, 2013 10:58 am • linkreport

Nice idea in a perfect world, but in today's reality this is pipe dream. The amount of money that such a station would cost (at least $300m+)would faaaar outweigh any real or perceived benefits, especially with College Park station so close by.

I also agree with Richard that TOD in PGC should be focused on the stations most favorable for TOD such as Greenbelt, New Carrollton, College Park, Largo TC, etc., rather than spreading the county's resources/efforts thin in trying to develop every single Metro station at one time (especially since PGC has more stations than any other county). If that were the case then we'd be guaranteed to see virtually zero development over the next 10+ years.

Montgomery County can afford to look at less valuable stations like Shady Grove and Glenmont now since it's pretty much developed or started development around every other station in the county.

by King Terrapin on Oct 16, 2013 2:35 pm • linkreport

In June, WMATA initiated a Metrobus Priority Corridor Study of the Rhode Island Avenue-Baltimore Avenue corridor. In September, at the first round of public meetings, riders had suggestions for a number of bus improvements to serve the Route 1 corridor including limited stop MetroExtra service between College Park and downtown Washington.

A second round of two public meetings have been scheduled with the District of Columbia meeting being held on Tuesday, November 12th at the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library at Rhode Island Avenue & 7th Street NW and the Maryland meeting on Wednesday, November 13th at the Hyattsville City Hall, Municipal Building, 1st Floor, 4310 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville, MD from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. The purpose of these meetings is to obtain customer feedback on a series of preliminary service improvement options for Metrobus service (Routes G8, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86 and T18) operating in the Route 1 corridor. The feedback will be used as part of the process of refining the preliminary options into a set of final recommendations by January 2014. The public meetings will be held in an open-house format, allowing participants to come-and-go at their convenience. Staff will be available to answer customer questions and explain details about the preliminary improvement options.

by Douglas Stallworth on Oct 16, 2013 4:00 pm • linkreport

I totally agree. I think an express (limited stop) line that went from College Park down through Rhode Island Metro to McPherson or Farragut would be very popular. Hopefully it will move forward!

by BTA on Oct 16, 2013 4:27 pm • linkreport

while I don't think it would cost $300MM, even at $175MM you have to count on being able to get an extremely high rate of return.

With NOMA Metro the increased property value in my old neighborhood (between H St., Florida, 14th St. and 2nd St.) was at least $375MM for existing properties. And that doesn't take into account add'l value of multiunit housing, or development west of the tracks in NoMA or north of Florida Ave. at the rechristened Union Market.

To justify a station there, as others said, you'd have to agree to a Wilson Blvd. like rezoning for intensity. I don't think it'd have to connect to MARC. It's too bad the Riverdale MARC station is where it is, because it generates minimal activity. (Frankly, a Hyattsville Station might make more sense.) I don't know what I'd suggest.

But yep, this is more a conceptual activity, not unlike CM McDuffie's idea that there should be a MARC station at Bladensburg Road in DC.

Not that anyone cares, but witnessing the impact of the NOMA station on the H St. neighborhood's improvement is what converted me to a primary interest in transportation planning.

by Richard Layman on Oct 16, 2013 5:54 pm • linkreport

@ Richard & Falls Church:

I guess I just think that statements like "station X isn't worth developing" are self-fulfilling negative prophesies. I think a better course is to define the objective (i.e., developing the metro station) and then conduct a true SWOT analysis to determine how to best achieve the objective.

Some stations have very limited strengths and opportunities, given their physical locations, which can't be changed. Cheverly, Landover, and Southern Ave are some of these. Yet, even at those stations, there are development opportunities that are "worth it" to pursue - mostly at the station itself.

Other stations, like Addison Road, Capitol Heights, and Naylor Road have weaknesses and threats (low socioeconomic conditions, higher crime) that can be changed, coupled with raw strengths and opportunities (proximity to DC, available land, etc.) that make it "worth it" to undertake major redevelopment efforts there.

Then, you have a number of stations that are virtually development ready, with ample land, prime location, etc. Morgan Blvd and West Hyattsville are examples of these.

It's true that everything can't happen at once, and station development will necessarily need to be prioritized. But we shouldn't accept that it will take decades to develop the bulk of our stations, and we can't begin and end the inquiry with northern PGC and the northern Green Line. We have a big county, and we need to figure out how we can make it work for us -- and soon.

by Bradley Heard on Oct 16, 2013 10:23 pm • linkreport

Why does the track need to be straight? Couldn't there simply be two platforms so each would be on the inside of the curve? We have several stations already with platforms on the outside. I agree station should be level.

This seems like a good Iong-term option that has no more to do with development on the other lines than another station in DC or Va, as long as the county does not pay for it. Higher density near College Park metro should come first, however.

by JimT on Oct 17, 2013 9:39 am • linkreport

Why does the track need to be straight?

Because Metro's cars are straight. If the platform bends too much, then some doors would have an unacceptable gap between car and platform. It would not meet ADA requirements (max of 3 inches horizontal gap).

Some existing Metro stations do have a slight curve - Silver Spring and Brookland, for example. But the curve is very slight.

On older systems, you'll find larger curves (see this video from the old South Ferry loop in New York) but this often means they must use gap fillers. This is not best practice and should be avoided; there's no reason to have them in a brand new station.

by Alex B. on Oct 17, 2013 9:52 am • linkreport

OK Thanks. I had been assuming that inability of the operator to see the doors of the rear car was the limiting factor. Almost seems to be a problem with that Brookland station, even if the gap along the doors is ok.

So I guess tis means that a station would require reconfiguring a much longer section of track than the station itself. I guess a sharp curve near a station would not slow train down much more than it has to slow anyway for the station?

People coming in from Greenbelt or College Park would also be annoyed by the extra 4 minutes of travel time, I imagine, not to mention years of single-tracking there during construction. But if incorporated into the eventual rebuild a fe decades hence, it might not be a bad idea.

by JimT on Oct 17, 2013 11:41 am • linkreport

Seeing the length of the platform can be an issue; at Silver Spring and Brookland, there are large convex mirrors positioned at the end of the platform so that operators can still see the length of the train.

by Alex B. on Oct 17, 2013 12:12 pm • linkreport

JimT -- for a station like this to be built, PGC would have to be the driving force and the payee. Unless, like with the extension of the Blue line (the two stations during the Glendenning Administration) the State would pay for it. The other jurisdictions didn't pay towards NoMA, and non-VA jurisdictions won't be paying towards a Potomac Yard station. Similarly, VA pays for the Silver Line. MD pays for the Purple Line.

The bad thing about this method is that the costs of the Silver Line on the rest of the system aren't borne by VA, etc.

by Richard Layman on Oct 17, 2013 1:26 pm • linkreport

Bradley -- wrt SWOT analysis, let's just say that's what I basically did, before I wrote what I wrote.

Note that the "redevelopment" period for DC station catchment areas is so far part of a 37 year length of time. Note that RI Station, one of the first to open in 1976, just had the development on the old parking lot open what, last year? If not 2012, 2011. RI Station didn't present the same opportunities as say, Tenleytown or Columbia Heights. Etc.

We're talking about multiple decade lengths of time. And every Konterra and National Harbor makes it that much harder.

by Richard Layman on Oct 17, 2013 1:29 pm • linkreport

@RichardL. I agree that something like this will not be built soon without PG pushing it, and I agree with BradleyH that PG should not push it any time soon.

But who can say what sources of funding might exist 30-50 years hence? With one of the oldest rail lines and US-1 we can expect continued development here, so it seems reasonable for it to go onto the long range plan so as to discourage site-specific decisions that would subsequently preclude it.

by JimT on Oct 17, 2013 3:48 pm • linkreport

@RichardL: Can you explain why you think Nationsl Harbor makes development of the metro stations Bradley mentioned more difficult? That seems counterintuitive. I could imagine it possibly taking away from some portions of Alexandria. But I find it hard to imagine the developers, residents, or hotel patrons of National Harbor viewing Southern Avenue, or even Largo, as their second choice.

by JimT on Oct 17, 2013 4:00 pm • linkreport

JimT: Richard can explain himself, but I'm guessing the problem is that PG officials are more focused on big-pocketed greenfield projects like NatHarbor and Konterra then on TOD around the metro stations, which require nuanced site planning, multiple developers, multi-modal infrastructure, etc.

by novanglus on Oct 17, 2013 4:09 pm • linkreport

("than", not "then")

by novanglus on Oct 17, 2013 4:10 pm • linkreport

I live in Hyattsville. I agree with Alex there needs to be something that connects all the developments in Hyattsville- the Pg plaza, Crafitz and the Arts district. Whether it is a trolley or something similar to the dc circulator. Although a metro site would be good as well.

by Amanda W. on Oct 18, 2013 2:38 pm • linkreport

Why does the track need to be straight?
Because Metro's cars are straight.

"Is there a chance the track could bend?"

"Not on your life, my Hindu friend."

by Lindemann on Oct 18, 2013 7:28 pm • linkreport

One thing I thought of over the weekend. While it would be nice to not have a huge bus complex and parking garage here. It is important to note that none of the green line stations are on route 1. All of the buses on route 1 have to detour significantly to reach the subway. Having taken many of the routes I can attest that it is a inconvenience. If this was built there would be less need to have the 81, 83, and 86 detour to college park metro station which would speed their time up and down route 1.

Not that it is going to happen but it is something to consider.

by Richard on Oct 21, 2013 9:41 am • linkreport

@ Richard

You have a point about the detouring of the 80 routes but you also have to look at the transferring to other routes so they would all have to be detoured to the new station to have transfers kept in tact.

by kk on Oct 21, 2013 9:36 pm • linkreport

How about PG build around their current 15 under utilized stations instead of building random development and expecting a station to be built for it. I really think Metro is out of that game because it serves them no justice to build another stop to service a grocery store and other small businesses around it in a county that has 15 existing stations that it could have build this development on top of.

I am going back to DC because PG county is really out of touch with how to go about development. Its even more ridiculous because PG has so many examples all around them of how to go about development but they still stick to the outdated model that was used in the 80's.

by Dwight on Oct 24, 2013 2:54 pm • linkreport

Add a Comment

Name: (will be displayed on the comments page)

Email: (must be your real address, but will be kept private)

URL: (optional, will be displayed)

Your comment:

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our comment policy.
Notify me of followup comments via email. (You can also subscribe without commenting.)
Save my name and email address on this computer so I don't have to enter it next time, and so I don't have to answer the anti-spam map challenge question in the future.

or