MTA meeting, Part 2. The actual presentation was very impressive. Every possible option was represented on maps, artists' renderings, and even in computer graphics. I'm set on the rail option that will follow the Capital Crescent Trail, but there are many great ideas for the bus transitway that should be applied to existing bus transit.
One is a queue jump lane, which is reserved for buses at intersections. These allow the bus to be at the light when it turns green. Anyone who regularly drives through intersections like Colesville Rd and University Blvd. knows that it takes several light cycles to get past there. It was also interesting to see photos from Seattle, where they apparently have underground bus stations and tunnel systems. The fumes would be overwhelming, so I'm going to assume they run on something besides diesel fuel. But these would be great lower-cost options to use in addition to rail projects.
Some of the most impressive drawings were of the trestle that will carry the train over Rock Creek Park. It's not as tall as the former CSX trestle was, but a nice design for one of the very scenic spots along the route. Then there was the Transit Center for Langley Park. Just the idea of such a great facility there is refreshing. The residents there deserve this type of facility; it's long overdue. Some other proposals that stood out were the various bridge that will elevate the track over the Country Club and into downtown Silver Spring. It's important to note that the trail gets equal attention in these drawings, showing how they will coexist.
As a Maryland graduate, I have to say that maybe the UMCP station plans were the most exciting. I did not know previously that the train is going to arrive directly in the center of the campus! If only they had this when I was going there. It's a great example of designing a project that meets demand, and that people will actually want to use.
There's really too much to write about here. There were very informative reading materials given out, a realistic computer generated movie of buses driving from the University of Maryland down University Blvd through Langley Park and Silver Spring. I know the route well! I would have liked to see the animated movie of the train route, but the expert at that display said they didn't have it that night.
So, in conclusion, I am very impressed and I hope the Federal and State governments don't cop out and select the Bus Transitway option. If I'm elected, I will be working to make sure we get this world-class rail system built.