Friday, June 03, 2011

University of Maryland ends LRT ROW squabble

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The University of Maryland at College Park has ended its dispute with the Maryland Transit Administration over the proposed alignment for MTA’s Purple Line light rail route along Campus Drive.

University officials for years have raised concerns over safety and traffic congestion if LRT were to be routed through the campus on a surface alignment, often clashing with university students who were far more supportive of such a routing.

University officials now say MTA is addressing their concerns. “We wanted to make sure the university is not in MTA’s way in any way, shape, or form to make the Purple Line happen,” said Frank Brewer, vice president for administrative affairs, “We’ve always wanted the Purple Line to come across campus. It was just a question of where.”

Maryland reported has agreed to bury part of a light rail system’s overhead electrical wiring on campus and to install equipment that would reduce electromagnetic fields (EMF), seen as a potential disruption to sensitive equipment in nearby laboratories.

Similar objections to LRT took place along the Central Corridor in St. Paul, Minn., now under construction, voiced by the University of Minnesota. LRT advocates say supposed concerns about EMF and ground vibration are often thinly veiled obstructionism.

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