The Purple Line Corridor Coalition met for the first time Friday on the presumption the 16-mile light rail project will be built, and it's looking like it will be.
This week, the federal government issued its final environmental approval—an important milestone. Now the Maryland Transit Administration can begin condemning private properties currently standing in the Purple Line's planned route.
"There will be opposition. We already know there is opposition and where it is coming from," says Gerrit Knaap, a coalition member and the director of the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland. "I am hopeful we can resolve these issues amicably without reverting to lawsuits, but it is really hard to predict these things."
He says the coalition's work will consist of showing communities along the right-of-way the benefits of light rail—"in terms of walkable communities and high-density development."
More than 100 homes and business may be displaced by construction. Work on the $2.4 billion Purple Line could begin in 2015 and last about five years.