How the Purple Line Will Fix University Boulevard

University Boulevard Hyattsville College Park Langley Park

The intersection of Adelphi Rd. and University Boulevard in College Park is one of the least walkable areas off the Route 1 corridor. But the Purple Line may end up solving some of its problems.

And if you’ve driven along the road between the University of Maryland campus and Langley Park, you’ve seen some of the least pedestrian-friendly roads around the area.

Sidewalks are narrow and too close to speeding traffic to feel safe. The five-lane roadway is too broad to cross without feeling rushed, especially while pushing a stroller or carrying groceries. And crosswalks are so far apart that many residents risk running across traffic to get to the other side.

But as part of construction of the light-rail line, Maryland is making some improvements to the roadway which could make a big difference.

Purple Line trains will run in the median, so construction workers will rip up the existing road. While they’re at it, they’ll narrow it from three lanes in each direction to two and use the extra space to move sidewalks farther back from the road while widening them. A new five-foot bike lane will be added along the length of the road. These changes will slow traffic through the area, which will also make it feel more walkable even if motorists aren’t thrilled.

The new University Boulevard will be a place designed for cars, mass transit and pedestrians to work together, unlike the current layout, which is only built for cars and hostile to everything else.

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5 Responses to How the Purple Line Will Fix University Boulevard

  1. Andrea Kenner says:

    Will they be adding more — and safer — pedestrian crosswalks? My mother in law was hit by a car on University Boulevard years ago, so I would really like to know. (BTW, it wasn’t on this segment… it was down by Piney Branch road.)

  2. LB says:


  3. John Stith says:

    I’ve biked that bumpy sidewalk. There are a lot of bicyclists in Lewisdale, as well as passing through between College Park and Takoma Park. The new bike lane will be popular!

  4. Véronique Kessler says:

    A five-foot wide bike road does not allow for 2 bicycles to cross. A recipe for accidents. Why din’t You publish a map of what is exactly planned ?If the purple line runs in the middle, how will moms with strollers cross and stay safe? Will the tramway stop?
    As usual, everything that is said or written about the Purple Line seems intox due to the vested interests If developers that are behind this juicy project for them… not for Maryland’s taxpayers.

  5. Thanks for your comment. We will work on sharing a map shortly.

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