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.