New Tool Demystifies Regulations Around Maryland's Purple Line

The tool aims to help stakeholders "cut through regulatory complexity" and ensure equitable access to the light rail line's economic benefits.

2 minute read

May 27, 2021, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Maryland Transit Administration

Maryland Department of Transportation / Purple Line Alignment

A new tool from the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education (NCSG) "provides easy access to a curated database of plans and regulations" in the Purple Line corridor, the area surrounding Maryland's upcoming Purple Line light rail. Cyrus Chimento, who worked on the project, writes in Greater Greater Washington that while the Purple Line project "presents massive benefits to locals such as increasing transportation access, decreasing pollution, and creating jobs," not all residents will share the benefits. "To combat this potential outcome, the Purple Line Corridor Coalition (PLCC) formed a community development agreement among businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, and community groups to make sure the Purple Line benefits are shared equitably among all residents and workers in the area." The coalition's goals include supporting and growing local businesses, improving access to housing choices, and building a thriving labor market.

The Plans and Regulations Information Tool aims to simplify the navigation of the area's complex regulatory environment. "The real power of the tool is to (very quickly) answer the general question underpinning those mentioned above: 'What plans or regulations apply to this place?' And since the Purple Line corridor spans multiple jurisdictions, we bring all the data together in one place." The tool is designed to assist developers and other interested stakeholders in understanding local regulations, and its designers hope "it can be a piece of the larger effort to make sure the benefits of the Purple Line investment accrue equitably."

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