PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MARYLAND
The Takoma Park Langley Park area is located in in Prince George’s County, near the Montgomery County border, just north of the Washington, D.C. line, in a densely populated, culturally diverse community, with the highest volumes of non-Metro transit use in the D.C. Metropolitan area. The location known as “the Crossroads”— near the intersection of MD 193 (University Boulevard) and MD 650 (New Hampshire Avenue) is a well-known major hub of transit and pedestrian activity. By 2005, the growth in vehicular, pedestrian and bus traffic converging at the Crossroads resulted in a sharp increase in the rate of pedestrian crashes and pedestrian fatalities. Planners for the Purple Line recognized that a bus transit center at or near the Crossroads would address pedestrian safety and bus operations as well as the Purple Line station needs in the long term.
In late 2005, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) retained The Wilson T. Ballard Company (WTB), to begin planning services for the Takoma Langley Crossroads Transit Center to be located at the site of the Taco Bell Restaurant in the southern portion of the Langley Park Shopping Center. WTB lead the project from initial planning to final commissioning.
The project required a full range of engineering services, including geotechnical analysis, field surveys (topography, property location, and stakeout); right-of-way plats and metes and bounds descriptions; coordination with utility companies; foundation and structural steel design; preparation of contract plans, specifications and engineer’s cost estimate; participation in review meetings with Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and other transit providers; review of shop drawings and consultation during construction. WTB provided all civil/site and structural design services and supervised a diverse team of architects, mechanical and electrical engineers, and landscape and irrigation consultants through planning, design and construction. Public involvement and environmental services, including all permit applications and hazardous waste assessment, were also provided.
Although the site’s location is optimal in terms of proximity to more than a dozen major bus routes with four different transit providers (WMATA, Montgomery County – Ride On, Prince George’s County – The Bus and University of Maryland Shuttle), the site’s size is limited to just over one acre in size in order to minimize impact to the adjacent shopping center. Working closely with the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), the Langley Park Shopping Center and WMATA, WTB used real time computer simulations and full scale testing methods to develop a unique compact 12-bus bay design that accommodates the 60+ peak hour buses, with varying headways and layovers, and the hundreds of hourly passenger boardings and alightings. The bus platforms are covered by a 21,000 square foot parabolic glass-covered space-frame to allow natural light and ventilation while protecting passengers from the weather. In addition to the bus bays and passenger platforms, the site includes a 1,152 SF Transit Facilities Building with lobby, restrooms, offices and ticket vending. The project incorporates state-of-the-art sustainable building and site design features, including solar panels in the glass roof that will fully support building electrical use; rain water harvesting, and a grey water irrigation system to support the plantings in the bioretention areas. The bus platforms will be equipped with real time passenger information displays with LED Next Bus arrival signs and other important route and schedule information.
The project is scheduled to open Fall 2016.