UMd., MTA Work Toward Campus Safety
Purple Line may not open doors past 10 p.m. on UMd.’s campus
Metro's Purple Line may keep its doors closed after 10 p.m. at the three light rail stops proposed for University of Maryland’s campus, according to Vice President for Facilities Management Carlo Colella.
The university has presented this option amid Purple Line negotiations with and Maryland Transit Administration in an effort to safeguard campus borders and check campus crime. Currently, security officials at the school close almost all entrances to UMD at 10 p.m., and check each driver who enters campus.
“The campus has porous borders,” Colella said. “If someone intended to gain access with the Purple Line, we now have that risk.”
But for many students, the trek to UMd. from proposed off-campus light-rail stops seems unnecessary.
“That would be really inconvenient,” Doug Miller, a sophomore at the university, said. “Most college students would probably get back to campus after 10 p.m. I know from personal experience that when I go to watch baseball games in D.C., I’m not back to campus until well past 10 for night games.”
And while Colella says he’s heard concerns over campus safety from residents, he says neither UMd. nor MTA have conducted a study specific to campus security with the addition of the $1.93 billion dollar Purple Line.
MTA plans to begin construction on the 16-mile light rail in 2015 once funding has been secured, says Purple Line Project Manager Michael Madden, who added that MTA and UMd. have not yet agreed on a set safety measure. The stops include one at the intersection of Adelphi Road and University Boulevard, in addition to a stop on Campus Drive and another at the intersection of Campus Drive and Baltimore Avenue.
Included in working toward campus safety are university police, according to Capt. Marc Limansky, a UMPD spokesman. He says police have already begun preparations for the Purple Line at the university, and are planning for a checkpoint at the stops similar to car checkpoints already in place.
“There would be some sort of check at the same time,” Limansky said. “Something similar for riders that get off the Purple Line to make sure they have business on campus.”
Another option, according to Collela, is to enhance security cameras already in place on campus to monitor the Purple Line stops.
For now, Collela says the university is open to input from university police and MTA officials regarding safety—but says this aspect of Purple Line preparation must be resolved.
“It’s an operational detail that will be addressed more thoroughly in the preliminary stages,” he said.