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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 , 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.

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YNCMT May 31, 2012 at 01:53 PM
This is idiocy on multiple levels. 1. Many sporting events on campus end after 10:00. 2. http://binged.it/KgC1qP -- Note the gigantic open field across from Frat Row. Note the huge grassy area and parking lots southwest of the football** stadium. Note the trail that crosses the creek behind the new apartment buildings on Rte. 1. Certainly no criminal could enter the campus on foot or bicycle. 3. We all know that crime runs rampant at GW, GMU, UDC, CUA, and AU because those schools don’t seal their borders at 10 p.m. 4. We all know that robbers, rapists and murderers like to plan their escapes around a fixed transit system, with a 15-minute wait between trains. It's hard to imagine a more hopelessly stupid idea than this Fear of a Purple Line. **Note: does not actually contain football.
Adam Froehlig May 31, 2012 at 07:21 PM
2 words: Security Theater.
Wayne Phyillaier May 31, 2012 at 07:35 PM
If they close the campus stations at 10 pm, then all students using transit to come to or from campus after that hour will have to walk greater distances to or from stations off campus. How does making them walk long distances late at night make them safer?
Nearby June 01, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Great. Arrive for class, lab, studio time, or Clarice show by Metro. Leave by walking the dark campus for a great distance to a bus stop. Take bus to real Metro. Why not put on our big people pants and use the Metro to it's full advantage while expecting WMATA and campus officials to do their part for ongoing Metro and campus safety.
Sarah Wayland June 03, 2012 at 01:16 PM
OK, so let's pretend I'm a criminal. I rob someone. Then I run to the nearest metro stop and wait for a train. If there's a train there, I get on the train car and sit in an enclosed space while people can get to me and I have nowhere to run. No criminal would be that stupid. I really hope the University comes to its senses. This will not help students who want to use Metro to get off campus, or people from the community who want to get onto campus. My husband and I have season tickets to the Clarice B. Smith Performing Arts Center; the Purple Line would be a fantastic way for us to get to and from the shows. But not if there's no service after 10pm.

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