Week Ahead: Oral Arguments Set to Take Place in Purple Line Lawsuit

Plus: Bethesda bike infrastructure meeting Wednesday; county Republicans host Gov. Hogan Thursday in Rockville


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Oral arguments in Purple Line case

Attorneys for the Purple Line opponents are set to face off with attorneys representing Maryland and the Federal Transit Administration in a Washington, D.C., federal court Wednesday morning in the long running case against the light-rail line.

The federal D.C. Court of Appeals is weighing a lower court’s decision that called for a new environmental analysis of the 16.2-mile light-rail project to determine if Metro’s ridership decline and safety issues would affect the Purple Line. Maryland and the federal government do not believe the analysis is necessary.

Already, the appeals court has reinstated the project’s federal approval, which enabled construction to begin in August.

Planning Department, council members to host bike infrastructure meeting

County Council members Roger Berliner and Hans Riemer will join planning staff at the Jane Lawton Recreation Center Wednesday evening to discuss bike infrastructure approved as part of the Downtown Bethesda Sector Plan.

Berliner and Riemer said in a statement that they’re interested in hearing from residents and county staff how to improve the local bikeway network, so more residents feel comfortable biking. The sector plan included plans for installing bike lanes on Norfolk Avenue, Bradley Boulevard and Arlington Road.

The meeting will run from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Montgomery County Republican Party to host reception with Gov. Larry Hogan

Gov. Hogan is scheduled to attend a fundraiser with the county’s Republican Party 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville.

Tickets are $100 per person for general admission and $250 per person for a VIP ticket. The money will be used to aid Hogan’s re-election campaign, as well as other Republican candidates seeking office in 2018.

County Council scheduled to vote on lifeguard, burial site bills

The County Council on Tuesday is scheduled to vote on two bills it has been working on for about a year.

One bill would exempt hotels from a requirement to have a lifeguard on duty at all times that a hotel pool is open. Instead, it would require the hotels to have an emergency alert system in place and post signs that notify pool users they swim at their own risk.

The bill has been supported by hotel managers who see it as an opportunity to enable their guests to use hotel pools for additional hours. Pool management companies that have traditionally provided lifeguards to hotels have opposed the change.

The council is also scheduled to vote on a bill that would require the Planning Department to create a list of burial sites in the county and update it annually. The legislation was developed after concerns were raised about the county allowing development over a potential African-American cemetery underneath a parking lot in the Westbard neighborhood.

The inventory would help county planners reviewing new development proposals determine whether a cemetery could be affected, according to council members.

Warmer temperatures expected later this week

After a brisk Monday with a breezy high near 59 and a nighttime low dropping to around 42, the weather in the area is expected to get warmer at the end of the week.

The National Weather Service predicts a sunny Halloween Tuesday with a high near 59 and a nighttime low dropping to around 40. There’s a chance of showers Wednesday with a high near 58 and low around 46 expected.

Thursday and Friday should be nice, with sunny highs in the upper-60s and nighttime lows around 50 degrees predicted for both days.

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