August 2013 4.0 Environmental Resources, Impacts, and MitigationPurple Line Final Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation 4-3
Property Acquisition and Displacements
The sponsors of the No Build Alternative projectsmay seek to acquire small strips of land alongsideexisting transit, roadway and pedestrian facilities toimplement some planned improvements, such assidewalks, trails, and roadway widening if insuf-ficient land area occurs within existing publicrights-of-way. Larger site development projectssuch as Takoma/Langley Transit Center and theBethesda Lot 31 Parking garage may requirerelocation of existing users of the affectedproperties. However, where reasonably feasible,project sponsors would design planned facilities toavoid or minimize property acquisition anddisplacements by using existing public rights-of-way.
Parks, Recreational Land, Open Space, Historic and Archeological Properties
Where reasonably feasible, project sponsors of NoBuild Alternative projects would design plannedfacilities to avoid or minimize acquisition of landwithin parks, recreational land, open space, andhistoric and archeological properties by usingexisting public rights-of-way. When land acquisi-tion cannot be avoided, the sponsors may seek toacquire small strips of land alongside existingtransit, roadway and pedestrian facilities toimplement some planned improvements, such assidewalks, trails, and roadway widening. Dis-placement of parks, recreational land, open space,and historic properties is unlikely. The No BuildAlternative projects have potential for affectingarcheological properties if land disturbance occursoutside existing developed transportation facilities.
No Build Alternative projects such as the plannedbus enhancements, sidewalk and trail improve-ments introduce minimal facility elements (busrouting and pedestrian infrastructure), and areunlikely to substantially change the visual environ-ment in which they are implemented. Largerfacilities such as the Takoma/Langley TransitCenter and Silver Spring Transit Center will changethe localized visual environment by introducingtransportation-focused structures andinfrastructure.
Air Quality, Noise and Vibration
MTA determined through quantitative air quality analyses that by 2040, the No Build Alternative ispredicted to cause slightly higher mesoscale pollu-tant levels compared to the Preferred Alternativewithin the study area. MTA’s microscale analysis of air quality determined that no violations of theNational Ambient Air Quality Standards are pre-dicted for either the Preferred Alternative or the NoBuild Alternative (see Section 4.10).No Build Alternative projects such as the Takoma/Langley Transit Center, the Silver Spring TransitCenter, and the Bethesda Lot 31 Parking Garage,may affect localized noise and vibration levels by changing bus and traffic operations on and nearexisting roadways.
Habitat and Wildlife, Water Resources, Topography,Geology and Soils
The No Build Alternative projects are plannedprimarily on sites already in transportation use,thereby minimizing impacts to the natural environ-ment. Nonetheless, the No Build Alternativepotentially would result in some impacts. Right-of-way acquisition, if needed, could remove portionsof existing wildlife habitat and/or encroach uponwetlands and waterways. Stormwater run-off couldbe caused by new impervious surfaces and intro-duce transportation-related pollutants to receivingwaterways. As most No Build Alternative projectsinvolve surface improvements, such as sidewalk andbus service enhancements, substantial changes totopography, geology and soils are not expected tooccur. Larger projects, such as the Silver SpringTransit Center and Bethesda Lot 31 Parking Garagewill require deeper excavations and considerablegrading, thereby resulting in a localized change intopography.
Residual contaminants potentially exist alongportions of the study area in underlying soilsresulting from former industrial sites, existing andformer gas service stations, and railroad yards. Thesponsors of the No Build Alternative projects havethe potential to encounter these materials and willneed to establish procedures for identifying and