Feb
12
2016

Important Tips During Extreme Cold Weather

The National Weather Service is forecasting extreme cold temperatures through Monday, February 15th. The day-time temperatures will range from the mid teens to low 20’s with wind chills remaining in the teens. Dress in layers and use caution. Extreme cold can cause degrees of frostbite and hypothermia.

Here are a few tips you may want to consider during Extreme Cold

Check on your elderly friends, family members and neighbors
Bring your pets and plants indoors
Dress in multiple layers if you go outdoors
Watch for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately
Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as soon as possible
If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
Check your Smoke and Carbon Dioxide Detectors.

Feb
11
2016

NCPCA - It's Your Neighborhood Association

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and hence the day when the North College Park civic Association will be having its February monthly meeting.

There are two important items members will discuss.

Gloria Aparicio-Blackwell from the University of Maryland’s Office of Community Engagement will discuss the annual community-university service event, called Good Neighbor Day.  The City wide event is served by volunteers from University of Maryland residents and our long time residents.

Members will also hear a presentation from the State Highway Administration regarding improvements to the I495 Interchange project. As part of the project, the SHA plans to widen beltway on both sides. The houses on Ontario Road, Niagara Road and Odessa Rd (in Sunnyside) will be affected. If you live on these streets or the nearby streets, please don’t miss this meeting.

As usual, the meeting will start at 7:30pm at Davis Hall. See  you all there.

Feb
10
2016

SHA Plans to Build Crosswalk on Cherry Hill Rd near Route 1

The SHA has responded to a request about a pedestrian facility along west side of US 1 between Cherry Hill Road and Edgewood Road/Ramp from Inner Loop.

Today, there is no pedestrian crossing on the west leg of Cherry Hill Road or across the ramp from Inner Loop (missing pedestrian signals). Some sidewalk links are missing too within this section.

These pedestrian improvements have been approved for design but the project was not initiated in the hope of combining it with the US 1 at I-495/Edgewood Road interchange modification project.

Given that the interchange modification project has at least a five year timeline for design and construction, the SHA has revisited our approach. The SHA has initiated the design to modify the signals at Cherry Hill Road and at Edgewood Road/Ramp from inner loop, which they hope to complete this year and construction by mid 2017.

There is a downside of this approach. The improvement projects at US 1/Edgewood Road project will (possibly) have to be modified again (in at least three years time) to accommodate the interchange improvements. The SHA is saying they are happy to accommodate this as it improves pedestrian safety both in the near-term and in the long-term.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

[Source: SHA Communication with College Park]

Feb
9
2016

Mild Snow Storm Expected to Hit Area Today

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory  until midnight tomorrow.
Current models predict between 1 to 3 inches of snow and any amount of accumulated snow has the possibility of impacting electric, gas and water services in the area.
Pepco has about 150 linemen, 200 contractors and 200 tree crews available to respond to any outages that occur and, depending on the severity of the storm, can bring in additional resources.

College Park’s snow crews are ready with plow trucks and street treatment procedures to address the upcoming snow event. The City Council and Public Works staff also discussed the snow removal procedure at the last worksession after the last snow storm.

As always, please let me know know if you know any elderly or a neighbor with a disability needs help with snow shoveling. We can connect you with volunteers willing to help. Thank you.

Feb
8
2016

Storm water Cleanup Projects Coming to North College Park

Clean Water Partnership

Clean Water Partnership

To meet clean water regulatory requirements, the County must treat 15,000 acres of polluted runoff by 2025, consisting of 46,000 stormwater filtration devices at a price tag of $1.2 billion. This will require about 5,000 jobs from engineering to landscaping,

Late last year the County entered into a public-private partnership with the Corvias
Group, of East Greenwich, Rhode Island. The agreement is a 30 year arrangement
referred to as the Clean Water Partnership. Under this agreement Corvias will first
oversee the retrofitting of 2,000 acres of impervious area within the County over the next
three years. Just as a note the County, through its traditional means of procurement, is
also retrofitting 2,000 acres concurrently with Covias.

A number of these projects will be located in north College Park, said a representative of Corvias at last month’s NCPCA meeting.  please see the map below with proposed locations.

Please check here to find more about the partnership program.

clean-water-partnership-project-map

Feb
7
2016

Moose Lodge to Present Higher Education and Warden Event

mooselodge-March5

Feb
6
2016

Aviation Museum to Showcase Exhibit on African American Aviators

African-American-Aviators-Feb16

Feb
5
2016

Public Hearing on FBI Development at Greenbelt Metro

Metro has announced that it is seeking your feedback on the proposed transit facilities at Greenbelt. The proposed changes to the transit facilities will only occur if the GSA selects Greenbelt as the location for the FBI Headquarters.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Prince George’s County are pursuing Transit-Oriented Joint Development opportunities at the Greenbelt Metrorail Station in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Renard Development Company, LLC is proposing to construct a mixed-use transit-oriented development on the western portion of the Greenbelt Metrorail Station property which will include a hotel, office, retail & residential space and a parking garage.

On the eastern portion of the property, plans include a campus for a major government services agency or large private employer. Presently, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has expressed interest in the joint development site as the new consolidated headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

There are a couple of ways you can provide feedback:

  • Take a survey and tell us how this proposal would affect you.
  • Provide your feedback to project staff at the Greenbelt Metrorail station on Monday, February 8, 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, February 9, 7-9 a.m., and Thursday, February 11, 5-7 p.m.*
  • Send an email and provide your written comments to writtentestimony@wmata.com.
  • Attend a public hearing on Tuesday, February 23, 2016* at the Greenbelt Marriott, 6400 Ivy Lane, Greenbelt MD. An information session will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the public hearing will begin at 7:00 p.m.
Feb
4
2016

What You Need to Know about Pepco Tree Work

Pepco is planning tree work in the City to maintain clearance around their power distribution lines to maintain service reliability. Contractors will develop a scope of work for City trees and for trees on private property. No tree work will begin until after the planned work is agreed upon by the City, private tree owners and PEPCO. If trees on your private property will be impacted, you will be contacted by the planner.

Pepco shares its tree trimming plans and schedules in College Park with the City Department of Public Works (City DPW). Pepco will continue to work with the community to keep neighborhoods informed of when and where crews will be working.

Planning for Tree Trimming and Removal
Pepco vegetation management professionals and arborists will meet with City DPW staff to review tree trimming plans for trees in the City right-of-way. Pepco and City officials will jointly assess every tree in the public right-of-way considered for removal. The City can approve or deny tree trimming or removal in the public right-of-way, which is documented and reported to the Maryland Public Service Commission.

Elected officials and civic associations can access tree trimming and removal information through the City DPW to share with residents. Tree maintenance might not be scheduled this cycle for every street. If you would like more information,please contact City DPW at 240-487-3590 or publicworks@collegeparkmd.gov.

The City will request replacement trees when trees threatening power lines in the right-of-way are removed. The City promotes Pepco’s ‘Right Tree,Right Place’ policy to reduce the need for future trimming. Trees will be replaced with appropriate species that will not impact power lines in the future. A third party will audit and review all completed work.

Trees on Private Property
Pepco has easement rights which allow tree pruning or removal without permission in some areas. Pepco will send letters to customers in areas where work is scheduled to be performed. Pepco arborists will leave a door hanger with contact information if there is a tree on private property planned for trimming or removal.

Be Proactive: If residents do not want crews to trim or remove trees on their property,please notify Pepco before crews arrive,so Pepco can contact you to address your concerns. Residents and the community should be aware that untrimmed trees near power lines may cause future power outages. Customers who choose not to allow Pepco to perform tree trimming or tree removal on their properties will be documented. Pepco provides vouchers for tree replacements from local nurseries for customers who have trees removed. If you are concerned and would like additional information about the tree trimming planned on your property,please contact the certified arborist’s phone number on the door hanger to discuss your concerns.

For further information, please contact Brenda Alexander at 240-487-3590 or publicworks@collegeparkmd.gov.

Feb
3
2016

North College Park Crime Map: Jan 17 – Feb 1, 2016

Please see below last week’s crime map and let me know if you’ve any questions. Thank you.

Feb
2
2016

Council to Discuss City Community Gardens

At tonight’s Council meeting, the City Council will review first season of Old Town Community Garden and establish water supply to garden and also will consider new community garden location in Calvert Hills.

As a member of the Sustainable Maryland Program, the City created a 3-year action plan that included a goal to establish a community garden. This activity is one of the “primary action items” encouraged of Sustainable Maryland Certified Communities.

In April, 2015, Council authorized staff to establish a community garden on City-owned property near the Old Town Tot Lot (at the corner of Norwich Road and Columbia Avenue) and allocated $15,000 towards construction (Resolution 15-R-03). City staff solicited bids from contractors to install a chain-link fence and coordinated volunteer construction of raised planting beds measuring 4 ft by 10 ft each. City staff organized 8 volunteer “worknights” between May and July, 2015 to construct the garden. These were held on weekday evenings with an average of 6 volunteers participating each time. Work involved building the raised planting beds, filing them with topsoil, and spreading woodchips along the garden walkways.

Plots were made available to all City residents (including part-time residents) for $15 per year. Notification was made via all of the City’s standard information channels. Additionally, several residents simply noticed the garden and contacted the City to sign up. All members were required to sign the City’s Hold Harmless Agreement and to follow rules based on those successfully used at M-NCPPC community gardens. 15 residents joined the garden and 20 plots were rented during the 2015 season (4 members rented multiple plots). Members reported general satisfaction with the garden and its operation; however, there is tremendous interest in getting a water supply.

Feb
1
2016

Council to Discuss Recent Snow Removal Effort

At tomorrow’s Council worksession, the Council and staff will discuss and review snow removal efforts and options for future improvements. During the recent snow storm, our region received approximately 25 inches of snow in about a day and a half period of time.

Thanks to our very capable Public Works crew, the City of College Park was one of the very few jurisdictions that could claim most of our streets were open within 24 hours following this significant snow event.

Staff thinks that City crews were not able to provide curb-to-curb snow removal service because of several constraints. In order to minimize those constraints, staff is recommending the followings: (a) Park off the street whenever possible so plows can clear snow to the curb.
(b) Park on the EVEN side of the street if off-street parking is not available. Exception: if a resident’s address is odd-numbered and the area across from their house is undeveloped, park on the odd side of the street.
(c) Park close to the curb. Vehicles parked more than 12” from the curb may be ticketed or even towed, as this severely inhibits the passage of snow plow trucks. Vehicles parked in the middle of the street will be ticketed and towed.

If, however we’re willing to have something significantly less than curb to curb snow removal, staff is suggesting the followings:
(a) Plow as wide a path as is reasonably possible without striking any vehicles, realizing the closer the plow gets, the risk of hitting a vehicle and receiving a subsequent claim increases. (b) Minimize or eliminate any gaps in plowing until complete to avoid giving residents the impression that plowing has stopped, signaling that residents should clear their driveways and sidewalks.
(c) Review and redesign plow routes, if necessary, to maximize snow removal and to ensure clear lanes of travel.
(d) Increase plow driver training to support a. and c.
(e) Review equipment and staffing needs to ensure all cul-de-sacs and dead-end streets are given equal attention as secondary streets.

If you’ve additional suggestions, please let me know.

Jan
31
2016

UMD Asks to Change Paint Branch Avenue’s Name to Campus Drive

The City has recently received a request from the University of Maryland to support their intention submit a request to Prince George’s County to rename Paint Branch Parkway to Campus Drive.

Paint Branch Parkway extends approximately 1.6 miles between Baltimore and Kenilworth Avenues, and is located in the municipalities of College Park and Riverdale Park.

The University thinks that extending the name Campus Drive would provide greater continuity between the main campus, the forthcoming Innovation District, and the M Square Research Park.

A name change would provide clarity in wayfinding. Visitors, as well as members of the local community, will be able to navigate more easily and articulate directions more effectively.

Finally, according to the University, since the number of properties on Paint Branch Parkway is limited, and several of them are owned by the University, the process of modifying street addresses would be straightforward.

Please let me know what you think about the name change.

Jan
30
2016

Discover Arts at the Arts Drop-In Events

Organized by College Park Arts Exchange, Arts Drop-In is a multi-media arts discovery series perfect for children aged 2 to 10.

The monthly Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon programs are led by Aaron Springer: Saturdays 10-noon at College Park Community Center, 5101 Pierce Avenue in Lakeland; and Sundays at the Old Parish House, 4711 Knox Road, 2 – 4 pm.

There is also a bi-weekly afterschool program led at Youth and Family Services (4912 Nantucket Avenue, near Hollywood Elementary) led by Ann Potter. To learn more about this program call 301-474-1210.

Arts Drop-In also helps out at many events around the year, and we welcome the help of volunteers. Please contact cpae ( at info@cpae.org ) if you have a good idea for a project or if you would like to help out for an hour or two.

Jan
29
2016

Fueling Innovation in College Park

The Metropolitan Council of Government (MCOG) has recently featured College Park in their 2016 State of the Region: Economic Competitiveness Report. You can see the coverage on page 52.

In 2005, the City of College Park implemented an economic development strategy that successfully transformed it from being an auto-dominated community to one with thriving walkable retail nodes. Now ranked among the Top 50 Small College Towns in the United States, College Park has attracted a series of economic development projects that are collectively forecasted to generate over 500 new hotel rooms, approximately 93,000 square feet of new retail space, and over 1,000 new multifamily housing units.

With over 37,000 students and 4,400 faculty, the University of Maryland at College Park is a major economic engine both for Prince George’s County and the region.80 The University contributes more than $3.4 billion into the economy, supporting 23,000 jobs and generating an 8:1 economic return.81 University and community leaders are working to take this impact to the next level with a focus on cultivating innovation while also redeveloping land along the City’s Baltimore Avenue commercial corridor and the proposed Purple Line light rail station into a mixture of apartments, university housing, retail, offices, and laboratory buildings. This initiative has already helped to attract a new wave of technology companies to College Park–including such groundbreaking
startups as Immuta and FlexEl.

Small businesses continue to play a major role in College Park’s economy. The City of College Park has created several grant programs to assist local businesses with sustaining their economic growth. This year the City awarded approximately $50,000 in business expansion grant funds to local small businesses. These funds were matched by approximately $170,000 in private capital investment.

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