Oct
21
2014

Council Approves Hollywood Commercial District Streetscape Design Project

At last week’s Council meeting, the Council awarded a contract to Floura Teeter, the landscape architect company that recently designed the Hollywood Gateway Park, to make a conceptual design plan for streetscape improvements in the Hollywood Commercial District. These improvements could include street furniture and a pedestrian area, pedestrian lights, better sidewalks and bicycle facilities, and plantings. The project will also evaluate pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular access and circulation and use of the Rhode Island service road.

Please see below the scope of this project. We’re expecting the conceptual design to be completed by early next year. Once prepared, we will share the draft designs with the community to get your input.

Project Components
Traffic Analysis
· Observation and analysis of existing conditions including:
o Pedestrian and traffic circulation
o Pedestrian and bike accommodations
o Service road usage
o Turning movements and access issues
o Parking adequacy
· Identification of potential scenarios such as:
o Closure of curb cuts on Edgewood Road
o Closure of all or portion of service roads
· Identification of scenario impacts on adjacent streets and various modes of transportation

Urban Design Analysis
· Review and assess the corridor’s existing plans and zoning along with storm water and traffic regulations
· Inventory and map commercial district features including:
o Bike Facilities
o Curb Cuts
o Right-of-way
o Sidewalks
o Street lights
o Street trees
o Transit routes and stops
o Other amenities
· Identify opportunities for bio-retention areas

Conceptual Design Alternatives
· Develop three concepts for streetscape improvements

· Refine selected concept and provide the following:
o Cross-sections
o Renderings
o Phased implementation plan
o Preliminary cost estimate

Project Outreach
· Presentation of alternative concepts to businesses, property owners, and residents
· Presentation of final concept to City Council

Projected List of Key Meetings
· Project kickoff, including site visit, with staff from College Park and other appropriate agencies
· Review of alternative concepts with staff from College Park and other appropriate agencies
· Presentation of alternative concepts to businesses, residents, and property owners
· Review of final concept with staff from College Park and other appropriate agencies
· Presentation of final concept to City Council
· Additional meetings with staff from College Park as needed.

Project Deliverables
· Materials for public meetings (e.g. maps, PowerPoint slides, cross sections)
· Existing conditions report including summaries of the traffic and urban design analysis
· Draft plan recommendations and report for three alternatives with transportation and streetscape design concepts presented through plans and sketches
· Final plan recommendations and report for final concept with the following components:
o Transportation and streetscape design concept with block-by-block design plan including typical street cross-sections for all key conditions outlining the following:
§ Street design standards
§ Bicycle connections and facilities
§ Pedestrian facilities
§ Other infrastructure projects related to the urban design of the final concept
o Visual designs including cross-sections and renderings
o Phased implementation plan outlining short- and long-term steps
o Preliminary cost estimate broken down by each phase

Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you.

Oct
20
2014

North College Park Crime Map: Oct 5-18, 2014

Please see below last two week’ crime map and let me know if you have any questions.

Here is more about the armed robbery last Friday night on the 9800 block of 53rd Avenue. Two residents were robbed at gunpoint when they were coming from the Metro at around 12.30 am . Several police cars arrived after the incident and police are currently investigating the incident. I’ve asked our Police and staff to work on a couple items

1. Asked Police for more patrol coverage on 53rd Avenue and the surrounding streets, especially during this time of the season, when days will get shorter
2. Asked staff to contact the Park Police about the incident for more patrol coverage. I was told the suspects were probably hiding in the park looking for metro riders walking on the street.
3. Asked staff to see if we have enough lighting on 53rd Avenue and adjacent streets.
For now, please take extra cautions when you walk to and from the Metro after dark. We’d recommend arranging someone for dropping off or picking up at / from Metro. I live near the Metro, so if you cannot find anyone, please let me know (call: 301-659-6295); I can help with ride to / from the Metro. As always, if you see any suspicious activities, please don’t hesitate to call 911.

10/05/2014 Thru 10/18/2014

Recovered stolen Vehicle

Event

Type

From

To

Location

[10/18/14] FOUND 12:44 14:30 9900 Blk RHODE ISLAND AVE

Stolen Vehicle

Event

Type

From

To

Location

[10/17/14] STLVEH 13:39 15:13 9900 Blk RHODE ISLAND AVE,

Breaking and Entering Residential

Event

Type

From

To

Location

[10/07/14] BREAKR 17:47 20:07 9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
[10/18/14] BREAKR 17:27 18:39 4600 Blk CHERRY HILL RD

Thefts

Event

Type

From

To

Location

#L14278 THEFT 19:21 20:49 5000 Blk ERIE ST,
[10/11/14] THEFT 17:12 17:53 MY ORGANIC MARKET,
[10/12/14] THEFT 18:54 19:35 4800 Blk BLACKFOOT RD
[10/15/14] THEFT 15:26 16:06 AMF FAIRLANES COLLEGE PARK,
[10/15/14] THEFT 19:42 21:12 9500 Blk  BALTIMORE AVE

 10/05/2014 Thru 10/18/2014

Theft from Auto

Event

 

Type

From

To

Location

[10/10/14] THEFTA 09:39 10:17 5000 Blk NIAGARA RD,
[10/11/14] THEFTA 11:30 12:31 9100 Blk 49TH PL,
[10/15/14] THEFTA 07:34 08:58 8900 Blk RHODE ISLAND AVE,

Citizen Robbery

Event

Type

From

To

Location

[10/14/14] ROBCIT 13:28 16:10 DAYS INN – COLLEGE PARK
[10/17/14] ROBCIT 23:31 01:07 9800 Blk 53RD AVE,

 

 

Oct
19
2014

Community Clean-up: November 1, 2014

We are doing another community clean-up on Saturday, November 1, 2014, 9 am – 12 pm in north College Park. There will be free breakfast and lunch. Trash bags and supplies will be provided. We will all meet in front of MoM’s Organic Market). Please mark your calendar and spread the word. Details below.
Nov_01_2014-_Cleanup

Oct
18
2014

Curbside Leaf Collection to Begin

Leaf should be piled on the curb of the street, but not on the street

Fall is here and hence the time has arrived for the curbside leaf collection.

Public Works conducts leaf collection activities in the fall, usually starting early November and ending late December/early January. Collection may continue further into January depending on weather conditions during and after the scheduled collection period. Residents can find out when their neighborhood will be serviced by viewing the collection calendar, or looking for signs posted in their neighborhood with the collection dates. Signs will be posted the week prior to collection.

Here are the dates for the leaf collection in north College Park.

Nov 07, Friday, Rhode Island Ave, west
Nov 10, Monday, Rhode Island Ave, west, Autoville, Cherry Hill
Nov 12, Wednesday, Rhode Island Ave, east
Nov 21, Friday, Rhode Island Ave, west
Nov 24, Monday, Rhode Island Ave, west
Nov 25, Tuesday, Rhode Island Ave, west, Autoville, Cherry Hill

Residents are asked to consider the following information and adhere to the rules of leaf collection season:

  • Rake leaves to the curb. Pile leaves away from cars and storm drains. The leaf vacuum cannot reach around cars.
  • Remove tree limbs, rocks, trash, and other debris from leaves to be collected. They can damage the equipment and cause delays.
  • Noise and dust may be noticeable. Dry conditions generate more dust. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  • If you bag leaves, please put them out when the leaf vacuum is scheduled. Yard waste trucks will not be collecting bagged yard waste during your regular trash and recycling day during this time.
    • Use paper yard waste bags or approved reusable containers.
    • Do not put them out with regular trash.
    • No bagging is necessary in the fall.
  • The leaf vacuum makes collections only in the fall.
Oct
17
2014

Free Shredding, Recycling and Bulk Trash Collection Services, Tomorrow

Document shredding services will be available to the College Park residents at the Department of Public Works (9217 51st Ave) on tomorrow, Saturday, from 8 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Bring your old tax records, medical paperwork, and any other confidential information to be shredded while you wait. All paper will be recycled.

The City will be also accepting electronics recycling and special trash collection (anything except hazardous waste!) at the Public Works yard tomorrow.

You must be a resident of the College Park and bring proof of residency to participate.

Please check here to find more information.

Oct
16
2014

Neighborhood Quality of Life Public Forum

The Neighborhood Quality of Life (NQOL) Committee will host a Public Meeting, “Working, Living & Learning Together,” at 7:00 P.M. on Thursday, November 6 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall.  The meeting is an opportunity for all residents to discuss strategies to overcome the unique challenges of living in a college town.

Committee members will briefly present the NQOL goals on: Code Enforcement and Issue Reductions; Home Ownership; Housing Diversity; Community Building, Incentives and Culture Change; and Expectations and Best Practices for Rental Property Owners. The agenda includes round table discussions and public comment on the goals and strategies.

All residents, young and old, new and lifelong, student and non-student are encouraged to attend! Limited parking will be available in the church’s Yale Avenue lot; additional metered parking is available in the City Hall lot and the parking garage. For additional information and to RSVP, please emailnqol@collegeparkmd.gov.

Oct
15
2014

One More Hollywood Eyesore Slated for Demolition

The “Spooky” house to get demolished soon

The much discussed abandoned property (aka “Spooky House”) at the north east corner of Route 1 and Edgewood Rd is expected to be demolished soon.

The property has been an eyesore for a long time and has only contributed to give a negative impression of our neighborhood. We hope once the demolition is completed, the site will help attract a quality development / business there, preferably benefiting City residents. We will get the residents involved once any such project comes before us.

The owner of the property has agreed to share the demolition cost with the City (through a State grant). This was not the case with the other 2 demolition projects on Route 1, where the City took up the entire cost. The total cost of the project is around $32,000, about $18,000 of that will come from the State grant. The demolition project is expected to be finished by the middle of next month.

Unfortunately, there isn’t anything inside the building that is valuable for someone to reuse. The inside of the house is is a very dangerous condition for anyone to go.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Oct
14
2014

SHA Presents Beltway Exchange and Widening Plan

The State Highway Administration came to last Thursday’s NCPCA meeting to present their plan to improve access from I-495 beltway to the Greenbelt Metro.  Here you can see a copy of their presentation slide here.
 As part of the plan, SHA is suggesting to add another ramp for the westbound traffic, merging into the existing ramp from the eastbound traffic. This may potentially add more noise and pollution to our single family houses next to Metro.
They are also looking at adding two 12ft lanes on both sides of the beltway, from Rt 1 to Kenilworth Ave., to provide better access to Greenbelt Metro. This may potentially impact single family houses in north College Park close to the south of Beltway.
Currently, the SHA is conducting data collection and surveys about the plan. We’ve asked SHA to keep the City informed as they proceed with the plan. We’ve also asked SHA to come to City Council meeting and provide us a further update.
For your quick reference, I have included 2 preliminary draft renderings below that I think are most important to north College Park residents. The first one shows the proposed I-495 expansion plan, which may affect houses on Niagara Rd (West), Ontario Rd and Niagara Place.The second one shows the new ramp going into Metro station.
Please let me know if you have further questions.
495 expansion
Interchange
Oct
13
2014

Council Discusses its Wishlist for Park and Planning Budget

In last week’s Council worksession, the City Council discussed a number of requests for the upcoming Maryland Park and Planning budget. Here is a draft list we discussed.

Hollywood Community Park Entrance and Soccer Field— The pedestrian entrance to the park that adjoins the pathway to the Greenbelt Metro Station is in need of improvement. We request a gateway entrance feature to the park to replace the existing chain-link fence. This aesthetic improvement would complement the City’s Lackawanna Streetscape project, which spans from Narragansett Parkway to the Metro entrance and includes street improvements and new pedestrian lighting.

Additionally, we request an evaluation of the Hollywood Community Park field layout and a reconfiguration that would create space for a soccer field.

Feasibility Study of Potential Community Center in the Hollywood Commercial District — The City requested that M-NCPPC engage in a study to analyze the possibility of entering into a joint project with the City of College Park to construct and operate a community center in north College Park. In the FY 2013 proposed budget, M-NCPPC designated feasibility study funding for this project for FY 2016 and potentially more funding the following year to build the facility.

Cherry Hill Neighborhood Park Display Board — The City requests a new display board to be located at the entrance of Cherry Hill Neighborhood Park.

Lighting Study along the Paint Branch Trail — Previously, M-NCPPC emphasized the need for a lighting study to determine lighting needs and preferences along the Paint Branch Trail. We request that M-NCPPC allocate funding in the Capital Improvement Program to complete this study and investigate the possible use of energy-efficient lighting on county trails because of the important role that the trail system plays for pedestrian and bicycle commuting in the county.

Additionally, the Public Facilities Report in the Formula 2040 Functional Master Plan for Parks, Recreation and Open Space recommends that a 12,000 square foot gymnasium be added to the Hollywood Elementary School to meet identified needs. This project is not currently in the CIP and requires a feasibility study to be conducted first. Although the residents of north College Park would prefer a stand-alone community center, the gymnasium expansion would be a reasonable alternative that could move forward more quickly. The city supports this recommendation and requests that funding for both feasibility studies be included in FY 2016.

College Park Woods Playground — The pedestrian entrance to the park is not easily accessible for elderly residents and residents with mobility challenges. We request that you evaluate the entrance and make accessibility improvements.

Lake Artemesia — This is a beautiful park where visitors experience a heightened awareness of the value of our natural areas. It is a perfect location for a pilot program for combined trash and recycling receptacles. The type of receptacle should be coordinated with College Park.

Oct
12
2014

Free Health Checks, Next Saturday

Please come to next Saturday’s Hollywood Farmers’ Market to get a free health check and medical advice. A local family physician will be at the market from 9-1 to provide the free service. Please mark your calendar and spread the word. Details below.
Health Check 2014

Oct
11
2014

Volunteers Plant Trees to Create Forest Garden in Berwyn

Residents and UMD students volunteered together this morning to plant trees to create a permaculture garden in Berwyn. The Committee for a Better Environment has been working to help create this Trolley Trail Forest Garden for some time. Volunteers planted trees and bushes that will eventually produce edible fruit, nuts and spices. They met at 9:00 a.m. on the Trolley Trail (along Rhode Island Avenue) between Greenbelt Road & Tecumseh Street. Thanks everyone who helped place many new plants and trees along the trail. Here are a few pictures I took.

Oct
10
2014

Tomorrow at the Hollywood Farmers Market

Please see below this week’s Hollywood Farmers Market newsletter. See you all tomorrow.

NL_banner_2014_1
calvert_prod1 

Attention Gardeners: Plant and Seed Swap this Saturday

Many gardeners are now doing what they love best, which is playing in the dirt, digging up plants and separating them, and, in general, communing with nature.If you are one of these lucky people, and you have a lot of plants or seeds you want to share or sell, please bring them to this Saturday’s market. We will have a table set up next to the market tent.

The “Rules”

Please label the plants and seeds. (Common names are fine.)

Put seeds in small plastic bag.

If you want to sell a plant, put a price on it.

Heavenly Created Desserts 

Fresh, hand-made and delicious—these adjectives describe the cupcakes and other specialty desserts offered by College Park resident Sharon Morrison. Cooking and baking always have been an important part of her life and now we get to enjoy the fruits of her labor at the market!

When you visit Sharon’s tent at the market, you also have the choice of buying all types of hot dogs—beef, turkey and others. They’re grilled and ready to eat, and you get to choose with the fixin’s!

What more could we ask for?

prod2

This week’s Vendors

  • Pleitez Farm
  • Legacy Manor Farm
  • Heavenly Created Desserts
  • Calvert Farms
  • Morning Glory Farm
  • Designed Naturally
  • Tuckey’s Mountain Grown
  • Roy & RT’s Kitchen and Garden
  • Wood Doctor
  • Christiane’s Knits and Gardens
  • Phil’s Dills
  • Huma Henna Art
  • True Honey Tea
  • Crest Hill Bakery
  • Alcoba Coffee Beans
  • Conscious Alchemy
  • Elated Harmonies Massage

Recipe of the Week: Eggplant & Walnut Dip with Toasted Pita Triangles

Ingredients: 

1 large eggplant
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 pita breads
4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Instructions: 

1. Pierce eggplant with tines of a fork and wrap tightly in foil. Place it on a baking sheet and roast at 425°F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until soft; cool slightly.

2. Halve eggplant lengthwise and scoop out pulp into a blender or food processor; puree and set aside. In dry skillet over medium-high heat, cook walnuts until lightly toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes; stir into eggplant pulp. Add mint, lemon juice, garlic, oil and salt and pepper. Cover and chill slightly.

3. Cut each pita into 6 wedges. Place on baking sheet, sprinkle with cheese and broil until pitas are lightly toasted and cheese melts.

4. Serve pitas with dip.


Hollywood Farmers Market is located at the Hollywood Shopping Center (near REI) on Saturdays from 9am to 1 pm. Email: Hollywoodmarketcp@gmail.com. Phone: (301) 659 – 6295 Like us on the FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodmarket Copyright © 2014 Hollywood Farmers Market, All rights reserved. www.Hollywoodmarket.org

Oct
9
2014

Tonight at NCPCA: School Board Candidate Forum, Greenbet 495 Interchange, FBI Move and More..

NCPCA - It's Your Neighborhood Association

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and the day for October monthly meeting. The agenda is pretty much packed.

The meeting will start with speeches and Q&A from two School Board Candidates- Peggy Higgins and Lupi Grady. The candidates will discuss their vision and goals for the School Board. Each candidate will answer 2-3 questions from NCPCA members

Staff from the Environmental Finance Center at UMD will discuss the stormwater /drainage assessment they are conducting in College Park. Residents input on existing stormwater management practices and the identification of locations where stormwater practices are lacking will be appreciated.

Members will discuss Referendum on County Council Term Limits. They will discuss ballot question J which would extend term limits of the County Council and County Executive from 8 years to 12 years.

A SHA representative will be at the meeting to discuss planning efforts and potential impacts on North College Park.

Finally, members will discuss an update on Greenbelt Metro Development /FBI. Developer’s representative Garth Beall will provide an update on the status of the project and efforts to minimize negative impacts to the environment and North College Park.

As usual, the meeting will take place at Davis Hall at 7.30. See you all tonight.

Oct
8
2014

City to Seek New Contractor to Start Bike Share Program

Late last year, the City awarded a contract to a firm to build a Bike Share program in College Park. However, recently the firm became bankrupt causing the City looking for a new contractor.

The City and the University has been jointly working to establish a bikeshare system. Both parties received a Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) grant in 2012 totaling $350,000 which can be used to pay for up to 80% of the system equipment costs.

At the time the grant was awarded, it was the intent of the City and University to join the Capital Bikeshare System (CaBi). Bicycles and stations were to be sourced from the Public Bike Share Corporation (PBSC) of Montreal, Canada, while the operations side of CaBi would be handled by Alta Bicycle Share (Alta), headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The MDOT grant was awarded as a sole source contract to both entities using federal funds.

However, PBSC ceased to exist when all of its assets were sold to the highest bidder during their bankruptcy liquidation process earlier this year. The new owner has named the company PBSC Urban Solutions (PBSCUS) and proposed changes to their station components that will result in incompatibilities with existing CaBi equipment.

Alta has reviewed the history of their relationship with PBSC and the potential for a successful long term relationship with PBSCUS. They determined that it is in their best interest to move to a new supplier and have selected the 8D Company to be their new bikeshare system partner.

Alta has indicated they intend to move away from purchasing PBSC equipment for the CaBi system.

CaBi member jurisdictions (DC, Arlington and Montgomery Counties, and the City of Alexandria) are currently developing a strategy to address this situation. Their plan will likely involve an extended transitional phase from PBSC to 80 equipment. The earliest availability of this new equipment is not expected until the first half of 2015.

In order to be released from the existing grant terms and receive the funds, the State has informed the City and University that it will be necessary to select a vendor through a competitive bid. Consequently, City Planning Department staff have been working closely with University Department of Transportation Services staff to draft a RFP. Staff have contacted State officials to ensure that the resulting RFP will meet the requirements of both MOOT and the original source of the funds, the Federal Highway Administration.

It should also be noted that worldwide bikeshare usage has expanded and significantly evolved in just the last two years. The RFP process presents a timely opportunity to examine the innovations offered by new participants in this industry. For example, one of several new station less bikeshare systems could potentially better serve our campus environment & include more areas of the City. We look forward to reviewing all proposals to find a bikeshare system that provides the best match of cost, features, expandability and suitability to our City’s needs and then bringing forward a recommendation to the City Council.

Oct
7
2014

New Pedestrian Flashing Light Goes Live on Rhode Island Ave. at Hollywood Rd

WP_20141007_09_15_23_Pro
A new flashing pedestrian light (RRFB) has been installed this week on Rhode Island Ave at Hollywood Rd.

The accompanying pedestrian ramps will be tentatively constructed by the end of next week. This will help prevent pedestrian from walking on the grass to the service road.

The City Council allocated money in its FY2015 budget to buy and install this additional crossing light. I met with the City and the County engineers two weeks ago to check the installation plan.

Currently, we have 2 RRFBs on Rhode Island Ave in north College Park – one near Duvall field and another at Muskogee st.

We hope the new RRFB at Hollywood Rd. will help residents and Hollywood Elementary school students cross Rhode Island avenue safely during morning and afternoon rush hours.

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