National Transportation Body Asks to Expand 495 Beltway Study Options

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), the federal government’s planning agency for the National Capital Region has criticized the current I-495 Beltway expansion plan.

In a report, the agency has asked to expnad options beyond what the MDOT has selected to address the traffic congestion on Beltway.

Earlier MDOT requested the NCPC’s concurrence on the six recommended alternatives for analysis in the EIS. “Concurrence” means that the Commission finds the information available (meaning the six alternatives) to be sufficient to proceed into the EIS analysis, which will be used by NCPC, a cooperating agency, to comply with NEPA obligations for its approval authority under the 1930 Capper-Cramton Act and 1931 Agreement between NCPC, MNCPPC, and Office of the President.

The managed lanes study has identified approximately 20 acres of Capper-Cramton land in Rock Creek, Sligo Creek, and Northwest Branch parks that may be impacted by future Beltway (I-495) expansion. In general, staff finds that among the six alternatives proposed for additional study in the EIS, there are none that appear to meet the purpose and need statement while minimizing/avoiding impacts to Capper Cramton land. Currently, each build alternative includes traffic operation variations with widenings to I-270 and I-495, all of which require use of Capper Cramton land. Therefore, NCPC staff would like MDOT to add one other build alternative to the EIS that may avoid Capper-Cramton parkland adjacent to the Beltway and meet the purpose and need of the study.

The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) has also asked that this alternative be further studied in the EIS. In addition, NCPC staff requests that MDOT meet with MNCPPC and NCPC staff to explain how the major Constrained Long-Range Plan (CLRP) transit projects (i.e. Corridor Cities Transitway, Silver Spring Transit Center, etc. that will be built in the future) were included and analyzed in the modeling of the no-build alternative, which MDOT has concluded does not meet the purpose and need. This is also a request of MNCPPC.

The NCPC’s recommendations include:

(a) Scoping Comments Letter (May 2018): NCPC staff recommended a broader Purpose and Need Statement (P&N) to emphasize multimodal connectivity as a primary study component; study measures to capture project impacts; project consistency with local, State, regional, and federal plans/policies; and noted our Commission’s review authorities. In particular, the letter highlighted NCPC’s approval authority over Capper-Cramton park property development, which would be impacted by future capacity improvements along the northern section of the Beltway.

(b) Park Development Review Authorities Letter (October 2018): In follow-up to our scoping comments, staff noted the Commission’s approval authority over Capper-Crampton parkland and that the Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission (MNCPPC) would serve as the applicant for any future park development that requires NCPC approval. NCPC and MNCPPC have an agreement (executed by President Truman) that requires Capper Cramton property to be used for park purposes only. Previously, NCPC has supported projects whereby resulting improvements benefited bicycle, transit, and pedestrian accessibility and stormwater management such as the Purple Line. The Commission also reviews development on National Park Service property through the National Capital Planning Act in an advisory capacity.

(c) Alternatives Retained for Detailed Study Screening Review Letter (March 11, 2018): Staff recommended that MDOT broaden the set of alternatives by adding at least one Transit-focused (BRT or LRT) alternative. Staff also reiterated the 1931 agreement regarding Capper Cramton land and reiterated support for alternatives that minimized/avoided impacts to the parkland.

National Night Out, August 6, 2019

National Night Out (NNO) is a community-police partnership that provides a unique opportunity for residents to increase awareness about crime prevention and safety, get to know their neighbors, and meet local law enforcement and other public safety officers.

Please turn on your porch or lamp-post lights from dusk to midnight on August 6!

In North College Park, the National Night Out event will take place at at Duvall Field from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. This will be an evening of fun and community engagement with neighbors and local law enforcement, plus a bounce house and food.

Other Neighborhood Events include:

College Park Woods | 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Join community members, elected officials and law enforcement officers at the community park at 9119 St. Andrews Place for our annual observance.

Lakeland | 7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Members of the Lakeland Community will come together for its annual observance at Lakeland Community Park. The event will conclude with a walk at dusk.

Berwyn | 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Join your neighbors at Berwyn Neighborhood Park; there will be lots of fun activities including an ice cream social at the end!

For additional information contact your local Neighborhood Watch representative or Call the Department of Public Services at 240-487-3570.

Business of the Year Recognition Program – Please Submit Your Nomination

College Park’s growing and vibrant business community is full of unsung heroes who provide well-paying jobs for our residents, develop creative solutions to everyday problems, and take care of the community that they call home.

To show our appreciation for these outstanding businesses and their positive impacts on our community, the City has recently developed a Business of the Year recognition program. The program is designed to highlight the contributions of one particularly outstanding business each year.

Residents and business owners are encouraged to nominate their favorite businesses for the reward. The winning business will be announced in October and will receive a plaque to place in their establishment.

Nominations are accepted via the online web form on our website now through August 31, 2019. For details or to nominate a business, visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/econdev.
[City of College Park]

Today at the Hollywood Farmers Market

Please see below today’s Hollywood Farmers Market Newsletter
The market will be back in full swing this Saturday! We are looking forward to having our farms back this week. Calvert Farm, EcoCity Farm, Jose Montoya, and Waltz Family Farm will be at the market to complement our honey farm- Victory Chapel Family Farm!
Sven Abow, with Tower Green and Proverbs bands and music teacher at Waldorf school, will join Eric Vesper in guitar and drums.

The University of Maryland Dairy, Baker Charley and Gloria Bakery will return this week. Many, many more….

The Maryland Farmers Market Association is running a #LoveMDmarkets Instagram contest again this year, and for the first time have opened it up to shoppers! Along with market managers, shoppers will be eligible to win big while sharing the love for their favorite markets.
The prize for the winning shopper will be a fully loaded basket of MDFMA’s favorite value-added Maryland-made goodies.
The way the contest works is simple. First, you must follow the Maryland Farmers Market Association on Instagram and join #LoveMDmarkets Facebook group. Shoppers need to post twice a week to their Instagram feed using #LoveMDmarkets and tag MDFMA in their posts! MDFMA will pick a winner based on the total number of likes for posts as well as the originality of the content. Good Luck!

The Buy Local Challenge is July 20th-28th. Why is it important to buy/eat locally grown foods? Buying local is good for you, good for the local economy, and good for the planet! Buying from local farms helps you get products that are fresher, and have traveled much shorter distances overall from farm to fork. Plus, you’re supporting independent family farms which helps strengthen the economy. https://www.buylocalchallenge.com/

Returning (tentatively) vendors for this week include:

  • Alcoba Coffee: Guatemalan coffee by the cup or 1 lb. bag
  • A Little Pottery: Handmade clay products
  • Amity Thai Kitchen: Fresh Thai food
  • Bakery Charley: Gluten Free Desserts
  • Calvert Farms: Fresh, Organically Grown Produce
  • Double Sharp: Local Musicians
  • EcoCity Farms: Pop up farm stand
  • El Sol: Tacos, Tortas and Pupusas
  • Gloria Bakery: Fresh bread, cakes and muffins
  • Inge’s Crochet: Homemade crocheted items for children, adults and pets
  • Joanne Gelles: Paintings
  • Jose Montoya: Fresh Produce
  • SoHy Flowers: Locally Grown bouquets of fresh cut flowers
  • Treasure Alley Crafts: Homemade Jewelry
  • Twin Valley Distillery: Premium Liquors
  • UMD Dairy: Freshly made ice cream sold by the cups
  • Victory Chapel Family Farm: Local Honey
  • Waltz Family Farm: Meat, eggs and cheesesAlso, if you are an Instagram user please follow us at hollywood_farmers_market_md or on Facebook @hollywoodmarket

Copyright © 2015 *Hollywood Farmers Market, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is: hollywoodmarketcp@gmail.com

Night at the Movies: July 19, Hollywood Park

Come and join us for a fun and FREE Night at the Movies on Friday, July 19. Bring your picnic baskets, lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a movie with the whole family under the stars.

The film will be the animated feature, “How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World” starring Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Kit Harington, Cate Blanchett, and F. Murray Abraham for enjoyment by all! Show-time is at sunset.

The event will feature fun activities like a moon bounce, face painting, games and more! There will also be sno-cones and popcorn!

Sponsored by the City of College Park Recreation Board and M-NCPPC PG Parks.

For more information call 240-487-3570.

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting : Council Term Referendum, City Election, City Hall Budget, and More..

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Please see below the important items the North College Park Community Association ( NCPCA) members will be discussing at tonight’s meeting. As usual, the meeting will start at 7:30 pm, at Davis Hall.

1. Charter Review Commission report – The CRC was charged with evaluating the pros and cons of lengthening the term for College Park’s elected officials from two years to four years, and whether those terms should be staggered for Councilmembers. John Krouse, an appointed CRC member will summarize the report and Councilmembers Fazlul Kabir and Kate Kennedy present an update on the Council’s future actions.

2. Candidate Forum – in preparation for the November elections, members will decide on whether to hold a candidates forum as had been done in past years and if so, how it will be organized.

3. EZ Storage (Branchville) – this project was brought before NCPCA 2017 but since that time, the conceptual site plan has had some major changes. The project was never brought back to NCPCA, however, County Councilmember, Tom Dernoga, would like our feedback on the project. Mary Cook will give a brief update on the project.

4. City Bond Bill – A motion was made at the last meeting asking “the City Council to put to referendum approval of the $21+ million for a new City Hall on the November 5 ballot in order to give voters an opportunity to decide whether they want to pay for this project.” A letter was sent prior to last Tuesday’s night Council worksession. Update on next steps.

5. SHA update – brief summary of the results of last month’s meeting. Senator Rosapepe’s office subsequently was in touch. Discussion of next steps.

6. Helicopter flyovers – at the June 13 meeting, we voted to send a letter regarding the helicopter flyovers. Since that time, there has been an article in the Washington Post and the City Council

City to Install 3 Safety Cameras in North College Park

At yesterday’s meeting, the Council awarded a contract to City’s existing security camera system contractor, Hitachi Vantara to install 3 multi-focus security cameras in North College Park, and replace failed equipment in Old Town.

A grant application to the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) was submitted in August 2018 requesting $141,398.00 to expand the City’s security camera and license plate recognition system. In December 2018, the City received notice of an award of $49,998.00. This GOCCP award amount will provide for the installation of three multi-focus security camera locations.

Working with our vendor to assess feasibility, three locations in North College Park have been selected for this expansion. They are:

  • Rhode Island at Edgewood
  • Rhode Island at Duvall Field parking lot, and
  • Lackawanna at 53rd

With these 3 cameras, north College Park will now have 4 cameras in City-controlled public area. City installed the first safety camera at Davis Field playground, at the east end of Kennesaw street.

These cameras are not live monitored, but the video will be stored in case the police needs them when a crime happens, and police start an investigation.

Also, these will be fixed focus with a field of view slightly less than 360 degrees rather than pan/tilt/zoom remote-controlled or fixed pattern. This should provide a greater probability of videoing activity in the area. This is a trend in security camera systems.

Data is stored on-site and remains stored until recorded over. Maximum storage is approximately 30 days or less for locations with more motion-activated recordings.

In addition to the 3 cameras, the Council also approved $19,582.87 to replace some failed equipment in the original system in Old Town m

City to Spend More on City Hall Contract Services to Better Negotiate and to Reduce Cost

At tonight’s meeting, the Council will take additional actions related to the proposed City Hall project – mainly on contract services.

The additional money ( up to $87,000) will allow the City to better negotiate with the University about the joint development and will also allow the design team to find ways to reduce cost. Here are the items the Council will consider approving at tonight’s meeting.

19-G-99 Contract with HR & A for real estate consulting services
The Council will consider awarding a three-year extension to the on-call consulting agreement with HR & A for on-call economic development advisory services. is currently working with City staff regarding negotiations with the University of Maryland to finalize the development agreement (HR & A Task #3). HR & A has developed valuation models to assist the City in negotiations with the University regarding the land, parking garage, and share of the building costs. The negotiations may conclude after August 2019, and the City wants to ensure that HR & A will be able to assist the City until these negotiations are concluded. In addition, the City would like to keep HR & A as on-call consultants when the City needs economic development advisory services in the future on other projects.
19-G-104 Approval of HR&A consulting services in an amount not to exceed $45,000.
The Council will consider approving the payment of up to $45,000 for HR & A assistance with negotiations on the City Hall development agreement with the University of Maryland. HR & A is currently assisting City staff to negotiate with the University of Maryland to finalize the City Hall project development agreement. HR & A has developed valuation models to assist the City in negotiations with the University regarding the land, parking garage, and share of the building costs.
19-G-100 Approval of a change order for the additional design modifications to reduce the size of the City Hall / UMD office space:
The Council will consider approving the payment of $42,000 to Design Collective, Inc. to modify the schematic design plans. Design Collective developed schematic plans based on the programming needs for the City office space, the Council chambers, the University office space, and the retail space. Davis Construction (the Construction Manager at Risk) used these schematic plans to obtain more accurate cost estimates for the proposed building, and the estimates exceeded the 2018 cost estimates for the project. During the April 16, 2019 Council Worksession, the project team presented the schematic plans and possible steps to reduce the size and cost of the project. Council was supportive of pursuing these changes in order to reduce the cost.

Flash Flood Warning Until 1:45 pm Today

College Park us under a Flash Flood Warning until 1:45pm and a Flash Flood Watch until 2:00 pm today. Please be safe when driving, biking or walking.

If you see a flooded area, Turn Around Don’t Drown. Just 12 inches of fast-moving water can carry away a small car. For more information about flood safety, visit https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood.

(City of College Park)

Council to Ask GAO to Include College Park in its Helicopter Noise Study

At the last worksession, I requested that a letter be sent to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting that College Park be included in the GAO study of the effect of helicopter noise in the Washington Metropolitan region.

Recently, the GAO announced that they will conduct a study of the impact of helicopter noise on communities in the National Capital Region.

Many of our residents, especially from north College Park, live with the impacts of regular helicopter noise that interrupts sleep patterns, causes their homes to shake and negatively impacts their quality of life. Disturbances from helicopter noise have been a longstanding problem and many have noted recent increases in the frequency and severity of helicopter noise in their neighborhoods.

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Anthony Brown (D-MD), and David Trone (D-MD) requested the study in January this year.

City Council Term Extension Proposal May Go to Referendum this November

At last week’s meeting, the Council discussed whether to put the question of extending Council term from two-years to four-year to the voters as a non-binding advisory question on the November ballot.

Early this year, the City established a Charter Review Commission (CRC) to hear from our residents on the benefits and concerns associated with changing the length of the term for elected officials from two to four years, and on the benefits and concerns related to staggering those terms or having them run concurrently. Recently, the Committee published its report, which can be found here on City’s website.

The Commission held two public forums, one at the City Hall, and another at Davis Hall early this year. Additionally, it took feedback through the City website. In total, we received 82 comments in opposition to a change from two-year terms, 10 comments in support of a change to a four-year term, and two comments that addressed issues not directly relevant to the term length.

Though a significant majority of responses (87%) was against the Council’s term extension proposal, a referendum might give us a better picture of the overall residents’ view.

Council members discussed placing two questions on the ballot: 1) to direct staff to develop the wording of the ballot question, and once that language is drafted, 2) to approve the ballot language.

Since ballots are sent to the printer at the end of September, the Council will need to approve of the ballot language by September 17. The Council will discuss the item again at the August 7 worksession.

Council Discusses Borrowing of $19 million for City Hall and Duvall Field Projects

At this week’s meeting, the City Council discussed how to finance the construction of the new City Hall and Duvall Field projects.

On April 23, 2019 the City Council voted (7-1) to support the construction of a new City Hall building and plaza by limiting the borrowing of no more than $14 million.

In addition to the City Hall project, the Council also got an estimate of $5 million to complete the second phase of Duvall Field project.

City’s financial consultant is proposing to borrow a loan of up to $14 million for 30 years for the City Hall, and a loan of up to $5 million for 20 years for Duvall Field.

For the combined loan of both projects, the yearly debt services cost for both projects is estimated at $1.1 million per year ($755,000 for City Hall and $347,000 for Duvall Field).

The City currently is also paying $560,000 for the parking garage debt service and $420,456 for the vehicle lease debt service.

If the City borrows $19 million for both projects, the annual debt services to expenditure (City Budget) ratio will jump from the current 3% to around 9%. It is recommended to keep the ratio below 10%.

Lawmakers Introduce the Quiet Communities Act of 2019

Conceptual image about human earing

Several members of Congress have introduced H.R. 3001, the Quiet Communities Act of 2019, which would reestablish the federal noise pollution control office within the EPA. If you are concerned about airport noise, helicopters, road noise, trains, or any other type of loud and excessive noise, please contact your representatives and senators and voice your support for this effort.

The Noise Free America website has more information on the bill, as well as articles on noise-related issues such as its impact on health.

The bill was introduced on May 23, 2019 by Representative Grace Meng (D., New York) and has 34 co-sponsors.

The bill has been sent to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (which is chaired by Representative Frank Pallone, a Democrat from New Jersey) as well as the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (which is chaired by Representative Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon).

Within the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, which is chaired by Representative Daniel Lipinski, a Democrat from Illinois.

Please ask your member of the US House of Representative to support H.R. 3001. Contact information for your House member is here:

Please also ask your members of the US Senate to introduce and support the “Quiet Communities Act of 2019.” Contact information for your Senators is here.

College Park Crime Map: June 2019

The College Park June 2019 crime map was generated from the PGPD crime data for the period of June 2 – June 28, 2019 (Beat 7), June 4 – July 1, 2019 (Beat 6) and June 1 – 17, 2019 (University of Maryland). The interactive map can be seen here: http://bit.ly/2RYC0Ow.

Here is the summary of crime incidents by major neighborhoods. The numbers in parentheses represent the number of crime incidents per 1000 housing units in the corresponding neighborhoods.

North College Park 17 (4.6)
Mid Town (Berwyn / Lakeland) 4 (1.8)
Old town/Calvert Hills 3 (1.4)
Yarrow and Estate 0 (0)
West College Park 1 (1.5)
UMD Campus 10

Know Your Rights Training on July 8

[From CM Danielle Glaros Office]
Please join Monday, July 8, for a Know Your Rights training especially tailored for allies, advocates, educators and service providers.

Know Your Rights Training

Monday, July 8
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Center for Educational Partnership
6200 Sheridan Street

**Overflow parking available just down the hill at William Wirt Middle School, 6200 Tuckerman Street. Please be courteous to the neighborhood residents if you park on the streets surrounding the Center for Educational Partnership**

Staff members from the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) will lead this training. You will also have the opportunity to hear from and visit information tables with: CASA, Capital Area Immigrants Rights Coalition (CAIR), Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), and more.

This is an opportunity for you to learn how you can support vulnerable members of our community.

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