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City May Reduce Speed Limit On Rhode Island Ave in North College Park

At next week’s meeting, the City Council will discuss a proposal to reduce the speed limit on Rhode Island Avenue in north College Park.

The City has received feedback and complaints from residents regarding speeds and vehicle/pedestrian interactions along this road segment. Given the high pedestrian and bicycle activity level, high speeds along this corridor create safety concerns. They can often result in vehicles failing to yield to pedestrians within marked crosswalks.

In response to this issue, the City has installed several Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB) devices along the corridor to enhance visibility and yielding rates of vehicles to pedestrians utilizing the crosswalks. In addition, the City has recently remarked on Rhode Island Avenue to refresh lane lines, narrow travel lanes, and provide bike lanes and signage throughout the corridor.

The project was completed in 2022, and after the improvements were completed, the City conducted a weeklong traffic count and speed study in October 2022 utilizing a road-tube counter. According to the study, some vehicles travel well above 40 MPH. In the northbound direction, 13,924 vehicles out of 53,430 total vehicles (26.1%) were traveling above the posted speed limit. Of the 13,924 northbound vehicles traveling above the limit, 2,309 vehicles (16.6%) were traveling above 40 MPH. In the southbound direction, even more, vehicles were traveling above the posted limit, with 16,764 of 43,820 total vehicles (38.3%) traveling above 35 MPH. Of the 16,764 vehicles traveling southbound above the limit, 3,501 vehicles (20.8%) were traveling above 40 MPH. In both directions, a non-negligible number of vehicles traveling above 45 MPH. As demonstrated by the outliers in the speed study, there does appear to be a need to slow vehicles down to ensure the safety of other transportation modalities.

With pedestrian and bicycle safety being a priority for the City of College Park, the City has implemented bike lanes and pedestrian crossings along this corridor over the past decade. Bike lanes are provided on both sides of Rhode Island Avenue, and many marked crosswalks are along the corridor. Additionally, the City has installed RRFB devices at four intersections along Rhode Island Avenue: Muskogee Street, Hollywood Road, Geronimo Street, and Cherokee Street. As part of this study, City’s consultant LTC deployed traffic cameras at these intersections to observe pedestrian and vehicle interactions at the RRFB locations over two days. LTC observed whether vehicles stopped pedestrians once the beacon was activated, and the observations are summarized in Table below.

Studies have shown that lower speed limits lead to fewer crashes and injuries, particularly in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic. Reducing the posted speed, in conjunction with other traffic calming techniques, would likely have a positive benefit for more vulnerable road users and increase the yield rates at pedestrian crossings and the effectiveness of RRFB crossings.

The study recommends that a posted speed limit of 30 MPH be considered first if no other physical improvements are to be proposed. However, without other measures or enforcement, speed limit changes alone may not have the desired effect. If other traffic calming techniques are employed, such as installing raised crosswalks, chicanes, or speed humps, operating speeds would likely decrease enough to justify a 25 MPH speed limit. Regardless of what the City ultimately ends up adopting, the corridor should continue to be monitored after implementing any improvements to evaluate the impact the improvements may have had on operating speeds, pedestrian behavior, and its effects on safety for all modalities.

Today: 50+ Senior Job Fair

Join Employ Prince George’s at the 50+ Senior Job Fair on Saturday, June 3, at Fairmont Heights High School starting at 12pm. Whether you’re looking for a part-time job to supplement your retirement income or a full-time job to keep you busy and engaged, opportunities are available at the 50+ Senior Job Fair! To register please click here.

Metro Asks Community Input on their Future Bus Network

WMATA’s Better Bus team has received numerous comments across the region, at in-person programs, pop-up events at bus stops, bus ride-alongs, and via their online comment tool.

And they still want to hear from more current and future riders. The online comment option allows riders to identify their route and provide comments or suggestions on what they like, dislike or would like to see (see screenshot below).

Better Bus – Comment Your Trip (wmata.com)

Bridge Repairs on Beltway at Route 1 Starts Today

Starting today, Thursday, June 1, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration will begin a project to fix and maintain the US 1 (Baltimore Avenue) bridge over I-95/I-495 (Capital Beltway) interchange in College Park. The work will happen at night from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Sundays to Thursdays, and it should be finished by late summer if the weather allows.

During the project, there will be temporary closures and detours on some ramps in the interchange, and parts of the shoulders on I-95/I-495 will be closed. The ramp from southbound US 1 to the I-95/495 Inner Loop will have a yield sign because one lane under the bridge will be closed for repairs.

Also, one lane will be closed on the acceleration lane on the I-95/I-495 Inner Loop. Crews will put up a concrete barrier to close the right shoulder on the I-495 Inner Loop under the bridge for the whole project.

This work is important to keep the bridge in good condition for many years. The Marksmen Company from Baltimore will do the work. If you have any questions, please call the State Highway Administration District 3 Office at 301-513-7300 or toll-free at 1-800-749-0737.

The SHA states that lane closures can be inconvenient, but this work is necessary to ensure our transportation system is safe and dependable. SHA advises slowing down when approaching and driving through the work zones.

In Pictures – Memorial Day 2023 in College Park

I had the honor of attending the Memorial Day event at the Veterans Memorial, and I must say it was an incredible sight to see the overwhelming support and participation from our community members. The event was a true testament to the deep respect and gratitude we hold for our brave veterans and their selfless sacrifices. I am immensely grateful to the Veteran Memorial Committee, and our City staff for their unwavering dedication and planning in organizing such a memorable event. Later on, I went to the luncheon at College Park American Legion Post 217, where I had the honor of giving awards to the winners of the essay contest “What patriotism means to me?”

[Photo credit: Normand A. Bernache]

Classic Car Show: Saturday, June 17

Join your neighbors on Saturday, June 17 from 10 AM-1 PM for a Classic Car Show! Browse our classic car lineup while enjoying BBQ, and entertainment from The Rockets. Register your car by emailing events@collegeparkmd.gov

Honoring those Who Made Ultimate Sacrifice for Our Country

Today is the Memorial Day. This is the day when we remember and mourn those brave men and women in uniform who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can all enjoy our freedom and live in peace and security.

I want to thank our Veterans Memorial Committee for putting together today’s Memorial Day event at teh Veteran’s memorial. I also want to congratulate them on the 30th anniversary of the Memorial’s Dedication!

Memorial Day Week Collection Schedule

Because of the Memorial Day observance, the refuse and recycling will occur one day later than usual during this holiday week:

  • Monday collections will occur Tuesday, May 30
  • Tuesday collections will occur Wednesday, May 31
  • Wednesday collections will occur Thursday, June 1

Special collections for brush and bulky items will only be scheduled for Friday, June 2, this holiday week. You must call 240-487-3590 or email publicworks@collegeparkmd.gov to schedule a pickup before setting your items to the curb.

Memorial Day Observance – This Monday

The City of College Park will hold its annual Memorial Day Observance on Monday, May 29 at 11:00 a.m. at the College Park Veterans Memorial at the intersection of Rt. 1 and Greenbelt Rd. The program will include music, speakers, and a wreath laying in fitting tribute to the men and women who have served our country.

This year commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Memorial’s Dedication! The College Park Memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day, May 1993.

Please bring pictures of your loved ones, veterans alive or passed to share on our Honors Table. Parking is available near Bowlero at 9021 Baltimore Ave. This event is sponsored by the City’s Veterans Memorial Committee.

Free Classes – Fitness In the Park

FYI the Department of Parks and Recreation Pr. Geo. County is hosting some FREE fitness in the parks events, including one here in College Park!
Learn more about their Fitness in the Parks program and all the available fitness opportunities this spring and summer at https://www.pgparks.com/4720/Fitness-in-the-Parks.


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