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Stuff the Bus – School Bus Drive

County DPW&T’s Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive will be accepting school supplies for students Monday through Friday from 10AM – 2PM now through Monday, August 16, at 9400 Peppercorn Place in Largo. Please spread the word.

Update on the Rhode Island / Greenbelt Road Intersection Improvement Project

In case you’re interested in knowing the latest update on Greenbelt Road at Rhode Island Avenue project, here is what is happening.

  • The bike lane striping across Greenbelt Road is incomplete and there is a low spot in the crown of the road as you can see in the photograph.
  • Staff spoke with the current project manager this morning about the incomplete work. The project manager is going to meet with the contractor later today to go over our concerns and other items that need to be corrected.
  •  The Contractors contract should be over this coming October and the work should be totally complete.  Hopefully, the project will be completed sooner.

Here is a little background in case you’re interested:

There was always a pedestrian safety problem at this intersection because you had to cross 5 lanes of traffic.  The problem became more evident in 2014 when SHA resurfaced and restriped Greenbelt Road.  A left-turning problem developed at Rhode Island Avenue that made the Pedestrian problem worse. In 2016 SHA began to address the pedestrian crossing problem.

Thanks to our City staff who have been keeping an eye on the project..

Park Finder – An Interactive Tool to Find Local Park.

The PGParks is offering a new resource to assist in finding amenities near you!

ParkFinder is an interactive map to find local parks, community centers, museums, art centers, pools, and more. You can search facilities based on name, amenity types, and ADA-compliant features. Try it out today at www.pgparks.com/parkfinder.

¡Nos complace ofrecer un nuevo recurso para ayudarlo a encontrar facilidades cerca de usted! “ParkFinder” es un mapa interactivo para encontrar parques locales, centros comunitarios, museos, centros de arte, piscinas y más. Puede buscar instalaciones según el nombre, los tipos de servicios y las características que cumplen con la ADA. Pruébelo hoy en www.pgparks.com/parkfinder.

Planning Board Reverses Votes to Approve Beltway Expansion

Last week, the regional Transportation Planning Board (TPB) voted to include the toll lanes project in its long-range transportation plan.

The vote on Wednesday reversed a decision in June to remove the toll lanes from the TPB plan. There are many more challenges ahead for MDOT before ground can be broken on this project.

Critics have complained that “Governor Hogan’s campaign to win the TPB vote was an exercise in political bullying, including misleading attack ads and threats to cancel funding for other transportation projects. The threat to defund other projects was effective, despite the fact that he had not even included them in his transportation spending plan.”

More here:

In High-Stakes Vote, Transportation Board Revives Hogan Highway Plan
Maryland Matters, July 21, 2021

Regional Board Reverses Vote, Approves Controversial Toll Lanes for Beltway and I-270 in Maryland
dcist, July 21, 2021

Tolls for I-270, parts of Beltway, back on list of DC-area long-term plans
WTOP, July 21, 2021

City Council Reiterates its Opposition of I-495 Beltway Expansion

At last week’s Council meeting, the College Park City Council approved a letter reiterating its concerns about the widening of the I-495 beltway. The letter reads:

The Mayor and Council of the City of College Park wish to take this opportunity to restate our strong opposition to the proposed widening and addition of toll lanes for I-495 and I-270. We are concerned that the project will not protect the best interests of Maryland’s taxpayers and will negatively impact the environment and our residents. We remain concerned about the project’s negative environmental impacts and damage to the quality of life in neighborhoods adjacent to the roads.

While road widening may provide short-term congestion relief, studies have shown that in the long-term similar projects lead to more driving, more trips, and more sprawl. The City of College Park supports smart-growth development and transit alternatives instead of a roadway
expansion. The City Council supports The Purple Line and dedicated funding for our region’s transit system. A regional approach to smart growth is necessary, along with enhanced transit beyond the Purple Line (such as a regional Bus Rapid Transit strategy) and improved, connected ways for people to walk and bike to transit or to their jobs.

We respectfully request that you reject the I-495 and I-270 widening project and pursue long-term solutions that create sustainable, healthy, and vibrant communities and economies

City Council Approves 1-Year Objectives of the new Strategic Plan

At last night’s meeting, the City Council approved the Strategic Plan One-Year Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) for FY22. After the five-year OKRs were approved by Council previously, City staff prioritized and created one-year objectives for six of the 10 five-year OKRs. Each department has developed OKRs that contribute to accomplishing the one-year objectives during the first quarter of FY22 (July 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021). This quarterly OKRs include:
(a) All employees and Council will support and contribute to the City’s mission and vision and how the strategic plan will drive and focus City resources.
(b) Educate residents in behaviors to reduce waste and increase recycling. Expand and improve our parks and green spaces.
(c) Highlight and acknowledge our history and improve racial equity in College Park through collaboration with community groups and neighborhoods.
(d) Increase positive community-building interaction between all Public Services staff and the community to enhance public safety and compliance with City regulations.
(e) Create a stable community with more housing choices, job opportunities, and leisure-time activities for residents to live, work, and re-invest in the City.
(f) Improve the quality of City services and accessibility of information to enhance the user experience and transact City business more efficiently.

College Park Announces National Night Out 2021

National Night Out
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Various Times and Locations

Come and join the various neighborhood events at Berwyn Neighborhood Park, College Park Woods Park, Lakeland Community Park, Cherry Hill Neighborhood Park, and Duvall Field for National Night Out this year! More information coming soon.

Community Meeting: Cherry Hill Road Median

Community Meeting: Cherry Hill Road Median
On Monday, July 19, 2021 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., Prince George’s County is hosting a community meeting to discuss the median option along Cherry Hill Road at the Shopping Center.
The project is to address the following issues:
  1. Left turning traffic from eastbound Cherry Hill into the easternmost College Park Market Place shopping center entrance.
  2. Left turning traffic from the eastern most College Park Market Place shopping center entrance on to eastbound Cherry Hill Road.
  3. Traffic turning into and out of Autoville Drive from Cherry Hill Road.
  4. Traffic backed up on westbound Cherry Hill Road leading into the Starbucks in the College Park

Meeting link

In Pictures – Hollywood Dog Park Grand Opening

It was exciting to join the community to Officially open this latest amenity in north College Park.

For many years now, residents have been asking us to build a dog park where you can bring your dogs (or I should say fur babies) so that they can play with other fur babies, and the “parents” can socialize with your neighbors at the same time.

I want to first thank residents for asking for this amenity. So my congratulations go to them on having such a wonderful amenity. I want to thank the residents for getting involved as we designed the park with different ideas in the park – the big and small dog play areas, fences, water fountains, benches, the safer sidewalk, the parking, the maintenance.

I also want to thank our staff and the project team who worked so hard from designing the park to the construction. In particular, I want to thank the staff at the Public Works who have been so responsive in addressing the issues throughout the construction.

I also, want to thank the County’s Board of Education for allowing us to use the land where we built the park.

I want to thank my City Council Colleagues for supporting the project from the very beginning. This park is not only for north College Park but for the entire City. Speaking of which I want to thank and recognize my former district 1 Council colleague Christine Nagle for being so instrumental in the beginning phase of the project.

With your help and support, we’ll continue to bring amenities to the community, including an improved Duvall field, a vibrant Hollywood commercial district with a nice streetscape, and a new community center.

Thank you and Congratulations!

Here are a few pictures of the grand opening. Photo credits go to Brian Roan.

[Photo credit: Brian Roan]

Today: College Park Aviation Campus Friday Night Film

July 16, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.
Start your weekend with the College Park Aviation Museum and Airport! Bring the whole family and come out for a night of food, games, and a movie on the Aviation Campus. While you wait for the movie to start, visit the Museum at a special rate of $2 per person (discount admission is only from 4pm-6pm), grab a bite to eat from the food truck and play one of the oversize games available.

Please note that this event is just to reserve your movie circle and not a visit to the Museum. In order to visit the Museum, please make a reservation through pgparksdirect.com or call the Museum for more information. Reserving for the movie does NOT count as a reservation to visit the Museum. All guests must have a ticket. Movie is rated PG. Contact jamie.jones@ppgarks.com for more information

More here: https://www.mncppc.org/Calendar.aspx?EID=17184&mc_cid=8ef0656e75&mc_eid=897f139dba

City Announces College Park Day this Year

College Park Day
Saturday, October 9, 2021 | 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Save the date. We hope you plan to join us! For more information, visit www.collegeparkday.org.

Night at the Movies Friday, July 30, 2021

Night at the Movies
Friday, July 30, 2021 | 8:00 p.m.
Duvall Field

Come and join us for a fun and free Night at the Movies on July 30 at Duvall Field (9100 Rhode Island Avenue)! Bring your picnic baskets, lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a movie with the whole family under the stars. Feature Presentation: Raya and the Last Dragon. Masks are encouraged. Please try to socially distance and give six feet of space between groups.

Hollywood Elementary School Students May Get Tutoring Help

One of the new 2021-2025 Strategic Plan goals is to advocate for improving the quality of education and learning opportunities for our residents and community’s future.
The City Council has added $40,000 to the approved FY22 budget for potentially funding literacy programs for local students.
At tomorrow’s meeting, The DC Regional Director, Jax Chaudry, will present program information to Council and explain how The Literacy Lab program is implemented in schools and the costs associated with program implementation.
The Literacy Lab has been in contact with Hollywood Elementary School in College Park to discuss piloting a program at this school. 65% of students (278) attending Hollywood Elementary reside in the City of College Park, the most for any school serving College Park residents.
The Education Advisory Committee will meet on 7/19/2021 to review the Literacy Lab information and develop a recommendation to Council regarding financially supporting a pilot program of The Literacy Lab at Hollywood Elementary

Council to Discuss City’s options to Reduce Noise from Cars

The City has been receiving an increasing number of complaints about loud noise from vehicles on the City roads.
At this week’s meeting, the Council will discuss City’s options to reduce noise from cars.
Staff is recommending the following options
(a) Use City Code against loud noise coming from vehicles on the property: The City Code, Chapter 138, Noise, does not apply to moving vehicles. This Chapter, however, does and has been applied to noise generated by vehicles on an identifiable property. Under these conditions, a property owner is held responsible for noise from any source which violates the code limits, including loud vehicles on that property.
(b) Modified Exhaust:  Police will issue equipment repair orders when they stop a vehicle with a modified exhaust. These orders require the restoration of vehicle exhaust systems to factory specifications.
(c) Speed enforcement: Police also issue citations for speeding, which often occurs simultaneously when drivers are demonstrating loud exhausts. City automated speed enforcement cameras issue speeding citations,
(d) Premise checks of rallying locations: City Contract Police will continue to conduct high visibility premise checks at known rallying locations for modified vehicle groups within the City.

City Plans to Use $20 million of ARPA Funds

Congress has recently enacted the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and specifically the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (LFRF). They provided the City with significant funding to be used to help the City, its local businesses, families, and individuals recover from the major negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

Based on the most recent information the estimated total funding for the City is $21.97 million. The FY2022 Approved Budget had estimated the total funding at $16.1 million based on the General Fund budget. 50% of the funding is expected to be received this month, July 2021, and the remaining 50% 12 months later, July 2022. The specific allowable uses of the funds have been generally established. The proposed uses of the funds in total are as follows:

Most of the recovery of lost revenue was earmarked in the FY2022 budget for transfer to the Capital Project Fund for use in existing projects; and provide for an additional $180,000 of budgeted expenditures in FY2022. The remaining amounts can be allocated for a wide range of uses as Council deems necessary.

Among the $5.8 million of CIP funds allocation, the staff is recommending to spend $614K for the Hollywood streetscape project, $250K for the CP Woods community building, $1.25 million on the pavement management plan, and another $1.25 million on the complete & Green streets project that fund the sidewalks.

The $9 million for grants and assistance is proposed to be allocated to several areas. These uses will require changes to existing programs or the development/creation of specific new programs. Currently, the staff is recommending the following areas for eligible entities:
1. Hotels & Tourism Industry
2. Restaurants
3. Local non-profit food banks and food delivery service organizations
4. Other local small businesses and non-profits
5. Additional funding of the City’s existing Business Façade and Improvement Grant program.

Th City Council will discuss these allocations at next week’s City Council meeting.

[City of College Park]