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City’s Bar Owners to Get Involved in Promoting Pedestrian Safety on Route 1

There have been some discussion on how to get College Park’s bar businesses in promoting pedestrian safety on the old town part of Route 1. There have been quite a few fatal accidents happened in that small stretch of the route 1 in recent months. Reports say that many of theses accidents involved pedestrians who were over intoxicated and probably came out of the nearby bars on Route 1 late in night.

The Prince George’s Police and the University of Maryland Police have been working on patrolling this stretch from the beginning of this year. They plan to staff the Knox road and Route 1 area with four officers each from our departments on Thursday through Saturday evenings until 3 AM. They also plan to meet with the bar owners soon to discuss safety improvements on Route 1 as well as the issue of sidewalk overcrowding. They have developed enforcement options to use against proprietors when warnings do not suffice.

The police also have been conducting radar enforcement and DUI checkpoints on Route one. This past Friday night, they stopped and checked over 1100 vehicles and arrested one drunk driver. He is being represented by drink driving lawyers Melbourne. These activities will continue and increase once students return to campus.

Also, within the past year the County police has spent in excess of $40,000 in overtime funds specifically policing and maintaining high visibility patrols in the downtown area. Additionally, UMPD and PGPD have a very strong presence downtown almost every night. They will continue these efforts during the coming year. That says, police says that it is a continuous struggle to maintain order overnight.

Some of our City officials have already been working with one of the bar owners to change egress from his business during high volume times and late night. In one bar, work has been plan and should be finished by the time school starts to remove and replace the side stairs. The repair needs to happen first.

Also, the city staff has an annual meeting with local bar owners coming up and that this will be a topic of conversation. He will then report back to Council on that and we can decide then whether to invite the bar owners to a Council worksession for follow-up.

The University of Maryland Police team, at the end of the school year, set up temporary bollards with chains/rope/police tape on the sidewalk to keep patrons closer to buildings and keep sidewalks as clear as possible. With fewer patrons during summer, they are most likely not planning to bring those back until school is back. They did report success with those.

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