Hollywood: Despite Lack of Progress, Dreams Live On

Hollywood Commercial District (Present), corner of Nantucket Road and Rhode Island Avenue, facing north. The existing conditions include prominent power lines, narrow sidewalks, garbage bins, and widely spacedbuildings with little presence on the street. The frontage road is lined only by grassy medians

Hollywood Commercial District - Artist's rendering. An attractive, walkable environment for strolling pedestrians. Once side medians are planted—and a transit lane is added to the center of Rhode Island Avenue (Draft, see the amendments )

In 2009, the M-NCPPC, after several community meetings, the Maryland Park and Planning released the final US 1 Corridor sector plan documents.

The two year old, 100+ page heavy Route 1 sector plan documents may be gathering dusts in the M-NCPPC’s office shelves, but that shouldn’t stop us from keeping our dreams alive.

I took the artist’s rendering of what our Hollywood Commercial District would look like from the plan along with a picture of what it looks now (please see above).

The plan’s vision statement lays out a rather impressive goal: “The Central US 1 Corridor is a vibrant hub of activity highlighted by walkable concentrations of pedestrian- and transit-oriented mixed-use development, integration of the natural and built environments, extensive use of sustainable design techniques, thriving residential communities, a complete and balanced transportation network, and a world-class educational institution.”

The sector plan envisions the following changes to the area.

Maximize the potential of the Rhode Island Avenue multiway boulevard
New sidewalks and parallel parking shouldbe added, and street trees should be planted inrows on the median and along the sidewalks.Private investment will follow public investment,yet regulatory reform is necessary to require thekind of development which lives up to its multiwayboulevard address. Redevelopment in appropriateplaces should be in the form of multi-story, multiusebuildings with storefronts and mid-blockparking.

Provide a green for neighbors and visitors
A green at any one of the four corners of the intersection of Edgewood Drive and Rhode IslandAvenue can become a highly visible and much frequented centerpiece of Hollywood. A small structure in the park such as a gazebo can servecommunity functions. Parallel parking along theRhode Island Avenue multiway boulevard should beoffered instead of a large parking lot.

Share the parking and interconnect it
Create shared parking regulations. Businesses that have different peak times (a medical office and amovie theater for example) can utilize the sameparking spaces and reduce the total number of spaces needed. Consolidated driveways will allowbusinesses to share parking spaces. Interconnecting the parking lots and assembling a network of alleyswill allow motorists to circulate between nearbybusinesses without necessarily re-entering the trafficon Rhode Island Avenue.

Please also check the related amendments to this draft plan. I made a post on the amendments before here.

There are some silver linings in this lack of development though. After the County finishes installing the traffic signal and its other improvements at the four corner intersection, the City will be working on a streetscape improvement plan. It says it will be also holding a public session on the proposed community center.

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2 Comments to “Hollywood: Despite Lack of Progress, Dreams Live On”

  1. By Patrick Wojahn, October 31, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

    Thanks for posting about the Hollywood Commercial District – this is an area that the City has a lot of plans to work on over the next couple years, and the sector plan is part of that. I should note, though, to prevent confusion, that I think you were working off the draft version of the sector plan. The final version (which is actually more than THREE hundred pages) has unfortunately not yet been published, but it includes a number of amendments to this, both from Park and Planning (available here – http://www.pgplanning.org/Assets/Planning/Programs+and+Projects/Community+Plans/Central+US+1/Planning+Board+Resolution+of+Adoption.pdf) and from the County Council (available here – http://lis.princegeorgescountymd.gov/lis/default.asp?File=CR-50-2010&Type=&Action=GO). The amendments eliminated any reference to Rhode Island Ave. as a “multi-way boulevard” and made clear that Rhode Island Ave. is intended to be kept a two-lane road. It also eliminated reference to Muskogee St. and Narragansett Parkway as “great, pedestrian-oriented streets.” It added a new goal of establishing a community center in the Hollywood Commercial District, and also of establishing a merchants’ association. The whole sector plan discusses a variety of tools, including a new streetscape plan, to spur redevelopment in the commercial district. I encourage you to read the amendments so that you have a full understanding of the sector plan and what the City and County will be working on there over the next few years.

  2. By Fazlul Kabir, October 31, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

    Patrick, Thanks a lot for your comments on the amendments. I am actually aware of the amendments you mentioned and made a post back in June last year, when they were passed by the county council. https://www.kabircares.org/central-us-1-sector-plan-and-sectional-map-amendment-approved/ Nonetheless, I added notes about these amendments to this post.

    I also mentioned about the community center in the post. This is something I support wholeheartedly and I’ve also written about this in the past too. https://www.kabircares.org/perrys-race-card-fails-to-convince-council-against-hollywood-community-center/

    Thanks again for visiting..