How Should Billions be Spent on Transportation in MD?

The Coalition for Smarter Growth is hosting a forum on transportation priorities for Maryland.

How should Maryland spend billions on transportation? What will it mean for you, your family, and your commute?

Congress is about to draft the 6-Year Transportation Reauthorization bill that could bring billions to Maryland in national transportation funding and set priorities that will affect our region.

Check it out on May 14th at City Hall.

Would a Community Land Trust work in CP?

An editorial in today’s Diamondback puts forth the idea that a Community Land Trust (CLT) is just the ticket for snapping up vacant properties along Route 1. Then it would be the trustees (that would be us) that can make decisions on the development of the property. These CLT’s have been used successfully in many different areas including college towns. There is even one just south on Route 1 called the Gateway Community Development Corporation

So how exactly does s CLT work? The Urban Strategies Council based in Oakland CA  gives a nice thumbnail sketch.

1) Bank forecloses on property and takes ownership
2) Vacant, foreclosed property creates blight and public safety risk
3) Resident led community land trust(CLT) negotiates with bank to purchase property
4) CLT purchases property to maintain permanent affordability
5) CLT retains ownership of land
6) Lower-to-moderate income homebuyer purchases improvements (house) from the CLT
7) CLT leases land back to homeowner

Talk about rethinking College Park. Personally I’ve never heard of such a thing. However the idea sounds promising. A CLT can have a more long range community-based objective instead of just the bottom line. Maybe a CLT could have kept Paperworks and several other local businesses around.

The full Editorial is show below the break.. Continue reading Would a Community Land Trust work in CP?

East Campus Gets Its Own Stimulus Package

In the age of multi Billion dollar bailouts and Trillion dollar budgets this story seems almost quaint. The state budget includes $5 million (small m) to defray University relocation costs for East Campus. Several departments must be moved to make way for the development. Some local officials aren’t happy about putting up funds for a project that is still up in the air. However campus officials are confident the project will move forward once financing is in place for the developer. In any case SOMETHING will go on those 38 acres so it makes sense to move ahead with the relocation plans.

“We have to build new facilities on the campus in order to move everybody off the East Campus site, and we need to do it soon,” said Ann Wylie, the university’s vice president for administrative affairs. “We really want to get started on this.”


The Purple Line coming soon to a Theater near you.

I laughed, I cried, It was much better than Cats.

The struggles of a few loyal riders on a Purple Line platform in 2014 is the setting for a new play called “Tracks” by Paul Stregevsky from Poolsville Maryland. Stregevsky hopes that by winning a contest he can secure a one day spot at the Strathmore Music Center during the 2009-2010 season. Why stop there? I would love to see the play at the Clarice Smith Center for Performing Arts. Maybe even someday I can ride the Purple Line to see the play about the Purple Line.

“Tracks” is set in 2014 when the Purple Line, a 16-mile proposed light rail project running from Bethesda and New Carrollton via Silver Spring, has supposedly been completed. Most of the action and the 23 musical numbers take place on the platform of an isolated station at the extreme end of the line. The transit authority has announced that unless at least 18 riders use the station every day, it will close.

Close? CLOSE? Lets get the darn thing open first!


Loss of Lasicks’s Drive Through Is Long Overdue

The county might be pulling the plug on the Trailer Park drive though on Route 1. Lasicks’s used be a decent resaurant that burned to the gound several years ago. The owners have always been involved with the city in many positive ways. But come on. Enough is enough with the “temporary” trailer.

The county-issued liquor license for Lasick’s College Inn Liquors is set to expire at the end of May, according to city officials who attended a county liquor board hearing for the store last month.


Rethink College Park Needs YOU!

We need your help. RTCP needs a few good folks to make regular postings.

If you are interested in moving College Park towards a better future and would like to contribute to RTCP please consider joining our list of contributors. Signing up is as simple as following these steps.

  1. Register yourself on the site.
  2. Then fire off an e-mail to rethinkcollegepark (remove the space before the @ symbol) and tell us about yourself.
  3. We will then upgrade your account to a “contibutor” role which will allow you to write posts and save them in draft mode.
  4. The editors of RethinkCollegePark will then  “publish” the post. We reserve the right to make editorial changes.

 You can read what we are all about here.

Porcari chosen for No. 2 spot in Obama Transportation Department

From Campus to the State House to the White House. Although I’m sure his agenda will be National in focus at least he is well versed in the needs of College Park. As our own Kevin Fallon pointed out Route 1 is “Shovel Ready BABY!”

President Barack Obama turned to Maryland for another high-level appointment Friday as the White House announced that he intends to name Maryland Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari to the No. 2 position in the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Baltimore Sun