The City of College Park offers a paid part-time (15-20 hrs/ wk) internship position with the Department of Planning’s Economic Development Section. We are seeking a graduate student with an interest in economic development, technical writing, and design. The candidate must be able to work independently, write effectively and meet with community stakeholders. Experience with Microsoft Office, including Publisher (or other graphics software) and ArcGIS is desired. For more information about the position, contact Chris Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David West, a City and Regional Planning Grad Student at Cornell University, recently contacted Rob Goodspeed and me about Rethink College Park. He’s one of the several students that has approached us over the years to talk about this community participation and information sharing project. We had an interesting hour-long discussion about the site and at the end he sent me a follow up email with a great question that I thought I share it with you: “Is the project [Rethink College Park] more about community involvement or education?”
Keep in mind that of the 65 or so respondents to our 2007 Reader Survey, 16% reported contacting a University official and 23% a City official after reading the site. That was a self-selecting survey of our most avid readers and had a number of humbling comments, which I took great joy in reading again just now.
After some time thinking about David West’s question and providing him with some areas where I felt RTCP had real on-the-ground impact, I ended with the following:
“I’d say overall I recognize that a small minority of the population will really ever get involved actively in hyper-local politics, so I try not to get frustrated by the lack of involvement and instead embrace the fact that the site has quietly changed the way thousands of readers view College Park… it has given people hope where there was none before. I’m not talking about baseless hope. I’m talking about hope grounded in the economic opportunism of developers and a decade worth of nitty-gritty policy change instituted by forward-thinking people. We [Rethink College Park] just had the audacity to tell people what was actually going on in their community and try to help push it from paper to reality.”
I’m hoping that we’ll get more than the usual suspects commenting on this post:
I’d really like to see what people think. Is the project more about community involvement or education? What’s the impact of the project on how you view College Park?
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The city is currently working to develop a strategic plan to identify key needs and formulate strategies for addressing them over the next five years. Topics that may be addressed in the strategic plan include public safety, transportation (e.g., traffic, transit), environment and sustainability, city-university relations, neighborhood quality of life, community services, and economic development. This strategic plan is not just about development, it is about trying to set a framework for all aspects of your city government and how we can do a better job in the future.
Come to the College Park Blues Festival and shake your tail-feathers. There will be food, vendors, and great music.
WHEN: November 7th 7pm-1130pm
WHERE: Ritchie Coliseum
Features players will be
- Homemade Jamz Blues Band
- DC Blues Society Band
- Big Boy Little (Winner of the DCBS Battle of the Bands)
See the Blues Fest 2009 poster for more info.
Groovy video of the kids in action with BB King after the break. Come on out!
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Our post on the new possible location for the College Perk brought a few interesting observations.
“Please say it ain’t so” got things riled up with this post.
Ok the folks who ran the original place had issues with confronting the basic reality of doing business, like getting permits and paying taxes and rent with without getting all sorts of wacky. If they even manged to start up I doubt they have the ability to function over the long term. Due to their established track record of not being able to rationally function within the base line realm of the business world I’d say this is a losing proposition.
Shea Hickman’s response below the fold.
What are you doing on November 3rd? If you are a resident of the City we urge you to head over to your local polling location and vote. The Gazette has a pretty good election guide which will at least give you a starting point.
If you aren’t sure which District is yours this map should help out.
Do you the faithful readers have any questions you would like to pose to the candidates? What is important to you? If so post your question in the comment area. Then click on the “thumbs-up” icon on the questions you like best. We at RTCP will try and get answers and post the results.
This video from Street Films explains several of the new bike lane options that are being deployed in New York City.
The Campus Bicycle Study discusses several of the same options shown in the film. At 3:22 they discuss Shared Lanes and the use of “Sharrows” which was a recommendation for portions of Knox Road.
When viewing the video I can’t help but think of the possibilities on Route 1 and in Old Town.
View Larger Map
The saga of the Trolley Trail crossing at Paint Branch Parkway continues. The Diamondback reports that in a City Council meeting earlier this month, local officials intend to install “speed-monitoring” cameras at the wildly dangerous crossing. This is just one more step in an attempt to make the crossing safer after several years of complaints to the County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation. As we reported in June 2007, County Councilman Eric Olson spearheaded an effort that eventually led to the implementation of various safety measures at the crossing that included signage, rumble strips, a pedestrian “refuge” in the middle of the road, and a pedestrian activated signal. Unfortunately (we imply no fault of local officials), the effort led to a meager 4 foot wide pedestrian refuge in the median of the 35-mph thoroughfare and a flashing yellow light, which as a Washcycle commenter (Me) complained by August of 2007, was a “big disappointment and a big waste of money.” Try holding a bike on that pedestrian refuge and keeping your life. It should be at least 6 feet, if not 8.
The fundamental problem is that we’ve introduced an unfamiliar pedestrian element into what is, for all intents and purposes, a high speed thoroughfare. This new “element”, which was installed sometime in 2008, brings a false sense of security to pedestrians/bicyclists and only marginally increases safety at the crossing. Drivers are not use to pedestrian activated mid-block crossings in this region and yellow flashing lights are interpreted as “caution” or “yield” and not “stop” to most drivers. The latter point explains why you often see drivers zooming by school buses with yellow lights blaring just before bus stop signs are unfurled. Is it any surprise that we’ve seen three serious accidents here in just over a year?
Shown above from left to right. Mayor Reeves, Mayor Kushner, Mayor Lomax, Mayor Reading
Former Mayor Alvin Kushner passed away Tuesday at the age of 82. I know his family are avid readers of RTCP and our thoughts are with them. Mr Kushner was working hard to make College Park a great town long before blogs even existed. More details in this Gazette article
Kushner is survived by his wife, Gail, and three daughters, Debbie, Jane and Jennifer.
A joint program presented by the College Park Housing Authority and the College Park City-University Partnership has raised $1 million dollars for the WORK & LIVE COLLEGE PARK program. The program offers up to $35,000 towards the purchase of a home in the City of College Park. Whats the catch? Find out after the break.