Back on April 4th the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission presented the results of their Purple Line community workshop at a public meeting. I attended, and while M-NCPPC’s delay in posting material has delayed this writeup, there’s still quite a bit to talk about. The Prince George’s County Planning Department within M-NCPCC established five Station Planning Areas to address stations areas not covered by another plan of some form.
If you happen to be a College Park resident and a fan of biking, then the developments in the past few weeks have been cause for celebration. First, we had the announcement from Prince George’s county about their ground breaking legislation for improved pedestrian and cyclist connections in new developments. Then, to kick off Bike Month on May 1st, Governor O’Malley announced that College Park and the University of Maryland were awarded a state grant to establish a bike sharing program.
Efforts to bring bike sharing to College Park have long been in the works, and there have already been several failed attempts in the past few years, including a few associated with the federal stimulus (TIGER & TIGER II), and another one with the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority grant program. So this victory has been hard fought and now that the state grant has been won, the city can move on and focus its efforts on designing and building a bike share program.
Important details about the proposed bike share program can be found in this Patch article. The proposed College Park/UMD bike sharing program will be part of the Capital Bikeshare network. Originally started in DC & Arlington less than two years ago (Sept. 2010), Capital Bikeshare has experienced explosive growth , with over 18,000 members and one million rides in its first year of operation. Later this year, Capital Bikeshare will expand into Alexandria and Rockville. The city of Arlington has put together a fascinating report about its program, showing that 55% of CaBi trips would have been replaced by non-active transportation modes without bike sharing.
On April 19, the last public outreach meeting was held for the Greenbelt Metro Area and MD 193 Corridor Sector Plan, which laid out a more detailed vision for the plan area. What follows are some of the highlights of this vision. A draft of the sector plan is expected to be released in July, and a joint public hearing will occur in September (tentatively set for September 18, 2012).
Land use is to be organized in part by dividing the plan area into two zones: Greenbelt Metropolitan Center (which includes Capital Office Park, Franklin Park, and Greenbelt Station’s north core) and MD 193 Corridor (which includes Greenway Center, Belle Point and University Square, Beltway Plaza, and Greenbelt Station’s south core). The goal is to enhance connectivity within each zone and promote development that complements the other areas of the zone.
Two different land use approaches for Greenbelt Station’s north core will be proposed. It would call for either a comprehensive, transit-oriented mixed use community or a major employer (such as a GSA tenant like the FBI) with some potential for associated mixed-use development. For a more detailed description of each scenario, see our post on the North Core Concepts and Design meeting.