A New Era for Biking in College Park

bikeshareIf 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city of Arlington has put together a fascinating report about its program, showing that 55% of CaBi trips would have been replaced by non-active transportation modes without bike sharing.

Continue reading A New Era for Biking in College Park

News & Notes: April 2012 Edition

Here’s the latest roundup from the Business Beat newsletter, published every two months by the City of College Park.

College Park Earth Day

Upcoming Events:

College Park Earth Day Project & Music Festival
A two-day event featuring a volunteer opportunity, live music, a film, and festival is taking place on April 21 and 22. The volunteer opportunity is on Saturday, April 21 at the Cherry Hill Road Community Park, while the remaining events will be held at Duvall Field. For more information, visit their website.

Maryland Day
An excellent opportunity to explore the University of Maryland Campus with over 450 free activities and events, including live performances, educational seminars, and climbing walls. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information can be found here.

College Park Day
Save the Date !  College Park Day 2012 will be on Saturday, October 27. If you’re interested in joining the planning committee, email cpdayevent at gmail.com for more information.

General Announcements:

College Park Farmers’ Markets:
The City Hall Farmers’ Market is now open on Sunday mornings, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features returning farmer Miller Farms, delicious eats from Bill’s Backyard Barbeque, and several other vendors. More information about the City Hall Farmers’ Market can be found here.

The College Park Farmers’ Market at Wells Ice Rink/Linson Swimming Poll is currently closed for the season but will return on Saturdays in May.

College Park Community Library:
The College Park Community Library is now open in one of the basement rooms at the College Park Church of the Nazarene, at 9704 Rhode Island Ave. in Hollywood. At this point, the library has collected over 5,000 books and continues to expand through donations. If anyone is interested in volunteering or donate books please contact cpcomlibary at gmail.com. More information about the library can be found on their blog.

April 2012 Business Activity

New Businesses:

ChiDogO’s (Varisty apartments, ground floor retail)
Owner is a Chicago native and UMD graduate.  Serves “Chicago style fare” (Vienna Beef Dogs, Italian Beef sandwiches, etc)
– Blue Tech Cleaners (corner of Rhode Island Ave & Edgewood Rd)
– Six Star Dry Cleaning (Rt, 1, south of Edgewood Rd – replaces Fast Cash Leasing)

Business Closings:

Austin Grill Express (Varsity apartments, ground floor retail)
We hardly knew ye … open & shut down in less than three four months ! Covered by Patch
– Pebbles Wellness (Rt. 1, south of Berwyn Rd)
– Fast Cash Leasing (Rt, 1, south of Edgewood Rd)

Coming Soon:

Downtown:

– Big Play Sports Grill
Now expected to open in the next few weeks (late April) at the former location of Vito’s Pizzeria.  Operated by a UMD graduate; will be strongly focused on the campus sports scene with memorabilia from former standout athletes on the walls.

– District Dumplings
Scheduled to open in May/June time frame.  Will offer a menu mostly devoted to the Asian delicacy.

Note that these two are both going into Terrapin Station, which has seen a lot of
business turnover over the years.

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill
Lease signed: former location of California Tortilla on Rt. 1.  East coast chain, Mexican grill that uses fresh, organic ingredients, and has vegetarian, low carb & low fat options.  There’s already locations in DC, Clarendon & Pentagon City.

– Terrapin Turf
Lease signed: former location of Santa Fe Cafe, still in the process of obtaining a liquor license.  The operator ran Saloun earlier, a bar featuring jazz, blues, and soul music, in Georgetown for many years until it closed in late 2011.  Live music along the lines of Saloun is expected to continue at Terrapin Turf.  Previously covered in Patch and the Diamondback.

More info about several of these businesses can be found in this Diamondback article.

Lower Midtown:

Three additional businesses are listed as “Coming Soon” and will be ground level retail in the Varsity apartments.

The Frame Mender
Expected to open later this month. Offering over 35 years of eyeglass repair experience; moving from their current Berwyn Heights location.  They also have two other locations in Rockville and downtown DC.

– Yo Love Frozen Yogurt
Expected to open later this month.

Roti Mediterranean Grill
Expected to open in August.  Fast casual chain, offering Mediterranean fare.

Going into Campus Village:
– Pho D’Lite:
Now expected to open in May, a new venture from the owners of Hanami Japanese Restaurant.  Described as “a unique Asian fusion concept that provides healthy options focused on Vietnamese soup and Southeast Asian delicacies”.

Sharing the same location as Rita’s Italian Ice (8900 Baltimore Ave):
– Newaabsaab Kabobs:
Expected opening in August.

Hollywood:
Two new businesses with signed leases — no announced opening dates yet.

– Johnny’s Carry Out:
Going into Hollywood Shopping Center (by MOM’s & REI).

– Pollo a La Brasa:
Going into Hollywood Square (9925 Rhode Island Ave).  Sounds very promising, especially if they could offer anything approaching the awesomeness over at Sardi’s in Beltsville.

Uptown:
– Chipotle:
New location expected to open in the April/May time frame.  This is just north of the Beltway & Rt. 1 interchange by the Buffalo Wild Wings & Potbelly, in the strip of businesses next to the IKEA.

News & Notes: Feb. Business Beat Revisited

CP Sweetgreen

For those who are interested in local business news, there’s a treasure trove of information published every two months by the City of College Park in its bi-monthly Business Beat newsletter.  Few probably take the time to read through through these PDF files, and we think it deserves a full post with relevant links to provide additional context.  Though it’s a bit on the tardy side — this newsletter came out on Feb. 16th — here’s a full breakdown of the latest business activity.

 

New Businesses:
– Hookah Cafe (next to Krazi Kebob on Lehigh Rd.)
– Sakurah Seafood Buffet (by AMF Bowling on Rt. 1, just south of 193)
Sweet Green (University View II, ground floor retail)
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels (UMD Stamp Student Food Court)
Fox’s Pizza Den (former location of Alarios Pizza, by College Park Diner on Rt. 1)

Business Closings:

– Ke’ Chic Boutique (Lehigh Rd. & Yale Ave.) – covered in Patch.
– Punch Copy (corner of Rt. 1 & Calvert)
– The Tech Spot (Rt 1, close to Big Planet Comics)

Coming Soon:

Downtown:

– Big Play Sports Grill
Once expected to open last fall, now scheduled to open in late March; former location of Vito’s Pizzeria.  Operated by a UMD graduate; will be strongly focused on the campus sports scene with memorabilia from former standout athletes adorning the walls.

– District Dumplings
Scheduled to open in May.

Note that these two are both going into Terrapin Station, which has been somewhat of a revolving door for businesses in the past.

Continue reading News & Notes: Feb. Business Beat Revisited