Green with Envy over a new Green Street


As our plans for a new Route 1 seem to be stalling other communities are moving ahead. The Washington Post reports on Edmonston’s efforts at revitalizing the area by  installing a “green street” that should make folks who travel Route 1 green with envy.

In a few weeks, workers will start ripping up Edmonston’s main road and replacing it with an environmentally friendly street of rain gardens, porous brick and a drought-resistant tree canopy designed to shade the concrete, filter rainwater before it flows into the river and put people to work.

The local mayor Adam C. Ortiz has worked tirelessly to move this project ahead. If that small area just to our south can get things moving in this economy what is stopping College Park?

4 thoughts on “Green with Envy over a new Green Street”

  1. In context it appears you pose the question “… what is stopping College Park?” rhetorically, but as a former CP resident who often found himself asking “why doesn’t CP (do this or that)?” I would love to see this question explored.

  2. I’d argue that you answer your own question with the phrase “that small area”. Refurbishing Edmonston’s main street is a much smaller (and cheaper) task than redoing Route 1 would be. Edmonston’s street isn’t a major commuter artery, and does not carry the significant volumes of commuter traffic on a daily basis which make refurbishment excessively disruptive. I don’t suppose “the folks who travel Route 1” will be “green with envy”, wishing that they could experience major road works on their commute. Edmonston’s street has fewer business owners and other interests who fear their property or their customer stream would be severely impacted by a major overhaul.

    Does Route 1, along with most of the rest of CP, need considerable “rethinking”? Absolutely. Are the reasons I’ve given above sufficient to stop it ever happening? I hope not. But I’m quite sure your experiences with past projects give you plenty of indication as to why it hasn’t happened, and probably won’t any time soon. It’s easy to look to an example like this and say “we can do that”, but with CP’s community being considerably more complex than Edmonston’s, with a greater number of stakeholders and a greater diversity of interest, it is never going to be able to more as quickly as its smaller neighbors.

    If smaller local communities (e.g. Edmonston, Riverdale Park, University Park and others) trial more innovative planning approaches such as Green Streets, their success (or failure) will serve as guidance to CP in the future when making future planning decisions.

    1. Excellent points Simon.
      It makes me think of the route 1 issue as analogous to a onion. It has many layers and the deeper you go the more you cry. 🙂

  3. College Park doesn’t have existing streets that are in a state of severe disrepair. The City’s streets typically go 16-22 years between repaving because none of our streets have a high volume of traffic or carry many busses and large trucks. The only City streets I can think of that have daily traffic volumes that may exceed 1,000 vehicles and have a modest amount of truck/bus traffic, are Edgewood and Berwyn roads. Perhaps in the future we could let streets fall apart so that we would not have to tear up good streets to replace them with green streets.

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