Some Links with your morning Coffee

Here are a few links to articles in the Diamondback for you to enjoy with your morning Java.

Report: M-Square top spot for county biotech research center

Article on the same topic covered in RTCP .

“We’re exploring implementation in the area near M-Square as one of four potential locations,” Holman said. “We’re pursuing financing options available, and we’ll work closely with the university as we move to implementation.”

University Senate votes to save Hillock

In case you missed it. The Senate votes to save Hillock.

The Wooded Hillock gained its most significant support so far yesterday when the University Senate voted to save the forest land near Comcast Center from development.

When asked whether the vote would affect the university’s development plans, Vice President for Administrative Affairs Ann Wylie noted the resolution is not binding and said she had “no idea” what its impact will be.

And then a few days later Matt Dernoga from UMD for Clean Energy sent in this OP-ED on the subject.

Wooded Hillock: Our tipping point

And finally the DB has an article on the progress of the Biking plan on campus. The plan calls for a increase in the number of cyclist to 9 percent by 2012. Does this article dive into how this can be accomplished? Does it focus on the multi-year plan for increasing ridership?

As DOTS pushes biking, gender gap persists

Only 20 percent of cyclists are female

Are we really worried about the gender gap among cyclists? To be fair, the article details some of the efforts by DOTS to get folks pedaling and any headline that pulls folks in is fine with me. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Some Links with your morning Coffee”

  1. From the article on the Hillock vote:

    “The senate has spoken,” urban forestry professor Marla McIntosh said after the vote. “What is more important to us: Having a better college town, the bells and whistles, or having better educational opportunities for our students?”

    This is completely the wrong way to frame this issue. McIntosh is asking us to choose between the East Campus Project, a billion dollar mixed-use smart growth development and 9 acres of forest on the Wooded Hillock. That’s not at all the question at hand, but if it was, clearly East Campus is more important to the university than the Hillock – a place only a tiny fraction of the UMD community knew existed before this controversy.

    The benefits of a high density, 38-acre infill redevelopment on a brownfield site are clear:

    -reduced emissions from cars
    -reduced sprawl
    -affordable housing for grad students

    Everything else aside, these benefits alone far outweigh the costs of the destruction of the Hillock. For some reason, few in the environmental community choose to recognize these benefits.

    The real question is really where are these relocated facilities going and at what cost to the public. Is “saving” the Hillock worth the added cost of an alternative relocation site? Is “preserving” an extraordinary valuable piece of land of average ecological value worth the added expense? As I’ve already explained, I believe the Hillock is the least bad of a series of well examined but bad options:
    http://rethinkcollegepark.net/blog/2009/1312/

    Yes trees and forests are important for a variety of reasons, but this issue goes way beyond 9 acres of trees. Even if every inch of these relocated facilities is built on parking lot, it doesn’t mean the environmental outcome is preferable to building on the Hillock.

  2. I agree with Daivid. The benefits of attracting more students by making College Park a top ten college town far outweigh what could ever be gained from leaving the Hillock as is. I can assure you, those new incoming students will not miss the Hillock. I agree that we’ve lost site of the real goal here. The goal wasn’t to vanquish a wooded area just for the hell of it. It’s a means to a very beneficial end to both the university and to College park as a whole. If we recall a short while ago there were students sleeping in tents to protest the lack of housing. Now comes the opportunity to create that new housing, but not if we have to remove trees to do it. Wow.

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