College Park residents will have a chance tonight to review and weigh in on updated plans for a complete re-imagining of the Hollywood neighborhood’s commercial streetscape.
Tonight’s meeting will be an unveiling of the “60 percent” design plans, where more fleshed-out schemes will be discussed. The meeting will take place at 4912 Nantucket Road in College Park from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The project dates to 2015, when College Park hired a consultant to examine opportunities to enhance the public right-of-way in the Northern College Park neighborhood’s commercial center near Rhode Island Avenue and Edgewood Road. This area is home to a number of businesses, such as Proteus Bicycles and MOM’s Organic Market, that inhabit a mix of mid-century and earlier strip malls fronted by parking lots and a haphazard mix of pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure.
The entire project, from engineering design through construction, is estimated to cost a combined $1.8 million. A $275,000 engineering contract was awarded to firm Sabra Wang and Assoc. and Floura Teeter in November 2018. The project is planned to be funded through a mix of capital projects funding, 2017 state appropriations, and $1 million was
Thirty percent designs released earlier this year show plans to extend protected bike lanes along Rhode Island Avenue between Muskogee and Edgewood roads. Designers also plan to build small “parklets” into the project, featuring wide sidewalks, bike corrals, bush shelters and ample benches near high-traffic intersections such as Rhode Island Avenue and Edgewood Road. Further, designers also floated the idea of building a “wellness circuit” of shared-use paths along Narragansett Parkway and Muskogee Street, wrapping around the large retail strip occupied by MOM’s Organic Market.
The full 30 percent design proposals can be seen at this link.
The biggest changes are reserved for the layout of the street itself. In addition to the protected bike-lanes and widened sidewalks along Rhode Island Avenue, the 30 percent design also called for traffic-calming measures such as bulb-outs and new crosswalks at key intersections. A bit to the north, a dog-leg double-intersection where Rhode Island Avenue – and its service road – intersects with Niagara Road is being straightened out in the 30 percent plans. The parklets would occupy reclaimed service roads that still parallel Rhode Island Avenue in this area, a relic of the days when the central roadway as a trolley line.