A big stretch of Rhode Island Avenue will soon be College Park property, paving the way for an ambitious overhaul of the roadway intended to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
The roadway in question runs from Greenbelt Road to Paducah Road in Northern College Park. At its Oct. 12, 2021 meetich, College Park City Council approved a measure authorizing its city attorney to transfer the roadway via a quitclaim deed with Prince George’s County, which currently maintains the roadway.
College Park city officials have been planning to re-do the roadway for more than a year. But they needed to essentially own the road first. During a September 2021 meeting, College Park City Council approved an agreement with Prince George’s County outlining the terms of the transfer. While the transaction was essentially free (the city will pay $1 to obtain the roadway), the new property does come with a price – namely upkeep. It costs an estimated $30,000 per year to maintain the roadway and its infrastructure. Those costs are now the city’s to bear.
In addition to re-building the shoulder to better accommodate cyclists, designers plan to reduce the width of the vehicle lanes from 12 feet to 10 feet wide, add two-foot-wide bicycle lane markings, and add flex-post-lined bulb-outs at intersections to protect cyclists and pedestrians from motorists who use the shoulder to bypass vehicles turning left.
Construction could begin by the end of the year.
It is an important street that can further activate Northern College park, but it is not quite clear to me that $30k a year is worth just to have some additional control over it