Maryland’s Board of Public Works voted two-to-one to advance a proposal to widen I-270 and I-495 with toll lanes. Now, state officials can begin to solicit bids to build the project. However, transit advocates and environmentalists won some concessions that will dramatically re-order the three-phase proposed project.
In an April 29 meeting of the Purple Line Community Advisory Team (CAT), project officials explained construction progress to residents of Riverdale, Riverdale Park, Glenridge, and New Carrollton. Construction ramped up last year in these Prince George’s communities, where the County’s first light rail transit stops will be placed.
On the narrow question of does this project achieve it’s stated goals — shortening highway commute times — Maryland may have a success. But on the greater question of proactive, responsible planning according to objective public policy, this plan is highly suspect.
Prince George’s County Police have arrested 21 year-old Aberdeen resident Alexander Maskiewicz, who they say shot and killed 27-year-old Belcrest Road resident Salina Rivera near her Hyattsville home. Hyattsville City Police Department officers responded to a reported shooting at the 6200 block of Belcroast Road at around 7:55 p.m. March 12, 2019. There, they found Rivera in walkway, fatally wounded. She died on the scene, according to police. The address is near the Mosiac Apartments.
The Washington Redskins have called FedEx Field home since 1997. With the Redskins in Landover, Maryland, Prince George’s County hasn’t truly reaped the benefits other jurisdictions would see with a major league football team. As the 30-year lease slowly approaches in 2027, the Redskins are looking for a new place to call home. One potential new homesite in Prince George’s County, is Oxon Cove Park and Farm in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The 300-acre park sits just inside the Capital Beltway, across from the MGM National Harbor.
Amazon’s “National Landing” development will bolster the regional economy. However, I wonder if Prince George’s County elected officials will place a greater emphasis on “smart growth.” In order to capture potential residents the county should consider extending the purple line to National Harbor and Alexandria, while also intensifying density along Blue and Silver-line corridor and improving the school system. Although, I’m relatively new to Prince George’s County, I see the potential for growth and gaining desirability akin to other inner-Beltway suburban communities such as Arlington, Montgomery County, and Fairfax County. However, it is up to political willpower to invest in neighborhoods that have been disinvested for years, (such as Marlow Heights, Capitol Heights, Suitland, Oxon Hill) – instead of pursuing sprawl-y projects such as the Konterra Town Center.
Editor’s note: This letter is in response to an opinion article by Thomas Stone Elementary parent Sarah Christopherson alleging mismanagement and confusion of the school’s first-day of class activities.
Prince George’s County Public Schools is aware of the experiences that Ms. Christopherson and other Thomas S. Stone Elementary parents had on the first day of school. The principal apologized to parents in a robocall Tuesday evening for not allowing them to enter the building with their child. Our Administrative Procedure requires school visitors to present government-issued identification with their name, date of birth and photo. However, there is an exception for large groups, such as visitors attending assemblies, performances or parents who wish to accompany their child to class on the first day of school. We are working closely with the school’s leadership team to maintain a welcoming and positive environment for all families in the Thomas Stone school community.