College Park’s long election season has begun

Elections in Prince George’s County’s southern Route 1 corridor tend to be small and fast affairs, with short campaign seasons that are active for maybe a month. But in College Park, the largest city along Baltimore Avenue inside the Beltway, the 2019 campaign is already underway, months before voters go to the polls in early November. 

For those used to the pace of a national election cycle, a few months on the local campaign trail might seem like peanuts. But for Maryland’s middling-sized municipalities, shorter elections are the norm. Consider that Hyattsville had a fully-competitive slate of 13 candidates running for five council seats and the mayor’s office, and of those, only one announced their campaign more than six weeks out. In Mount Rainier, the candidate registration and certification deadline is three weeks from election day. 

In College Park, candidates can begin to circulate a petition for candidacy in August.

PSA: Purple Line construction hits Route 1 in a big way this month

It’s finally happening: Purple Line construction will begin to make serious inroads into the Route 1 corridor later this month in College Park, city officials announced July 9. Two lanes will be closed initially on Campus Drive.

The lane closures are needed to stage equipment and build tracks for the light-rail line along Campus Drive. Near Rhode Island Avenue, the track will turn into the northern-most limits of the city’s old-town neighborhood, where it will cut south of The Hotel at the University of Maryland along the aptly-named Hotel Drive. From there it will cross Baltimore Avenue and the campus beyond on its way to Bethesda.