Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pedestrian Safety

It looks as though pretty much everyone but Takoma Park City Council and Action Committee for Transit recognizes that improving pedestrian safety in the Crossroads area is of vital importance
"Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, introduced as the man with the toughest job in Washington, said the transit center, with its off-street access to bus service, is as important for its safety as well as its convenience.
“I followed this project more as a pedestrian project as much as a transit project,” Wiedefeld told the crowd assembled for the ribbon-cutting.
The neighborhood has long been known as a conflict spot for pedestrians trying to navigate the vehicular traffic on their way to bus stops that dotted the area.
Montgomery County Director of Transportation Al Roshdieh agreed with Wiedefeld’s point, saying the transit center gets users off the curbside of the busy arterials that create the crossroads of the Takoma-Langely neighborhood.
Indicating the bright white canopy above, Roshdieh said, “This is where you want to be! You don’t want to cross the street, you don’t want to cross a four-lane highway."
 Six-lane highways, but who's counting?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

911 Is a Joke in My Town!

The city of Takoma Park does not have a functioning police emergency reporting system.  The city police department website reasonably states "Phone 301-270-1100 / Emergency 911."  Unfortunately, when residents call 911 for police calls their calls are often relayed to the city police department, who sometimes does not pick up those calls.  So residents are sometimes told, although not on the city's website, to call the 270-1100 number for all police matters, emergency or otherwise.  And when they do so, they are sometimes told to hang up and call 911, even for non-emergencies.

I don't know, but maybe the city's police officers should spend less time serving up feel-good pablum at the Cheesecake Factory on the other side of town and more time implementing a 911 system that actually works.

Take it away, Flava!


Saturday, December 10, 2016

It's a Christmas Miracle!

"The Takoma Langley Crossroads Transit Center, operated by the Maryland Transit Administration, provides bus service to over 12,000 customers daily, making it the largest non-Metrorail station transfer point in the Washington region. The center features a large well-lit canopy, ADA-accessible bus loading areas and real-time bus arrival screens. The center also provides an off-street location for safe bus boarding and transfers, and decreased vehicular- pedestrian incidents.

Opening December 22, 2016, the transit center is located at 7900 New Hampshire Ave in Hyattsville, MD, and will allow for easy connections between Metrobus, Ride On, The Bus and the University of Maryland shuttle.

Metrobus stops for routes C2, C4, F8, J4, K6 and K9 near the new transit center at New Hampshire Ave & University Blvd will move to the transit center once open."


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Down at the Crossroads, Circa 1984

The late Gwen Ifill put in time on the Post's decades-long Crossroads redevelopment beat, penning the story "Langley Park: Coping with Change" in August 1984.
"Twenty years ago, the longtime merchants say, Langley Park Shopping Center reflected the white, mostly Jewish, solidly middle-class neighborhood of its clientele...
I was told this shopping center was great, the best thing around here," said Korean-born Richard Choe, who moved his gift shop into the center nine months ago. "But it's run down."
Choe recently put steel bars on his windows and complains that the narrow alley that runs along the side of his shop has become a hangout for teen-agers.
One shopper, who said she has lived in the area for 14 years, said the shopping center "has gone to the dogs." Others said they only come to the Langley Park plaza for a specific purpose -- to go to the bank or fill a prescription at the drugstore.
"The only thing I know is stores are disappearing and none are coming in their places," said Evelyn Lassiter, who said she has lived in the Chillum Road area for 20 years.

Friday, December 2, 2016

That Sounds Familiar

The Aldi expansion continues unimpeded in Montgomery County, which apparently is viewed by some as some kind of coup.  The "affordable grocery store chain" is moving into a formerly destitute shopping center in Aspen Hill abandoned five years ago by Giant.  Geez, it all sounds so familiar.
 "It seems like yesterday that a petition for Trader Joe’s to replace Giant swept the area and had us all dreaming about what could be. In reality, Trader Joe’s and many other grocers turned down the space very early on (Trader Joe’s, for instance already has two stores in Rockville and Silver Spring, and they aren’t a “store on every corner” retailer). We’ve had fly-by-night furniture stores with their tacky road signs, a seasonal Halloween costume store, a make-shift kids’ entertainment space, and a general sense of confusion and despair to go along with them."