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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Will Prince George's County Boldly Build Bike-ways?

February 13a 2012
               The Prince George's Council on January 31st, 2012 was presented with bill CB-2-2012 by Council Members Olson and Franklin.[1] The proposed county legislation was  referred to Committee on Planning, Zoning and Economic Development (PZED). This legislative proposal will be reviewed on Wednesday, February 15 at 1:30 PM in the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The PZED committee will discuss the bill and may suggest any amendments before the bill is officially introduced to the Council.  

               The way legislation works in the politics of the few in  Prince George's County, the bill needs public support tomorrow. Opposition will sputter that this is one more unneeded obstacle to economic development that cars are the future will be the opponents cry. However, a recent stuffy in Baltimore finds "that pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure projects create 11-14 jobs per $1 mil-lion of spending while road infrastructure projects create approximately 7 jobs per $1 million of expenditures... For bike projects, the second leading industry of job creation is architecture and engineering. For pedestrian and road projects, manufacturing industries such as stone, cement, plastic pipes, and wiring devices all see important job creation effects. In addition to the construction, engineering, and manufacturing industries, employment is also created in industries such as wholesale trade, truck transportation, food services, accounting, and legal services."[2]  

               Under provisions of this bill,  the county would determine if the walking and bicycling infrastructure in the proposed subdivision and surrounding area were adequate. The county might require the developer to put in place walkways or bike links within  a designated walking or biking distances from a subdivision. Only subdivisions that are located in the County’s “centers & corridors,” that is, those subdivisions which are designated planning areas around Metro stations, major town centers and corridors would be subject to the requirements of this legislation.

               Adequate pedestrian and bikeway facilities may include:[3]
·       Installing or improving sidewalks
·       Increasing safe pedestrian crossing opportunities at all intersections
·       Streetlights, trees, street furniture, and other streetscape features
·       Multi-use trails, bike paths, and/or pedestrian pathways and crossings
·       Street furniture (benches, trash cans, bike racks, bus shelters, etc)
·       Street trees
·       Public art

               Today's question is: Can Prince George's County boldly build bikeways or will it continue its drive into the 20thcentury?

[1] AN ACT concerning Adequate Public Pedestrian and Bikeway Facilities in Centers and Corridors For the purpose of requiring the Planning Board to make a finding of adequacy of public Pedestrian and Bikeway Facilities for development proposals within County Centers and Corridors, to include standards for ensuring the adequacy of non-motorized multimodal transportation facilities including sidewalks, bikeways, and pathways, clarifying requirements for adequate access roads available to serve traffic that would be generated by development projects within proposed subdivisions, and implementing “complete streets” principles and policies in the 2009 Approved Countywide Master Plan of Transportation.

                              Statement of Legislative Intent.  This Section establishes general criteria by which to ensure the adequacy of public pedestrian and bikeway facilities in County Centers and Corridors as designated by the General Plan (or as designated, defined, or amended by a subsequent master plan or sector plan).  It also sets forth the requirements for those who establish subdivisions within Centers and Corridors to construct on-site and off-site pedestrian and bikeway facilities and other public streetscape improvements as part of any development project. The Approved 2002 General Plan states that the County should provide for a multimodal pedestrian-friendly transportation system at Centers and Corridors that is integrated with the desired development pattern. Accomplishing this requires the incorporation, to the maximum extent possible, of appropriate pedestrian, bicycle and transit-oriented design (TOD) and transit-supporting design (TSD) features in all new development within Centers and Corridors. Such features include integrated sidewalk, trail, and bikeway networks to divert as many trips as possible from automobile travel and increase the multimodal accessibility and attractiveness of trips to transit stops, schools, parks, libraries, stores, services and other destinations for all users. Pedestrian and bikeway facilities should be designed to increase safety, reduce travel time and offer the most direct routes to destinations for persons of all abilities. These concepts are further articulated in the “complete streets” principles and policies set forth in the 2009 Approved Countywide Master Plan of Transportation.

[2] Heidi Garrett-Peltier.  Estimating The Employment Impacts Of Pedestrian, Bicycle, And Road Infrastructure CASE STUDY: BALTIMORE.  Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst December 2010. [accessed February 14, 2012]

[3] Fact Sheet: Walk/Bike connections bill. Cheryl Cort, Coalition for Smarter Growth. T 202-244-4408 x 112, Twitter: BetterDCregion {accessed February 13 2012]

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