RELEASE: Prince George’s County Safer Streets Legislation Hailed by Community Advocates


July 5, 2023

Cheryl Cort, Policy Director
Coalition for Smarter Growth

Seth Grimes, Maryland 
Washington Area Bicyclist Association

Prince George’s County Safer Streets Legislation Hailed by  Community Advocates
Local groups praise County Council bill, Walkable Urban Streets Act, as critical to safety and economic development

Largo, MD – Today, Prince George’s County Council Member Eric Olson (District 3) introduced new, high-impact safe streets legislation. The Walkable Urban Streets Act will require county officials to apply its own urban street design standards and update the standards to keep abreast with national best practices. Better street designs will make urban centers safer and foster transit-oriented economic development. 

“Prince George’s has standards for designing safer streets for walking and biking around its Metro stations and other centers. But officials have not been willing to fully implement them. This bill turns safer street guidelines into action,” said Halima Ali, a resident of Largo, avid bicyclist, and member of RISE Prince George’s, an advocacy group for safer streets and transit-oriented development.

Members of an advocacy coalition that backs the bill observed that Prince George’s County has experienced 51 crash fatalities already this year, including 13 pedestrian deaths. State data shows 235 non-motorist crash deaths in the county since 2016. “These needless Prince George’s County roadway deaths are unacceptable,” stated Jeremiah Lowery, advocacy director at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. “Action is long overdue to ensure that the county lives up to its safe streets commitment. We’re 100% behind the Walkable Urban Streets Act.”

The bill proposes to require government agencies to follow the standards adopted by the county in 2017. Additionally, the bill updates these standards to ensure Prince George’s uses state-of-the-art street designs around its towns, urban centers, and transit stations. These areas are designated in the county’s General Plan, Plan Prince George’s 2035.

The legislation helps implement complete streets, which are an important part of the County Executive’s economic development strategy for the Blue Line corridor and other urban centers in the county. 

“Building great places around transit and walkable communities requires safer, lower speed streets where walking, bicycling, riding transit, and driving are all good options. This bill helps do that,” said Kyle Reeder, Capitol Heights resident and member of RISE Prince George’s.

“It’s time to make good on the county’s promise to provide safe, walkable, bikeable streets in our transit districts and local centers. This bill builds on the good work the county has already done – but ensures we are implementing it,” said Dan Behrend, Riverdale Park resident, and activist with RISE Prince George’s, and WABA member.

Laurie Williams, a Clinton resident and member of the leadership team of Black Women Bike, a WABA sponsored project, is enthusiastic about the bill. Williams said, “It’s wonderful that the council is stepping forward. Prince George’s streets aren’t safe for walking and biking, and we don’t have the connected bike-trail network that other jurisdictions enjoy. This bill is an important step forward for the county.”

The proposed legislation follows adoption of a complete and green streets policy in 2012 and Urban Street Design Standards in 2017. 

“Prince George’s has the tools to build thriving, walkable places around its transit stations. This bill ensures we are taking advantage of what we know works and what the county has already adopted,” said Cheryl Cort, Coalition for Smarter Growth.


RISE Prince George’s is a group of county residents and allies advocating for policies and practices that build shared, sustainable prosperity in Prince George’s County by creating safe, walkable, inclusive and transit-oriented communities.

The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington, DC region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Our mission is to advocate for walkable, bikeable, inclusive, transit-oriented communities as the most sustainable and equitable way for the region to grow and provide opportunities for all.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) empowers people to ride bikes, build connections, and transform places. We fight for a just and sustainable transportation system where walking, biking, and transit are the best ways to get around.