FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2016
Cheryl Cort, Coalition for Smarter Growth
Prince George’s adopts cutting-edge urban street designs to support transit-oriented development
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY – On Tuesday, November 15, the Prince George’s County Council voted to adopt state-of-the-practice urban street design standards. The new standards break with old highway rules by allowing the construction of safe, low speed streets that foster walkable streets in business districts and around transit stations.
“We applaud County Executive Rushern Baker and the Prince George’s County Council for adopting such progressive standards to help Metro station areas and other local centers thrive. These bold new street standards will allow transit-oriented development to be served by safer, low-speed streets where walking, bicycling and riding transit are easy options. The new standards also allow on-street parking on a major roadway – a first for the county. All these innovative urban street design standards are essential ingredients to creating successful walkable, transit-oriented business districts,” said Chery Cort, Coalition for Smarter Growth.
Until now, Prince George’s, like many jurisdictions, has used outdated rural road design standards that encourage high travel speeds and difficult crossings for people who are walking. Not only are these rural road standards unnecessarily dangerous in urban areas where people are walking or biking, they are also bad for business. Creating mixed use walkable places is the key to fostering high value transit-oriented development, and thriving traditional town centers. Without streets designed to slow down traffic to reasonable speeds, and create a comfortable walking environment, business districts and Metro stations will fail to thrive as places people will want to be. These new street designs solve this problem.
The new Urban Street Design Standards are intended to be used in the 8 Regional Transit Districts and 26 Local Centers, as established by Plan Prince George’s 2035 that have the necessary transit and transportation infrastructure to support future growth as mixed use centers.
The standards were adopted by the county following a law enacted last year asking the County Executive to provide proposed urban street design standards to the County Council in October 2016.
“The Baker administration took this assignment and ran with it. They have leaped ahead of other jurisdictions with its innovative urban street design standards. This a real boost for making transit-oriented development work with streets designed to encourage more walking, bicycling and riding transit,” said Cort. “Kudos to County Executive Baker and the County Council,” she concluded.
About the Coalition for Smarter Growth
The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington DC region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Its mission is to promote walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies and investments needed to make those communities flourish. Learn more at smartergrowth.net.