Prince George’s County’s TheBus should expand service to 10 p.m. and on Sundays, especially in the jurisdictions representing high-traveled areas, and should strengthen the county’s pedestrian and bicycle networks to connect with the existing transit system.
These count as just two of the several recommendations from a group of county residents and advocates that want elected officials to incorporate and on which they suggest candidates seeking office in this year’s election to concentrate.
“My pitch is that you’re not only saving the environment by lowering your carbon footprint but also saving the community by engaging and interacting with the people around you,” said Kyle Reeder, 30, of Capitol Heights. “You meet more people walking somewhere than you would driving somewhere.”
Reeder serves as a community activist aligned with a group that calls itself “RISE Prince George’s” which collaborates with the regional nonprofit Coalition for Smarter Growth.
He said this year remains vital to encourage residents to improve the environment in the ongoing fight to battle climate change.
Vice President Kamala Harris pitched a similar message in November during a tour at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. One month later, she visited the county’s Department of Public Works and Transportation building in Brandywine to announce a $7.5 billion plan to construct an electric vehicle infrastructure system.
For RISE and the coalition, this year also remains vital to push for transit-oriented and walkable communities with more than five dozen people running for state, county and local offices.
As of Friday, Jan. 14, approximately 41 people had filed paperwork through the Maryland Board of Elections for state delegate and senator.
State law requires those legislators to run for four-year terms at the same time. About 23 delegates and eight senators represent all or portions of Prince George’s.
Another 22 people filed documents to run for county executive and County Council. Former school board member Edward Burroughs III won in a special primary election for County Council District 8 to advance in the special general election Feb. 4 in which he will be unopposed.
The RISE platform focuses on four main areas: great places around transit, housing for all, safer streets for walking and bicycling and better bus service.
Cheryl Cort, policy director for the coalition and who resides in Northwest, said she’s pleased with some of the county’s current initiatives such as achieving zero traffic deaths through “Vision Zero” and enhancing Metrorail’s Blue Line corridor along the four stations: Largo Town Center, Morgan Boulevard, Addison Road-Seat Pleasant and Capitol Heights.
But the document labeled an “election platform” outlines several suggestions for elected officials and candidates that include:
- Hold the planning board and planning department accountable for guiding growth to transit-centers rather than outlying areas.
- Double the county’s annual housing investment trust fund by another $10 million.
- Require the construction of bicycle and pedestrian facilities in new and reconstruction projects.
“We put forth this election platform which follows on what RISE Prince George’s has been doing for over the last year to formulate and articulate our vision for a better Prince George’s,” Cort said.