New Carrollton Downtown Access and Connectivity Strategy
On Friday, July 16, 2021, the New Carrollton Downtown Access and Connectivity Strategy Project kick off meeting was held with staff from Community Planning, lead consultant Rhodeside Harwell, and their team Kittelson, Brick & Story, W-ZHA.
To develop an implementation strategy on how best to connect neighborhoods within the City of New Carrollton and the Transit District Development Plan area to public spaces, parks, transit facilities, schools, libraries, and key destinations throughout the New Carrollton Downtown.
This strategy will make recommendations on how best to connect all the existing neighborhoods within the City of New Carrollton and the Transit District Development Plan area. The strategy will also look at connectivity to the major employment opportunities offered by the Ardwick-Ardmore industrial area to the south. There is already a high level of pedestrian traffic from the WMATA transit station to this area. The strategy will focus on safety and accessibility to improve the pedestrian experience and explore opportunities for bicycle connections.
The strategy for optimizing the tremendous economic opportunities and community benefits related to the reality of New Carrollton as one of the most significant transit hubs in the region has been a goal of Prince George’s County for more than a decade. With the emergence of a new “reality” instigated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a renewed interest in strengthening connections in ways that encourage pedestrian, bicycle and micro mobility options that can improve community connections to both transit and to public amenities such as parks and other open spaces, shopping and entertainment venues, and civic facilities. These connections can strengthen the perception of Downtown New Carrollton as the “core area” for the many communities that are proximate to it and can allow employers in the area to offer attractive, safe and convenient connections for their workers between transit options and work locations.
- To identify key pedestrian, bicycle, and micro mobility facilities that will improve connectivity and access to transit modes including local bus, light rail, heavy and commuter rail, and intercity bus and to the parks, open spaces, and key civic and commercial areas. Identify neighborhoods that are in need of specific pedestrian, bicycle facilities to connect to the existing transit system. Consider equity in this analysis.
- Improving access and connectivity will improve connections between the different transit options, employment areas, residential neighborhoods, and natural spaces fostering healthy communities and sustainable transportation as envisioned in Plan 2035.
- Provide an implementation strategy for construction of proposed infrastructure and related facilities that identifies the implementor.
- Identify any critical missing street network connections
- Create a multi-agency programmatic agreement
Plan 2035, the Prince George’s County General Plan designates New Carrollton as one of three Downtowns. The Downtowns are best positioned to develop – in the near-term – into vibrant, walkable, regional-serving centers, each having a robust economic and employment base, a distinct sense of place and identity, a varied housing stock, a multimodal transportation network, and diverse, mixed-income community. By concentrating public investment in targeted transit-oriented centers, the County can begin to create vibrant downtowns.
The 2010 Adopted New Carrollton Transit District Development Plan (TDDP) sets out a vision for the area which includes:
- An extensive system of civic, park, and open spaces
- Regional Gateway to the Northeast Corridor
- Vibrant and diverse neighborhoods with distinct characters and functions ranging from a dense, mixed-use urban core to a preserved residential neighborhood define the center
- Concentrated and viable commercial activity serving as an economic driver and income generator in the County and generating accessible and quality employment for local residents
- Transit and enhanced pedestrian connections augmented by the completion of the Purple Line
- A new crossing carrying the Purple Line and vehicular traffic across the shared rail alignment between areas north and south of the Metro station
- New parks, environmentally sensitive design, and mixed-income housing distinguishing the center for its commitment to sustainability and social equity.
This study has three main components:
- Analysis of policy, process, and physical attributes
- Neighborhood Focus Group Meetings
- Agency and Partners Focus Group Meeting
From these main tasks, consultant will:
- Draft implementation strategy
- Present draft strategy to stakeholders
- Incorporate feedback for final draft