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Hi Laura,

We know there is a relationship, we also know you can write a priority letter (I spoke with SHA and PG Transportation Planning to confirm) like Bowie regularly does, to capture the ear of the state to fund improvement projects. As a community member, I am trying to help your team see that we do have ways to address community concerns. I did this regularly as a planner for Montgomery County (see coordination with SHA in the Grosvenor-Strathmore Master Plan) Please see my email to Katie and Jim over a month ago offering contacts to coordinate efforts and remove the typical silo planning approach. We received no response from Katie or Jim. In fact, you are the only one who has attended to the very obvious issue with your Transportation Project, "Why was Baltimore Avenue not included in the project?". It seems like an obvious component to work on. My email regarding conversations with SHA and PG County Transportation regarding interactions with city planning is below:

Hi Katie, Planning Team,

Thanks for the recent transportation study event, and sharing how we can help connect our day-to-day experiences with those who strive for implementation. I understand, per your presentation, that the city has little influence regarding the state highway administration (SHA) roadways. I appreciate the web link you shared where we can add our independent thoughts regarding any non-city roadways as well.

As you already know, Baltimore Avenue, in addition to East-West Highway, remains far from a pedestrian-oriented environment. I'm cognizant of the county approach to wait for development applications to improve the street's character. That said, I've read the comments on the Wikimap and recognize that we can create a community main street with more pedestrian and bicyclist appeal along Baltimore Avenue (Arts District's Main St.). We are happy to see that College Park has successfully demonstrated this with medians and trees down the street. We look forward to continuing this constructive dialogue with an intent to aim for proactive planning and collaboration with other agencies.

I want to introduce you to David Rodgers, who works as the liaison between cities, the county, and SHA. I spoke with him at length about the procedures cities can take to be more proactive about positioning themselves for funding and improvements. He noted the following steps in addition to the link you shared with the community:

  1. David explained how each city can either write a priority letter, or contribute to the county's priority letter. The county then takes this letter and the city's requests into further consideration and coordinates with the State Highway Administration (David, please correct where necessary). This will help us greatly in getting our project(s) or project ideas into future CTPs, which are developed annually with a 5-year cast ahead.

  2. David also recommends that the city request a meeting with SHA (ie. District 3 of SHA) to discuss their letter and any additional concerns.

He further noted that the City of Bowie serves as precedence, as they recently submitted their own priority letter.

Your team can find David's information in the following link for further communication: http://www.roads.maryland.gov/index.aspx?PageId=507

Thanks again!

Michael Bello

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Council had a constructive meeting regarding the circulator-type system we are recommending. I encourage you to review yesterday's council meeting, February 1st, 2016. I presented our case for a connector/circulator-type system in an effort to inform how such a system has contributed an economic tool in neighboring counties.

Best!

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