Monday, August 31, 2009

what's up the pike: back to school, or not

The Fairland Center
I've been dreading the first day of school all summer. Not only am I not going to class for the first time, but my glorious 25-minute commute to Rockville will now double. Hey, this is why my great Purple Line experiment took place on the first day of school last year. Here's a look at what's happening today in East County:

- Maryland calls the InterCounty Connector's "one of America's greenest highways," but local residents weren't buying it at an open house hosted by the State Highway Administration last weekend, reports the Post. Features included rainwater filters and special underpasses for deer crossing the road; to avoid damaging Lake Needwood, the ICC was re-routed through a neighborhood in Derwood instead. The road's first phase, between I-370 and Georgia Avenue, opens late next year.

- Two pedestrians were struck and dragged behind an SUV for nearly a hundred feet on Capital View Avenue between Silver Spring and Kensington on Saturday. The narrow, winding street dates to the late 19th century and has no sidewalks. Here's hoping County Executive Leggett happened by the scene because they won't ever see a sidewalk here otherwise.

- If you've been waiting for LifeSci Village, the proposed mixed-use "town center" on Cherry Hill Road, keep holding your breath. Percontee, who owns the gravel mine where LifeSci was due to rise, says they now want to build a thirty-three-story tower next to Prince George's Plaza in Hyattsville. That's right, folks: thirty-three floors. In Hyattsville. Did we mention that the University Town Center next door is still struggling with vacancies? Maybe Percontee's people should read A Man in Full before they go any further.

- I missed this last week, but JUTP and the Silver Spring Penguin were mentioned in local LGBT newsmagazine Metro Weekly's write-up of the Tastee Diner protest two weeks ago. We've yet to hear if Aiyi'Nah Ford and Torian Brown, who were booted out of the diner for a show of PDA last month, got the apology they've been waiting for.

- Today marks the close of a whole summer without "the Turf" and, thankfully, without a major incident in Downtown Silver Spring. A couple of months ago, I asked if the so-called "Hellsworth Drive" has calmed down this year. I think we can confidently say yes. Do you?

4 comments:

Cilla said...

Dan,
This is your first experience of not going back to school. Be advised, you will probably find that you have the urge to go out and buy school supplies at this time each year for a minimum of 30 years. When I was a little kid I was so attached to the start of the school year that I thought that it was only proper that the Jewish New Year was in September, when everything important (including my birthday) started anew.

Roger said...

Dan, the link to the 33-story tower in Hyattsville doesn't work.

C. P. Zilliacus said...

Dan wrote:

> Maryland calls the InterCounty
> Connector's "one of America's
> greenest highways," but local
> residents weren't buying it
> at an open house hosted by
> the State Highway
> Administration last weekend,
> reports the Post.

Dan, the people not buying it are opposed to:

(1) all private automobiles in general, and all highway improvements and expansions - regardless of the environmental impact or lack thereof and regardless of the safety benefits of new highways like the ICC; or

(2) frequent and enthusiastic users of the private automobile but opposed to the ICC because it runs through (or near) their backyards.

> Features included rainwater
> filters and special underpasses
> for deer crossing the road; to
> avoid damaging Lake Needwood,
> the ICC was re-routed through
> a neighborhood in Derwood
> instead. The road's first
> phase, between I-370 and
> Georgia Avenue, opens late
> next year.

Should have been built years ago, before Parris Glendening got himself a "green" mistress.

Oh, and the link in your text does not work:

This is the one I found, which seems to work:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/29/AR2009082902008.html

John said...

While I do lament the vacancies in University Town Center, they have nothing to do with the town center itself, but bad timing. The center was finished right on the cusp of the biggest economic downturn since the great depression. Not really a time for businesses to be flocking to new developments. As the economy rebounds and demand grows back to its pre-recession pace, a 33-foot tower would fit nicely in a transit oriented area.