I was angry about DC’s proposed new traffic violation fines for well everything. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser‘s has introduced Vision Zero DC, which is a action plan with the goal of having zero transportation related deaths and injuries in DC by the year 2024. Now y’all know I’m fresh out the box with this driving thing. I already don’t drive in DC that much, and with the proposed fines I’ll be driving there even less because my driving isn’t perfected yet. Is it ever though?
Under this initiative, fines are going through the roof: failure to stop at a right turn on red signal fine goes from $50 to $200. And if you fail to yield to a first responder or slow down at the crash site where there’s a first responder, a $500 fine will be yours. Woo! I know my city and I know that there are so many sirens whirring up and down the streets that you don’t know if there’s an accident ahead or what. I’m telling you this: slow down in DC and remember PGCo’s red light turn behavior is not always appropriate. My moment of anger was rendered shorter when I read that Maryland folk are the cause of way too many accidents in DC, suburban drivers they be. See the graphic to the right. Seriously, Maryland drivers are at the heart of 31.5% of accidents in DC followed by Virginians at 12.7%. Maybe that proposed $1000 fine for driving 25 miles above the speed limit is justified.
There will be no fast driving along US Route 50 due to work on the eastbound lane. WTOP reported that delays are in store for commuters and travelers who use US Route 50:
The construction area includes a five-and-a-half mile stretch of John Hanson Highway that begins just south of Lottsford Vista Road to the U.S. 50/MD 301 interchange near the Anne Arundel County line. “Some of the work already began last month, in November, with most of the major construction and paving scheduled to take place in spring and summer of 2016,” said Charlie Gischlar, a spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration. Gischlar said the work could include single lane closures between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the week, and lane closures during the weekend.Work crews will not only repave all lanes of traffic, they will put new asphalt on several on and off ramps in the area. Some drainage improvements will also be made in the area, to help storm water move off the road faster.
Being the novice driver that I am, it took me a minute to realize I couldn’t segue way from the Route 50 snippet to a College Park, Route 1 snippet. I’m still trying to map it in my head. Dang it! Southern Management Corporation is moving forward with development of the former Koons Ford building located on Baltimore Avenue (Rt. 1). Plans for 3-acre site include a Cambria Suites Hotel, parking deck, and a stand-alone CVS drugstore. Do people still say drugstore? Oh well. The ground floor of the new hotel will feature a new restaurant, the College Park Grill.
Selling Prince George’s County. Umph. I don’t like the sound of that, but that’s the job description for the CEO of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation, Jim Coleman. His primary focus is bringing jobs and quality businesses to the county. His interview with News Channel 8 showed him to be a pretty sharp tack. ←THAT was a very old person way to describe him. In the Washington Post article featuring Coleman, he noted, “…17 new businesses have agreed to relocate to Prince George’s in the past 12 months, lured by tax credits, grants for training employees, loans and proximity to federal agencies and the University of Maryland. During the same time, at least two have left.” I don’t like the picture being painted of Jim Coleman’s job, but maybe I’m being sensitive because I’m Black and sick of how everything is made to seem so dire in this county by most of the press. I’m happy here. Aaaaaaaah, ←Old lady grunt sound indicating we are moving on.
There is a petition on Change.org to stop the closing of Forestville High School, formerly Forestville Military Academy. In 2013, the school opened to neighborhood students after being a full military academy for 11 years. That’s when the fights and discipline problems started. From the petition, “Forestville High School is slated to be consolidated into Potomac and Suitland High Schools in Fiscal Year 2034”. In addition, according to Staff Review of Volume 4 MSPP School Recommendations, PGCPS Staff initial recommendations “Boundary study to assess the feasibility of expediting the closure of at least one high school. The consolidation of Forestville High School may be required if PGCPS is to receive stated funding for the Suitland High School campus renovation.” The school still has some standout students and a championship girls basketball team.
At Charles H. Flowers High School there is an Advanced Placement student blazing her courses so hot that ABC7 had to sit down with her. Hazel Ware is something of a phenom according to her Mom, Roxana Jones-Ware, “[Hazel] exhibited exceptional qualities at a young age. At around age 7 or 8 we knew there was something different about Hazel.” While enrolled in the Science and Technology program at Flowers, Hazel also takes classes at Prince George’s Community College. The 15-year-old senior enrolled in college classes at 13 and has also studied at the College of Southern Maryland, Harvard University and Georgetown.The honors student skipped sixth and seventh grades and says as far back as she can remember, she has embraced learning. “I love learning, and being able to develop new information is fascinating to me.”
Did you know that there is strong talk of bringing a chicken waste incinerator to Maryland’s Eastern Shore and a trash incinerator to Upper Marlboro after they close the landfill in 2020? I received information from Taylor Billings, Food & Water Watch organization, “Incineration has been talked about for a long time across the country. It’s only since 2011 that it’s become a real threat to Maryland because that’s when these forms of incineration energy moved to Tier 1 of the Renewable Portfolio Standard and became more highly incentivized. There is a large excess of chicken waste in the state — over 600 million pounds — and poultry corporations are looking for a way to get rid of it. Burning it, however, is not the right answer.”
If you’ve ever driven down Whitehouse Road in Upper Marlboro, you already know that that little stretch can stink to the high heavens because the Brown Station Road Landfill is located there. Taylor added, “The Brown Station Road Landfill in Upper Marlboro is set to be closed in 2020, and there is the possibility that it may be turned into a trash incinerator, especially if such energy sources are still incentivized under the RPS.” The Maryland Daily Examiner reported on the topic: Dr. Gwen DuBois, M.D. of Physicians for Social Responsibility,“incineration threatens the health of Maryland residents, and needs to be removed from the Renewable Portfolio Standard.” “Toxic incineration projects often threaten already at-risk communities, and it’s an outrage that Maryland currently classifies them as being on par with real clean energy,” said Taylor Billings, organizer with Food & Water Watch.
Why oh WHY would Maryland classify burning chicken manure and trash as CLEAN ENERGY?!! Taylor informed me that incinerators are often built in low-income minority communities, which adds a serious environmental justice component to these issues. Trash incineration is the dirty form of energy that would most likely impact Prince George’s County. Residents in Baltimore are currently fighting an incinerator in Curtis Bay for many of the reasons listed. Prince George’s County better fight it too. (who’s also running for Congressional seat Dist. 4) delivered petitions and handwritten letters from Largo High School students and Prince George’s County residents that urge their delegates to remove dirty forms of energy from the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Prince Georgians, contact your House Delegates who sit on the Environment and Transportation Committee and tell them DON’T STOOP TO BURNING CHICKEN POOP. That was awful. Tell them that our county cannot afford to be the home of dirty energy. We are on an economic upswing and we will accept only clean energy without toxic emissions:
- Delegate Tony Knotts, District 26
- Marvin E. Holmes Jr., District 23B
- Anne Healey, District 22
- Barbara Frush, District 21
- Maryland Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee:
- Paul G. Pinsky, Vice Chair of Committee, District 22
- James C. Rosapepe, District 21
Of course I will be in contact with my politicos and we will follow the money from incinerator contractors to campaign donations and see what the real shrimp and liquor story is.