Sunday, December 08, 2013 7:09 PM
Published on: Monday, July 15, 2013
By Tauren Dyson
Nearly $650 million will fund new transportation projects in Prince George’s County and could bring 4,000 jobs to the area, Gov. Martin O’Malley announced July 8 at the Branch Avenue Metro Station.
“Prince George’s County has tremendous potential to create jobs here in the county,” O’Malley said. “If only we can do a better job of developing around all of the Metro stations that are in Prince George’s County.”
O’Malley pointed to the influx of new residents moving to Prince George’s County and the undeveloped land around Metro stations as reasons why the county is a prime location for new construction. More than 440,000 county residents commute to work and nearly 18 percent of that number use Metro, according to the 2009 Census. And for the nearly 77 percent of county residents who drive or carpool, help is on the way to repair distressed roadways.
“The dollars that we get today means that we can do the infrastructure around Branch Avenue, we can do the infrastructure around Greenbelt, which will make us more attractive to the FBI,” County Executive Rushern Baker said. “We now have the dollars to make us more attractive for places to come in.”
The Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013 will provide $280 million for the Purple Line, $150 million to build a new interchange at Route 4 and Suitland Parkway, $150 million for Route 1 College Park pedestrian and bike improvements, $100 million to build an interchange at Indian Head Highway and Kirby Hill/Livingston Road, $50 million to construct a new pedestrian bridge across Route 5 and $7 million to improve an existing interchange at the Capital Beltway and the Greenbelt Metro Station, a Maryland press release stated.
Baker said the state funding would allow the county to repair pedestrian walking conditions. A report from Prince George’s County government states, “The rate of pedestrian fatalities within the County was nearly double that of all other large jurisdictions (Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Montgomery County).”
Along with curbing pedestrian fatalities, Baker said refurbished roadways would help open up economic development by allowing easier access to some of Prince George’s County’s new commercial projects.
“This is the money we needed for the Tanger outlet mall, to deal with the traffic there,” Baker said. “Now there’s actual money. It’s not just Rushern Baker making promises.”