Bikers and pedestrians will soon have an easier time navigating parts of Takoma Park, thanks to nearly $2.3 million in alternative transportation grants.
Takoma Park was awarded for two projects through the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board’s Transportation Alternatives Program for fiscal 2013 and 2014. The Ethan Allen Gateway Streetscape project was awarded $1,255,123 and the Flower Avenue Garden Street project was awarded $1,040,330.
The planning board awarded about 80 percent of the funds needed for the projects, and now the city is tasked with finding the remaining 20 percent needed to carry them out.
Takoma Park Mayor Bruce Williams said the Takoma Park City Council will likely discuss the future of the projects at its meeting Monday night. In addition to determining where the remaining funds will come from, Williams said the council will also need to decide how the project will be carried out: in phases, or all at once.
“We submit a number of things and you never know what’s going to happen,” Williams said Friday. “To find out that not only were we the only ones to be awarded in Maryland, we were the only ones who submitted — It’s huge.”
The Ethan Allen Gateway Streetscape project is planned for the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and East-West Highway. The project includes an improved streetscape and landscape and sidewalk improvements. This project will improve the gateway from Prince George’s County into Takoma Park and be a large step toward the city’s New Hampshire Avenue Corridor Concept Plan.
Erkin Ozberk, a planner in Housing and Community Development for the city, said he hopes the improvements — including the addition of bike lanes, trees and benches along the road — will be a catalyst for future mixed-use development
The Flower Avenue Green Street project is along a one-mile stretch of Flower Avenue in Silver Spring that connects Washington Adventist University and Washington Adventist Hospital with the Long Branch commercial district at the northern City of Takoma Park boundary. The project includes installing new sidewalks and traffic calming measures, enhancing access to bus service and improving stormwater management along the road.
The changes, Ozberk said, will create for a more pedestrian-friendly roadway.