Town of Bladensburg Green Street Update
The Town of Bladensburg is moving in a most positive direction to ensure that visitors will be able to safely access and connect with local historical icons and locations of the swiftly approaching War of 1812 commemoration in an environmentally responsible manner through the strong partnership of Governor Martin O’Malley and the State of Maryland supporting the efforts of the Town of Bladensburg’s Green Street Initiative.
Since the last update, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded and sponsored a Design Charrette in October, 2010, specially targeted at providing the Town and its partner organizations the latest cutting edge information and techniques to “green” the street. The event was a very successful and energizing event with over 80 attendees, including Congresswoman Edwards and a number of other luminaries and representatives participating and attending. The workshops and activities, which specifically included local members of the War of 1812 Task Force, were abuzz with ideas and concepts of how to not only make the street green and come to life, but also connect with the rest of our community to ensure and ongoing continuum of economic progress, sustainable jobs, and a vibrant future for the Town of Bladensburg. Deliverables from the charrette are the following:
- Initial design from Low Impact Development Center (work still ongoing to draft this design)
Not unheralded was the 4 million dollars fiscal support for the planning and engineering of this project as directed by Governor O’Malley and Ms. Beverly Sawim-Staley, Secretary of MDOT. Mayor Walter James remarked at the initial announcement, and then again during the Charrette, “That this kind of support ensures that all Marylanders and visitors to the State will be well served when using this gateway road. Whether using vehicles or walking along its sidewalks, they will have a lasting positive experience and seek to return.” Truly, the efforts of Governor O’Malley and Secretary Sawim-Staley are making the plan and implementation a reality.
A critical need continues to be funding extended street “contact points” when considering the total visitor’s experience when emerging from the main roadway. To this end, The Chesapeake Bay Trust awarded the Town through the “Green Street, Green Jobs” a grant for Finance Charrette. The Charrette seeks to provide gap financing for these contacts points. Planning stages for that event – proposed mid Feb. 2011 Deliverables from this charrette are expected to be the following:
- A financial Plan to ensure “gap infrastructure” and amenities meet suitable levels of environmental sustainability as well as meet the long standing needs of the community and visitor’s experience.
Finally, SHA has contacted the Town and begun the process of initiating the community input process critical for then successful implementation of such a project. The Town has committed that local representatives of the war of 1812 will be among the appointees tom this group. The Town of Bladensburg is continuing to pursue partnerships and funding options for this community revitalization project with much thought given to the 1812 visitor experience.