Monday, October 14, 2013

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Rhode Island Ave Trolley Trail

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Rhode Island Ave Trolley Trail

The Trolley Trail has been on the various approved master plans since the early 1990s.  College Park has opened their segment of this important north-south connection, and now the M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation is beginning construction of the trail further to the south, where it will ultimately connect to the Anacostia Tributaries Trails Network, provide multi-modal access between College Park, Riverdale Park, and Hyattsville, and serve as a bicycle alternative to US 1.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Quick Summary of Utility Work in Bunker Hill Road Vicinity

Quick Summary of Utility Work in Bunker Hill Road Vicinity

On Thursday, October 15, 2013, Mayor Miles, Councilman Tarlau, and myself met with representatives of WSSC, Washington Gas, and their contractors. The following is a top line summary of the status of the utility work in the Bunker Hill Road area. Please contact me if there is anything more specific you would like to know.

The good news: Utilities are committed to finishing this work this year

So what does this mean?

Full restoration and paving of impacted roads requires hot asphalt. Most years the asphalt plant goes offline for the winter around the third week of November, give or take a week with good or bad weather. This means the utility crews have to be done with their work by mid-November in order for the roads to be fully restored before this winter.

Fortunately, per today's meeting, WSSC and Washington Gas believe that they can hit this deadline barring unforeseen circumstances. So far this project has had precious little luck, and we are going to need a little luck to hit the asphalt deadline. Mount Rainier is over a hundred years old and some of the utilities being upgraded are also nearly that age, so problems with the work are unfortunately somewhat inevitable.

That being said, I am confident that the crew leaders for the utilities are committed to meeting this deadline so that residents can be driving on a smooth new road this winter. In fact, Washington Gas has already allocated a second crew to this project.

What's next?

October 14-18 - WSSC completes testing of the new sewer lines in the 3000 block of Bunker Hill. If the lines test 100%, that block will definitely receive a base layer of asphalt by the end of the week. This testing and paving will close WSSC's involvement on this project. (If the lines don't test 100%, there is sill the possibility of WSSC closing out that week if the needed excavating / repairing is fairly minor.)

October 14-November 18 - Washington Gas upgrades its remaining mains to high pressure, and upgrades the service lines to individual homes, starting at 33rd and Bunker Hill and ending at 30th and Bunker Hill. The 3800 and 4000 blocks of 32nd Street will also see work on the level of Bunker Hill during this time frame - the main and the service line to each home on those blocks will be upgraded to high pressure. See attached map.

Mid-November asphalt paving deadline - If Washington Gas's work is going to plan on the 3100 and 3000 blocks of Bunker Hill, they will notify WSSC with sufficient lead time to ensure that the paving occurs before the asphalt plant shuts down for the winter.

Washington Gas scope of work: As of October 10, 2013, the green and yellow lines have been completed.
The lines in red will be completed October 14-November 18, 2013.

How does this impact homeowners?

If you live on a block that is going to be upgraded by Washington Gas over the next month, someone will need to be home TWICE during that time: once to run the service line to your house, and once to relight your service when your house is tied into the main. WG will be working directly with individual homeowners to schedule convenient times for this work to occur, and with a month total I think we can make this work for all residents. WG has also committed to coordinating with me to make sure that residents are adequately notified.

I plan to print out some materials and walk this around to as many of the affected blocks as I can reach over the next few days. I don't have emails or contact information for all residents so please let your neighbors know how to find this blog post or share it with them directly.

Keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

If the weather is mostly ok, and the utilities find no more major surprises when they dig, we could be driving, biking, and walking on a brand new Bunker Hill Road by Thanksgiving. That would truly be something to be thankful for!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Watching City Council Meetings Online

Watching City Council Meetings Online

Don't have cable TV? Thanks to the hard work of MRTV Department Director Graciela Carbonell, city council meetings can be watched live via online streaming at

We also have a video on demand service at where all council meetings are archived within two days. On that site there are folders that contain City Council meetings, On Air with the Mayor, People, Places and Possibilities, and City of Mount Rainier “Then & Now”.

Friday, October 4, 2013

County Rebate Program for Property Owners

County Rebate Program for Property Owners

Property owners interested in going green and helping the Anacostia River should be aware of a new program from PG DER, Rain Check. The program provides rebates for installing water friendly practices like rain barrels at your property. These newly installed practices can then be used to apply for a credit against the county's Clean Water Act Fee, which has been levied to improve water quality in our streams and the Anacostia River.

There will be a workshop nearby in Bladensburg on October 22, 2013, 6:30-8:30pm at the Bladensburg Community Center, 4500 57th Ave, Bladensburg, MD.
Prince George’s County is committed to improving the quality of life for its communities by promoting green solutions to stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff occurs when rain (or snowmelt) flows over the land picking up pollutants such as oil, grease, sediment, and nutrients which make their way into local streams and rivers. The Rain Check Rebate Program allows property owners to receive rebates for installing Rain Check approved stormwater management practices. Homeowners, businesses, and nonprofit entities (including housing cooperatives and churches) can recoup some of the costs of installing practices covered by the program.
PG DER Rain Check Workshop Flyer - October 22 in Bladensburg

Thursday, October 3, 2013

County Bans Plastic Yard Waste Bags

County Bans Plastic Yard Waste Bags

Attention Mount Rainier residents - beginning January 1, 2014 Prince George's County will no longer accept yard waste in plastic bags. Although Mount Rainier Public Works is responsible for yard waste pickup in the city, the collected yard waste is taken to the county facility so city residents must comply with this policy. This is a good policy shift because it moves the county away from unsustainable single-use plastics, and also because it facilitates better composting of yard waste at the county facility.

City residents have two options for yard waste going forward:
1) Use the large brown paper yard waste bags that can be purchased cheaply at many retailers
2) Designate a garbage can or similar reusable receptacle for yard waste. Please clearly mark such a container as "Yard Waste" and please use a lid to prevent trash and/or rodents from getting into the container.

County DER Flyer on Yard Waste Policy