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City Council Meeting–June 14th at 7:30pm

Good Evening,

I hope many of you had a chance to go to Takoma Park's Pride festivities this weekend. It was heartwarming. Laurel Avenue was filled with rainbows, families, and the ideals that pulled us to live here.

Tomorrow night at the City Council meeting:

I have been talking to Ann Ceikot, our City’s Legislative Advocate, about trying to get the Maryland Municipal League to focus some of their efforts on stop sign camera monitoring. Maryland State Delegate Lorig Charkoudian introduced Maryland House Bill 367 this past session but it didn’t get out of the House. As much as drivers lament the cost of red light and speed cameras, they make a huge difference in curbing red light and speed violations over a short period of time. Some neighborhoods in Takoma Park are sped through in order to take shortcuts and drivers aren’t taking enough care at stop signs.

2. Discussion of Proposed Procurements (ERR Funded)

A. (tentative) 15-Person Van (Recreation Bus) for the Recreation Department (PDF)

I am in favor of purchasing this recreation bus to replace the larger recreation bus that has an accessibility ramp but requires a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). As the City recovers from the pandemic, the Recreation Department would like to go back to taking our senior community on day trips as they were doing before. We need to be able to include community members who use wheelchairs.

I will likely vote in favor of replacing the two trash trucks, but will be more confident about purchase decisions once the City Council reviews and updates the Equipment Replacement Reserve policy. It is disappointing that the electric vehicles available aren’t recommended by other municipalities and at the price tag that the EVs are offered, it doesn’t make financial sense to buy electric at this time.

Though the City Council did delay some Equipment Replacement Reserve expenditures for this year, these cars are included in the scope of what we agreed to purchase. I appreciate that these will be electric vehicles as a part of the City’s priorities to electrify our fleet when financially feasible.

The majority of the funding for this sidewalk project is coming from a Community Development Block Grant, which means we can only spend that funding in a very restricted area in Takoma Park. The portion of Domer Avenue which is being considered for a sidewalk is very narrow and leads to Sligo Creek Parkway which means that it is forced to be one way during most of the weekend with little space to turn around. I know that Councilmember Honzak has been listening to residents and working hard to figure out a way to put sidewalks onto this street without detriment to the people most affected. I am looking forward to this discussion. It is an interesting problem and here is a link to the area I am talking about in case you are interested:

As a side note, I have been talking to other council members about putting forward a resolution to stop sidewalk and traffic calming device installation until a more equitable procedure for community members to request installations is implemented. I hope that we can put forward a resolution soon.

I have heard from councilmembers, community groups, residents, and from Low Impact Development Center (LIDC) about the problems with stormwater in this particular area. I am looking forward to hearing from Director Braithwaite about this project and what has gone into the selection process for a group to work on the restoration here

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