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Prince George’s County Council enters new term with big goals

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What legislation are you most proud of, and is there any you want to revisit?

I’m most proud of the Walkable Urban Streets Act, which will make our streets safer for all users, especially pedestrians and cyclists. It places best practices in urban street design into the county road standards. … Types of improvements include reducing distances for pedestrians to cross streets, narrowing lane widths, adding off-street bike accommodations, creating sharper turns so that vehicles need to stop and look before turning at an intersection, and other measures.

What was the council’s greatest accomplishment this session?

Among our first actions, we repealed measures that would have undermined the countywide zoning ordinance and the public process that established it.

What missteps do you hope will not be repeated next session?

I wouldn’t call it a failure, just something that is in progress and not completed yet. I started the process to establish a noise enforcement program through the Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement. We have made good progress, but we do not yet have a fully operational program with a dedicated noise enforcement hotline.

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What should the council focus on in 2024?

We are likely facing a tight budget this year that may include tough decisions. In addition, I am planning to focus on the following: affordable housing — the county has a real need for more affordable housing options, particularly near transit. Permitting, inspections and enforcement — we made progress in 2023 putting more resources into these areas, but we need to continue that progress and responsiveness. Crossing guards — it is unacceptable that we have over 80 vacancies countywide. Every school should have a full complement of crossing guards. Mental health — the council needs to build upon (work it has begun) to increase the services and the responsiveness for county residents and their families in need of mental health services.

What are some district-specific issues you plan to tackle?

My ongoing work in District 3 includes addressing neighborhood quality-of-life issues of code enforcement, infrastructure and speeding; addressing storm water and flooding; connecting our communities with new trails and increasing pedestrian infrastructure; facilitating smart growth redevelopment around transit; addressing food insecurity; and ensuring that Purple Line construction is done with as little disruption as possible.

Source: Washington Post

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