SILVER SPRING CITIZENS ADVISORY BOARD Regularly Scheduled Monthly Meeting Monday February 13, 2012 Silver Spring Civic Building
- A G E N D A & P A C K E T7:00 pm -
Welcome and community comments
7:05 pm -
Confirm January 2012 Meeting Minutes (page 2)
7:05 pm -
wide Rapid Transit Vehicle System Initiative County-wide Tom Street, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, and Mark Winston, Chair, Montgomery County Transit Task Force
7:20 pm -
Silver Spring Green Doug Weisburger, Senior Planning Specialist, Sustainability Programs (Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection) Charlie Atwell, Owner IBI Furniture, Silver Spring Learn about this new and exciting nonprofit organization that brings together businesses, civic organizations, residents and government to enhance our environment, economy and shared sense of community. http://www.silverspringgreen.org/
8:00 pm -
Committee Reports Neighborhoods Committee (page 3) Bernice North & Sue Decker Letter summarizing committee’s work on Youth Issues for approval (page 4) Commercial and Economic Development Committee Jessica Fusillo & Mary Murphy Pedestrian and Transportation Committee (page 55-6) Darian Unger & Dan Mo Morales Action Items (page 7) Letter summarizing committee’s work on Fenton/Wayne crossing for approval (page 8-10)
8: 30 pm -
County Budget Discussion and Communications with the County Executive & Council Letters for approval CIP &Operating Operating
8:55 pm -
9:00 pm -
Adjourn Director’s Report (page 11 11-14)
SSCAB January 9, 2012 Meeting Minutes 1. Welcome and Introduction Chairwoman Kathy Stevens called meeting to order with welcome and introduction of community persons in attendance and board members. 2. Board Vote Accepting Summary of December 2011 Meeting Minutes 3. Community Update and Discussion Megan Moriarty, Fenton Village Market Manager, announced that FSM had submitted a proposal in response to the County’s RFP for operating a market on Veterans Plaza. Angela Dizelos, County’s Office of Management & Budget, discussed County operating budget issues and process for FY 2013. 3. Committee Reports Commercial and Economic Development Committee, Jessica Fusillo (Chair) – Joint meeting with Transportation Committee on January 23rd to focus on Purple Line and businesses; Grant proposal drafted to request County financial support for Taste of Fenton Village; Update on Taste of Fenton Village on May 6, 2012. Neighborhoods Committee, Susan Decker & Bernice North (CoChairs) Committee continues focus on County youth at risk, youth crime, and youth access to food. Transportation and Pedestrian Safety, Darian Unger (Chair) – Focus on Purple Line and its impact on businesses. 4. Silver Spring Regional Center Director’s Report, Reemberto Rodriguez Focus: Reported on Silver Spring web link and e-blasts providing comprehensive listings of community events and activities. 5. Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board Chair’s Report, Kathy Stevens Completion of Board 2011 annual report on its way. Upcoming Board Topics: County FY 2012 budget; bus rapid transit; senior citizen issues 6. Meeting Adjourned at 9 pm.
Summary of SSCAB eighborhood’s Committee Meeting January 23, 2012 The agenda was a continuation of the discussion held at the last committee meeting regarding teens (see summary from November 28, 2011 meeting). The emphasis this month was on how youth can overcome poverty, by focusing on services teens need and next steps to enable the community to work together to address those needs. Approximately 40 people participated in the meeting including a contingent of coaches and youth from the Long Branch Community Center and representatives from Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery County Youth Violence Prevention, Montgomery County Collaboration Council¸ Gandhi Brigade, M.A.N.U.P. (Making A New United People), Safe Silver Spring, Impact Silver Spring, Passion for Learning, Community Bridges, Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County and C.H.E.E.R. (Community Health and Empowerment through Education and Research). The group discussed what teens need to succeed: •
• • • • • • • •
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs (for 14-18 year olds) – Teens need money to buy clothes/shoes and save for college; Greater access to learn trades & obtain apprenticeships in the trades , especially for teens who have dropped out of school Professional/Career development, including how to find, get and keep a job Places to go that provide safe, fun and free activities geared toward teens Opportunities to learn good study skills Activities that increase cultural awareness (i.e., going beyond their neighborhoods so they can see the possibilities) Increased knowledge of resources that are available for teens already Holistic approach that provides education, housing, safety & counseling services Motivation/will to make dreams come true A downcounty treatment center for teenaged drug abusers
The group also discussed ways to reach out to youth which included effectively making an event or program “hot” so word of mouth will spread as well as using social media (facebook, twitter). There were also several comments about the need to improve communication and collaboration among non-profits as well as between non-profits, civic/neighborhood associations and the private sector. Examples of efforts in other communities included: • the town of Gaithersburg hosts a quarterly, networking meeting for non-profit organizations • the University of Maryland provides a community center that houses non-profits as well as a bicycle repair shop run by youth. • Herndon VA has a space for young people to meet and learn about jobs Based on this discussion, the following next steps were identified: •
The Neighborhoods co-chairs has offered to host meetings between 1) civic association groups such as PREZCO and Montgomery Civic Federation and youth and non-profits and county entities that work with youth; and 2) the private sector, such as the Peterson Group, and youth and non-profits and county entities that work with youth. The goal of these meetings is to enable collaboration to address teen needs. IMPACT offered to facilitate the meetings. It was also requested that the meeting be started at an earlier time so youth can participate.
DRAFT FOR FULL BOARD APPROVAL - February 13, 2012 Mr. Isiah Leggett County Executive Executive Office Building Office 101 Monroe Street 2nd Floor Rockville, Maryland 20850
Mr. Roger Berliner Council President Stella B. Warner Council Building 100 Maryland Avenue Rockville, Maryland 20850
cc: Ms. Valerie Ervin Dear Mr. Leggett, Mr. Berliner, and County Council, The Silver Spring Citizens’ Advisory Board has hosted two community meetings to discuss the challenges and needs of at-risk youth and offers the following summary for your consideration in budget and policy formulation to prevent teen crime. As background, these meetings were led by the Neighborhoods committee and included representatives from numerous non-profit organizations, Montgomery County public schools and Montgomery County government organizations working with atrisk youth. The following is not a comprehensive list, but rather the recurring themes we heard voiced from multiple constituents: • •
Northwood High School’s Wellness Center and the youth programs at the Long Branch recreation center are seen as great successes that the community would like to see continued. The lack of jobs for teens and young adults is seen as a major contributor to crime. While the economy is a key culprit, there also seems to be a lack of career preparedness in our schools. We heard over-and-over that there is limited opportunity to learn a trade which disenfranchises teens without the resources to attend college. While Thomas Edison High School is seen as a good resource, enrollment is limited. Youth want the opportunity to study a trade irrespective of their GPA and to be able to take a class or two in the trades before committing to Thomas Edison. There also appears to be a lack of training for teens on how to get and keep a job. The community would like to see the reinstatement of dedicated SROs (school resource officers). It is believed that the reduction in SROs has contributed to increased teen violence and crime because the SROs no longer have daily interactions with the students at one school which enabled them to proactively prevent incidents and appropriately and quickly react to events. There is also a concern that training of SROs does not seem to be consistent in how to effectively interact with teens. Many in the community have expressed the need for a teen center or multi-generational center either as a stand-alone facility or collocated with a school or rec center. Ideas for the center have included offering programs for teens and their siblings, providing study periods and tutors, fostering youth run enterprises, offering classes in the trades, and housing non-profit organizations to enable pooling of resources.
We hope you find this input from the community helpful. Sincerely, Members of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board PAGE 4
Joint Meeting of the Transportation and Pedestrian Safety and the CED (Commercial Economic Development) Committees, February, 2011 Participants included: Darian Unger, Co-Chair of the Transportation and Pedestrian Safety Committee Dan Morales, Co-Chair of the Transportation and Pedestrian Safety Committee Jessica Fusillo, Co-Chair CED Committee, Mary Murphy, Co-Chair CED Committee Chris Stoughton Reemberto Rodriguez Tiffany Graham-Golden Tom Harmon Barbara Ditzler Constance Wynn Karen Roper Shola Ajayi Zorayda Moreira-Smith Lindolfo Carballo And about 15 other participants (attendance list not yet complete) 3 main action items (see below) on 1) Opposing the elimination of the Metropolitan Branch Trail 2) Expressing concern and suggestions about planning pedestrian access to library 3) Following up on intersection fixes Police Update: Enforcement update. 28,429 traffic stops. 13,000 Citations at Georgia and Coleville. Red Light cameras – automated enforcement on buses Ongoing investigation into recent pedestrian strike/death The Casa Study: The International Corridor: Portrait of a Threatened Small Business Community. How the Purple Line, Can Break or Build a eighborhood. Lindolfo Carballo of CASA de Maryland; Shola Ajayi and Zorayda Moreira-Smith participated in the presentation of this study commissioned by the Fair Development Coalition. Four Basic Findings for the Community: 1. The International Corridor has a long standing and diverse small business community. 2. The International Corridor’s small businesses are highly vulnerable to rent increases and lack of ownership of real estate. 3. International Corridor’s small businesses have strong ties to local residents. 4. International Corridor small minority-owned businesses have not been informed about the Purple Line and other potential changes and are concerned about possible displacement. Recommendations: Polices Preferential to Small Local Businesses • Overlay Zoning to insure smaller rental space availability • Legislation restricting large retail establishments • Implement Restrictions on Chain Stores PAGE 5
The presentation focused on the businesses impacting Montgomery County as this is a bicounty coalition. After the presentation a discussion of the issues faced by small local businesses and the impact of the purple line. Marsha Kaiser offered some information on the efforts of the purple line to reach out to businesses. She maintains the purple line is working on construction mitigation to help businesses and residents and these outreach efforts have already begun. Karen Roper drew parallels between Long Branch and pre-redevelopment Fenton Village, pointing out that changes should be considered earlier or risk overrunning a community. Federal approval for the project went through easily. There is now 2 years of planning and preliminary engineering. The project will impact 28 neighborhoods. It was agreed that businesses both in Fenton Village and in the International Corridor needed to seek support from the community and find new ways to grow their businesses. They cannot sit and see what happens they must mobilize and become active. Some of the ideas that were discussed included no sales tax charged for these businesses during construction. More resources are needed for these small merchants to learn about how to grow their businesses successfully in a changing climate.
Recommended Transportation/Pedestrian Safety discussion and action items:
1) Support re-inclusion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail into the CIP. The Silver Spring funding was eliminated completely through 2018 (as far as the county plans) while funding for resurfacing rural roads increased. The committee did not agree at all with this prioritization. From the 6/11 committee report: “Review of CIP priorities from last round – committee reached general consensus that many of those priorities still held o Continued support of the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT). Last time, our board stated that “The Metropolitan Branch Trail has been ignored for too long. When completed, it will provide a much-needed path connecting the Crescent Trail to Silver Spring, Takoma Park, and eventually back into Washington DC. It will bring valued pedestrian, bicycle, and retail traffic, and will provide recreational, retail, and commuting benefits to the county. Although DOT has started some preliminary engineering work on the Metropolitan Branch Trail, that work did not continue and the project has become inactive despite its popularity. We strongly urge increased focus and capital funding for this project.” The MBT was reinserted into the CIP in 2009, but work was delayed by years. Recommended wording for 2011: Priority #1: Our community continues to strongly support the construction of the Metropolitan Branch Trail. This extension of the Capital Crescent Trail through the Silver Spring CBD will improve walkability, commercial development, bikeablity, and safety, yet the Metropolitan Branch Trail has suffered years of delay while more expensive road and highway projects are completed. We urge increased focus and capital funding for this project.”
2) The committee also approved the following letter, which may still be modified based on conversations with DOT
DRAFT FOR FULL BOARD APPROVAL - February 13, 2012 Discussed and approved by committee, 11/10; Amended by full board, 12/10 Discussed and re-approved by committee, 1/12 Mr. Isiah Leggett County Executive Executive Office Building Office 101 Monroe Street 2nd Floor Rockville, Maryland 20850
Mr. Roger Berliner Council President Stella B. Warner Council Building 100 Maryland Avenue Rockville, Maryland 20850
cc: David Dise, Susanne Churchill, Don Scheuerman, Art Holmes, David Dunckel, Valerie Ervin, Tom Street Dear Mr. Leggett, Mr. Berliner, and County Council, We urge that even stronger efforts be made to plan a safe street-level crossing for the new Silver Spring library. Although we were glad to see the recent presentation of a Department of General Services (DGS) and Department of Transportation (DOT)contracted pedestrian study for the library, we are concerned that the study did not address several of the communityâ€™s suggestions. In July 2011, we urged that a pedestrian study include the following recommendations: This corner will require major improvements because it will serve as a key entry point to the new Silver Spring Library. The library will likely receive well over 1 million visitors per year, many of whom will cross Wayne Ave. by foot. Our neighbors and our library need a safe and welcoming street-level crossing that is accessible to everyone. Our community joined with Park and Planning staff to urge creative ideas that would improve safety. Suggestions included: -
engineering an all-stop/four-way/barnes-crossing intersection improving signage and significantly widening the crosswalk to better channel and buffer pedestrians including a raised crosswalk to improve safety and visibility including a lit crosswalk to improve safety installing red-turn arrows to eliminate the chances of cars turning into pedestrians increasing the time allowed for pedestrian travel installing a mid-block crossing installing a crosswalk that spans from the corner to mid-block, similar to the 40-foot crossing in front of the )ational Zoo PAGE 8
County officials have so far demurred on these suggestions, and have repeatedly mentioned simple restriping and minor signal changes as potential improvements. This response is inadequate and would benefit greatly from the community’s broader scope of view. While repainting/restriping is certainly important to increasing crosswalk visibility, it is just one small component of the needed improvements. Far more is necessary. Unfortunately, the requested library study offered relatively minor changes instead of the necessary improvements that the community suggested. Several of our community’s recommendations had not been included or fully addressed. Although the report is a step forward, community reaction suggested dissatisfaction because people felt more pedestrian-friendly measures should be included. Below are several of new concerns: •
Few of the community’s suggestions were incorporated; most were not even examined. The contractor had not been given a copy of our earlier letter, and was unprepared to respond to questions about raising or lighting crosswalks to improve safety. The study did not examine several popular street improvement suggestions from Park and Planning, and seemed averse to changes that might affect auto traffic. Statistics for pedestrian volume are likely incorrect. For example, the report reasonably projects a major increase (almost 80%) in pedestrian traffic due to the new library, but then inexplicably assumes only a minor increase (about 15%) when a Purple Line station is introduced. This does not agree with MTA projections. Despite this, the proposed crossings themselves did not seem take into account the future Purple Line. Proposed changes are timid and minor, but a major overhaul is required to ensure adequate access for the millions of expected pedestrian visits. Failure to make ground-level pedestrian crossing safe with major (as opposed to the proposed minor) changes may lead to tragedy.
We look forward to cooperating and helping in this process, and thank you for your attention to this matter. Our board has long facilitated and contributed to community discussions on the new library. Over the years we have: • • •
supported the construction of the Purple Line, and look forward to a Silver Spring library station urged improvements to the library Program of Requirements, and we are grateful that those changes were implemented favored the creation of a safe street-level crossing that will facilitate safe access for all pedestrians instead of the construction of a parking lot bridge. PAGE 9
Access to the library should be as important as the structure itself. Even if a parking lot bridge is built some years in the future, we urge that the creation of safe, street-level pedestrian crossings. Thank you for considering pedestrian access more strongly in the library planning. Sincerely, Members of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board
1) There has been no significant response to the board’s expressed concerned about the poorly-designed and built ramps and curbs at Georgia Ave. intersections. Hopefully we’ll hear back soon. There is continued concern that SHA/DOT don’t take pedestrian access seriously, or these poor designs would occur only infrequently, and would be quickly rectified when they did.
Silver Spring Regional Services Center Reemberto Rodriguez, Director February 2012 Report 1. Community Issues Purple Line Impacts: The Purple Line literally bisects the Silver Spring Regional Area with many different impacts along the way. We are working with various communities, agencies, and MTA on different issues. These include, for example, the location of the rail-yard in Lyttonsville; traffic and pedestrian controls at the intersection of Fenton and Wayne (by the new Library); and, the impact on the small businesses along the route (particularly in Long Branch and Langley Park). Each of these situations is unique and merits different approaches. In Lyttonsville we are working with the community as well as the various other interests; the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Boardâ€™s Committees are focused on the Fenton and Wayne intersection and impact on small businesses; and, we are working with MTA and Casa de Maryland regarding Long Branch and Langley Park. Parking Issues Throughout Downtown: We are working closely with the PLD, DOT, councilmembers and others regarding various parking issues throughout downtown. Some of these include: ensuring customer information is adequately handled when some of the garages reach capacity (mostly on weekend nights); working with the South Silver Spring community to address the situation of on-street parking on streets owned by neighboring DC, and the use of the Kennet St. garage for residential purposes; transitional use of garages in the proximity of the metro station; strategic long-term conversion of certain garages in downtown; the timing and pace of parking rates; and the pending expiration of the commitments regarding the two Downtown garages (Town Square and Wayne Avenue.) We are also working with the State and the CVB to create more efficient directional signs to the parking areas, particularly for visitors using our increasing number of arts and entertainment venues. Outdoor Markets of Greater Silver Spring: With the help of Sen. Jaime Raskin, we brought together the seven outdoor market operators in the Greater Silver Spring area (including Wheaton and Burtonsville.) They have committed to work together on a joint promotional effort, possibly including a web-site, t-shirts, and post cards. We have a volunteer consultant providing pro-bono coordinating support. Getting Ready for Spring and the Rest of the Year: This year promises to be an extremely busy year for activities in downtown Silver Spring and Takoma Park. At last count, there are well over 10 major festivals and/or events that will routinely bring literally thousands of people to the area â€“ and that does not include the regular shows at the Fillmore and Regal Theatre (where on any given night there might be as many as 2,000 patrons visiting.) We are working extremely close â€“ and on a regular basis - with other pertinent agencies and our private sector partners to ensure these activities contribute to the robust community and positive ambiance we are building.
2. Advisory Board Activities/Issues: a. Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board At the January Meeting, the Board focused on getting ready for the Budget Forum (held later the same week) and in discussing in depth the committee reports and planning for the subsequent committee meetings. The CED and Pedestrian Safety Committees held a joint meeting to discuss the issue of the Purple Lineâ€™s impact on small businesses, with guests from Casa de Maryland and MTA. The Neighborhoods Committee continued their theme of youth and schools. They convened a community dialogue to continue developing their list of youth serving organizations and committed to facilitating increasing collaboration among the many entities that deal with youth. b. Arts & Entertainment Advisory Committee This Committee did not meet in January, but they have a full agenda for February, including a dialogue with the 3rd Police Precinct regarding safety and security in the downtown area; discussing a potential Arts Walk; and presentation by Pyramid Atlantic, a Committee member. c. Urban District Advisory Committee The Committee heard from DGS regarding the status of the various County projects in Silver Spring, including the Transit Station. They also heard from the 3rd Police Precinct present their crime report. (The Committee is in the process of sending a letter commending the County for its support of increased police presence in downtown Silver Spring, but also expressing concern regarding the evident difficulty in operationalizing this increase.) d. Youth Advisory Committee We have begun working with the Recreation Department to pull together this yearâ€™s Youth Advisory Committee. They are scheduled to begin meeting in February.
3. Other: Use of Volunteers: The RSC is in the process of maximizing our ‘human capital’ and engaging a team of volunteers on different assignments that are integral to our mission. Among these are: A volunteer working 12 hours a week from Jewish Council for the Aging who is doing basic rudimentary administrative work (filing, copying, and such); a high school student helping to maintain our downtown web-site updated; another high school student doing other minor ‘office’ projects; a volunteer who created a database of media entities in the area; a volunteer who created a database of faith communities in the Regional Area; and, another volunteer who will be providing pro-bono consulting work to our efforts to bring together the outdoor markets of greater Silver Spring. NOTE: IF YOU KNOW OF SOMEONE SEEKING SIMILAR TYPE OF VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY, PLEASE ASK THEM TO CONTACT ME. Mid-Year Report from the Silver Spring Regional Center’s Urban District Regarding their “Safety-Related” Activates: Since the Fillmore opened in September 2011, the SSUD Red Shirts have consistently been on site near and around the venue both before events begin and after events end. Depending on the performer and other activities occurring in the CBD, Red Shirt staff presence has been increased to enhance a feeling a safety and security. As of Jan. 23, 2012 the Fillmore has been open 116 Days; has held 67 events; and accommodated over 64,000 guests. Among other activities, the SSUD Red Shirts have spent 120 hours per week providing support patrol to the PLD (and their security contractor MVM) by assisting to patrol and monitor the county garages (more than 10,000 parking spaces) located in the Silver Spring CBD; and, identified and continue to monitor 20 plus vacant spaces (commercial and residential) located in the Silver Spring CBD. The SSUD Red Shirts will also soon assume responsibility of securing the public space at Veterans Plaza, which will include training on and enforcement of newly implemented “Code of Conduct” for Veterans Plaza SSUD Red Shirts continue being instrumental in helping the Police abate crime situations – oftentimes before they materialize. They also continue regularly reporting vagrants, panhandlers and intoxicated individuals; providing various forms of assistance to the homeless, and working in partnership with various agencies providing services to the homeless; and, in general, supporting “Broken Windows” philosophy, i.e., reporting and removing graffiti and addressing other forms of vandalism PAGE 13
The Team has also held Special Training in the last 6 months in various focused areas, including: ◊ Orientation Training conducted by 3rd District Lt. to discuss crime trends and CAD reports to keep abreast of crime “hot spots” ◊ Gang Training by Montgomery County Police Gang Unit ◊ Extra “Eyes and Ears” Training conducted by Dist. 3 Community Service Officer Joy Patil ◊ In-Service with agencies providing services for the homeless ◊ Extra Eyes and Ears Training conducted by the Department of Liquor Control