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More Walkable Communities Headed To Prince George’s

Council approves bill requiring more pedestrian-friendly development.

Could Prince George’s County soon be a more walkable community?

This week, the county council approved legislation that would make new development friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists while making residents less reliant on cars and reducing safety risks for pedestrians, reports The Washington Post.

The legislation would, for example, require pedestrian and bicycle connections to schools, parks, shopping and other destinations within a half-mile be installed in a new development if otherwise inadequate.

County Council Vice Chair Eric Olson (D-Dist. 3) of College Park sponsored the bill and says the legislation will create a better environment for pedestrians and cyclists, and create stronger communities.

“When new development occurs, developers can now be required to invest in off-site improvements for walking and biking, rather than just cars,” he said in a statement.  “As we seek to create healthier, more walkable mixed-use communities, this is an important step forward.” 

Under the bill, as a part of any development project requiring the subdivision or re-subdivision of land within county designated centers or corridors, the Planning Board may require developers to construct adequate sidewalks and increase safe pedestrian and biking opportunities. 

The bill is a rare first step for jurisdictions in the Washington region. According to the Post, the only other municipality that requires developers to consider pedestrian and cycling needs is Rockville. 

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