A little later than some jurisdictions, Prince George’s County has signed on to the transit-oriented development (TOD) revolution to boost its economy while helping the environment. A new economic development platform announced in June by County Executive Angela Alsobrooks calls for dense, walkable, bikeable, mixed-use development around four Metro stations on the Blue Line: Capitol Heights, Addison Road, Morgan Boulevard, and Largo Town Center.
“What County Executive Alsobrooks has done is elevate the importance of transit-oriented development to a new level and then focused on a key corridor that unites the county,” said Cheryl Cort, Policy Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth. In the plan’s own words: “The Blue Line Corridor will become a major economic engine for the County by catalyzing development, creating jobs, and incentivizing the development of a sports and entertainment-branded corridor.”
The vision is actually larger: to use the Blue Line as a laboratory for building future transit-oriented development (TOD) throughout the county around Metro, MARC, Amtrak, and future Purple Line stations. The Blue Line would be the template for a much-needed economic boost for Prince George’s County that simultaneously helps the environment and maintains affordable housing. If all goes as planned, the Blue Line will become a model of sustainable development for other jurisdictions.
This is a radical break for a county with a history of developing in “a spread out and automobile dependent” fashion, said Janet Gingold, chair of the Prince George’s Sierra Club Group.