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Route 1 & Contee Rd Construction Affects Traffic

Click here to read this article on the MH NEWS web site, about traffic impacts due to construction of the new shopping center at Route 1 & Contee Road, complete with graphics of the road construction plan and detour maps.

Cedarhurst Brick Yard Development Status

Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission
September 22, 2005 Planning Board Agenda:


Council District: 01 Municipality: None.
Tier: Developing.
Located on Cedarhurst Drive northwest of its intersection with Muirkirk Road. (PA 62)
I-2 Zone (36.3 acres) (6/21/05)
Jackson-Shaw Company, Applicant
Request: 478,330 Square Feet of Office/Warehouse Space in Six Buildings.

70-day limit has been waived.

APPROVAL of Request for Continuance (ESTES)


Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission
Development Activity Monitory System
Monthly Report of Urban Design Activity - JUNE 2005

DATE ACCEPTED: 6/21/2005
ACRES: 36.30
TAX MAP & GRID: 009 F-4
200 SHEET:
Report name: dams20.rpt

Citizens Need to Fight Delay of Laurel-Beltsville School

Letter to Laurel Leader Editor from District 1 County Councilman, Tom Dernoga, Sep 15, 2005

The Prince George's County Public Schools staff just proposed deferring the proposed Laurel-Beltsville Elementary School in favor of other projects.

This recommendation is not in the CEO's Capital Improvement Program released for public discussion. Instead, the deferral was raised in a committee work session outside the general public view.

When is the public to be informed? After the hearing process is over?

I suggest that citizens concerned with school overcrowding in the Laurel-Beltsville area attend the Board of Education's next (and last) CIP hearing next Monday night [Sep 10, 2005] at 7 p.m. at the Sasccer Building in Upper Marlboro. You have to call in advance to sign up to speak (301-952 -6308).

Full letter at Laurel Leader web site

Slow School Zone Project Resumes Aug 22, 2005

This photo by Greg Dohler shows pupils crossing Muirkirk Rd. on their way to school. It was published in the Feb. 10, 2005 edition of The Laurel Gazette.

Montpelier Elementary School Cross-walk Safety Beacon Failed on First Day of School

Today's sunny and otherwise pleasant start of a new school year at Montpelier Elementary was tainted by the chronically broken cross-walk safety beacon at Lanner Road just west of the school cross-walk across Muirkirk Raceway. That beacon is supposed to alert drivers that they are approaching a school cross-walk.

That broken beacon not only failed to protect our children crossing Muirkirk Raceway, it also failed to protect our crossing guard, Ms. Lou, who was struck by a car in the crosswalk and hospitalized last January - she has been able to return to work only after months of recovery and physical therapy. Laurel Gazette article

That beacon has required maintenance many times during each and every shool year since it was installed several years ago at the request of the Montpelier Hills Homeowners Association. Either it doesn't flash during the designated crossing-guard times or it doesn't flash at all. It was checked by a P.G. Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) crew at the end of last school year -- so it should have worked properly on this first day of school. It didn't.

The other safety beacon just east of the school has never had any problems since it was installed at the same time -- something is wrong with the west-end beacon. Either it is defective and should be replaced or its solar panels are not powering the batteries properly. The solar panels are blocked by adjacent trees and not oriented toward open sky due south for maximum exposure to the sun.

After our crossing guard was struck, the totally ineffective response agreed to between DPW&T's and the County School system was to add a few no parking and no U-turn signs in front of the school.

It is time to bring highway and cross-walk safety at Montpelier Elementary up to exactly the same safety standards as at nearby Deerfield Elementary school - before a child is killed -- not after.
  1. We need two new speed limit signs closer to both ends of the school zone with FINES DOUBLED (just like Deerfield ES).
  2. The speed limit near all P.G. County Schools should be 25 miles/hour (as it is in Montgomery County) (just like Deerfield ES is trying to do with their informal 25 mile signs)
  3. We need a cross-guard controlled red light to bring traffic to a definite stop when children are crossing Muirkirk with a crossing-guard (just like Deerfield ES).
Do Montpelier Elementary students deserve to get less than the safety measures provided at Deerfield Elementary School? No!

As a Montpelier Hills resident, I will again raise these chronic safety problems with the school and the county -- residents and parents who wish to add their voices please add your comments to this posting and also contact me directly at

Gary Stone
Montpelier Hills

Speed Enforcement on Muirkirk

Observed again at mid-day on July 27, Prince George's County and Maryland State police continue to conduct frequent speed enforcement throughout day-time hours in the 30 miles-per-hour zone along Muirkirk Rd between Lanner Drive and Route 197.

Muirkirk Rd to Become De Facto ICC Extension

On July 11, 2005, after decades of debate, Maryland Governor, John Ehrlich, Jr., announced the state's chosen route for the Inter-County Connector (ICC) between I-270 in Montgomery County and Prince George's County I-95 and eventually further east to Route 1.
On the map, notice how the eastern end of the Governor's chosen ICC Route terminates at Route 1 just north of Muirkirk Road -- making Muirkirk Rd a de facto extension of the east end of the high-speed, multi-lane ICC.

In fact, the proposed route will have an interchange connecting the ICC to Virginia Manor Rd, and thereby to Muirkirk Rd, just west of Route 1. That will attract east-bound traffic wanting to avoid the traffic lights on Route 1 as they go farther east on Muirkirk to get to the BW Parkway, and vice versa for westbound traffic leaving the BW Parkway at Rt. 197.

I hope those in our community who are already engaging the ICC planning process will add their comments to this blog (among other means), to share with us all a better understanding of what we each can do now to minimize the negative consequences and maximize the potential positive aspects of the ICC for our neighborhoods along Muirkirk Road, including Montpelier Elementary School.

Verizon Trenching Suspected in Home Water Line Breaks

The following was reported on July 18 by my neighbor on Fairlane Place whose outside water supply line broke on the same day last week that Verizon trenched and installed fiber optic cable conduit across his property on Fairlane Place, as they are doing throughout our local area in preparation for new broadband Fiber Optic to the Home (FTTH) aka Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) for telephone, very high-speed internet and video services, also marketed as FiOS. www.verizon.com/fios


I learned from the Miss Utility people today that the water pipes in several other housing units have failed. I know of two on Tuscany. I think, statistically, I can state the failures are the result of Verizon's on-going work. I think it's also reasonable to assume there will be additional failures in the areas where Verizon hasn't got to yet. Please alert other home owners to the problems which have already occurred.

Right now, it would appear that Verizon is potentially negligent in protecting the individual homes from the effects of the high intensity shock waves associated with their tunneling operations. In addition to the piping that failed, other's could be significantly weakened.

Any one experiencing similar outside water line breaks possibly associated with Verizon trenching is encouraged to post a comment on this item. Please include date and location.

If you'd like to be contacted by other affected residents, include your email address in your comment, or watch this blog for further developments.

Other comments on this item are also welcome about Verizon trenching for fiber optic services.