The draft site plan for the development of Takoma Junction presented to the Takoma Park City Council on April 4th will take our public land (the parking lot next to the Co-op) and turn it over to private use with minimal public benefit and potentially significant public harm. Specifically, the plan:
- Worsens pedestrian, biker, bus rider and automobile safety. When trucks are parked in the lay-by (a proposed new delivery area for the Co-op and other new stores), visibility will be blocked for everyone. When multiple trucks make Co-op deliveries at the same time (a common occurrence), they may double-park, blocking traffic. And the proposed new location of the garage entrance threatens the safety of pedestrians on the sidewalk and requires a near-blind right turn onto Carroll Avenue because of the road’s curvature around the Firehouse.
- Threatens emergency response. Fire Chief Tom Musgrove testified that the plan could compromise how quickly fire trucks and rescue vehicles can exit the Firehouse
- Could drive the Co-op out of its current location. Replacing its off-street loading area with an on-street lay-by will not work, because multiple trucks make deliveries at the same time. Crates and pallets will have to be moved almost the length of a football field. There is no provision for trash and recycling storage or pickup, nor is it evident how the Co-op can operate during construction because deliveries will be blocked.
- Leaves out vital details the Council must have before it makes its decision. The plan has no place for bus stops and the bike-sharing dock, and says nothing about how the construction process will impact the area, the Co-op and other businesses. Plus, the State Highway Administration’s analysis of the two traffic studies has yet to be completed.
- While the entire lot is currently owned by the public, once the project is completed only 1200 sq. ft will be preserved for “public space” so tiny, it’s unusable.
- Promotes gentrification. The exorbitant cost of constructing this massive building will require high rents that are only affordable to high-end stores and national chain franchises.
- Reflects a failure of policy and imagination. Workable alternatives are available that would develop the Junction with multiple uses including new retail, public space and true reasonable accommodation for the Co-op.
TELL THE CITY COUNCIL: VOTE NO! Sign the petition HERE.