Community Assets Mapping Survey Results A Public Policy

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					PORT TOWNS YOUTH COUNCIL
                    COMMUNITY ASSETS MAPPING SURVEY RESULTS
                       A PUBLIC POLICY ADVOCACY REPORT
   ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  PRESENTED BY THE WELLNESS AMBASSADORS TO THE TOWN OF BLADENSBURG




                                                                                                        Youth Wellness
                                                                                                      Leadership Institute
                                                                                                             2012

                                                                                                      LIVING WELL in the
                                                                                                            Port Towns

                                                                                                      An Obesity reduction
                                                                                                         and prevention
                                                                                                           campaign

                                                                                                                 of the

                                                                                                       Port Towns Youth
                                                                                                               Council




                                                                                                             2012




                                                              1
                                        FOREWORD
This is an historic document created by the Port Towns Youth Council (PTYC) and presented to the
Town of Bladensburg at the Wellness Ambassadors Leadership Program Showcase event, August 4,
2012, that showcased the Wellness Ambassadors—LIVING WELL in the Port Towns.

Thirty (30) PTYC students, age 10 – 17, participated in the second annual 6-week Wellness
Ambassadors--LIVING WELL in the Port Towns Summer Camp. During the camp, these youth were
empowered by acquiring an in-depth knowledge of the environmental, geographic and demographic
make-up of the Town of Bladensburg through their participation in a Community Assets Mapping
course. The walkability audits the students conducted enabled them to identify assets and issues that
threaten the health and wellness of the Bladensburg community. Using the SWOT (Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis and photovoice methodology enabled the Wellness
Ambassadors to compile this document that begins dialogue between the Bladensburg’s Mayor and
Council and the PTYC to help this community achieve optimum health and wellness. The
recommendations outlined in this booklet fully accord with the following health and wellness
advocacy issues developed by the PTYC’s during their May 19, 2011 meeting:

   1. Nutritional meals in schools and in the community.
   2. More physical activities in schools and in the community.
   3. A Crime free community—conflict resolution programs—no gangs and no bullying.
   4. Positive music.
   5. Restaurants and grocery stores that offer healthy foods.
   6. Safe playgrounds and driving.
   7. Improved roads, sidewalks and parks.
   8. More and better street lights.
   9. Clean environments: new trash & recycle bins.
   10. Smoke-free environments in the community.
   11. Community Farmers Markets.
   12. No liquor stores or pawn shops.
   13. More trees.
   14. More PTYC advocacy meetings that promote PTYC goals.
   15. More fitness centers.

End Time Harvest Ministries’ (ETHM) wishes to thank the YWLI instructors, facilitators, coaches and
staff for the dedication and professionalism they extended to our youth during the summer camp
educational program. Our youth have exceeded all expectations because of the support of the Port
Towns Community Health Partnership, Prince George’s County-District 5, UM Urban Studies and
Planning Department, Town of Bladensburg, Americana Grocery, Bladensburg High School and Port
Towns Elementary School. We also wish to express our appreciation to our HEAL Jobs-For-Youth
employers: ETHM-YWLI staff, Town of Bladensburg, Town of Colmar Manor, Town of Cottage City,
Anacostia Watershed Society, Eco City Farms, Joe’s Movement Emporium, Earnest Maier Block Co.,
and MNCPPC Planning Department.



                                                 2
                Table of Contents
Part 1: Green Street                                           4
Chapter 1: What is a Green Street?                             5
Chapter 2: About the Audit                                     5
Chapter 3: Audit Instrument                                    6

Part 2: A Green Street is Walkable                             9
Chapter 4: Definition of a Walkable Street                     10
Chapter 5: Findings for Walkability                            10
Chapter 6: Recommendations for Walkability                     12

Part 3: A Green Street is Bikeable                             13
Chapter 7: Definition of a Bikeable Street                     14
Chapter 8: Findings for Bikeability                            14
Chapter 9: Recommendations for Bikeability                     14

Part 4: It’s Easy to Find One’s Way on A Green Street          16
Chapter 10: Definition of Finding One’s Way                    17
Chapter 11: Findings for Finding One’s Way                     17
Chapter 12: Recommendations for Finding One’s Way              18

Part 5: A Green Street has Good Storm Water                    19
Management
Chapter 13: Definition of Good Storm Water Management          20
Chapter 14: Findings for Good Storm Water Management           20
Chapter 15: Recommendations for Good Storm Water               21
Management

Part 6: A Green Street is Attractive and Appealing             22
Chapter 16: Definition of an Attractive Street and Appealing   23
Chapter 17: Findings for an Attractive Street and Appealing    23
Chapter 18: Recommendations for an Attractive Street           24
And Appealing

Part 7: A Green Street Offers Healthy Food Choices             26
Chapter 19: Definition of Access to Healthy Food Choices       27
Chapter 20: Findings for Access to Healthy Food Choices        27
Chapter 21: Recommendations for Access to Healthy              27
Food Choices

                                         3
             Part 1:
          Green Street




Figure 1: Wellness Ambassadors drafting Audit Instrument for their Community Asset
                                 Mapping Survey




                                        4
Chapter 1: What is a Green Street?
A Green Street is a street that is walkable, bikeable, is easy to find one’s way,
has good storm water management, has positive features such as attractive
and appealing places that people want to go, and offers healthy food choices.

Chapter 2: About the Audit, Findings and
Recommendations
The Port Towns Youth Council Wellness Ambassadors designed an audit to
answer the question “How can Route 450 become a Green Street?’ The audit
instrument was based on research of Green Street promising practices,
Stormwater Management promising practices and a preliminary screening of
Route 450 using the Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
(SWOT) Analysis Method. The Wellness Ambassadors used the Photovoice
Technique and took pictures of the physical terrain as evidence of the
community’s strengths and weaknesses. The Findings and Recommendations
are discussed in the report according to the elements of a green street.




Figure 2: Port Towns Youth Council Member   Figure 3: Port Towns Youth Council Member
Completing a survey form                    using the Photovoice Technique




                                            5
Chapter 3: Sample Audit Instrument
 Date:
 Block ID:                    Segment ID:                         Street name:
 Team name
 Student name                 Responsibility
                              Recorder                            Fill out survey form
                              Time keeper/Checker                 Keep track of time, make sure all boxes
                                                                  are filled, help recorder
                              Navigator
                              Photographer (must take notes       At least two pictures per segment of a
                              about the pictures taken)           strength and weakness of the segment
                                                                  (reason)
                              Audit form responsibility
                              People(A)
                              Bike-ability (A)
                              Walkability (B)
                              Stormwater (C)
                              Signage (C)
                              Healthy eating (C)
                              Aesthetics/amenities (D)
                              Housing (D)
                              Other businesses (E)                (if there 4 in a group, A will take on the
                                                                  responsibility of E)

 Weather conditions
 Time start
 Time end
                                   Grading the segment (circle one, A, B, C, F)
 A: I would readily walk on this segment:
 It is safe and clean, sidewalks, streets and buildings are well maintained. Crosswalks are clearly painted
 and sidewalks are separated from the curb.
 Other comments:

 B: I would walk on this segment, but would like to see it improved:
 There are street lights, but some do not work; there is some litter and cracks/potholes, homes are in
 good condition but could use some minor fix-up, e.g. new coat of paint, mow the lawn. There are some
 but not all crosswalks are painted.
 Other comments:

 C: I personally would never walk on this segment.
 There are too few street lights, and many do not work; there are many cracks/potholes that make it
 unsafe to walk or ride a bike. There is no sidewalk. Too much litter and houses leave too many large items
 in the front yard.
 Other comments:

 F: No one should or can walk on this segment.
 Unsafe and not clean. No lights, abandoned houses, too much litter on the streets and sidewalks. Too
 many cracks and potholes.
 Other comments:

 Final comments about the segment. Strengths and Weaknesses about the segment
                                                      6
                             People                                               Aesthetics/amenities
People seen on segment (#                                     Public trash cans (#)
and activity)
                          Walkability                         Public recycling bins (#)
Sidewalk/walking path          YES NO                         Public benches/tables (#)
Sidewalk texture               DIRT TRAIL PAVED N/A           Other public seating (# and type)
Sidewalk width (# of people 1 2 3 N/A                         Fire hydrants (#)
who can fit at one time)
Sidewalk blocked               YES NO                         Existing public art?                    YES NO
What is blocking the                                          Where should public art be placed
sidewalk? (poles, trees, etc.)                                to add appeal?
Sidewalk evenness              LEVEL/SMOOTH MEDIUM            Overgrown plants
                               BUMPY
Sidewalk cracks                YES NO                         Trees on public property?
Cracks in need of immediate YES NO                            Where should
repair                                                        flowers/plantings/trees be placed
                                                              to add appeal?
Pedestrian curb cut ramp (#)                                  Graffiti needing to be removed          YES   NO
Vehicular curb cut (#)                                        Litter                                  YES   NO
Buffer between sidewalk         NO 6” 1’ 1’+                  Fence needs repair                      YES   NO
and road                        CURB GRASS BOTH               Library                                 YES   NO
Bus stop (#)                                                  Parking lot (#)
Bus stop (circle all that       NONE                          Street parking available                YES NO
apply)                          Sign                          Public open space (park)                YES NO
                                Bench                                                    Housing
                                Shelter                       Abandoned/vacant (#)
                                Shade                         Single-family homes (#)
                                Trash can                     Smaller streets leading to              YES NO
                                                              residential area
                                Recycling bin                 Apartment buildings, 3 + floors (#)
Painted crosswalks              YES NO                        Townhomes (#)
Unsafe crossing areas           YES NO                        Big homes (#)
   Comment:                                                   Paint job needed (#)
                                                              Repair needed                           YES NO
Pedestrian signal               YES   NO    NOT WORKING       Mowed lawns                             YES NO
   Signal with                                                Garden (#)
   countdown timer (#)
Pedestrian cross button         YES   NO    NOT WORKING       For sale signs                          YES NO
Street lamps (#)                                              Alarm system signs                      YES NO
Broken/partial street lamps     YES NO                        Large, bulky items on front lawn        YES NO
Shade protecting sidewalk       NONE A LITTLE    A LOT
Notes



                            Bike-ability                                             Healthy eating
Painted bike lane                 YES NO                      Any food vendors?                       YES NO
Bike trail                        YES NO                      Fast food (#)
                                                          7
Bike racks                    YES   NO                     Sit-down restaurant (#)
Where could bike racks be                                  Grocery stores (#)
placed?
Potholes/cracks in need of    YES   NO                     Convenience store (#)
immediate repair
Car lanes (#)                                              Ethnic market (#)
Speed bumps                   YES NO                       Outdoor market (#)
Traffic (cars passing)        NONE SOME    VERY BUSY
What type of autos passing?                                Carry-out (#)
Cars, trucks, etc.
Signs indicating bike lane    YES   NO                     Liquor stores (#)
Would you bike on this        YES   NO                     Bakery (#)
street?
Why not?                                                   Are these food places                 YES NO
                                                           attractive/entice you to go in?
                   Stormwater management                                 Other businesses/retail/offices
Where should green roofs                                   Any business/retail/offices         YES NO
be placed?
Permeable pavement               YES NO                    Vacant/boarded-up business (#)
Where should permeable                                     Gas stations (#)
pavers be placed?
Where should bio-retention                                 Auto-related stores (#)
be placed?
Storm drain (#)                                            Industrial/manufacturing stores (#)
Storm drain filter               YES NO                    Pawn shops (#)
Auto/industrial spills visible   YES NO                    Cash check shops (#)
                             Signage                       Pharmacies (#)
to Waterfront Park               YES NO                    Hair and nail stores (#)
to Anacostia Trail               YES NO                    Clothing stores (#)
to Peace Memorial Cross          YES NO                    Medical-related offices               YES NO
For local organizations          YES NO                    Legal-related offices                 YES NO

School-related signs          YES   NO                     Office buildings                      YES NO
Stop or speed limit sign      YES   NO                     Police or fire station                YES NO

What's the speed limit?                                    Places of worship (#)

“Turn only” sign or lane      YES   NO                     Schools (#)
Traffic lights                YES   NO                     Historical (# and/or name)
Signage visible/easily        YES   NO                     Other (please list)
readable




                                                       8
              Part 2:
Figure 1 2 Wellness Ambassadors walking on Rt. 450

                          Figure 2 Port Youth Council Member completing an audit




          A Green Street is
             Walkable




     Figure 3: Two Wellness Ambassadors surveying Rt. 450 and noting that the street is not very
     walkable




                                                     9
Chapter 4: Definition of a Walkable Street
A Walkable Street has:
     Sidewalks that are even and complete
     Clearly defined crosswalks
     Wide ramps
     Pedestrian signals
     Shade
     Attractive bus shelters
     Trash and recycle bins
     Public seating

Chapter 5: Findings for Walkability
 Intersections have crosswalks such as the intersection of Edmonston Rd & Rt.
450. However, many crosswalks are not visible and are not placed at busy
intersections, such as the intersection of Rt. 450 and Rt. 202, that are
dangerous for pedestrians to cross.




Figure 4: A clearly defined brick crosswalk at the   Figure 5: An unsafe and dangerous intersection at the
Intersection of Edmonston Rd. & Rt. 450              Rt. 450 & Rt. 202 divide




                                                      10
There are bus shelters along Rt. 450, such as the bus shelter at Rt. 450 & 52nd
St. Despite this, many bus stops do not have shelters or the shelters are not
maintained. For example, the bus shelter on Edmonston Rd. and 51st St. is
shattered.




                                                                                                 st
Figure 6: Bus shelter on Rt. 450 & 52nd St.   Figure 7: Shattered Bus shelter on Edmonston Rd & 51 St.

There are pedestrian lights on Rt. 450, however many of them do not work or
are covered with burlap.




Figure 8: Pedestrian Light at Edmonston Rd.     Figure 9: Pedestrian Signal with burlap cover
                                                               st
& Rt. 450                                       at Rt. 450 & 51 St.




                                               11
There are handicapped accessible ramps on Rt. 450, but there are certain
places, such as the Shops at Bladensburg, where these ramps are needed and
they are not in place.




Figure 10: Handicap accessible curb cut at Rt. 450   Figure 11: Shops at Bladensburg on Rt. 450
     st
& 51 St.                                             does not have handicap accessible ramp


Chapter 6: Recommendations Walkability
    1. Repaint faded crosswalks and add crosswalks where they are needed
       PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

    2. Install attractive bus shelters at all bus stops
       PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

    3. Install wider sidewalks and wider sidewalk buffers
       PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

    4. Install more trees/bushes inside the sidewalk buffers
       PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

    5. Install pedestrian curb cut ramps to all intersection that do not have
       ramps
       PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

    6. Install speed cameras near Bladensburg Elementary School
       PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 6: Safe Play Grounds and Driving

    7. Install sidewalks on both on both sides of Rt. 450
       PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks



                                                      12
        Part 3:
   A Green Street is
       Bikeable




Figure 12: Bladensburg Shopping Center does not have bicycle lanes, which makes bicycling
dangerous because of the heavy traffic on Rt 450.




                                               13
Chapter 7: Definition of a Bikeable Street
A bikeable street has:
      Bicycle Lanes
      Bicycle Racks
      Locations where people frequent, such as local businesses, shopping
      centers, schools, and bus stops

Chapter 8: Findings for Bikeability
People in the community use bicycles as a mode of transportation. However,
there are no bicycle lanes and racks. Cyclists compete for road space in busy
traffic on Rt. 450.




                     Figure 13: Rt. 450 is a busy street with no bicycle lane


Chapter 9: Recommendations for Bikeabilty
   1. Install Bicycle Lanes along Rt. 450 on both sides
      PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 6: Safe Play Grounds and Driving
      PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

   2. Install more Speed Limit Signs along Rt. 450
      PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 6: Safe Play Grounds and Driving
      PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

   3. Install Bicycle Racks in front of businesses, in all shopping centers and
      in front of Bladensburg Elementary School.
      PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 6: Safe Play Grounds and Driving
      PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks


                                               14
4. Implement Bike Share Program on Rt. 450
   PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks




                                15
         Part 4:
It’s Easy to Find One’s
Way on a Green Street




  Figure 14: Way Finding Aide on Rt. 450




                                           16
Chapter 10: Definition of Finding One’s Way
A street where it’s easy to find one’s way has:
      Stop signs
      Speed limit signs
      Schools and local businesses signs
      Historical landmarks, amenities and natural resource signs
      Trail sings
      Direction Sings

Chapter 11: Findings for Finding One’s Way
Rt. 450 has many attractions for residents and visitors such as the
Bladensburg Waterfront Park, The Magruder House, and Peace Cross but they
are underutilized and not valued as they could be by the community. There is
no clear signage that directs residents or tourists to these attractions.




Figure 16: Very little contrast between lettering and background on the Bladensburg Waterfront Park Sign, and
                               no signs to direct people to these sites along Rt. 450.

There are many crooked signs and remnants of old crosswalks or street signs
that are unattractive and send the message “we don’t care how this place
looks.”




                        Figure 17: Remnant of old street signs on Rt. 450 in between
                                                                        rd
                               the Bladensburg Shopping Center and 53 Place
                                                     17
Chapter 12: Recommendations for Finding
One’s Way
 1. Ensure that all signs are clear and visible to pedestrians and drivers
    PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 6: Safe playgrounds and driving

 2. Prominently display more advertisements for local and commercial
    businesses
    PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

 3. Display more prominent signage along Rt. 450 that directs residents and
    visitors to all historical land marks such as, Bladensburg Waterfront
    Park, the Anacostia River Trail, Magruder House, and all historical
    assets.
    PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks




                                     18
     Part 5:
A Green Street has
Good Storm Water
  Management




  Figure 18: Example of Bioretention Gardens in a Shopping Center Parking Lot




                                       19
Chapter 13: Definition of Good Storm Water
Management
Examples of good storm water management are:
    Clean Storm Drains
    Permeable Pavement on sidewalks and in parking lots
    Bioretention gardens in parking lots, on rooftops, in gardens and
    sidewalk buffers

Chapter 14: Findings for Good Storm Water
Management
There are several storm drains on Rt. 450, however many of them are clogged.




              Figure 19: Clogged storm drain on Rt. 450 between the 54th St. & 202 divide

There are a many impervious surfaces in the form of parking lots and flattop
businesses. The parking lots, especially the larger shopping center lots, are
not recognized for other possible uses.




       Figure 20: Save-A-Lot Parking Lot on Rt. 450 in an impervious surface and has poor drainage

                                                   20
Chapter 15: Recommendations for Good
Storm Water Management
 1. Place permeable pavement in all parking lots on Rt. 540, especially near
    the Checkers
    PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

 2. Place more storm drains on main roads
    PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

 3. Maintain proper cleaning of current storm drains
    PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

 4. Use bioretention materials in parking lots and green roofs on top of
    businesses in major shopping centers
    PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks




                                    21
         Part 6:
    A Green Street is
Attractive and Appealing




  Figure 21: Wellness Ambassadors taking notes regarding newly installed plants in front of a Garden
  Apartment Complex on Rt. 450




                                                  22
Chapter 16: Definition of an Attractive and
Appealing Street
An attractive street has:
      Public Art and murals
      Trees, flowers, gardens
      No Litter or graffiti
      Pedestrian oriented lighting
      Restaurants, stores and recreational facilities

Chapter 17: Findings for an Attractive and
Appealing Street
There are some vacant business spaces and homes that create the possibility
of new businesses and tenants moving on Rt. 450.




               Figure 22: A vacant commercial building on Rt. 450 & Edmonston Rd.




                                              23
The pedestrian tunnels on Rt. 450 allow pedestrian passage; however, these
tunnels have poor lighting, graffiti, litter and an unpleasant order.




                        Figure 23: Pedestrian Tunnel on Rt. 450


Chapter 18: Recommendations for an
Attractive and Appealing Street
  1. Install more public trash cans and public recycle bins on Rt. 450
     PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 9: Clean environments: new trash and
     recycle bins

  2. Install more public seating/benches on Rt. 450
     PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

  3. Install more public art on Rt. 450 in locations such as:
        Outside of Private Businesses
        Near and Inside of Tunnels
        In front of Bladensburg Elementary School
     PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

  4. Include landscaped properties in front of business and schools on Rt.
     450
      PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 13: More Trees

  5. Install more visible and attractive signage at the entrances of
     Bladensburg on Rt. 450 to welcome people to Bladensburg
     PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks

  6. Install brick or special crosswalks to beautify Rt. 450
     PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 7: Improved roads, sidewalks and parks
                                          24
7. Install more trees on public properties
   PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 13: More Trees

8. Renovate vacant homes and buildings on Rt. 450.
   PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 9: Clean environments: new trash and
   recycle bins

9. Repair and paint broken fences on Rt. 450
   PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 9: Clean environments: new trash and
   recycle bins




                                25
       Part 7:
A Green Street offers
Healthy Food Choices




 Figure 24: Wellness Ambassador purchasing fresh herbs at Americana Grocery on Rt. 450




                                               26
Chapter 19: Definition of Access to Healthy
Food
A Street that offers healthy food choices has:
      Organic and natural markets
      Stores with fresh fruits and vegetables
      Ethnic food choices
      Restaurants that serve balanced and nutritional meals
      Affordable healthy food choices

Chapter 20: Findings for Access to Healthy
Food
There are ethnic food markets, restaurants and limited to moderate access to
fresh fruits and vegetables on Rt. 450. Additionally, there are more places
where you can find unhealthy food, such as, Checkers.




Figure 25: Fresh Fruits and Vegetables are available   Figure 26: Checkers fast food restaurant on Rt. 450
at Americana Grocery on Rt. 450


Chapter 21: Recommendations for Access to
Healthy Food
Bring an organic Market to Rt. 450 to provide residents with a broader
selection of fresh fruits, vegetables and produce in Bladensburg
PTYC Advocacy Plan Point 5: Restaurants and grocery stores that offer
healthy foods


                                                       27
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