Civic League meetings in June and July

The monthly meeting of the Roland Park Civic League in June has been rescheduled to June 20, 2019 from 7 to 9 PM at Roland Park Presbyterian Church.

There will be no meeting in July due to the Independence Day holiday.

The Civic League typically meets the first Wednesday of each month at the Roland Park Presbyterian Church, 4801 Roland Avenue, from 7-9 p.m. Baltimore City representatives, including from the Fire and Police departments, regularly attend to give reports and receive feedback from the community. All are welcome. The church is located on the northeast corner of Roland Avenue and Upland Road. Parking is available on the street. If you wish to place an item on the agenda, send your request to CivicLeague@RolandPark.org. Visit our calendar to see the dates of upcoming meetings.

Annual Meeting Presentations 2019

On the evening of Wednesday May 15, 2019 approximately 100 members of the Civic League and Board held a productive meeting as required per our bylaws. For those unable to attend and general reference, the presentation slides are available here

Roland Avenue Update – April 24, 2019

Dear neighbors,

As most of you are aware, a contractor for DOT has scheduled their work implementing the Mayor’s directive regarding Roland Avenue to begin next week. Based on some of the markings, we are pleased to see that DOT is taking the opportunity to add back some crosswalks that have been missing, most notably at Kenwood and Club Roads. As we wrote to the RPCL Board yesterday, our understanding is that the city assigns work to outside contractors for the majority of DOT projects. These contractors set their schedules based on the scope of work, and there is a fairly tight construction season schedule which primarily runs during the Spring and Summer. This season is particularly busy due to the repeated freeze/thaw cycles this past winter.

Recall that the mayor’s statement, in addition to removing an unsafe design as soon as possible, was to also work with communities throughout the city to design and install good bike facilities reflecting best practices. This is also consistent with our own Master Plan. It appears this work will need to be done sequentially, not concurrently.

The Executive Committee met Monday evening to set the agenda for our upcoming annual meeting in May. There was broad agreement that we are presented with a great opportunity for our community to heal and come together, working collaboratively and cooperatively with each other and with DOT on best practice solutions that meet safety guidelines. We plan to announce at the Annual Meeting a new Safe Cycling subcommittee of the Master Plan Committee for residents to participate in this important next step in moving our community forward. Once a resident steps up to take on the role of chair of this new committee, we will publish an email contact for residents to inquire about joining and get this work started, preferably early this summer.

Thanks,

The Executive Committee of RPCL

Bob Connors, President

Chris McSherry, 1st VP

Anne Stuzin, 2nd VP

Jen Viglucci, Treasurer

Blair Storzer, Secretary

Annual Meeting-Wed. May 15, 2019: Agenda, Minutes, Slate, Standing Rules

Please mark your calendars and join us- remind your neighbors too. This detailed invitation letter and slate of nominees for Officers and Plat Representatives was mailed to all residential addresses in Roland Park last week. In advance of this Annual Membership meeting on Wednesday May 15, 2019 it’s recommended all members with voting privileges peruse the linked Agenda, draft Minutes from 2018, Slate and Standing Rules as these will require your approval.

Invite Letter 2019

 

Agenda

Minutes

Slate

Standing Rules

Roland Park residents: Free trees are now available for planting

Through a joint program Between the RP Community Foundation’s Landscape Committee and Baltimore Department of Forestry, a selection of shade and ornamental trees have arrived.

Medium-large trees for planting along the verge or streetscape:

Red Maples (straight species and hybrid Autumn Flame)

Oaks (Overcup Oak & Southern Red Oak)

American Elm (Princeton species)

Black Gum/Tupelo tree

Gingko Biloba (Autumn Gold-fruitless)

American Hornbeam (prefers a shady location)

 

Small-medium flowering & ornamental trees for personal property:

Serviceberry (single stem Shadblow, white spring flower and purple berry)

Redbud (deep pink spring flower)

White Fringe (white early summer flower)

Dogwood (pink & white varieties)

Carolina Silverbell  (Spring white flower)

Sweetbay Magnolia (white flower with lemony fragrance May-June)

Crabapple (flowering Prairie Flame- bright pink spring flower)

Yoshino Cherry (pale pink early spring flower)

 

To be eligible for a free tree:

  • you must be a Roland Park Civic League member and up-to-date on dues With Roads & Maintenance.
  • Agree to care for and deeply water the tree for first 2 years until established.
  • Keep tree mulched and free from weeds and debris.
  • Protect from deer browsing damage if applicable.
  • If you pay full R&M dues- 8X basic rate, you may have 1 tree planted for free each year you pay full dues.
  • If you pay only the basic R&M dues, you will be responsible for planting the tree.

 

Please contact Kate Culotta: landscape@rolandpark.org;  410-804-4750

Quantities are limited and available on first come basis.  Planting sites need to be approved before planting.

Baltimore Department of Forestry does track the trees and your address will go into a Department of Forestry database.

Agenda for Wed. April 3, 2019 Board Meeting

Members and Residents-look over our agenda and consider joining us this Wednesday evening April 3, 2019 from 7-9pm for the regular monthly meeting of the Roland Park Civic League Board. We meet in the recently renovated basement assembly room of Roland Park Presbyterian, accessible via Upland Road off Roland Avenue. Hope to see you there!

RPCL_Agenda_April_2019

Mayor’s Decision on Roland Ave and University Parkway Corridor

Dear Members of the Roland Park Community,

I write to inform you of the Mayor’s important decision released today involving the Roland Avenue and University Parkway corridor linked here.

Therefore, the DOT meeting at RPEMS (Roland Park Elementary/Middle School) scheduled for Monday, April 1, 2019 is cancelled.

Note that the pair of speed cameras approved for use in the 4700 block will also be deployed as soon as possible.

The process to reach this final decision on Roland Avenue’s design has not been an easy one. It has been challenging for all involved. The City remains committed to providing a low stress bike network and state of the art bicycling infrastructure. The Roland Park Civic League (RPCL) also stands ready to continue working closely with all government agencies to implement well designed infrastructure changes consistent with the Greater Roland Park Master Plan (GRPMP) approved by the City in 2011.

It is my hope, and that of many more community leaders, that we can all move forward collectively and constructively. Thank you for your patience and engagement.

Most sincerely,

Bob Connors

Roland Park Civic League President
and DOT Task Force Member, Roland Avenue

3.29.19 Statement of Mayor Pugh

DOT-PostCard 4-1-19 CANCELLED

Important Roland Avenue Update from Bob Connors

Dear Roland Park Civic League members and residents,

As many of you may already be aware, Baltimore City Department of Transportation (DOT) has  announced a Public Meeting about a proposed “road diet” test on Roland Avenue. Their required public meeting will take place Monday, April 1st from 6:00-7:30PM at the Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, 5207 Roland Avenue. A flyer from DOT explaining the particulars of their plan is starting to circulate today, so I thought it important to provide you with a brief summary of how the Roland Avenue situation has evolved up to this point, and what my thoughts are regarding the proposed “road diet.”

I was appointed to a task force last July in my role as Roland Park Civic League (RPCL) President to be your representative before the Baltimore Department of Transportation (DOT) who is charged with determining next steps for Roland Avenue (press release). You may recall, this was following a poll RPCL sponsored, the results of which have guided my advocacy on your behalf. I have consistently demanded only data driven and evidence based best practices be considered to bring us to a context sensitive solution where all street users will be safe. My updates during the last 6 months at monthly RPCL Board meetings are captured in our minutes and summarized in the most recent issue of Roland Park News. Despite hiring a consultant last fall (WRA), no feasibility studies were performed as the Community requested: neither a comprehensive engineering survey recommended nor a traffic circulation study. Still, in the last two months task force discussions quickly shifted to pursuing a “pilot” or test this spring.

Last Thursday, the DOT called a meeting of local stakeholders including the fire department, schools, and businesses to present their proposal of a pilot “Road Diet”, which would test the lane reduction concept rejected last summer. Every local stakeholder present and those unavailable to attend expressed serious safety concerns about this proposal. Still DOT plans to proceed with their plans.

My position, consistently communicated at task force meetings, is that this pilot and the road diet concept is an inappropriate treatment here because it’s experimental, not based on best practices or data. Neither will solve our existing problems (poor sight lines at side streets and crosswalks, pedestrian vulnerability entering/exiting vehicles of all types, cyclists avoiding the route, longstanding issues at the public school drop off area) but will heighten those unsafe conditions and create more (like cut-through traffic on side streets).

The fire marshal’s office is currently reviewing the plans and has yet to provide an official opinion on the potential for reduced emergency response times due to the pilot’s large orange drums (2×3 feet) which cannot be quickly moved en masse to allow firetrucks and ambulances to pass. Recall that Roland Park’s Truck 25 was relocated to Hampden (3724 Roland Avenue) within the last year based on the existing roadway configuration. Currently only Medic team 19 remains at Fire Company 44, 2 Upland Road.

I continue to be committed to safety for all those who use Roland Avenue, and look forward to seeing many of you on April 1st. In the interim please direct questions and concerns to your plat representatives, Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton, and the DOT.

Bob Connors
President, Roland Park Civic League

For those interested, federal road diet guidelines have been shared with the task force.
Link to full background history.  Link to DOT Flyer-Roland-Ave-Lane-Reduction-Pilot

Agenda for Wed. March 6, 2019 Board Meeting

Members and Residents-look over our agenda and consider joining us this Wednesday evening March 6, 2019 from 7-9pm for the regular monthly meeting of the Roland Park Civic League Board. We meet in the recently renovated basement assembly room of Roland Park Presbyterian, accessible via Upland Road off Roland Avenue. Hope to see you there!

RPCL_Agenda_March_2019

Roland Park Tree Program 2019

The trees planted along the verge and other areas of public green space in Roland Park are Baltimore City property and
maintained by the City Department of Forestry. Residents are encouraged to water and care for trees planted in front of
their homes in the verge area. When a resident notices a dead tree in the verge area, call the City 311 system and
report the tree, using the address of the closest house. The caller will be given a confirmation number which the
homeowner should record. A staff member from the Department of Forestry will inspect the tree and make one of
several available decisions. Do nothing, believing the tree is in good or fair condition; schedule pruning if tree is in fair
condition with just a couple dead or broken limbs; post a removal notice if the tree is dead or declining beyond the point
of return or poses a risk or hazard. The City division that handles tree removals is overworked, the same department
also handles tree emergencies due to weather, storms and traffic accidents. Removal or pruning will take at least thirty
days and possibly months. Once the tree is removed, it will be several months before the stump grinding team returns
to remove the stump.

Residents who have a dead tree in their verge area and feel a sense of urgency can speed up the process by assuming
the cost of the tree removal themselves. First the tree must be reported to 311 and be given a confirmation number.
You can then contact the Department of Forestry and ask for an inspection and permit to remove. If and only if the
inspector approves the tree removal, a written permit will be sent directly to the licensed tree removal company of your
choice. The tree can only be removed after the permit has been received. The cost of removal and stump grinding is the
responsibility of the homeowner. You will not be reimbursed by the City.

The Roland Park Community Foundation Landscape Committee is available to help resident’s obtain free trees for
planting in the verge or on personal property. The committee will provide guidance on selecting the tree and identifying
the proper spot for planting. The homeowner assumes responsibility for care, including deep watering each week for
the first two years, keeping the root ball mulched and free of trash. Protecting the tree from deer damage if necessary.
Once established, the tree should provide years of beauty, shade and hospitality to birds, beneficial insects and wild life.
Residents can contact the Community Foundation Landscape Committee by email with requests for a free tree.

  • Those residents who pay full Roland Park Roads & Maintenance fees (10X basic) and are current with Civic
    League dues can have one (1) tree per year planted at no cost either on the verge (between the curb and
    sidewalk) or on their property.
  • Residents who continue to regularly pay full fees can request a free tree each year they pay full fees.
  • Those residents who pay the basic fee may have a free tree delivered and make their own arrangements for
    planting.
  • The trees are obtained through a program with Baltimore City Department of Forestry and two (2) orders are
    placed per year, each spring and fall. Requests for trees can be emailed to the committee any time of the year
    and will be ordered on the following planting order.
  • Several varieties of trees, both large shade trees and smaller flowering or fruit ornamentals, will be available to
    residents this spring through the Roland Park Tree Program. Selections include maples, oaks, elms, dogwoods,
    flowering cherry and other native species.
  • Tree availability will be announced via Roland Park list-serve and Roland Park website www.rolandpark.org later
    this spring once trees arrive. Inquiries can be made to landscape@rolandpark.org or Kate Culotta krculotta@msn.com
  • Roughly 50 new trees are planted with this program in Roland Park every year.

Residents can also request a free tree to be planted by Baltimore City in the verge area around their house. Please refer
to the Baltimore City website  for the link to download the form that needs to be completed. This program is only for trees planted in the verge. Once the completed form is received, it goes into a queue and will be fulfilled during the next planting season. It is possible that you may wait several months for the City to plant the requested tree. Free tree saplings that are easy for homeowners to plant are available through the City’s TreeBaltimore program. Information can be found by using the link on the website listed above or by googling
http://treebaltimore.org .