The following were among actions taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Prince George's County Council. For more information, call 952-5182.
HIGHWAY WISH LIST -- The council voted unanimously to submit to the State Highway Administration a $38 million wish list of seven highway development projects that would help ease traffic congestion caused by rapid county growth.
The list is to be presented to the General Assembly next session.
The seven projects, five in the Clinton area and two near Bowie, are designed to ease traffic problems by improving intersections, widening highways and increasing links from one jurisdiction to another, using main county thoroughfares.
The list is similar to a $345.6 million wish list the council drew up in 1983 with 21 projects on it, in a continuing effort to deal with the county's rapid development and increasing traffic congestion.
Eighteen of those projects are underway or nearly finished, using federal and state funding, so County Executive Parris Glendening told the council it was time to submit a new list.
The new list originally contained eight projects. But after heated testimony by Greenbelt Mayor Gil Weidenfeld, the list was amended to exclude a proposal to extend Kenilworth Avenue (Rte. 201) from I-95 through Greenbelt and Beltsville to Virginia Manor Road, near the Montgomery County line.
Weidenfeld said the last thing Greenbelt needed was another intercounty connecting thoroughfare running through it. He said the fast-developing city already had been affected by skyrocketing auto theft rates, pollution and noise from throroughfares that include Rte. 193, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and I-95. As a result, he said, the city has had to increase taxes to accommodate stepped-up police protection and additional parking.
The council's priorities for the projects are based on their ability to relieve traffic congestion caused by new development, contribute to economic development and provide easier access to existing and proposed Metro stations.
The proposed projects in the Clinton area are: Upgrading Pennsylvania Avenue between I-95 and Rte. 223. Rerouting of Rte. 202 between Rte. 301 and Kent Drive. Widening Rte. 223 between Rtes. 5 and 4. Widening and rerouting Rte. 223 between Temple Hills Road and Rte. 5. Extending Rte. 223 between Rtes. 4 and 202.
Proposed projects in the Bowie area are: Upgrading Rte. 193 between Annapolis Road and Central Avenue. Upgrading Rte. 556 between Rtes. 214 and 202.
MED-EVAC COPTER REQUEST -- The council voted unanimously to ask Gov. William Donald Schaefer to assign a larger capacity medical transport helicopter, or Med-Evac, to heavily congested Prince George's County this spring.
The medical helicopters, which are operated by the state police, are used to improve transport time to hospitals in life and death situations.
Prince George's accounts for 25 percent of all medical helicopter transports in the state, said Tony De Stephano, a county fire department spokesman.
A new helicopter would replace the one now based at Andrews Air Force Base. That copter performs more than one fourth of all medical missions in Prince George's, as well as half of all helicopter service in Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Howard, Calvert and Charles counties, according to First Sgt. William Bernard, a commander in the aviation division of the state police department.
A larger helicopter would improve transport time, particularly in multiple-auto accidents, which occur frequently in the county and usually require more than one helicopter because of the number of people or the severity of their injuries.
Prince George's County Fire Chief Jim Estepp said that transport time is critical in life and death situations and that county accident victims currently are taken to one of three shock trauma units: Prince George's Hospital Center, Montgomery County Suburban Hospital or Washington Hospital Center.
Using helicopters to transport severely injured patients to trauma facilities has been an essential part of the county's emergency medical care system since the early 1970s. In the past three years, the county has doubled the number of paramedic units serving citizens suffering from trauma, Estepp said.
Manufacturers currently are submitting bids to the state police department to provide a new, larger capacity helicopter. Once the department selects a helicopter, Prince George's, as well as surrounding counties, will be in line for its use, Bernard said.