As the effort to revitalize U.S. 1 in Howard County shifts from a grass-roots initiative to a more organized strategy, a committee formed to work on the project met Friday to outline its efforts.
The Route 1 Revitalization Committee gathered at the Manor House in Savage to collect information from business and community leaders for improving the U.S. 1 corridor. Members of the steering committee presented a draft of the group's mission statement and discussed how to proceed.
"We needed to tell folks where we were headed" said Howard County Councilman Guy J. Guzzone, a North Laurel-Savage Democrat and one of the committee's organizers. "I feel like people are very enthusiastic about this."
A plan to improve the stretch of U.S. 1 from the Prince George's County line to Elkridge has gathered steam in recent months with the formation of the committee and a pledge from Howard County Executive James N. Robey for funding for a consultant.
The project also has been buoyed by a bill introduced by Del. John A. Giannetti, a Howard-Prince George's County Democrat, to form a state task force to study ways to improve U.S. 1 from the Baltimore Beltway to the Washington Beltway.
Steven Adler, managing partner of Savage Mill and a member of the steering committee, said the group will focus on organizing government officials, business people and residents as they seek to beautify the corridor and attract businesses.
The steering committee focused on the issues of economic development, transportation, housing, beautification, and programs and services, Adler said.
"I think the next step is to really collect all of our information and resources," he said. "At the grass-roots level we have done what we set out to do, and now we are trying to balance and make sure there is equal representation from everyone."
Guzzone has urged the panel to seek state and federal funding.
Though Guzzone praised the effort, he said he believes more will be done as the group gets better organized.
"The real work begins once the formal committees are appointed," Guzzone said. "That will be in a few weeks."
Possible name change
The Route 1 Revitalization Committee had been expected to change its name to Howard One, to reflect its focus to include all of the corridor in Howard. But a decision wasn't made Friday as members continued to identify possible participants.