Mayoral candidate Mike Pantelides stated his opposition to the Anne Arundel County Library Board of Trustees’ proposal to build a $39 million library branch on state-owned property located at Rowe Boulevard and Farragut Road in Annapolis.
Mr. Panatelides said, “There is no need to build a new library when the library on West Street is a perfect candidate for expansion due to the vacant properties adjacent to it. Moreover,” Pantelides noted, “the traffic that would be generated by building a library on Rowe would cause major congestion, as that area is already used for parking by the state and the Naval Academy Athletic Association (NAAA).” Mr. Pantelides concluded that, “The existing library on West Street is perfect due to its access to public transportation as well as its proximity to Germantown Elementary and The Phoenix Center. Building a library on Rowe would create massive traffic backups and safety hazards for walkers.” Pantelides noted that the existing city policy, as stated in the Annapolis Comprehensive Plan, Municipal Growth Element, recommends that the West Street location remain and be expanded.
Pantelides commented that, “We have an opportunity to use the Rowe Boulevard site to provide a solution to major parking issues downtown.” He noted that Annapolis businesses, local residents and visitors continue to suffer because of the lack of convenient and sufficient parking downtown. Mr. Pantelides went on to endorse the concept proposed by NAAA President Chet Gladchuck that prescribes the property be used to build a Visitor’s Center. “Thousands of people visit the Naval Academy, Annapolis and Anne Arundel County every year. The city should work with the NAAA to allow all visitors to use this facility,” Pantelides said.
Additionally, Pantelides asserted that, “besides solving the traffic problem, this would create a win-win situation if there was a Visitor’s Center that highlighted the attractions in the area and across the county.”
Mr. Pantelides has written a letter to Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, Mike Busch, asking that the state not move forward in building a new library on the site; but rather to hold a meeting of stakeholders where concerns and alternative proposals could be presented.