HYATTSVILLE – Many Hyattsville projects are coming to fruition in the coming weeks after months of dialogue and planning.
Over the past legislative and fiscal year, the city of Hyattsville’s City Council has taken up numerous big projects from the writing of a sidewalk policy and implementation of sidewalk projects to the issue of litter in the community and parking.
At the city council meeting Monday and the meeting to follow on Aug. 1, many of those projects will come to fruition as the council hears updates and recommendations for numerous undertakings and will likely take further action next month.
Just a few weeks ago the city held a public hearing about a petition for a residential parking zone on the 5100/5102 block of 41st Avenue. The hearing became rather heated, as members of the Top of The Park apartment community came head-to-head with residents of the street who wanted to restrict non-homeowner vehicles from parking on the street.
At the time, the city said it would conduct a study to assess the need for a residential parking zone. At the council meeting Monday, City Administrator Tracey Nicholson said the city had conducted a study and was ready to make decision on the issue.
“Based on all of that input, based on resident input, based on the analysis, we did not find substantial evidence to support making the area a residential parking zone,” she said.
Nicholson said in a memo to the council that the study found ample parking along 5100 and 5102 41st Avenue and the 4100 block of Farragut Street “was consistently available throughout the respective blocks,” though, the western end of Farragut was the more congested with less available parking during the night time hours.
Despite rejecting the petition to turn the area into a residential parking zone, Nicholson said city staff had recommendations moving forward.
The first of the two recommendations is to modify the traffic patten on the 4000 block on Gallatin Street to one-way eastbound. Nicholson said in the memo that the modification will allow for around 25 parking spaces on the street.
The city will also designate two spaces for Top of the Park apartment residents for loading and unloading. The residents of the apartment complex had come out in numbers to the public hearing of the residential parking zone petition to complain about being pushed out of the few parking spaces around the complex.
“This change will create a contiguous one-way thoroughfare on Gallatin Street and will have minimal impact to the surrounding streets,” Nicholson said. “Streets will be appropriately marked in accordance with approved distances to allow for unimpeded access by emergency and oversized vehicles.”
The second recommendation included adding trash cans and anti-littering signage along 41st Avenue, as well as trimming trees for increased visibility. Top of the Park management also purchased additional receptacles for around their buildings.
A large complaint of homeowners in the area was the amount of litter caused by “non-residents.”
The recommendations will be implemented 90 days from the city council meeting to “allow the city appropriate time to announce the change in traffic pattern and coordinate any additional requirements.” The city will reevaluate the changes 120 days after the changes are implemented to “determine the effectiveness and impact.”
At the same meeting last week, the city council also heard updates about Hyattsville’s venture into purchasing Big Belly trashcans.
Lesley Riddle, the head of public works in Hyattsville, said the city staff worked a number of proposed locations for the installation of 16 Big Belly waste and recycle receptacles across the city. The 16 trashcans are part of a pilot program.
The overall cost for the pilot program is $40,000, as confirmed by Riddle during the council meeting. Riddle also said the pilot will last six months to a year to really test how the city works with Big Belly and their technology.
Locations for the 16 bins include one at the Prince George’s Plaza Metro stop, three on intersections of Hamilton Street near Queens Chapel Road, 37th Avenue and 31st Avenue, and one at Queens Chapel and Nicholson Street. A full rendering of the locations can be found at: http://bit.ly/2a1k8fc.
Councilwoman Ruth Ann Frazier raised concerns with the Big Belly location selection and asked Riddle if there would be any analysis into the effectiveness of certain locations. She wondered if some trashcans were not utilized as much as others, would they be moved.
“My thought was, I saw the map and I saw where you put them, and you’re going to have it for six months to a year and what if, during that time, you see where three or four of them just – nothing is happening, you know,” Frazier asked.
Riddle said she had confidence in the locations the city selected, but said they will analyze the locations as time progresses and said it will be an open conversation.
“I believe that staff, really, took a lot of time and is very well aware of where some of the hot spots are – at bus stops, at areas that don’t currently have trash cans,” Riddle said. “We can’t get folks to put it in there, but we can certainly encourage them. This is only part of what we need to continue to build on a little program like this.”
Another concern of multiple council members is how the recycle and trash pick ups would work. Riddle said the city is still responsible for picking up the trash at the Big Belly receptacles, though she believes with the new technology in the bins, trash pickup will be more efficient. The city will also pick up the recycling, as the new bins are dual trash/ recycle, and take it to a county recycling center.