Tonight, the Hyattsville City Council will be discussing how to proceed with proposed improvements to the University Hills streetscape.
A timeline laid out in a presentation to be delivered before the city council at tonight's meeting has the city council charting a course of acting by the end of this month. If adhered to, the timeline would see the city council approve a final design by December 2013, with construction potentially done by September 2014.
Proposals to add sidewalks along streets in the neighborhood have proven controversial, with a vocal contingent of residents voicing their displeasure with the plan at a number of community meetings held to address the project, At tonight's meeting, the Hyattsville City Council will also be considering accepting petitions from residents of two blocks, the 3400 block of Notre Dame Street and the 7300 block of Wells Boulevard stating their opposition to sidewalks on their streets.
Since the project has been proposed, the city has received and accepted a number of these petitions. However, acceptance of the petitions does not bind the city council to forgoing sidewalk installations in those areas. That requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the city council to bypass sidewalk construction in a particular area.
At tonight's council meeting, city leaders will be reviewing the results of an extensive survey of the neighborhood designed to gauge public opinion toward streetscape improvements in Unveristy Hills.
The results of that survey painted a more nuanced picture of the neighborhoods' attitudes toward sidewalks than what may have been available to the casual observer of the contentious public meetings held in regards to the project.
Sidewalk opponents pilloried the plans in the comment section of the survey, but respondents were nearly evenly split in their opinion of adding sidewalks to Wells Boulevard. The survey respondents who lived closest to Wells Boulevard were among some of the strongest supporters of sidewalks.
The Hyattsville city council meets at 8 p.m. in the Hyattsville Municipal Building on Gallatin Street.