Among the items on tonight's Hyattsville City Council will likely be drafting a letter to the State Highway Administration asking them to revisit their plans to redesign Queens Chapel Road between Hamilton Street and East-West Highway.
The SHA has proposed three major changes to the roadway;
Last week, the Hyattsville City Council debated entering into an agreement with the SHA on the cost of buying, installing and maintaining pedestrian lighting and median landscaping. The council decided to hold off on issuing feedback, pending more information on the lighting options. The SHA has set a Jan. 1, 2013 deadline for feedback on lighting and landscaping.
The SHA is also seeking feedback, but on a less urgent deadline, from the council on the Oliver Street median access, the removal of the bus stop on the southbound lanes of Queens Chapel accross the street from Sacred Heart Nursing Home, and the status of the bus stop at Hamilton Manor Apartments and Lancer Drive.
At a presentation before city council on Dec. 3, SHA officials said that the project design is 65 percent done. Design work is expected to be completed by August.
But members of the city council, as well as city residents, have criticized the plan for not addressing regular backups caused by an overflowing northbound left turn lane for motorists at the intersection of Queens Chapel and Belcrest Road.
Councilor Tim Hunt (Ward 3) and Councilor Paula Perry (Ward 4) have asked that the SHA's redesign of the roadway do more to alleviate congestion in the northbound lanes near that intersection.
Concerns have also been raised over plans to close off existing through-ways in the median strip at Manorwood Drive and Oliver Street to all but emergency vehicle traffic.
Council To Set Schedule for 2013
The Hyattsville City Council will vote on its 2013 meeting schedule tonight. The schedule slates 20 council meetings spread out over the coming year as well as a month long summer recess between Aug. 6 and Sept. 2, 2013.
If they can stick to that schedule, they'd cut their workload significantly. After tonight, the second largest city council in Maryland will have met 41 times in 2012. There are no other city council meetings scheduled for the remainder of the year.
The Hyattsville City Council meets at 8 p.m. at the Hyattsville Municipal Building on Gallatin Street. The meetings are broadcast on Comcast channel 71 and Verizon channel 12.