The Hyattsville City Council got an update last night on progress towards implementing the city's bicycle and pedestrian improvement plan. Now, in addition to the approved plans to build the first phase of a network of bicycle lanes throughout Hyattsville, city leaders have to decide wether or not they want to add another $20,000 to upgrade pedestrian crosswalks at several intersections along the planned bicycle routes.
Back in in March, , which will cut north and south and east and west across the city along 40th and 41st avenues, Nicholson, Hamilton, Gallatin and Farragut streets.
Since then, engineers have returned with designs which call for pedestrian improvements like wheelchair accessible curb cut-outs and crosswalk striping at a number of intersections. These details were not a part of the basic scope of design work called for by the city council back in March. As such, it would cost roughly $20,000 to add them to the plans and construct them.
The Bike and Pedestrian Improvement project is funded with $110,000 with a matching 2011 Community Legacy grant from the Maryland Department of Community Development. The grants require that at least 50 percent of the grant be spent within one year of being awarded. So far, the city has spent $55,000 on a number of bicycle racks which have been installed throughout the city.
The remaining half of grant funds are earmarked for the implementation of the bike lane striping and signange.
If the city decides to proceed with all work, including the pedestrian intersection improvements, the city would have to authorize the expenditure above the remaining grant funds to cover the costs of the total project, estimated at $72,320.
If approved soon, Hyattsville cyclists could see the first of the new lanes laid down by early spring of next year.
That would only be the first of a planned three-phase series of bicycle route improvements throughout the city.