The public got their first look last night at concepts for an overhaul of Ager Road designed to bring it up to modern transportation standards.
The conceptual plans were unveiled at a meeting led by the Prince George's County Department of Public Works and Transportation held at Rosa Parks Elementary School.
The improvements would be constructed along Ager road between Queens Chapel Road in Hyattsville and East West Highway in Chillum.
"This area just seemed to have everything we wanted to do in a road rehabilitation," said Susan Hubbard, a public information officer with the DPWT. "It will really enhance the area."
Planners are calling for the new Ager Road to be outfitted as a "green/complete" road, constructed using environmentally friendly materials and designed to accommodate a wide range of travelers, from pedestrians and cyclists to cars, buses and trucks. It would be the first such green street constructed by the county.
Cost estimates for the improvements are not yet available, but Dale Coopage, senior project manager with EBA engineering, said the project would run into the millions. Hubbard said the project would be funded through a new round of general obligation bonds issued by the county.
"A lot of it needs to done one way or the other," said Coopage, responding to one resident's funding concerns. "In order to redo the roadway, you have to bring it to current standards today, which raises the price."
The conceptual plans call for the installation of six-foot sidewalks, handicap accessible curb ramps at intersections, and connections to nearby trails, schools and transit options.
On the road, planners are calling for dedicated bicycle lanes, narrowed auto lanes, and enhanced bus stops.
Planned amenities include LED street lighting, improvements to storm drainage, and enhanced landscape features designed to filter some rainwater through the ground.
The road currently features four travel lanes, a westbound turn lane, a 12 foot median, a service road and four foot sidewalks.
Concepts call for the travel lanes to go on a diet, slimming down to 11 feet. That, combined with the elimination of the westbound turn lane would allow for five foot wide cyclist lanes in both directions and a wider 16 foot median and wider six foot sidewalks on both sides of the road.
Officials presented four different concepts for redoing the road, the only major difference between the four were how the existing service road on the south side of Ager road would be remodeled. Some concepts call for the service road to be eliminated in favor of expanded green space. Under these options, on street parking cutouts would be installed for properties facing the roadway.
Once concept proposes blocking off the Ager Road intersection with Kirkwood Place. Residents of the Kirkwood area neighborhoods would have to access their residences through Nicholson Street.
Some Hyattsville residents in attendance were disappointed that there were no city officials or elected leaders present at the meeting. That did not seem to dampen their interest in the proposals.
"I have been cursing Ager Drive since I moved here, so I'm glad someone is doing something," said one West Hyattsville resident who identified himself only as Alexi. "I am so excited."
West Hyattsville resident Jennifer Kubit said she wants the city of Hyattsville to consider upgrading Hamilton Street to similar specifications.
A timetable laid out by Coopage during the meeting projected that construction could begin by the spring of 2014.