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Residents satisfied with city’s current plan for Banner Street and surrounding roads

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Posted on: June 6, 2015

BY REBECCA BENNETT — Residents expressed satisfaction about the City of Hyattsville’s next steps for the street project underway on Banner Street, Buchanan Street, Crittenden Street and 40th Avenue at a May 27 community meeting.

“These plans are a great improvement over what we had before,” one resident said.

A long-neglected sidewalk in the Melrose neighborhood, near the Northwest Branch and Magruder Park. Photo courtesy Susie Currie. (November 2012)
ALSO: Street fixes on council agenda in 2012

“I am pleased to report that the residents that were there were quite pleased with what was presented,” Councilmember Tom Wright (Ward 3) said at the June 1 Hyattsville City Council meeting.

Hyattsville Director of Public Works Lesley Riddle said she had been meeting regularly with the project’s engineer to determine what the project involved, what was still needed and what wasn’t needed.  Riddle said in previous meetings with residents, she had taken away that they were concerned about preserving the tree canopy, as well as not making the streets narrower.

There is some need for in-kind stormwater replacement, Riddle said, which would take existing infrastructure and replace it as-is with some modifications.

The 60-inch gas main on Crittenden Street poses some issues, which Riddle said meant they can’t excavate it, but have to do a replacement in-kind.  The street can’t be lowered, she said, so they have to work with crowning the street and pushing the water to one side or the other.

Riddle said sidewalks and gutters would not be coming to the cul-de-sac on Crittenden Street, because they want the water to go that way down the street.  A rain garden will be put in instead that will take the water through a concrete inlet down into the park that will perculate the water slower and lower in a natural way.

A new stormwater convergence was put in by Prince George’s County at 40th Avenue and Banner Street, Riddle said, but the inlet doesn’t work right now and it will be repaired and tied into the new inlet that the county put in.

Buchanan Street just needs a pavement overlay, Riddle said, while Banner Street is still in bad shape.  Riddle said the sidewalks on Banner Street would not all be replaced, but that the city would replace the sidewalks as needed in order to preserve the trees.

“We are going to diamond cut any trip hazards and preserve those sidewalks as we can, so that we preserve that tree canopy in that area,” she said.

The new Melrose Access Trail gives hikers and bikers a much-improved path to the Northwest Branch, Melrose Skate Park, and other amenities.  Photo courtesy Chris Currie.
ALSO:  New path links neighborhood to green space

“The existing tree canopy was reduced by a 5 percent live crown reduction and possible root reduction and/or residual nutrient supplements.  The existing tree canopy was hazard pruned. This removed all dead or dying limbs from the canopy,” a city memo said.  “The trees on Banner and Buchanan have been monitored monthly for any signs of stress during and after this project.”

One of the issues of concern residents brought was a pool of water that collects at 40th Avenue and Crittenden Street.

Riddle said she plans to schedule a walk-through with residents to further discuss some of the issues they brought up at the meeting that only they could see on a daily basis and collected the email addresses of those interested in participating.  While major scope changes were not possible at this point, city staff said some minor changes were still possible.

As for the status of the project, Riddle said, “The engineering plans are complete, we have a proposal from a contractor, and I would like to move this project forward this summer.”  The proposal costs are expected to come before the council in July, according to Riddle.



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