Sidewalk Policy

Policies and Procedures Regarding Installation or Reconstruction of Sidewalks
  • The policy of the City of Hyattsville is that continuous pedestrian sidewalks are important public infrastructure and that sidewalks should ordinarily be installed and maintained on one side of every block of every city-maintained street (two sides where existing), with exception as provided below.
  • Except as specifically authorized by the mayor and council, all new construction and reconstruction of public sidewalks shall be paid for by general revenues and not by special assessment of adjacent property owners.
  • Prior to installation of new sidewalk on any street(s), at least 30 days’ written notice shall be given to all adjacent property titleholders on both sides of the street and a public meeting scheduled to provide opportunity for public to provide comment regarding installation of sidewalk in the subject location(s).
  • The mayor and council may decide by majority vote, based on good reasons including but not limited to the following criteria, to forego installation of sidewalk in a particular location:
    •  A majority of the title-holders of properties on the block(s) attest by their signatures on a petition to be received by the City Clerk by the time of the public meeting that they are opposed to the installation of sidewalk on their block. This criterion must be accompanied by at least one of the following:
    • There is insufficient existing public right of way or easement available for installation of sidewalk and it is infeasible to either voluntarily acquire the necessary easement or to incorporate part of the existing roadway for the sidewalk [If the curb-to-curb footprint is to change by incorporating part of the existing roadway for the sidewalk addition or with expansion, then council’s considerations will also take into account the impact on surrounding street traffic patterns];
    • The block(s) are not on a through street (this criterion must be accompanied by criterion (a);
    • Construction of a sidewalk would present inordinate engineering challenges or costs;
    • Construction of a sidewalk would entail the loss of significant tree canopy.
  • The city shall make every reasonable effort to find creative
  • solutions to problems cited in #4 before deciding to forgo installation of sidewalk.
  • The city shall endeavor to remove or minimize obstacles within new or existing sidewalks to the extent possible without incurring significant additional costs.
  • The city standard for sidewalk width is four feet and all sidewalks below that width shall ordinarily be reconstructed, where feasible according to criteria described above, to conform to the city standard, with the City Council considering the following exceptions:
    •  Streets in which council has previously approved a different width;
    • The routes identified by the City Council, after receiving input from all concerned parties, including the report of the Hyattsville Bike & Pedestrian Safety Committee and the members of the public at a public meeting, which shall be deemed advantageous to have 6 foot width sidewalks excepton blocks in which council shall modify the standard based upon the criteria described in #4;
    • Blocks identified by the council as having special need or special opportunity for wider sidewalks (e.g., blocks with commercial or other high-traffic frontage or where property owners bear all or part of the cost of installation).
  • New and reconstructed sidewalks shall be fully compliant with ADA regulations.
  • The city staff shall apply these policies retroactively to blocks with no sidewalk on either side of the street in areas where roads were recently re-paved as part of the city’s current Pavement Management Program, including the exceptions noted in #4 and with the additional exception that sidewalks might not be installed on blocks were such installation would entail significant undoing or redoing of work previously performed as part of the Pavement Management Program. The intent is to complete any retroactive installation of sidewalks before the current-repaving program is completed.
  • Property owners may petition the council for installation of sidewalks that exceed those provided for by application of the Pavement Management Program sidewalk-policy guidelines; however, council may require that property owners on the block(s) proposed, if such work is approved, be assessed for the cost of the work as provided for under Article VIII of the City Charter. Partial assessment of each property on a block may be required to provide sidewalks were there are unusual costs or difficult engineering requirements. In those instances the city will agree to pay for its share of the costs: work limited to routine sidewalk construction, but not for other required improvements.