West Hyattsville Metro Station is one of the most underutilized stations on the Metro system, standing out even in TOD-beleaguered Prince George's County. It stands seemingly in a large field, discouraging the station's use as anything but a commuter stop. The County has plans (pdf) for vitalizing the area around the station, but I thought I might take a crack at it myself with some street connectivity.
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Queens Chapel Town Center has a great deal of potential to anchor a strong retail district. The area, at the intersection of Chillum, Mount Rainier, and Hyattsville, has the population to support retail progress. The success of the nearby Hyattsville Arts District has changed the image of the area. West Hyattsville, connected to the Arts District by a traditional suburban street grid, is poised to parlay the success of one of Prince George's County's most popular real estate ventures into success of its own. Only the presence of a Metro station,
The Northwest Branch runs just to the south of the station, but instead of serving as a barrier, I believe this watercourse can be embraced by development with small waterside paths. I included several new bridges over it, connecting potential new developments to the Metro station. The key element, in this case, is adding parallel roads. As I have stated time and time again (as with many before me), a street grid reduces traffic, lessens vehicle miles traffic, and eliminates car trips as the area becomes more walkable. Hopefully a developer with the vision will take advantage of the opportunity, and hopefully the County won't block any progressive efforts. Hyattsville could become the new Bethesda, it just takes some progressive leadership to make it happen.