After opening her business in Hyattsville 32 years ago, Gail Rennie said she may have to close shop because of proposed road restrictions in the town next door.
Edmonston’s “Green Street,” a $1.3 million environmentally friendly stretch of roadway on Decatur Street, has suffered damage from large trucks traversing the road, officials said, and they want to implement a five-ton truck restriction to end the problem.
“I don’t see how I’m going to get my customers in here, and I don’t think it’s worth the fight,” said Rennie, whose Trailer N Tractor Inc. maintenance and repair services business on Lafayette Place relies on trucks that travel through Decatur Street.
The proposed traffic regulations would prohibit large commercial trucks from driving on the “green” stretch of Decatur Street from 46th Avenue to Kenilworth Avenue.
If the legislation passes, trucks would have to enter and exit Edmonston’s industrial area by way of U.S. 1, rather than Kenilworth Avenue.
“At this point we’ve noticed damage and want to protect that roadway,” said Edmonston Police Chief Stephen Walker.
Rennie said the proposed legislation forces trucks to drive over the CSX railroad crossing and make a difficult turn from and onto 46th Avenue, causing vehicle damage. She added that driving through U.S. 1 would be more time-consuming and costly for the trucks.
“It’s just going to be a nightmare,” she said.
Walker said the town wants to change the road structure between the CSX railroad crossing and 46th Avenue to make turning onto 46th Avenue easier on trucks. However, he said it does not have funding for the project, estimated to cost up to $300,000.
Walker said the town will have a public hearing on the proposal Nov. 6 and will vote on the restriction Dec. 11.
“I can’t give you an answer on where we’re going on this,” he said.
George C. Martin Jr., managing member of Martin Industrial LLC, which owns Martin Industrial Park on 46th Avenue, said the proposal was an “unprecedented and unlawful denial of truck traffic.”
Martin said he estimates that 90 percent of the truck traffic is served by Kenilworth Avenue, adding that the CSX railroad crossing is too steep and dangerous for trucks to drive across.
“This is a daunting engineering challenge without an apparent answer,” Martin said. “Despite this serious safety issue, the council is intent on moving forward with this amendment at our and their peril.”
Daniel Glazer, who owns property in Edmonston’s industrial area, said a restriction would increase transportation costs for his tenants. He suggested the town budget for regular repair of Decatur Street’s green section instead of forcing out local businesses that generate tax revenue.
“It’s a trickle-down effect that could ultimately affect not only the tenants, but the landlords,” he said.
Edmonston Town Councilwoman Tracy Farrish (Ward 2) is undecided about the proposal, saying she wants to protect the environmentally friendly street without hurting businesses.
“We’re just as concerned as the businesses are,” she said. “We just want to do what is right.”