For some years now, the City has been working on the Hollywood streetscape project to improve the appearance and functionality of the area around the corner of Edgewood Road and Rhode Island Avenue. The area is generally lacking in aesthetics and has seen minimal private investment in the preceding decades. We hope that once completed, the project will help invite private investment around the shopping complex area.
The project limits along Rhode Island Ave are from the Capital Beltway in the north to Muskogee Street in the south. The project limits along Edgewood Road are Narragansett Parkway in the East and 300’ west of Rhode Island Ave in the west.
Currently, the project team has completed the 30% design of the project. Staff is currently working to hold a community meeting with 60% design this month. Please stay tuned for an announcement of this meeting.
Once 60% design is completed, the project team will go into the final design. The City Council will then decide the scope and budget for the first phase of the project. The construction of the first phase is expected to start some time summer next year.
Below is a list of design elements of of the project:
The planning study identified narrow sidewalks and gaps in the sidewalk network as a design issue. Along the west side of Rhode Island Avenue, a 5-foot wide sidewalk is proposed from Muskogee Street to Edgewood Road where a sidewalk does not currently exist. On numerous occasions, residents have been observed walking along this stretch, and an informal well-worn pathway is noticeable. This stretch of sidewalk is impacted by an existing retaining wall which will require that the sidewalk narrows to 3 feet wide for the length of the retaining wall. The design team feels this is acceptable and does not cause a safety issue as pedestrians using the sidewalk will be separated from vehicular traffic by a protected bike lane.
On the east side of Rhode Island Avenue from Muskogee Street to Edgewood Road, the existing sidewalk is proposed to be widened to approximately 8 feet. A 2-foot strip of turf will remain between the sidewalk and curb to accommodate street signage and utility poles. This section of the sidewalk is considered part of the Wellness Circuit to complete a continuous walking loop around the Hollywood Shopping Center totaling 0.6 miles.
The plan asks for installing gateway signage and/or art elements to brand the District. The Gateway Plazas are a way to establish community identity with potential for public art and/or signage. The gateways are located at the corner of Muskogee Street and Rhode Island Avenue. In the second phase, there could be another one at the corner of Narragansett Parkway and Edgewood Road. Small seating areas are envisioned at each gateway. Each Gateway Plaza features seating, bike racks, trash/recycling receptacles, bollard lighting and signage relevant to the Wellness Circuit.
The plan is to reclaim the Rhode Island Avenue east-side and west-side service road, between Nantucket Road and Edgewood Road, as neighborhood pocket parks or parklets. The Parklets are intended to provide community gathering spaces that are attractively landscaped and buffered from the traffic on the surrounding roads.
The Parklet on the east side of the road will also serve as seating to support retail and restaurant uses on the adjacent properties. In addition, the landscaped areas are intended to provide stormwater management treatment for the Parklets and possibly Rhode Island Avenue.
Improved Bus Shelters and Seating Nooks
A new bus shelter is proposed at the existing bus stop on the west side of Rhode Island Avenue just north of Muskogee Street to match the existing bus shelters located within the Hollywood Commercial District. To support the need for improved pedestrian circulation and gathering spaces, seating nooks are proposed along Rhode Island Avenue in three locations. In general, the seating nooks are intended to enhance the bus shelters providing additional seating and anchoring the shelters within the context of the streetscape improvements. The seating nooks are designed as a semicircle configuration directly adjacent to the sidewalk. Site furnishings proposed for the Seating Nooks include benches, trash/recycle receptacles, bollard lighting, and pavers.
There will be a multi-tiered approach to lighting in the Hollywood Commercial District. Existing streetlights will be retained throughout the corridor. The existing street lights are cobra heads – approximately 25′ height. Pedestrian scale street lights, approximately 14’ height, will be added along Rhode Island Avenue, Edgewood Road, Nantucket Road, and Niagara Road and within the Parklets and Gateway Plazas. Bollard lights will be added to enhance pedestrian-oriented spaces including along the Wellness Circuit, within the Parklets, Gateway Plazas and Seating Nooks associated with improved bus shelters.
Pedestrian Path to MoM’s Parking Lot from Rhode Island Ave
Residents have asked to replace the current “goat path” that many pedestrians use to get to the MoM’s shopping complex from Rhode Island Ave at the Muskogee street corner. The path is uneven and thus can be hazardous to use, especially by the seniors and people with a disability. The Streetscape team has worked on a design of the concrete pedestrian path. The new path will be ADA compliant and thus residents on wheelchairs will now be able to use it safely. Staff will now work with the Carrollton Enterprises (the owner of the shopping plaza) to get the approval of the path’s design.
Reconfiguration of Niagara Intersection
Currently, the intersection of Niagara Road at Rhode Island Avenue requires circuitous turn movements to travel through the intersection. The current 30% design seeks to eliminate the zig-zag pedestrian crossing, providing a more direct route for pedestrians and drivers. Please see the proposed design below.
A Wellness Circuit is proposed in the right of way to provide formalized connections from the neighborhood to the commercial district and to provide opportunities for community fitness. The Wellness Circuit will connect the playground at the corner of Narragansett Parkway and Muskogee Street with Edgewood Road and Rhode Island Avenue through a shared-use path separate from the roadway. Informal desire lines to the shopping center will be formalized at multiple locations along the Wellness Circuit. Fitness stations are planned intermittently along the trail to encourage residents to be physically active in an outdoor natural setting at no cost to users. The Wellness Circuit includes a range of equipment suitable for different ages and fitness abilities focusing on the four essential components of fitness: strength, balance, cardio, and flexibility.
Along Muskogee Street, a portion of the Wellness Circuit is proposed adjacent to the curb. The placement of fitness stations adjacent to Muskogee Street provides ample space for plantings that would provide visual screening of equipment from residences. Existing trees displaced by the proposed improvements will be evaluated for relocation within the project limits.
Traffic Calming at Narragansett Pkway
The traffic calming proposed at the three-legged intersection of Edgewood Road and Narragansett Parkway was originally conceived as a min-roundabout during planning stages.
However, a review of turning movement templates showed that the roundabout would have to be too small (and entirely mountable) to be functional. Accordingly, bump-outs were designed for the southeast and southwest corners to reduce traffic speeds through this intersection and reduce the crossing distances for pedestrians. The bump-outs reduce the pedestrian crossing distance on the south leg and on the east leg. The bump-outs will be planted with low growing plants that do not affect pedestrian or driver sight distance. The bump-outs are designed as standard curb and gutter and designed so as not to interrupt the existing gutter pan, allowing it to continue to carry
Complimentary bump-outs were not introduced along the north side of Edgewood Road because of the presence of a commercial driveway, the existing inlet, and the need to retain on-street parking in front of 5006 Edgewood Road (which does not have a driveway). In addition to the curbed bump-outs, ladder style crosswalks were introduced to the intersection along the southern and eastern legs in order to provide for safer crossings and give the intersection a more pedestrian-oriented feel and because the southwest corner represents a gateway to the Wellness Circuit and the Hollywood Commercial District