As you may be aware, our neighborhood lost more than half of our available parking this month. According to EYA, this was the plan all along and one we agreed to when we bought our homes. As many of you may have experienced, this was not the plan you expected. The question now is what to do next? Currently there are less than 40 non-reserved parking spots for over 120 homes on the west side of Route 1. As you know, these spots are large and painted in by EYA, and if you park over the lines, you may be ticketed by Hyattsville police as many neighbors recently discovered. While many homes have a tight two-car garage, most do not. Regardless of whether you are personally affected by this problem, we can all agree that the betterment, safety, value and convenience of our neighborhood are important to all residents. Here are some of the issues associated with the move to limit residential parking at Arts District Hyattsville: No Alternatives---As we are all aware, there are NO alternatives to our parking woes. On the north side of the development sits DeMatha High School with only private parking. On the east side is an un-crossable thoroughfare with construction adjacent to it. On the west side is a neighborhood that is inaccessible due to fencing, apartments and homes, and is permitted parking only. On the south side where 44th Street continues (with parking on both sides) are homes and private businesses and permitted parking only. Public Safety---The inability for residents to find adequate parking near their residences invites crime and creates an unnecessary feeling of insecurity in our community. As you may have also noticed, the wide open, freshly paved roads have encouraged cars travelling through the neighborhood to drive at unsafe speeds. Guest Parking---EYA contends that the minimal parking was always to be designated for guests, and not residents, and have said that one-car garage homes should only own one car. Given our lack of proximity to the Metro, this is difficult in a commuter city such as ours. Nevertheless, as you have experienced, having friends and family over, or hosting a children’s birthday party, or even an open house, will be next to impossible with such limited ability to leave one’s car. Property Value---As you know, street parking is a premium in the Washington Metropolitan area. Its lack thereof is the reason many families move to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs to begin with. With little available street parking, our ability to host an open house or encourage foot traffic to the model homes, will not only be hindered in competition with closer urban areas, but at a considerable cost. Will Only Get Worse---If once the long-awaited retail finally launches, and is successful, we will surely have overflow parking in our neighborhood. If another snow storm wreaks havoc on the area as it did this past February, available spots will surely be diminished once again. THIS CAN BE FIXED: Some neighbors have already started a productive and helpful dialogue with city and county officials. There was also a subcommittee of the HOA created to examine the issue. EYA and the HOA have both indicated 1) this is not an urgent priority, 2) some or most neighbors may prefer the current arrangement, 3) with only a few complaints, this can only be addressed at quarterly HOA meetings. Without a clear consensus of the neighborhood that this problem needs to be addressed, the length of time it will take to fix may be long. So, please SIGN THE PETITION if you want this to be addressed immediately. The few minutes it takes to signal your support will make a difference! Thanks so much!!