Slowing Down Route 1

Hyattsville and the state are adding metered parking spots along Route 1.

That should help a little with the problem of parking, especially for the businesses on the ground floor of Arts District Hyattsville’s live-work spaces, such as Pretty Girl Cupcakery. But the real news is that it should help slow down traffic on Route 1 heading into downtown.

Anyone who’s tried to cross at Jefferson Street, for example, knows that motorists tend to gun it just before downtown. That’s because it’s a long, straight patch of road heading downhill through what used to be mostly empty car lots.

The new shops and homes should help subconsciously signal to drivers that they’re entering a more pedestrian-heavy area. The red-light cameras help people learn the hard way to slow down. (Though they’re not nearly as painful as the old speed trap in Mount Rainier.)

Still, nothing gets your attention like having to change lanes to avoid hitting a parked car. It certainly helps slow traffic farther south next to Franklin’s restaurant.

The real trick will be getting people to park in those spots at first. No one wants to be the guinea pig whose car got totaled. Our suggestion: The city should park a police cruiser in the northernmost spot for a couple weeks.

Correction: A helpful user on the HOPE in Hyattsville listserv pointed out that the Christian Family Montessori School has moved and Mount Rainier has removed the red-light camera on Route 1.

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