Maryland

Big Rigs Take Over Brandywine Neighborhood

Tractor-trailers lined for miles just steps from their front doors, waiting to enter a logistics center in Prince George's County.

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Neighbors are frustrated by the trucks which have been lining up outside a distribution center opened for the holidays. Tracee Wilkins explains what Prince George’s County and the U.S. Postal Service are doing about the issue.

People in a Brandywine neighborhood say big rigs are taking over the streets.

This past week, residents off Mattawoman Drive say hundreds of trucks were lined up all day and night, taking up space and making lots of noise in their neighborhood.

Tractor-trailers lined for miles just steps from their front doors, waiting to enter a logistics center.

Rita Robinson, a resident, said that the logistics center had been closed and empty.

However, that changed when the U.S. Postal Service rented the warehouse just in time for the Christmas mailing rush.

"They were continuously blocking both sides of the traffic making it impassible,"
Robinson said.

On Friday, police and county officials were redirecting trucks and creating a ticketing system that moved the semis to a staging area out of the neighborhood

Prince George's Public Safety and Homeland Security Deputy Chief Barry Stanton said they have removed the trucks from the community.

"The safety of the community is what we were trying to address," Stanton said.

Stanton said the facility is controlled by the U.S. Postal Service and not the county.

While county council members are working to fix the problem now, the warehouses were here first. A zoning change by the council allowed for the homes to be built around it. 

"This isn't a warehouse district anymore even though this facility had been here for a while," said Prince George's County Council At-Large Mel Franklin.

It's the kind of re-zoning that activist residents have been fighting the council to stop. Franklin said that's not the problem here.

"This is really a problem of competence and just not doing your job and that's what happened here," Franklin said.

"There is no community where you can just line hundreds of trucks on a residential roadway. You're not allowed to do that," he said.

"We don't need business owners and councilmen making decisions for us as residents when we are ultimately the ones that live here, we need to be brought to the table," Rita Robinson, a resident, said.

Those trucks that were lining the community are on 301. The county said it is a temporary solution and they working to find a more permanent one.

A spokesperson with the U.S. Postal Service released a statement to News4 saying:

"We are currently staging trucks at the Kiss and Ride lot on Mattawoman Road to alleviate traffic congestion on roadways near a processing center located on Brandywine Road."