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Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail
Connecting the WB&A Trail with the Anacostia River Trail System

Here's What We Have

Here's What We Want

Video from our Trail Walk with SHA Officials

Our walk was led by Delegate Nicole Williams, Greenbelt Mayor Emmet Jordan and Mayor Pro-Tem Kristen Weaver, and MDOT/State Highway officials from District 3 and the Regional Planning office. We were joined by reps from PGParks, NASA, the East Coast Greenway, the Capitol Trails Coalition, the Glenn Dale Citizens Association, and WABA/Prince George's County. Thanks everyone!

Here is How the Greenbelt East Trail Would Fit into the East Coast Greenway

Here's How the Trail Would Connect the WB&A with the ARTS via Greenbelt

The Proposed Greenbelt East Trail -- Connecting Greenbelt's Eleanor Roosevelt High School to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and on to the WB&A Trail

When the Patuxent River Bridge on the Washington Baltimore & Annapolis (WB&A) trail is finished in 2023, the WB&A trail will connect Prince George's County to the larger Maryland Trail Network with a safe route toward Baltimore and Annapolis.

The proposed Greenbelt East Trail would create a link between the WB&A and the Anacostia River Trail System via Greenbelt. The ARTS, in turn, connects to Washington DC, with onward trail links to Montgomery County MD and Northern Virginia.

Project Summary: The proposed shared use trail would connect central Greenbelt to more employment, shopping, and housing areas in Greenbelt East and beyond. It would create a safe bike/walk route for Students and Commuters heading to Eleanor Roosevelt High School and NASA.

Ultimately, the Greenbelt East Trail should run from ERHS past NASA further on to connect with WB&A trail at the Glenn Dale Splash Park. The Greenbelt East trail would thus bridge the gap between the Anacostia River Trail System and the WB&A trail, which will soon connect Prince George’s County with Anne Arundel County via new bridge across the Patuxent River.

When the Patuxent River trail bridge is completed in 2023, the WB&A trail will connect with other Maryland trails heading toward BWI, Baltimore, and Annapolis. The Greenbelt East trail would be a key component of the East Coast Greenway, which runs from Florida to Maine. Here is a map of the proposed trail section along Route 193, and the fully safe connection through Greenbelt to the ARTS

Could the Greenbelt East trail be built? In my non-engineer opinion, this trail would be totally doable. For about one block east of ERHS, there’s a narrow spot under some power lines, but there’s plenty of room for an 8-foot sidewalk/trail. Further east toward NASA there’s abundant room on the acceleration/deceleration lanes and on the shoulders for 10-foot or even 12-foot trail. There would be even more room if the traffic lanes on Route 193 were narrowed by a foot – narrower lanes would also help calm traffic.

To be safe, we’d need hard curbing or jersey walls in a few spots to separate the trail from traffic, given the high traffic speeds on Greenbelt Road. The existing “pork chops” curb structures and “slip lane” high-speed right turn ramps at several intersections would need to be squared off. That would slow down traffic making right turns to go westbound on Greenbelt Road from Mandan Road, the NASA main gate, and from ICESat road.

Talking Points: My main pitch points to SHA are 1.) SHA has done temporary bike/ped trails on 193 in Montgomery County, so it can be done (although we'd need hard curb dividers, not just flexposts on this one!) 2.) The Greenbelt East trail wouldn't reduce the number of car lanes, so pushback should be minimal from drivers. 3.) It's a huge potential connection between Maryland's soon-to-be expanded WB&A+ trail system and DC/Prince George's Anacostia River Trail System (ARTS), so this is a big regional transportation project, not just a local safety project, and 4.) the only big engineering seems like squaring off pork chop and slip lane structures -- trail advocates are fine with a narrow pathway around the utility poles near ERHS -- don't make the perfect the enemy of the good!

Resources and More Explanations:

City of Greenbelt letter requesting shared use path on Route 193 

Proposed trail route from WB&A to ARTS:

Greenbelt News Review "An ERHS to Goddard Bike Trail?" (PDF, Page 13)

Project Update #1 (Sept 2, 2022)

Greenbelt Online " A Bike Trail from Eleanor Roosevelt HS to NASA?"

Project Update #2 (Sept 11, 2022)

City of Greenbelt letter requesting shared use path on Route 193 

Proposed trail route from WB&A to ARTS:

Project Update #3 (October 31, 2022)

Project Update #4 (Nov 6, 2022)

Project Update #5 (Nov 9, 2022):

Project Update #6 (Nov 11, 2022):
Project Update #7 (Dec 14, 2022):

Typical View of the Right of Way Along MD Route 193

Right of Way Includes Wide Shoulders, Acceleration and Deceleration Lanes

Pork Chop and Slip Lane Structures Would Have to Be Squared Off at Intersections

Narrow Area Just East of ERHS Where the Trail Runs Near Lightpoles and an Embankment