Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail
Connecting the WB&A Trail with the Anacostia River Trail System
Project funded in part by Anacostia Trails Heritage Area and Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.
Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail, Inc. is a registered non-profit charitable (501c3) organization. Donations will be used to provide matching funds for our initial $5,000 grant award from the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area (ATHA) for initial concept planning and design drawings made by the Neighborhood Design Center, and to further educate Marylanders on the need for the trail and reach out to stakeholders during the trail's design and build phase. Donations are fully tax deductible with the IRS.
Video from our Trail Walk on Sector 1 (Greenbelt) and Sector 2 (NASA) 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!
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.
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 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 should 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 truck curbstops as dividers, not just flexposts on this one!) 2.) The Greenbelt East trail wouldn't reduce the number of through 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:
Proposed trail route from WB&A to ARTS: https://ridewithgps.com/
Greenbelt News Review "An ERHS to Goddard Bike Trail?" (PDF, Page 13)
Greenbelt Online " A Bike Trail from Eleanor Roosevelt HS to NASA?"
City of Greenbelt letter requesting shared use path on Route 193 https://legistarweb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/attachment/pdf/1555391/City_of_Greenbelt_Letter_to_MPOT_PM_re_Greenbelt_Road_facility_DRAFT.pdf
Project Update #1 (Sept 2, 2022)
Project Update #2 (Sept 11, 2022)
Project Update #3 (October 31, 2022)
Project Update #4 (Nov 6, 2022)
Project Update #5 (Nov 9, 2022): https://conta.cc/3TonQUX
Project Update #6 (Nov 11, 2022): https://conta.cc/3Gawaof
Project Update #7 (Dec 14, 2022): https://conta.cc/3uQ5Usn
Project Update #8 (March 6, 2023) Greenbelt East Trail: Update on NPS Grant Possibility, SHA Needs Letters from Greenbelt and/or Prince George's Co. https://conta.cc/3yi2oIW
Project Update #9 (April 25, 2023) Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail; Letter to SHA from Prince George's Council.
Project Update #10 (April 30, 2023) The Greenbelt East Trail wins a National Park Service Grant!
Project Update #11 (May 20, 2023) MDOT Greenlights Feasibility Study for The Greenbelt East Trail