Greenbelt East Trail Update: Meetups and Meetings Sunday November 19th

This is our 17th Greenbelt East Trail Newsletter. If you're new to the project, our website for Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail is www.greenbeltnasatrail.org for background info.


Here's the latest news:


  1. Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail (www.greenbeltnasatrail.org) will be tabling at the Greenbelt Farmers Market on Sunday, November 19th from 10-2pm. Please stop by for the latest gossip and trail news.
  2. After the Sunday market, I'll be doing a presentation and Q&A on the Greenbelt East Trail at the Greenbelt Community Development Corp annual meeting. Bring your questions, and please feel free to invite your neighbors. The GCDC meeting will be 2-4pm in Room 202 of the Greenbelt Community Center.
  3. MDOT advised us in our last stakeholders call that they're splitting the feasibility study into two parts, with the NASA section to be completed sooner, and full trail length from Eleanor Roosevelt HS to the WB&A Trail to follow shortly thereafter. Their preliminary recommendation would be to run the trail on the north side of Greenbelt Road between Good Luck Road and Lanham Severn Road, and then cross to the south side of Greenbelt Road between Lanham Severn Rd and the WB&A trailhead at the Glenn Dale splashpark.
  4. We are particularly interested in MDOT's ideas for improving the Greenbelt Road/Lanham Severn Road intersection, which has high-speed right turn ramps on all four sides, and has been the scene of devastating crashes. We are currently raising funds to do some additional design sketches for this intersection. You can Donate Here (click) to help us cover the cost of more excellent illustrations from the Neighborhood Design Center!
  5. Under our RTCA grant, the National Park Service is also trying to organize a pro-bono concept plan for our full trail, to be done in 2024 after we see the results of the MDOT feasibility studies. More to come on that, hopefully.
  6. Our work becomes more urgent due to the announcement that Greenbelt Metro station site has been picked for the new FBI HQ: https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/11/08/fbi-headquarters-chosen-greenbelt/   I've been talking a lot about getting people from the Greenbelt Metro station area out toward NASA and other offices along the future Greenbelt East Trail. Now, we also need to talk about getting people from those new residential areas along the trail to the Greenbelt Metro station!
  7. I still haven't had a chance yet to engage on the raw data on overall and non-motorist crashes along the proposed route for the Greenbelt East Trail that we presented last month. Sadly, there was another fatal crash on Greenbelt Road last month, this time involving a pedestrian near the bus stop across from Greenway Center, right across from where we're proposing to start the GET.
  8. Our next stakeholders call is tentatively planned for 12-1pm on Friday, December 15th. Please reply to this email if you'd like to be invited.


Branching Out from the GET


That picture above is from Greenbelt Road a mile or so farther west from where we're proposing to start the GET, on the other side of the Beltway. That dilapidated sidewalk is the only safe bike/walk route between central Greenbelt and Greenbelt National Park.


The reason we didn't extend our GET trail proposal that far west is simple: Greenbelt Road is a kind of disaster in that stretch! Plus there are existing bike lanes along Crescent Road, Ivy Lane and Cherrywood Lane that are a reasonably safe alternative connection route from the GET to the Anacostia River Trail System. We wanted to make our GET proposal as easy, flexible, non-disruptive, and inexpensive as possible to build.


That said, it would be nice to fix up some of those other connecting routes and nearby spurs. In last month's newsletter, we discussed The City of Greenbelt's proposal to improve Cherrywood Lane into a full "green street" with protected bike lanes, full sidewalks on both sides, and better drainage. This would help GET users continue on safely toward the Greenbelt Metro Station, College Park and UMD, and downtown DC on the Anacostia River Trail System (see aspirational sketch below).

But it looks like MDOT might give that hellscape section of Greenbelt Road west of the GET second look! MDOT has applied for a grant to study the section of Greenbelt Road that continues west from Greenbelt East to College Park. Here's the MDOT blurb from their press release:


Unlocking University Boulevard-Greenbelt Road Community Connectivity Plan (Planning) – This project will build off the City of Greenbelt's planning efforts to engage local communities and determine a unified vision around the future of MD 193 from Rhode Island Avenue to Hanover Parkway. The comprehensive study will analyze potential road diets, sidewalks and active transportation gaps, transit infrastructure improvements, crosswalks, and trail and recreational facility connectivity through the corridor to create stronger neighborhood connectivity and access to essential destinations. Grant request: $1.6 million


If MDOT gets this grant, I hope all of us at Friends of the GET will weigh in on the need for better connections elsewhere in the area, including to Greenbelt National Park!

Our Motto: "Less than 2 Years, Less than $2 Million, Start Sector 2 now!" Let's get this project done and show what's possible in Prince George's County!


Full Trail Resources:


Sector 2 (NASA) Resources:


Our community partners in this effort are the City of Greenbelt, WABA, ATHA, the East Coast Greenway, the Greenbelt Community Development Corp., and the Glenn Dale Citizens Association. Would your company or organization like to help the trail effort? Please use reply to this newsletter or email us at info@greenbeltnasatrail.org for more info. -Jeff

How Can You Help?

Please don't hesitate to reply to this email with info and corrections and ideas! Send this newsletter to your friends and encourage them to sign up for these emails too. Share this link to the video of our trail walk with Delegate Nicole Williams and many local and state officials: https://youtu.be/4_EmhBTbFRE. We will need to reach out to more stakeholders and public officials whose help we will need to make www.GreenbeltNASATrail.org a reality! -Jeff