Greenbelt East Trail February 2024 Update

This is our 20th 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. MDOT SHA's director Will Pines is scheduled to speak at Bike Maryland's annual symposium in Annapolis on Thursday Feb. 15. I'll be there and will report any news we get on the GET or other trail projects on...
  2. Our next stakeholders call, which will be at 12-1pm on Friday, February 16th. We're expecting folks from MDOT SHA headquarters and also District 3 to attend our call, so hopefully we'll learn more about how the feasibility studies are going and whether there are any problems or issues we can tackle from our "Friends" group. Please reply to this email or send a note to info@greenbeltnasatrail.org if you haven't received an invite to the Feb. 16th call and would like to join.
  3. We're planning to apply for Smart Growth America's "Healing our Highways" grant to paint (!) sections of the proposed Greenbelt East Trail in collaboration with local artists and possibly re-engaging experts from the Neighborhood Design Center. The deadline for the grant is later this month, and there's a webinar on the 15th we'll be attending with NDC. Lots of work to do to get this organized in a few weeks.
  4. We're also working with UMD's Dept of Info Services to provide support and guidance for students doing research specifically on the GET under two topics: potential user persona/data analysis and crash/safety data analysis.
  5. We're following up on the offer from SmithGroup to do a conceptual plan for the trail. We'll know more if we can do something after we see the feasibility studies, and we'll also see if we can build off the UMD students' work on this.
  6. We've submitted written testimony on HB 0364 (Prince George's delegation/Del. Healey) to allow more automated traffic enforcement in our county (link).
  7. We'll also be testifying in person on Senate Bill 514 (Senator Alonzo Washington/District 22 Delegation), which would remove the requirement that local jurisdictions maintain sidewalks and bikeways on state roads -- the hearing for the Senate bill is at 1pm on February 22nd. No hearing date has been announced yet on the House companion bill HB 389 (Del. Healey/District 22 Delegation) I don't think.
  8. This proposed legislation is the direct result of our efforts to get the GET studied -- getting pre-approval from local jurisdictions for any subsequent maintenance along a state highway was time consuming and difficult. I'm not sure if maintenance pre-approval is still a criteria for MDOT studying safety projects like installing sidewalks or bike trails, but that's also something I may be able to learn about at the Bike MD sessions next week.
  9. There's an in-person seminar on grant opportunities being done by SHA at Greenbelt's District 3 offices on March 13th, 10-2pm. Here's the link for registration: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/d8a612525bd74867a168f5ed165f11f4
  10. We're hoping to put together a compendium of grant opportunities this month in concert with the National Park Service recreational trails staff, so we can evaluate what to possibly apply for, assuming the feasibility studies come through in time.
  11. I'm scheduled for an intro meeting with Greenbelt's new city manager Josue Salmeron on Wednesday, Feb 14th. This will be a private meeting, but I'll report back anything I learn about the City of Greenbelt's long-stalled trail and road retrofitting projects, particularly the trail from Greenbelt Station neighborhood to the Metro station, the sidewalk from Old Greenbelt to Greenbelt National Park on the north side of Greenbelt Road (under the beltway), the Cherrywood Lane green street project, the Route 193 retrofit proposals in Greenbelt West (near Beltway Plaza), and, of course, the GET between Eleanor Roosevelt HS and the Greenbelt city limit, the "behind the guard rail" section.
  12. Our next newsletter will summarize what we learn about the GET's prospects from our meetings with MDOT SHA coming up. Please reply to this email or send a note to info@greenbeltnasatrail.org if you haven't received an invite to the Feb. 16th call and would like to join.

Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail

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! Please forward this newsletter to your friends and encourage them to sign up for these emails too. 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