Greenbelt East Trail March 2024 2nd Update

This is our 23rd Greenbelt East Trail Newsletter. If you're new to the project, our website for Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail is for background info.

Here's the latest news:

  1. Details of the first draft MDOT Feasibility Study for the NASA Sector are being circulated for comment within MDOT. Here is a link to the draft Appendix showing the NASA sector.
  2. Many of the internal MDOT comments deal with whether or not to square off high-speed right turn ramps at the NASA entrances, and whether or not to move bus stops.
  3. Scroll down to see our initial comments on the feasibility study for the NASA sector. If you have suggestions and opinions, scroll down for info on how to get involved!
  4. We think MDOT probably has enough internal funding to go to the next step beyond the feasibility studies: engineering plans.
  5. However, we think MDOT will need to get to win a federal grant in order to proceed to construction. We have a call with MDOT on the 23rd to discuss grantwriting possibilities. Basically, we'll do the work, but we need MDOT to sponsor the application and execute the grant if we win!
  6. No progress yet on the Greenbelt sector between Eleanor Roosevelt HS and Mandan Road that I know of -- I haven't focused on that as much as I should have! That will also be a grantwriting project, although I hope the City of Greenbelt will help.
  7. The picture above is from the Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail table at WABA's Youth Safety event last week at the Hyattsville Library. I couldn't stay, but I heard it was a great program.
  8. Our next call will be on April 26th, from 12pm to 1pm. We will discuss the initial feasibility study questions and possible grant funding opportunities. Please reply to this email or send a note to if you haven't received an invite to the April 26th call and would like to join.

Our Comments on the First Draft Feasibility Study, NASA Sector

A New Crosswalk at Chelsea Wood

We strongly favor the proposed new signalized crosswalk to the trail and bus stop at Chelsea Wood. Not sure if the whole intersection would be signaled.

Need Crosswalk at Cipriano Road

Prince George's County is planning bike/walk/transit redo of Cipriano Road. We recommend a crosswalk and median haven.

Shortening Deceleration Lane At Goddard Rd

As NASA phases down its Goddard Road entrance, we think a long decel lane isn't needed. A shorter lane could eliminate the need for a retaining wall, reducing costs.

Yay! No Outbound High Speed Ramp at ICESAT Rd

We'd put a speed hump where the trail crosses the inbound slip lane too, if that lane is even necessary. Not sure how much inbound NASA traffic comes from the east.

Summary: On balance we'd like a better trail, of course, with better crossings and fewer high speed ramps etc. But the flip side is that we want to get the trail built quickly, particularly in the NASA sector, starting in the new fiscal year (July 2024). There may be tradeoffs and tough cost-benefit decisions to come. But the bottom line is clear: Greenbelt Road is unsafe for all modes of travel: car, bus, bike, walk. We need to get the trail built BEFORE we have another casualty of highway-like design in a high-conflict area!

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 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 a reality! -Jeff