Latest News on the Greenbelt East Trail Proposal, A Key Future Segment of the East Coast Greenway

Greenbelt East Trail Webpage

I'm sorry there haven't been updates so far in 2023! But there is much to report:

After our community walk last November with Delegate Nicole Williams and State Highway Administration (SHA) officials, SHA told us about several possible sources of funding for the Greenbelt East Trail:

  1. Transportation Alternatives (TA)
  2. Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
  3. New Sidewalk Construction for Pedestrian Access (Fund 79)
  4. Bicycle Retrofit (Fund 88

However, I don't know how to access those funds! So we've applied for some expert help:

Last week, Proteus Velo Club applied for National Park Service RTCA grant, which would provide expertise and technical assistance, as well as organizational support. We got community partner letter for our application from the City of Greenbelt, WABA, ATHA, the East Coast Greenway, the Greenbelt Community Development Corp., and the Glenn Dale Citizens Association. If our project is selected, NPS would help us with concept planning, preliminary feasibility analysis, and community outreach. We should know if we'll get NPS help in April.

In the meantime, I met with State Delegate Anne Healey, who is on the House Environment and Transportation Committee, during Bike Maryland's advocacy day. After an email from Delegate Healey and Williams' offices, SHA says that the Greenbelt East Trail would meet their criteria for doing a feasibility study. However, they need an official letter from the City of Greenbelt and/or Prince George's County before they'll proceed. So...

I think our big project for March will be to try to persuade Greenbelt (should be easy) and Prince George's County (could be complicated) to write those letters and get the ball rolling with SHA. Thanks to Bob from PGparks and Marguerrite from SHA, we have sample letters from Cheverly and Indian Head to start from, and I will draft a mockup to circulate this week.

Side Note: Thanks to exhaustive research from Dan from WABA's Prince George's Action Group, we've learned that a side path and bike facilities on Route 193 were not only on the county's 2009 Master Plan of Transportation, but were also in the 1989 Plan (see page 155)!

Conclusion: It's pretty clear that no one is going to take action to protect bike riders and walkers along Greenbelt Road unless we do! In the words of Jerry Garcia, "Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us."

Here's why we need protected bike trails in Maryland (video by Laurie Lemieux on Springfield Road in Prince George's County, March 5, 2023)

Not Typical, but Not Uncommon Driver Behavior in Maryland

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 above: We will need to reach out to more stakeholders and public officials whose help we will need to make a reality! -Jeff

Here's What Greenbelt Road (MD Route 193) Looks Like Near NASA

Here's What we Want Instead! (Pic is from a DC Protected Bike Trail)