by Jeff Lemieux
Greenbelt is putting the finishing touches on a great new bike trail that connects Cherrywood Lane, a key bike route that goes past the Greenbelt Metro station, with Branchville Ave, which is the main access road to Lake Artemesia and an entry point to the extensive Anacostia tributary trail system. The new connector trail allows cyclists to avoid a congested shopping mall entrance and the hairy intersection at Cherrywood Lane and Greenbelt Road. The new segment is marked by the box in this map:
The good news is that the trail is quite lovely, and passes a pond with lots of wildlife. Here is a picture:
What’s the bad news? Well, apparently the county, which controls Branchville Ave., has decided that it would be too dangerous to allow the trail to connect to the street. So the county has mandated a full curb where the trail enters.
Note that the sidewalk is also not connected to the street – it just ends a at either end of the lot. If you look closely you can even see a utility pole blocking where the sidewalk would go!
So now this trail entrance requires bike commuters and disabled people to cross the grass and climb the curb, or else just give up and go back to riding through the congested (and truly dangerous!) shopping zone. No wheelchairs allowed.
Greenbelt city planner Jessica Bellah reports that the city is trying to get the county to relent, if for no other reason than that now our city maintenance vehicles can’t get to the site they’re supposed to maintain.
I presume the county planner who made this decision is the same person who has decided to keep the newly completed College Park/Riverdale Park trolley trail closed at the new Whole Foods development for so long, also for our safety. Because in that case, it’s so much safer to ride a bike or push a stroller out on Route 1 (which has no sidewalks on the east side toward College Park).
We’re making lots of great progress on trails and pedestrian infrastructure in many places in Prince George’s County, but there are still some real impediments in our county government.