by Jeff Lemieux
The Maryland Department of Transportation/State Highway Administration (MDOT/SHA) launched a feasibility study of the Greenbelt East Trail (www.greenbeltnasatrail.org) on August 17th. To kick off the study, MDOT/SHA engineering contractors walked along parts of the proposed trail route with Greenbelt and County officials, volunteers from Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail, and designers from the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC). NDC’s work is funded in part by the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area and Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.
The design and engineering consultants walked from Eleanor Roosevelt High School past the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to the commercial district between Good Luck Road and Lanham Severn Road. The trail would ultimately continue past Lanham Severn Road to the WB&A trailhead at the Glenn Dale Splash Park, thereby connecting WB&A trail system toward Baltimore and Annapolis with the Anacostia River Trail System toward DC via Greenbelt. The trail would thus fill a key missing link for people walking and biking locally, regionally, and even nationally along the East Coast Greenway.
MDOT’s feasibility study is scheduled to be completed in December 2023. Friends of the Greenbelt East trail want MDOT/SHA to install a two-way protected shared use trail on the existing Greenbelt Road (MD 193) right of way. Our goals are to improve safety and access all along the route, as well as to connect two of Maryland’s major trail systems via Greenbelt.