Finish the Trolley Trail in Hyattsville
A half mile separates the Rhode Island Trolley Trail in Hyattsville from the rest of the Anacostia Tributary Trail network. It’s a half mile that stands in the way of a regional trail system connecting Beltsville and Bladensburg Waterfront Park, College Park and Capitol Hill, Silver Spring and Southeast Washington. It’s a half mile that isolates communities and makes getting around by bike or foot more difficult and dangerous. It’s a half mile blocking economic development and opportunity. It is just half a mile. A new trail should fill the gap.
Connect the Trail NetworkThe Trolley Trail runs along the old streetcar right-of-way from downtown Hyattsville, through Riverdale and College Park. The Anacostia Tributary Trails stretch for over 40 miles along the headwaters of the Anacostia—Paint Branch, Indian, Sligo, Northeast Branch, and Northwest Branch Creeks—before they join near Bladensburg Waterfront Park. This fall, following the completion of the Riverdale Park Station development and the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail in Washington, these trails will form the backbone for a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian transit and recreational trail network, connecting Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Map of the area. Existing trails in green. Proposed trail in red.However, there is a crucial gap in the network. Between the south end of the Trolley Trail in Hyattsville and the Northwest Branch Trail a half mile away, no safe connection exists. Rhode Island Avenue, with its wide lanes and fast-moving car, bus, and truck traffic, is no alternative to a safe, low-stress trail between the Trolley Trail and the Northwest Branch. There’s even a plan. The Maryland-National Capital Parks Planning Commission has a design for just such a connection that would bridge this gap. Right now, it’s just that—a plan on paper, waiting in a desk drawer for someone to take it out and make it real. A united community demanding action can make this happen. There is clearly a need for this connection. We can work together to build it.