By: Sam Draddy
The City of Greenbelt looks forward to significant changes over the coming years, including renovation of a major corridor and the possible relocation of FBI headquarters to the city. While the FBI will likely retain a branch office in the District, the bureau has outgrown the J. Edgar Hoover building, and the Biden Administration’s proposed 2023 budget includes funding for construction of a new campus. The General Services Administration (GSA) has been evaluating three potential sites for the new facility, including one in Springfield, Va., and locations in both Landover and Greenbelt. The Greenbelt site is a 50-acre parcel adjacent to the Greenbelt Metro station. GSA may announce their decision as early as September.
Greenbelt also anticipates the long-anticipated overhaul of the Greenbelt Road Corridor, a project intended to dramatically improve the stretch of MD 193 east of Baltimore Avenue, as well as the stretch of Greenbelt Road originating at Baltimore Avenue and merging with MD 193 east of Rhode Island Avenue. The renovation was initially proposed in October 2021, and Greenbelt officials have worked hard to keep the project on the front burner. Greenbelt received a grant from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Land-Use Connections program for the project, funding which will significantly upgrade the nearly two-mile stretch from Baltimore Avenue. Residents have described this corridor as dangerously unsafe and busy; the improvements are designed to address both issues. The proposed plan includes travel and turn lanes designed to reduce vehicle speeds, designated bike lanes, benches and shelters at bus stops, and numerous upgrades to sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.
Connecting residential communities, businesses, neighborhoods, and parks and trails is key to the project. Alek Pochowski, an associate engineer and planner with Kittleson & Associates’ office in the District said, “This is not just a corridor for moving people. It’s also a corridor for economic opportunity and development.” Kittelson & Associates, a civil engineering firm based in Portland, Ore., prepared a detailed plan to coordinate design and construction efforts for the project.
Mayors and councilmembers from Berwyn Heights, College Park and Greenbelt met in March to discuss the project, with a specific focus on anticipated environmental impacts of the renovated corridor. “I think as we plan ahead in terms of making the street more walkable and viable, we also need to really focus on making it more environmentally friendly,” Greenbelt Mayor Emmett Jordan said. The draft plan aims to create an environmentally friendly district for local residents and visitors to the corridor.
To learn more about the project, you can visit greenbeltmd.gov and search with the word corridor to find the draft plan and other information.