It seems that everyone wants a bike trail named after Matthew Henson. DC has a conservation center named after the arctic explorer and the center has a small demonstration trail that is planned to be part of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. Prince George's County has the Matthew Henson Greenway (or Greenways - they can't seem to decide) running from Temple Hills to Oxen Hill Road, and Montgomery County is planning it's own Matthew Henson Trail that will eventually connect Rock Creek Trail with Sligo Creek Trail. To increase confusion, MoCo is also calling their trail the Matthew Henson Greenway. I guess if the world can handle two Congos, it can have two Matthew Henson Greenways in the DC area.
The trail is a great idea (the MoCo
one). The area definitely needs more suburb to suburb trails, since most
trails seem to radiate from DC. And a trail connecting trails is great for
commuters. Nonetheless, it seems that the project has its detractors. Back in
2003, MoCo Council Member Marilyn Praisner added a proviso to the Capital Improvements
Program that required that the Park and Planning Commission pay $3.6 million in
land acquisition costs as part of the total cost of the Henson Trail project.
This was to make the project appear more expensive then it was (the county
already owned the land).
Now the county is refusing to add in a pedestrian traffic signal and other safety improvements on Veirs Mill Road forcing trail users to make a 20-minute detour to cross the busy street. Does anyone smell an ADA lawsuit?