At the recent Brentwood 50th Anniversary Celebration in Crockett Park earlier this summer, there were almost more bicycles parked near the Eddy Arnold Amphitheater than cars. This is a testament to the growing connectivity in Brentwood.
The city began to build bike trails over 20 years ago, but they started to take shape in June of 2015 with the creation of the Bicycle Pedestrian Ad Hoc Committee. The goal of the committee is to, “provide the Board [of Commissioners] with recommendations for the short-term and long-term improvement or expansion of bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs in Brentwood,” according to the original report.
After a year of research, the committee produced an outline on how to provide a safe and convenient system of bicycle and pedestrian movement, identify opportunities for improvement of bike and pedestrian facilities and programs, help the city find ways to invest in greater connectivity, and look for potential areas for improvement.
Connecting with the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Community Application, they applied in the spring of 2016 to be a Bicycle Friendly Community at the bronze level. The application rated Brentwood with some of the poorest scores, for community education, creating a bike culture, and having an improvement plan for bike connectivity. The Ad Hoc Community came to believe that the improvements would add to the value of the Brentwood and its safety.
There are now more than 20 miles of trails that are great for biking, walking, jogging, and roller-blading. Each paved trail has variable lengths and difficulty. The trails are also close to parks, health facilities, and, with the passing of the finances to create the Maryland Way trails, shopping and entertainment.
With the increased interest in biking, especially by Seniors, and Millennial’s desire to be connected to shopping and entertainment without using their car, the addition to the extensive trail system couldn’t have come at a better time.
Many of the trails feed into each other, and have colored markers every tenth of a mile. For example, the Red Trail feeds into the Green Trail, the Yellow Trail, and the Tan Trail. And the Yellow Trail feeds into the Orange Trail with the help of a connector.
Each of these trails also connects to parks, schools, and historical sites. The Tan Trail is near the library. The Green Trail is near Woodland Elementary School. And the Yellow Trail circles around Boiling Springs and Ravenswood Mansion.
Brentwood’s growing system of trails and sidewalks, as well as the creation of trail maps and community education, are all the result of that original study.
Community connectivity has come a long way over the past 20 years with the development of a more robust trail system, more community opportunities to ride together – like the YMCA’s inaugural Family Bike Ride in May of this year – and the increase in the development of a bike culture in the community. That corral of bikes at the 50th Anniversary being a prime example.