When finished, the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) will span more than 8 miles, connecting Silver Spring to DC’s Union Station with a low-stress, off-street walking and biking trail. In Edgewood, the trail diverts onto 8th St. NE where trail users share the road with industrial truck traffic, chaotic school drop-offs for four separate schools, and speeding drivers. This 0.5 mile “shared street” stretch of 8th St. NE from Franklin to Monroe is a stressful gap in a trail used by up to two thousand people each day.
The District Department of Transportation has long planned to fill this gap with an off-street trail. However, as properties were redeveloped in the early 2010’s, some moved ahead without space for the trail leaving DDOT to abandon that plan. Now, our best option for a trail-like experience along 8th NE is a two-way protected bike lane for bikes and scooters and the existing sidewalk for people on foot). But progress has been sporadic. For nearly a year, DDOT’s analysis of the options has been promised “very soon.”
Sign your name below to urge DDOT to get moving on the 8th St. NE protected bike lanes.
To: Mayor Bowser, Councilmember McDuffie & DDOT Director Marootian
Since at least 2013, the District Department of Transportation has planned closing the 0.5 mile Edgewood gap in the Met Branch Trail with a protected bike lane on 8th St. NE. Unlike the off-street multi-use trail that feeds it, 8th St. NE is often choked with chaotic school drop-off and truck traffic, making it unsuitable and unsafe for the hundreds of hourly trail users who have no choice but to use it.
We the undersigned call on DDOT to complete design and build the 8th St. NE protected bike lanes by the end of 2020 to finally close this stressful gap in the Metropolitan Branch Trail.