RAISE Grants fund two critical trail projects
Great news! Two of the Capital Trails Coalition’s top priority trails projects will receive $30 million in funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s extremely competitive FY22 Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program:
The Long Bridge Bike-Ped Span
The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) will receive $20M to build a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge across the Potomac River between Long Bridge Park in Arlington, VA and East and West Potomac Parks in Washington, DC. This new bike/pedestrian span, part of the larger Long Bridge rail expansion project, will create a safer and more accessible way for residents and visitors to cross the river. This is the culmination of over a decade of advocacy alongside more than 1,400 community members like you who called on our transportation leaders to include accommodations for people who walk and bike as part of this once-in-a-generation bridge project. Early concept designs released this summer are encouraging but have room for improvement, and your support will enable WABA to continue to fight to ensure the project is sufficiently wide to ride and connected on either side.
The South Capitol Street Trail
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) was awarded $10M to move forward a 3.8 mile walking and biking trail along South Capitol Street SE in DC’s Ward 8, extending the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail network and providing a connection to the Oxon Hill Farm Trail in Prince George’s County, MD. This new trail fills a crucial gap in the low-stress network and will give residents in Ward 8 and across the region a new low-stress option for commuting and access to green spaces. WABA has been on the ground helping organize community members to call for improvements to the South Capitol Street corridor and throughout the underserved neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River, and this successful grant demonstrates the power of that grassroots activism towards transportation equity.
WABA also congratulates Prince George’s County on their award of $20.5M for the New Carrollton Multi-modal Transportation System Project that will include a new train hall, sidewalks, bike lanes, enhanced signalization, and traffic calming improvements. This project will improve safety and increase accessibility for the community, improving the County’s on-street low-stress bicycle and pedestrian network. Transit-oriented development complements trails to create sustainable and walkable communities, and that future starts with bold projects like this.
While we celebrate
While we celebrate, we know there’s more work to do to keep up the momentum for continued expansion of the low-stress network. Of the nearly 900 miles of trails in the Capital Trail Network, there are still more than 400 planned miles to build. We need your support today to keep up the fight for more and better trails throughout our region.
These grants are a huge step forward for our region’s trail network, but game-changing funding like this doesn’t happen out of the blue. Advocates like you have spoken up for these trails over and over, in petitions, emails, and public meetings. Our staff and coalition partners have worked with a tangle of state and federal agencies for more than ten years to move these projects forward. We can’t organize that support or dismantle those bureaucratic barriers without your help.