LAST CALL: Building the Best-Possible Long Bridge
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Last year, we called on our members to speak up in favor of a Long Bridge bike-pedestrian span that met world-class standards: sufficiently wide enough (and well-connected) to meet current and future demand. The great news is the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) heeded those calls and presented updated bridge designs this spring, featuring a 16’ width and more robust landings on the Virginia and DC sides.
But we’re not quite at the finish line yet. The design could and should be an even wider 18’, and more work is needed on the DC side to ensure a comfortable route across East Potomac Park to the bike networks on 14th Street SE and Maine Avenue SE. Tell the VRPA by Monday, April 10th!
The HUGE bridge design changes are entirely the result of advocates like you making the case for a better connection. The VPRA design team wraps up its latest round of public engagement and closes its public survey on Monday, April 10th. Before they head back to the design table, we need you to chime in once again:
- We are encouraged by VPRA’s work to bump the bridge width to 16’…but 18’ will allow for full separation between people walking and rolling with enough room to pass and pull off to the side to rest. Let’s find that extra 2’.
- While the bike-pedestrian trail bridge will end at Ohio Drive on the DC side of the Potomac, the larger project extends farther to the east, including a new rail bridge over Maine Ave. This bridge offers another rare opportunity to improve the trail network. The existing Maine Ave rail bridge creates a narrow pinch point on the Anacostia River Trail between the Tidal Basin and the Wharf in SW DC. It is imperative that the sidewalk be widened to at least 18′ under the new bridge to make this already busy biking and walking connection safe and comfortable for the next 50 years.
The Long Bridge Project is—and has been—a priority because we know the bike-pedestrian crossing will have beneficial effects by increasing access to parks and open spaces, improving personal mobility, increasing the connectivity of the active transportation network, improving public health, and advancing the transportation equity and environmental goals of DC, Arlington County, and the City of Alexandria. Getting to this point has taken years of organizing and advocacy and we thank you for continuing to stand with us through the many rounds of evaluation and design.
Join the chorus of advocates to emphasize the importance of getting the Long Bridge design right for all future users. You can find more information about WABA’s previous work on the Long Bridge Project here.