MLK Ave & Good Hope Rd Safety and Connectivity Study

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is hosting a virtual public meeting to kick off a study of improving the Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Jr Ave intersection in historic Anacostia. DDOT wants your feedback on what barriers, safety concerns, and access issues you experience at or near this intersection, and what opportunities you see for improving traffic safety, creating better connections, and getting people where they need to go. For more information on this project please visit mlk-ghrsafetystudy.ddot.dc.gov.

In 2020, WABA partnered with Lyft and Street Plans on a community workshop centered on this intersection. Read more about the a conceptual design inspired by that workshop here.

WHAT:  MLK Ave & Good Hope Rd Safety and Connectivity Study Public Meeting

WHEN: June 8, 2022

TIME: 6:30pm

TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MEETING rebrand.ly/MLK-GHRSafetyJune8

Webinar Number: 2306 540 0573

Webinar Password: June8!

Dial-in Option (audio only): 1-202-860-2110. Access Code: 2306 540 0573. The Webex system will prompt you for an Attendee ID, this is not required. Press the # key to join the meeting

Met Branch Trail (Blair Rd to Piney Branch Rd) Public Meeting

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is hosting a virtual public meeting to discuss the Metropolitan Branch Trail – Blair Road to Piney Branch Road NW. DDOT will present design concept updates and receive community feedback. This is the second public meeting for this project, and DDOT will share updates to the proposed design and project schedule. For more information on this project please visit metbranchtrail.com.

WHAT:  Metropolitan Branch Trail (Blair Road to Piney Branch Road NW) Public Meeting

WHEN: June 7, 2022

TIME: 6:30pm

TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MEETING rebrand.ly/MBTBlair2PineyBranch

Webinar Number: 2300 263 1832

Webinar Password: June7!

Dial-in Option (audio only): 1-202-860-2110. Access Code: 2300 263 1832. The Webex system will prompt you for an Attendee ID, this is not required. Press the # key to join the meeting

Can’t Make a Meeting?

Materials from this meeting will be made available at www.metbranchtrail.com within 48 hours of the conclusion of the meeting. 

DC Protected Bike Lane & Trail Progress: May 2022

May is Bike Month, so it’s a great time to get out there and enjoy DC by bike. Seriously, go for a bike ride! Take your friends and family. There are so many new safe routes, new trails, and newly accessible corners of the city to get to. Our Low Stress Network is growing!

Bike Month is also about taking action, stepping up, and speaking out for safe street designs and policies that make biking, walking and transit the best, and most joyful, ways to get around.

So join our monthly Low Stress Network Advocate Meetup on Monday, May 16 at 7pm. Meet up virtually with advocates from across the city, share relevant updates, and join a work session on a campaign to build a piece of the low stress network near you.

Register on Zoom

Did You See This?

The Met Branch Trail is complete to Fort Totten! – At long last, this half-mile trail extension is complete, offering a direct connection to Fort Totten Metro and a comfortable bypass of stressful, hilly Fort Totten Dr. Here’s a great summary and photos.

Major Protected Bike Lane Progress – New protected bike lanes are nearly complete on Virginia Ave NW in Foggy Bottom and Maine Ave SW at the Wharf, under construction on Warder Pl in Park View and C St. NE in Kingman Park, and breaking ground soon on Minnesota Ave SE at Randle Circle. Last month, DDOT reached the final milestone before construction for 3+ more miles with even more this summer. More info on those projects here.

Things To Do

Good things happen when advocates like you are speaking up for DC’s Low Stress Bike Network. Here are some quick actions to support building parts of that network. Find the most recent actions at waba.org/action.

Support DDOT’s Plan to Finish the Met Branch Trail on 8th St. NE

DDOT has a new, thoughtful, & all-around better plan to complete the Met Branch Trail on 8th St. NE with wide protected bike lanes, orderly school pickup/dropoff, and traffic calming. Sign your support!
Take Action

Take The Bladensburg Rd NE Survey

DDOT wants your help reimagining Bladensburg Rd NE from Maryland Ave to the Maryland line. Drop your thoughts on the map and survey. Protected bike lane anyone?

Take Action

Sign the Petition to put People First on I (Eye) St. SE/SW

Sign the petition to support DDOT’s plan for protected bike lanes, traffic calming, and safer intersections on I St. in SW Waterfront and Navy Yard ahead of the June ANC discussion.

Sign the Petition

Weigh in on Columbia Road NW Bus Priority & Bike Project

DDOT wants your ideas for making Columbia Rd in Adams Morgan work better for buses and bikes. Take the survey.

Take Action

Walk/Bike lanes for Ohio Drive at Hains Point

The National Park Service wants to make Ohio Dr in East Potomac Park safer to walk and bike with dedicated, painted lanes. See the plan & share your feedback by May 19.

Take Action

Support Traffic Calming on New Jersey Ave NW

New Jersey Avenue between N Street and Florida Avenue NW is a dangerous and a glaring gap in the low stress network. Sign this petition to support DDOT’s plan to fix it.

Sign the Petition

Safe Biking & Walking on Lincoln Road NE Now!

Join us in urging DDOT to take this next step in connecting the bike lanes of Northeast DC, and taking the next step towards a safe commuting future for the District.

Take Action

Events & Places to Go

Low Stress Bike Network Citywide MeetingGet updates on campaigns across DC and get involved in one near you.
Monday, May 16 at 7pm
Register on Zoom

Bike Anywhere Week!

WABA’s third annual Bike Anywhere Week captures some of the magic of bicycling in our region and reminds us of the incredible community we have in our fellow bicyclists, both in person and online. 

Where is this event? Well, it’s anywhere: around your block, on the way to the grocery store or the park, from the comfort of your home, or with us virtually.
May 16-22
Register & Learn More!

Bike to Work DayIt’s the best commute of the year with 101 pitstops around the region!
Friday, May 20
Register

A New Vision for Pennsylvania Ave NW “America’s Main Street”
The National Capital Planning Commission wants your feedback on their early concepts on a new vision for Pennsylvania Ave NW aka “America’s Main Street” between the White House and Congress. Attend to learn more about the alternatives and how to weigh in.
Saturday, May 21 at 10am

Register on Zoom

Open Streets On MLK Ave
Open Streets in Your Neighborhood is kicking off with Ward 8’s Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE! The event will close 0.3 miles of MLK Ave to cars and open them to people to ride, bike, walk, socialize, and take in exciting programming!
Saturday, May 21, 9am-1pm
Event Details

Military Road Bike/Pedestrian Trail Study Public Meeting

Join NPS and DDOT for a virtual presentation on a proposed multi-use trail along Military Rd connecting Ward 3, Ward 4, and Beach Drive through Rock Creek Park.

Tuesday, May 24 at 6:30 PM

Join on Teams

Bladensburg Rd Multimodal Safety and Access Study Kickoff

DDOT is kicking off a study of Bladensburg Rd from H St. NE to Eastern Ave looking at big picture changes for safe walking, comfortable biking, and a more livable corridor. Attend to learn about the study and give your feedback.

Thursday, June 2 at 6:00 PM

Join on Webex

What We’re Reading

  1. Why We Can’t Afford to Ignore the Needs of Non-Drivers With Disabilities (Streetsblog) – A new study looks into how people with disabilities who don’t drive are being left behind by accessibility efforts that ignore their unique and diverse needs, and how centering them can carry benefits for everyone.
  2. DC’s current car trip reduction goal is woefully inadequate (GGWash) – What actions are behind DC’s goal of reducing driving modeshare to 25% of trips? Is it working and is that even the right goal?
  3. NHTSA Releases the Facts on Bicycle Stop-as-Yield Laws: They Increase Safety (Streetsblog) – As DC Council considers allowing bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield and red lights as stop signs, Federal safety experts have some data to share.

Step Up Your Advocacy

  • WABA’s Low Stress Network campaign is powered and lead by community advocates like you. So we have tons of resources to share. Visit waba.org/netowrk for videos of past trainings, helpful how-tos, and more. 
  • Grab a slot at my Advocate Office Hours to dig into an issue, find opportunities to get involved in a campaign, or plot the first steps of your own. Sign up for office hours here.

8th St. NE/Met Branch Trail Community Forum

Join ANC 5E Commissioners and DDOT planning staff for a community update on the 8th St. Protected Bike Lane and Safe Routes to School project on Zoom.

Since at least 2013, the District Department of Transportation has planned completing 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.

In 2021, DDOT released a final plan that included the protected bike lanes and welcome changes for safer school pickup and drop off. Installation was planned for late 2021. But in the fall, DDOT quietly shelved the plan after some 8th St. businesses raised objections. DDOT later announced that they needed more time for a more nuanced block by block design. For more detail on what happened, read this post by former ANC Commissioner Nick Cheolas.

In response, advocates jumped into action, drafting and circulating a sign-on letter reinforcing the importance of this trail and street safety project. More than 1,000 signed the letter. On Tuesday, DDOT staff will share a new design and timeline, hopefully, finally delivering the long needed and promised trail improvements.

Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8822614841
Meeting ID: 882 2614 8413
Passcode: 643632
Call-In: 301-715-8592

Closer to Completion: New Construction on the Met Branch Trail!

A bird’s eye rendering of the Met Branch Trail around the Fort Totten Metro (Source DDOT)

This Saturday at 10am, DDOT is breaking ground on the next phase of the Metropolitan Branch Trail that will connect Brookland to Fort Totten Metro station. There hasn’t been any major construction on the MBT since 2013, so this is a huge win! After a handful of delays, in November 2017, DDOT awarded the contract to complete design and begin construction on the next phase of the popular multi-use trail. WABA’s been working on getting this trail built since the 1990s; this new construction will link the trail to the Fort Totten Metro Station, provide direct access to three new neighborhoods, and cut out the steep (and smelly) Fort Totten hill. And it moves the Met Branch Trail one step closer to completion.

Existing MBT in green, new segment in blue, interim on street route in red (Source Google Maps)

Once complete, the MBT will connect Silver Spring to Union Station, in a mix of on and off-road trail. The trail will also be a key connection the East Coast Greenway, the largest connected walking and biking route in the nation. Details for the groundbreaking ceremony:

Saturday, July 28th

10:00AM to 11:00AM

Between Gallatin St and 1st Pl NE (map)

Click here to see the event flyer.

A Very Busy Trail: MLK Day of Service on the Met Branch

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 180 folks woke up early, layered up, and joined WABA and the Carlos Rosario School for a morning cleanup on the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

Photo: Carlos Rosario School

Volunteers scoured the trail corridor for trash and debris. It warmed my heart to see the trail so alive with people, including many first-time visitors. Even better—by lunchtime, this community treasure was cleaner than it’s been in a long while.

Photo: Carlos Rosario School

In addition to trash removal the full length of the trail, we had three specific project sites tackling some long-standing issues.

Revealing the Mural

Photo: Carlos Rosario School

One of the oldest murals on the trail, Change Gears, has been mostly obscured by climbing vines few years now. We’ve done some work to keep the vegetation in check, but this time we had the people-power, materials, and tools to stem the growth.

Before

During
Photo: Carlos Rosario School

After

We suppressed the roots with burlap bags as a weed barrier, downcycled from Swings Coffee, and six-inches of mulch also downcycled from a tree cut down in the District a few days prior. The tree was no longer safe to be on our city streets but it has a new role on the trail. It took many hands to get the mulch from the drop-off site on a nearby street to its final home on the trail – thank you volunteers!

Emptying the Ravine

Farther north on the trail, we did our annual cleanup of the ravine at Rhode Island Ave NE. In addition to a lot of takeout containers, we found:
  • a tire
  • a porcelain toilet (mercifully empty)
  • a scythe (we’re still pretty confused about this one)
Look at all these bags of trash!

Photo: Carlos Rosario School

Clearing the Hill

And our third major site was trash and vine removal from the hillside between Rhode Island Ave and Edgewood Pl NE.

Photo: Carlos Rosario School

Though the hillside had a lot of native planting when the trail was first unveiled, destructive and invasive porcelain-berry had taken over many trees. Fifteen folks and one dog scoured the hillside to find which trees needed help and cutting a buffer between roots and vine canopy. By cutting off their connection to the ground, the vines will no longer be able to grow and smother the trail-side canopy this spring. A few more photos of the event can be found here.

Thank you!

It takes a neighborhood to succeed at large events like this cleanup. A huge thank you to our event co-host Carlos Rosario School’s Sonia Gutierrez Campus, particularly the Student Services team and Student Government, and to Whole Foods for sponsoring coffee and breakfast for 180 volunteers. Additional thanks to Community Capital Corporation for space and tools, second year sponsor Career Path DC for trash removal, Treeman Inc for 10 cubic yards of fresh mulch, the District Department of Energy and the Environment for consulting and loaning tools, the District Department of Park and Recreation for loaning tools, to Kevin and Sam for lending their wheelbarrows, and the District Department on Transportation for mulch support and making the DC Trail Ranger team possible.

Photo: Carlos Rosario School