We’re eight months into the reconstruction of Beach Drive and the Rock Creek Park Trail. In total, this will be a 3.7 mile trail reconstruction, but it’s broken into four segments. Let’s take a look at the status of the project, and what’s on the horizon for this summer and fall. 2500 WABA supporters demanded the rehabilitation get back on track in 2014, and many have fought for years prior to prioritize this project with NPS and other relevant agencies. DDOT will tackle the trail sections through Rose Park, northwest of Rock Creek (the trail on the Zoo property), a new bridge across Rock Creek near the Zoo, and a trail extension on Piney Branch Parkway. DDOT’s trail construction will start after Federal Highway Administration (FHWA, the lead agency on the Beach Drive segments) is done with their work. If you want more info, visit the project website: go.nps.gov/beachdriveSegment 1 (Shoreham Drive to Tilden Street/Park Road) will be completed mid-late summer. This segment includes a repaved and widened trail alongside Beach Drive and the (slight) widening of the sidewalk within the Zoo tunnel. Take note- the trail that goes through the Zoo property (that allows trail users to bypass the tunnel) will be reconstructed by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in a subsequent phase. It’s still in bad shape right now, but there are plans in motion to reconstruct that segment. Immediately following completion of Segment 1, Beach Drive will close from Park Road/Tilden Street NW to Joyce Road NW (immediately south of Military Road NW). Originally planned to be addressed as two separate phases, both segments 2 and 3 will close at the same time so that work can begin concurrently on both. Just like Segment 1, bike and pedestrian access will be maintained while the road is closed for Segments 2 and 3. And just like Segment 1, it’s important that people biking and walking stay out of the active construction zone. WABA has been advocating for this project for decades. More than
We’ve got some great trails in our region, but they don’t all connect to each other.So imagine with us for a minute: seamless trail connections to monuments, to rivers, to parks, and to the places we need to get to every day. A network that doesn’t leave gaps at bridges and busy road crossings, where people on foot or on bikes can connect in an easy, low-stress way to all of the places that make our region great. That’s the vision that National Park Service (NPS) has laid out in the National Capital Region Draft Paved Trails Study, released in April. The study includes a set of goals and 120 capital and programmatic recommendations, in addition to a framework for prioritizing regional funding of trail-related projects. We are thrilled that the Park Service has taken this on, and pleased with the results.
So what’s in the study, and why are we giving NPS a round of applause?Here is just a small sample of the priority projects:
- Extension of the existing cycle track south on 15th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to the 14th Street Bridge. (You know, that connection we’ve been asking for for years?)
- A feasibility study for a cycle track or trail along the Military Road, NW right of way, from Glover Road, NW to 16th Street, NW.
- A feasibility study for an extension of the Suitland Parkway Trail from the D.C./Maryland line to Henson Creek Trail.
- Improved wayfinding and standardized signage so that it’s easier to navigate the trails system.
- The development of comprehensive trail design standards and guidelines for the region that address trail width, snow removal, clearances, safety features, and more.
- Fixing numerous bridge access problems, including the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge, Tidal Basin Inlet Bridge, and 14th Street Bridge.
- Connecting the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail to the Wilson Bridge, by way of Blue Plains and Oxon Hill Farm.