A Rock Creek Park Trail Update, Plus an Open House

Rock Creek Park Trail-10 After we told you that we would no longer stand for the deplorable condition of the Rock Creek Park Trail, over 2,400 people signed our petition to fix the Rock Creek Park Trail. That incredible action did not go unnoticed. Major regional news outlets covered the demand for a better Rock Creek Park Trail: Read the WAMU story here. Washingtonian, Fox 5 News, NBC 4 and Active Life DC also covered the egregious state of the trail. An official from Rock Creek Park was quoted in the WAMU story as saying, “The current status is a [environmental] decision will be issued in the near future, this calendar year. And DDOT has budgeted for a trail reconstruction in fiscal year 2015.” WABA will meet with officials from DDOT and Rock Creek Park in early March to discuss the details of this project. We will hold both public agencies to the timelines to which they have committed, and will continue to advocate for much-needed repairs to the Rock Creek Park Trail. Keep reading our blog for updates on this project. The Rock Creek Park Foundation will host an open house from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m at Mon., March 3, 2014 at St. John’s College High School in Vaghi Dining Room at 2607 Military Road NW, Washington, D.C. This is a great opportunity to be engaged with the park on this issue and other issues related to it. You can learn more about the open house on the NPS website here. Image via Flickr user TrailVoice

Fix the Rock Creek Park Trail Now

A fence placed by NPS to keep people from slipping into the creek. Photo Credit: mvjantzen

The Rock Creek Park Trail is, literally, falling into the creek. In fall 2013, the National Park Service had to put up a fence along a section of the Rock Creek Park Trail to keep its users from slipping into Rock Creek. Repaving, rehabilitating, and upgrading the trail—as WABA has called for NPS and the District Department of Transportation to make moves to do—could have prevented this. But NPS and DDOT have moved extraordinarily slowly on matters related to Rock Creek. In June 2013, we posted an extensive progress report on the project’s status to the WABA blog. There has been no public movement on the Rock Creek Park Trail since December 2011. We are still waiting for a Final Environmental Assessment to be released, more than two years since the last public meeting regarding the trail. Enough is enough. WABA is calling on its members and supporters, along with community members and leaders, to sign a petition to fix the trail. We have waited too long for the Rock Creek Park Trail to be repaved and upgraded. The spring riding season is almost upon us. It’s unfortunate and the fault of NPS and DDOT that the region’s riders will go another year of biking in the nation’s capital with a crumbling, inadequate, and unsafe Rock Creek Park Trail.

Sign the Petition Now

Take Advantage of Your Chance to Improve Bike Infrastructure in D.C.

December 13, 2013: Please note the time of the hearing has been changed to 1 p.m., not 11 a.m. Please plan accordingly Kidical Kupcake-19 On Mon., Dec. 16, the D.C. Council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment will hold a public roundtable on the city’s existing Bicycle Infrastructure Master Plan. The council invites members of the community to testify and provide public input about bicycling in the District of Columbia. The Bicycle Master Plan, published in 2005, is the D.C. government’s plan for building a network of bike lanes, trails, and routes, thereby increasing the number of bicycle commuters and reducing the rate of crashes between bicyclists and drivers. Outlined in the master plan is a timeline to stripe miles of lanes, trail projects to be designed and built, education programs to create and expand, launching a bikesharing program and many other items. Significant projects in the plan are to be completed by 2015. D.C. has striped over 60 miles of bike lanes, built the United States’ first major bikesharing system (which has been a resounding success), constructed a state-of-the-art bike parking station at Union Station, built protected lanes on L Street NW, 15th Street NW, Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and has begun construction on the M Street NW bike lane. There is only one year left for DDOT to meet the goals of the master plan. Will it? This is the question the Committee on Transportation and the Environment is asking the public and DDOT. Despite the major gains described above, not all work is done. The deadline to finish the Metropolitan Branch Trail was 2007, but the trail is only half-built. Progress on the South Capitol Street Trail has languished. The Suitland Parkway Trail is desperately in need of attention, and the Oxon Cove Trail is stalled. The Rock Creek Park Trail is years behind schedule, and is crumbling and eroding into the creek as a result. Improvements for bicyclists to access the city’s bridges have seen little progress. D.C. is considerably behind on providing ample, safe, and convenient bike parking. Please sign up to testify at the hearing if you have comments about D.C.’s progress on its Bicycle Master Plan. See below for tips on how to testify and details on WABA’s testimony-writing workshop on Dec. 11, during which we can help you craft your statement. WABA thanks Councilmember Mary Cheh and the members of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment for their leadership in making D.C. a world-class city for biking. HEARING INFORMATION Date: Mon., Dec. 16, 2013 Time: 1 p.m. Where: Room 500, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20004 Click here for more information TESTIFYING TIPS
  • Sign up to testify.
  • Be there at least 20 minutes before the hearing starts.
  • You will be required to pass through security at the Wilson Building. Bring a state-issued ID.
  • Bring at least 8 copies of your written testimony to submit for the record.
  • You will be given three (and only three) minutes to testify. You don’t have to use all of the time! Make your point and be brief.
  • Your written testimony and supporting documents can be longer than your testimony, so feel free to get into details in writing.
  • The committee chair will bring up a panel of 3 to 4 people to testify in a row. You will all give your testimony and then stay at the table for questions.
  • Be sure to thank the committee chair and any present councilmembers.
TESTIMONY WRITING WORKSHOP When: Wed., Dec. 11, 2013, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Where: WABA Office What: WABA will provide a testimony preparation workshop on Wed., Dec. 11 from 4 p.m. to 7 pm. No appointment is needed! Drop by and WABA staff will assist you in preparing testimony for the hearing. Our staff can help with your written testimony, explain the process of testifying and speaking in public, or just answer your questions. We want you to feel comfortable and prepared to testify, especially if you are new to it. If you have any questions, please email us at advocacy@waba.org CAN’T ATTEND THE DEC. 16 HEARING? If you are unable to testify in person, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. Copies of written statements should be submitted to Ms. Aukima Benjamin, staff assistant to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 108, Washington, D.C. 20004. They may also be e-mailed to abenjamin@dccouncil.us or faxed to (202) 724-8118. The record will close at the end of the business day on Dec. 30, 2013.

Rose Park Access Part of Rock Creek Trail Meeting

View Rose Park Access Trail in a larger map Thanks to commenter Jeremy for pointing out that the future of the Rose Park Trail will be part of Wednesday evening’s discussion of the Rock Creek Trail.  The Rose Park Trail is a significant access point for cyclists in Georgetown and South Dupont Circle, but that access is threatened by the organized efforts of the Friends of Rose Park, the Citizens Association of Georgetown, and ANC 2E. WABA strongly supports the continued right of cyclists to use this trail, and believes that efforts to prevent cyclists’ access to this important part of the trail network is discriminatory and ill-conceived.  Public space must be shared, and no single user-group has the right to override the access rights of others. While we hope that this Rose Park Trail access issue does not overtake the entire meeting and unduly distract attention from the primary 3.7 mile Rock Creek Trail project, it is clear that many groups who oppose not only trail widening, but all bicycle access to the Rose Park Trail, will be attendance. Please come and show your support for not only the improvement of the Rock Creek Trail, but for the broader rights of access for bicyclists.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 Open House: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Open Microphone Session: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. WHERE: National Zoological Park Visitor Center Auditorium 3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW
The letters from Friends of Rose Park and the Citizens Association of Georgetown seeking to ban bikes from the park are below.  (Copied from the Friends of Rose Park website). Friends of Rose Park Letter Citizen’s Association of George Town Letter

Reminder: Rock Creek Trail Meeting Wednesday

After some delay, the Environmental Assessment of the improvements to the Rock Creek Trail in DC is set to resume.  A public meeting, including renderings of the proposal concepts, will be held next Wednesday, February 23 at 6pm at the National Zoological Park Visitor Center Auditorium. The National Park Service, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration and the District Department of Transportation, proposes to rehabilitate a 3.7 mile section of the Rock Creek Park Multi-Use Trail from Broad Branch Road, NW to M Street, including a 3,000 foot segment of the Rose Park Trail, and a spur along Piney Branch Parkway from Beach Drive to Arkansas Avenue. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and other laws, regulations, and policies, an Environmental Assessment and Assessment of Effects will be prepared to analyze the potential impacts of a range of alternatives on the natural, cultural, and human environment. Public comments will be accepted until February 28 and can be submitted electronically at the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/RockCreekTrailRehab/ We encourage the many trail users in the region to attend this public meeting and submit comments supporting the resurfacing, widening, and improvement of the trail. WABA will finalize its comments following the presentations at this public meeting, and will provide a follow-up Advocacy Alert with an option to submit comments through the WABA Action Center. WHEN: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 Open House: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Open Microphone Session: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. WHERE: National Zoological Park Visitor Center Auditorium 3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC  20008