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.

Chip in today to build out the trail network!

Yoga on the Trail

Join the DC Trail Rangers and The Well at Oxon Run for a morning yoga flow. The event is an hour long starting with a brief introduction, followed by a 30 minute yoga flow, and concluding with a short wrap up. The beginner-friendly practice will have you feeling refreshed and restored. The flow will be led by an experienced yoga instructor outside on the grass along Oxon Run Trail. Participants are welcome to bring their own yoga mats but yoga mats will be provided if you need one. Please dress in comfortable, non-restrictive clothing and bring a water bottle. Advanced registration is not required but feel free to RSVP to let us know you’re coming.

The Well at Oxon Run is accessible by A2, W1, and W4 bus routes, the closest metro station is Congress Heights, bike parking is available, and street parking is nearby. Look for people wearing green t-shirts. We will meet just outside of The Well along Oxon Run Trail.

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Meet Kalli, our new Capital Trails Coalition Manager!

Hi all! I’m Kalli Krumpos and I’m so excited to join WABA as the new Capital Trails Coalition Manager. I’ll be working with the Capital Trails Coalition and our broader community to help create an equitable, connected trail network across the region.

I’m motivated to complete the trail network because it’s such a valuable resource for the people who live, work, and travel through our region. Our trails represent opportunities for community building: connecting neighbors, businesses, and services around trails while also providing a space for camaraderie among trail users. I look forward to applying my experiences in strategic planning, project management, advocacy, and community engagement to help people of all ages and abilities access trails, expand and connect the trail network, and improve and maintain existing trails.

Before coming to WABA, I strengthened my project management and strategic planning skills in management consulting with Guidehouse where I worked with U.S. Government agencies to plan and implement complex projects. I previously worked to advance child, family, and education policies across the country with Council for a Strong America where I focused on membership engagement, policy campaigns, and project management.

My experiences thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and biking across the country to support affordable housing with Bike & Build also inform my perspective about the importance of creating accessible, inclusive, and safe trails. Those experiences taught me how powerful it can be to have a group of people working together around a common goal and I am inspired to help our trails be a resource for our communities while also helping to build an on-trail community for all. I am so thrilled to join WABA and the Capital Trails Coalition and am looking forward to jumping in.

Please reach out at kalli.krumpos@waba.org or 202-964-5266 if you would like to get more involved, have any questions, or if you’d just like to chat about your experiences on trails!

I-495 NEXT Express Lanes Public Meeting (in-person)

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will host two project update meetings on June 6 (in-person) and June 7 (virtual) to provide residents and travelers an overview of project construction and design updates. The meetings will include a virtual and in-person option, and will include a presentation, followed by a question and answer session. Project representatives from VDOT and its partners will be present at the meetings to answer questions and address comments.

This is a chance to ask questions about and reiterate the importance of the new shared-use path being built alongside I-495 from Tysons Corner to the Potomac River and across the American Legion Bridge to Maryland.

Meeting Details                                         

In-Person Meeting

Monday, June 6, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (presentation at 7 p.m.)
Langley High School Auditorium
6520 Georgetown Pike, McLean VA 22101

The project update meetings will focus on: 

  • Upcoming construction activities, including a preliminary timeline
  • Expected construction impacts
  • Project design changes and enhancements
  • New interactive map showing latest construction, designs and plans
  • Coordination with the adjacent George Washington Memorial Parkway rehabilitation project and the New American Legion Bridge I-270 Traffic Relief Plan

I-495 NEXT Express Lanes Public Meeting (virtual)

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will host two project update meetings on June 6 (in-person) and June 7 (virtual) to provide residents and travelers an overview of project construction and design updates. The meetings will include a virtual and in-person option, and will include a presentation, followed by a question and answer session. Project representatives from VDOT and its partners will be present at the meetings to answer questions and address comments.

This is a chance to ask questions about and reiterate the importance of the new shared-use path being built alongside I-495 from Tysons Corner to the Potomac River and across the American Legion Bridge to Maryland.

Meeting Details                                         

Tuesday, June 7, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (presentation at 6:30 p.m.)
Check back here for virtual meeting link

The project update meetings will focus on: 

  • Upcoming construction activities, including a preliminary timeline
  • Expected construction impacts
  • Project design changes and enhancements
  • New interactive map showing latest construction, designs and plans
  • Coordination with the adjacent George Washington Memorial Parkway rehabilitation project and the New American Legion Bridge I-270 Traffic Relief Plan

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

Walk the Takoma DC Met Branch Trail with DDOT and ANC 4B

Please join ANC 4B Commissioners, DDOT Trail planning staff, and members of the Takoma DC community for a walkthrough of the proposed Northern segment of the Metropolitan Branch Trail to learn more about options for constructing the segment from Blair Rd to Piney Branch Rd and give feedback.

Meet on Friday, February 11 at 3:30 pm at the intersection of Van Buren and Blair Rd NW. Sponsored by Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners Evan Yeats (4B01), Erin Palmer (4B02) and Geoff Bromaghim (4B07).

The hosts ask that all who attend be fully vaccinated (boosted if applicable) and wear a mask.

Highlights of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

Anacostia River Trail Ride

Curious about the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail? Have you never heard of it or are you looking for some new trails to ride? Join the Bike Ambassadors  for an evening webinar of the DC trail basics! We’ll cover where the trail is (and the nearby Metro stations!), cool things to see on the trail and answer questions.

Register!

This virtual event is on topics about Nacotchtank land. Have questions about the webinar, event access or the trail? Send us an email at outreach@waba.org

We encourage you to get outside and explore the region by bike by trying out a new trail or taking a new bike route. We want you to remain healthy and keep your bike in good condition, so join us as we share information about the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail.