The National Park Service's National Capitol Region (NCR) recently released a draft version of its "Paved Trails Study", which serves as a plan for how NCR sees the paved trail network, both within and outside of the parks, developing in the future and as an update to the 1990 plan. In addition to identifying several high priority capital projects, the NPS Paved Trails Study also identifies some lower priority capital projects which it groups by park.
Comments are open until May 19th.
Here are all the paved trail projects identified for the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
Immediate (0-2 years)
- (N1.1) Remove stairs at Ohio Drive SW Tidal Basin Inlet Bridge to connect to Ohio Drive Trail; narrow travel lanes on inlet bridge to widen sidewalk; mark bike lanes along East Basin Drive to connect to proposed new cycle track extension on Maine Avenue with connection to 14th Street Bridge Trail - this is a high priority project that was covered in this earlier post.
- (N1.4) Coordinate with DDOT for development and installation of signage
- (N1.5) Install sharrows for shared facility on Jefferson Drive from 3rd to 15th Street
- (N2.4) Improve safety of all at-grade trail crossings from the National Mall leading up to the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge; Improve crossing of existing Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway at the Belvedere/ Constitution Avenue extension; Provide new crossing of Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway to connect Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway Trail to volleyball courts and bridge approach; Provide additional signage; Expand trail width on both north and south sides of bridges - this is a high priority projects that was covered in this earlier post.
- (N2.2) Conduct a feasibility study at Lincoln Memorial Circle to develop set of recommendations to improve visitor safety and reduce conflicts for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. Alternatives should improved connections across the bridge and along the Parkway and Ohio Drive to trails. - this is a high priority projects that was covered in this earlier post.
- (N4.1) Provide crossing improvements from existing George Mason Memorial/ Bikeshare station across East Basin Drive SW to Jefferson Memorial and across Ohio Drive to East Potomac Park
- (N4.2) Develop trail crossing of the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway from F Street NW to Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway Trail (Not sure why this isn't part of the Rock Creek Park portion)
Short term (0-2 Years)
- (N1.2) Extend cycle track south on 15th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue NW and Constitution Avenue by removing vendor/ street bus on west side of street. Extend cycle track on 15th Street between Constitution Avenue and Maine Avenue in area between existing sidewalk and road/or move sidewalk to accommodate lane. Reclaim a southbound lane of Maine Avenue from Kutz Bridge to Jefferson Memorial and East Basin Drive for cycle track connection/dedicated bike lanes. Will require coordination between DDOT and NAMA for 15th Street ROW between Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue. - this is a high priority project that was covered in this earlier post.
- (N1.6) Implement preferred alternative from the National Mall Walkway Study to improve access, ADA and user conflicts on the National Mall Trails (outer perimeter loop trails). Work with Denver Service Center on study of discrete signage options for future separation of user needs.
- (N2.2) Conduct an EA at Lincoln Memorial Circle to develop set of recommendations to improve visitor safety and reduce conflicts for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. Alternatives should improved connections across the bridge and along the Parkway and Ohio Drive to trails. - this is a high priority project that was covered in this earlier post.
- (N2.3) Implement signage enhancements and access improvements from Lincoln Memorial Loop to Arlington Memorial Bridge in coordination with DDOT.
- (N2.4) Implement signage enhancements and access improvements from Lincoln Memorial Loop to the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge.
- (N3.3) Develop a multi-modal regional trailhead at the MBT endpoint at Union Station.
Mid-term (5-10 years)
- (N1.3) Analyze route alternatives for a new path between FDR Memorial and West Potomac Park ball fields to include marked or separated bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
- (N1.7) Study feasibility for on-street bike facility on west bound Independence Avenue from 23rd Street SW to 17th Street SW. Sign/mark bicycle loop from MLK Jr. Memorial to Lincoln Memorial, to Vietnam Veterans Memorial, north of Constitution Garden to 15th Street NW and down to Independence Avenue and back west to MLK Jr. Memorial
- (N2.1) Build dedicated bike/ped. trail via new CSX bridge (aka Long Bridge); Connect to Mount Vernon Trail and Long Bridge Drive (Long Bridge Park) and Boundary Channel Drive on west side of Potomac River and to Ohio Drive SW and Rock Creek Park Multi-use Trail on east side of Potomac River.
- (N3.1) Develop a local/NPS trailhead which may include signage, bike repair station, water, etc. at East Potomac Park where the 14th Street Bridge is.
- (N3.2) Develop a local/NPS trailhead at existing Bikeshare station to include bike repair station, water, etc. at the intersection of Ohio Driver and West Basin Drive (study actually says East Basin, but image shows West)
- (N5.1) Assess options to expand the width of Rock Creek Park Multi-use Trail along Ohio Drive
The 1990 Paved Trails plan calls for improving several facilities and widening trails, some of which I assume has happened and others (like widening the shoreline trail beside the Kennedy Center, or the sidewalks along Ohio Drive through the underpasses) have not. But in general, they've done a good job either doing these things or rolling them forward
There's one good idea that is missing
- Encourage the Architect of the Capitol to establish east-west bicycle routes past the Capitol, connecting Mall traffic to East Capitol Street.
Update: Here's a map of the Lincoln Memorial Circle idea from 1990. I like the trail along the loop ramp between the Memorial Bridge and Ohio Drive and the similar one on the loop ramp from Ohio Drive to the Circle
Not really something that's appropriate any longer, but interesting is that one of the recommendations was to repave the roads of the Ellipse as they "are periodically used for bicycle races and rallies." Also, one of the projects on the list, widening the Kutz Bridge sidewalks is just now finishing up - though it is to address ADA compliance, not to "relieve pedestrian and cyclist congestion."
In addition, I'm disappointed not to see more mention of bikeshare and where NPS would be willing to allow stations. Granted this is a paved trails plan, but how one rides them is nearly as relevant as where they go.