This is the fourth project on my 12-item Christmas
wish list for DC biking projects.
#4 Extending the W&OD (or Four Mile Run) trail under 395
Status: Part of the 2001 Alexandria Bike Plan and 2003 Northern Virginia Bikeway and Trail Network Study. Reportedly, ROW acquisition is complete and project is funded, but being held up by gas line construction.
This is one of those common sense projects that I just can't believe hasn't been done yet. If you ride the W&OD or the parallel Four Mile Run trail heading east, the W&OD ends at I-395 and the Four Mile Run trail takes a convoluted detour through Shirlington. Meanwhile the actual Four Mile Run passes directly under I-395 through spacious culverts. Directing the trail along Four mile run, past the Exxon, under I-395 and then along Four Mile Run to the Wayne Anderson/Four Mile Run Trail along S. Glebe Road seems like a rather simple and inexpensive way to connect the trails across what was identified by citizen groups as a major barricade.
Construction was suppose to begin in 2002 and again in the first half of 2005, but still nothing has been done. The only possible explanation for the hold up is the construction of a natural gas line to supply WMATA buses that's being built in the same area. Plans to run the W&OD trail along the remainder of the old railroad right of way all the way through Del Ray were shot down years ago:
W&OD right of way between Raymond and Jeff Davis Highway. Rejected by city staff for bike plan due to neighborhood resistance. Jefferson Park in favor, Del Ray deferred to Randolph Street residents who are concerned about opening the trail with the current state of commercial properties to the north.