When it was first announced that the Coast Guard HQ would be moving from the shore of the Anacostia to a hilltop location at the old St. Elizabeths West Campus I was cautiously hopeful for the old rail spur there. When the concept Master Plan was being worked, there was talk of building an access road along that route, but nothing about bike access. Now the Final Master Plan is out and lo and behold, the access road (pictured below) is in the plan and it MAY include a bike lane from Firth Sterling to the campus limits, if the access road is limited to two lanes. From the plan
If they did include these facilities (Orange Line on above picture), it would make sense to connect them to Malcolm X Avenue - along the continued access Road (Purple line - and a connection from that to 2nd St SE that I didn't show), as well as on a MUP through the forest preserve on the SE side of the campus to MLK Avenue at Milwaukee Place (Blue Line). This would create a better option to Congress Heights than presently exists. Neither S. Capitol Street nor MLK is particularly easy for cyclists. MLK traffic is fast, and going east needs a climbing lane to help cyclists up a steep hill. And with the Master Plan calling for a third lane on MLK it probably won't get better.Obviously the bike lanes should be open for use by anyone.
I know that there are all kinds of reasons why this project is controversial (oddly the report worries about preserving the historically-designated Shepherd Parkway but not so much the unspecified number of historic building the plan will destroy), but if they're going to build it - and based on who supports this, it appears they will - it should include a complete bicycle network.
If you want, you can tour St. Elizabeths this April 4th.