Earlier this month I repeated a story from eckington...(wbts) by stating that "the Harry Thomas Way connector of the Met Branch Trail has been dropped." This was not correct. On that post, Jay commented that DDOT had responded to him about this.
So, here is what has actually happened. Getting into our wayback machine we can go to the year 1999* when WABA published a Draft Concept Plan for the trail.
Then in 2003 DDOT did its own trail design plan, which was - I believe - completed in 2004 2005. This plan also envisioned using the CSX railroad property and creating a large park. But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum - PEPCO bought the land and decided to build a substation on part of it.
So to avert catastrophe, DDOT convinced them to donate enough land for the trail. This was a $3.3M donation that took about a year to finalize, but came through last summer.PEPCO also gave DDOT permission to cross their property to work on the trail.
The land north of the PEPCO substation also belongs to PEPCO and was to be sold to Trammell Crow. Trammell Crow had agreed to then give DDOT an easement to a strip of that land that would become the Q Street connector to the MBT. Trammell Crow owns the piece of land across the street (between Harry Thomas way and Eckington Place) and the plan was to continue Q Street across that and to Harry Thomas, then the connector would continue to the trail. But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum - our entire financial system nearly collapsed around us.
So Trammell Crow hasn't yet bought the land, and thus can not give an easement to DDOT. PEPCO doesn't want to give the land to DDOT because it will make the whole lot less valuable. As originally planned, Trammell Crow would be able to build a building based on the FAR of the whole lot including the trail. So at present, DDOT is waiting for that real estate deal to come through. Even if it doesn't, when another one does, it will have to go through a PUD and DDOT will make sure the connector is included in any development.
In the meantime, DDOT - figuring that we've all waited long enough - will go ahead with the next section of the trail from it's terminus under the New York Avenue Bridge to R Franklin Street NE. They are holding a Milestone Ceremony (not a groundbreaking - that was held 10 years ago in 1999) for the new section on June 2nd at 10:30am at 700 Rhode Island Avenue NE. [This has changed, from the previously reported May 28th].
And, when the land is available, DDOT will build the Q Street Connector.
*Try not to go back to 1989 when the trail was first proposed.