At the Metropolitan Branch Trail Coalition Meeting there were a few updates to the current status. They're still working on closing the small gap in the R to Franklin section, but making progress. Soon, once it's cold enough,DDOT plans to plant elm trees along the west side of the trail so that the trail will get a lot of shade in the summertime. They'll also apply a wildflower mix that will pull coal ash out of the soil. Finally they'll install the fence to separate the trail from the railroad tracks.
There was talk about the tunnel under Monroe Street, but it will only be worth the expense if the trail can run between the businesses on 8th and the tracks. Right now the trail is onroad along 8th. But running the trail in that space will require getting an easement from either CSX or from the 13 properties along 8th (by my count from Google maps) and it's hard to say which is less likely.
A representative from RTC said they had a good turn out at the October Monday Morning Commuter rides and they hope to do them again this Spring.
WMATA is reportedly updating their neighborhood maps and the new ones will show bike trails in additon to roads. Good for WMATA. But, in addition to all the issues with WMATA in DC there is also an issue with the PG Connector in Prince George's County. This trail will connect the Met Branch to the NW Branch Trail. There, WMATA hasn't yet given permission for the trail to run south and east of the elevated track where it moves above ground south of Chillum Road (in the map below you're looking at where the trail will run). Which isn't that big a deal because there doesn't seem to be a source for the $0.5 million needed anyway.
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On a positive note Phase I of the trail, a path through Avondale Neighborhood Park from the District line to the intersection of Lasalle and Ingraham has begun.
There was also talk of signage. DDOT is installing distance and direction signs along the permanent trail, but Paul Meijer, the head of the coalition would like to see the directional mushrooms added. There is one shown on the cover of the concept plan.