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This southern segment (that you provided a map of) is IMO the #1 gap in the Oxon Hill trail system. Connecting it to the existing trail through Oxon Run Farm is paramount.

I guess much depends on where you are going. To be sure Oxon Hill farm is a nice place to go and trail improvements might bring a few more visitors. But if you are going to the Wilson Bridge or National Harbor, it is a bit odd to ride up the hill from the river just so you can use the Oxon Hill Farm bridge to cross the beltway and then go back down the hill on the other side. Going up the access roads along MD-210 through Forest Heights provides a more gradual incline.

In the long run, I wonder if it would be possible to run a trail under the Oxon Cove I-295, and then run along the river side of I-295 to the WW bridge?

Jim, I agree with you about MD-210.

I'm afraid we missed the boat on the river side of I-295. As I heard it, NPS wanted to minimize the footprint and felt that a bike trail along that side of I-295 would be too much. And PG County wanted the trail to lead to Nat. Harbor to drive business there. They blew it when they didn't add a MUP to the bridge over Oxon Cove (it was rebuilt too). I don't think we'll get a second bite at that apple for a while.

The Shared Use Path LOS manual recommends a minimum 11 foot width for trails.

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/pedbike/05138/

It's been awhile since I read the draft of the new AASHTO manual for bicycle infrastructure. I guess it goes along with the 10 foot width recommendation that is in the current guide. But it recommends wider paths for those likely to be used by pedestrians and wheeled users as well as bicyclists.

http://design.transportation.org/Documents/DraftBikeGuideFeb2010.pdf

wrt your comment on the bridge and the missed opportunity, I attempted to make some recommendations about more robust accommodations for peds and bicyclists on bridges in MD with regard to the SHA but that was taken out of the final draft.

The Baltimore Sun had an article recently about the Office of Bridge Development in MDOT. That office needs to be more carefully engaged on this issue.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/commuting/bs-md-bridge-engineer-20101026,0,1415452.story

While bridge issues are covered sensitively in the SHA Manual on Bicycle Facilities, in practice SHA seems to not provide adequate facilities for peds and bicyclists. This is particularly important in the suburbs around DC and Baltimore, where freeway beltways end up becoming significant barriers to bicyclists especially.

I'm delighted that they're finally making concrete plans to upgrade and unify this route. I've used it many times, making do with the half-measures in place today -- it's one of my favorite rides in the DC area. Really connects a lot of diverse neighborhoods and ties into other major bike routes -- can't wait 'til it's in place!

I couldn't find the link to the new plan on the DDOT website, or where the image in the original post comes from -- could you point us to more info?

whoops. try this concept plan

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