NPS and DDOT have begun the public scoping period on the proposal to construct a portion of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail through Kenilworth Park. This is the third, and perhaps most important, portion of the trail.
Since 2004, Section 2 of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail (West bank, from 11th Street Bridge to Benning Road Bridge has been completed. Section 1, East bank from South Capitol Street bridge to Benning Road is currently under construction
I say most important, because this is the section that will connect DC's Anacostia Riverwalk Trail (ART) to PG County's Anacostia Tributary Trail System (ATTS). It will mean a cyclist or pedestrian will be able to travel from the South Capitol Street Bridge all the way to Hyattsville, MD without a single at-grade crossing. Furthermore, once the ATTS is connected to the MBT it will mean that all the major trails north of the Potomac (CCT, MBT, ATTS, ART, Rock Creek, C&O Canal, etc...) will be connected into one network.
The trail will be built in two phases, which you can see on the map below.
Phase I of the proposed realignment would connect the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail sections in the southern portions of Anacostia Park with Kenilworth Park and surrounding neighborhoods, the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens’ River Trail, and the Bladensburg Trail in Maryland. Upon completion of Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) activities at Kenilworth Park (a former landfill), Phase II of the proposed trail would follow a more park-based alignment along the Anacostia River and would include the new trail bridge over the Anacostia River in Kenilworth Park.
The new river crossing means that it will close a large gap between Benning Road and Bladensburg Park where there is currently nowhere for a cyclist or pedestrian to cross.
The public scoping is a precursor to the Environmental Assessment process, so there is still a way to go. If you'd like to comment during the public scoping (to tell NPS what should be in the EA) you can do so here.
I look forward to commuting on this trail some day (take that Bladensburg Road).
Update: Looking at this again, it will be a shame if they don't build the connection from south of the RR tracks to the north end of Anacostia Ave NE (the northernmost section of all yellow line). That piece would connect Deanwood to the trail directly. Without it, a user in that neighborhood will have to go south to catch the trail, even if they're going north.