For several years now, DDOT has been working on the Environmental Impact Statement for the South Capitol Street Project. This project would redesign South Capitol Street from the Capitol grounds across the river to Firth Sterling, as well as some streets like Suitland Parkway and New Jersey Ave. The project was never supposed to have much for cyclists (the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is part of a separate project) but much of what it was to have has been scaled back.
For cyclists the main improvements are some signed bike routes (as can be seen on the map on the right); a new Frederick Douglass bridge with multi-use paths and a connection to the ART; and a new South Capitol Street rebuilt as an urban boulevard, which should make it more bike friendly and less like a highway.
But there are a lot of things that were in alternatives that weren't chosen.
The MLK Avenue bridge over Suitland Parkway will get an 8 foot wide sidewalk instead of a 12 foot wide trail "to better match pedestrian facilities north and south of the new bridge and to minimize impacts to church properties located southeast of the new center ramp interchange."
In both Build alternatives there is a multi-use trail planned along Firth Sterling, but in the preferred alternative it is downgraded to a sidewalk. The only explanation given is tha it was "as a result of agency and public comments."
Stairs from the new Douglass Bridge to the Anacostia Riverwalk were removed from the downstream side oon both sides of the river "to minimize impacts to the heliport on the west side of the Anacostia River and to the U.S. Naval Support Facility on the east side of the river." These were not to be a simple staircase but more like a wide, grand staircase.
Some of these would have been nice additions. Firth Sterling has streetcar tracks so a parallel trail might have served cyclists who wanted to avoid those. And bike lanes on South Capitol would have been nice, so that cyclists wouldn't have to ride in the gutter as shown in the screenshot below.
There are public meetings on this next week on the 26th and 28th. You'll need to RSVP.