Lydia DePillis draws attention to the Joint Bolling-Anacostia Base Master Plan which came out in 2010. The District Council doesn't like it because, among other reasons,
the new master plan doesn't increase public access to the 3.3 miles of riverfront that the base covers, like the Navy Yard has
From the preferred alternative
While the general public would not have direct access to the installation’s shoreline for recreational enjoyment, an alternative multi-use trail that provides the desired connectivity to the area network is currently proposed to run along the installation’s eastern perimeter and parallel South Capitol Street.
While this is somewhat redundant to the South Capitol Street Trail, it would certainly be a nicer to ride the trail along the Potomac Waterfront - pictured - then wedged between South Capitol and the wall.
The council is also miffed that they aren't doing any form of Transportation Demand Management to reduce the number of people going by single passenger vehicle. Bolling will be very easy to bike to (2% do now) once the South Capitol Street trail is completed, which they note
The 2005 District of Columbia Bicycle Master Plan also proposed a multi-use trail connection through a portion of the Joint Base to tie into the regional trail network. However, more recent representations of the proposed Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Map on the DDOT website show a multi-use trail running parallel to the base on the outside of its perimeter between the eastern installation boundary and South Capitol Street. This would function as an alternative to providing a publicly-accessible waterfront connection within installation boundaries.
but they don't seem to recognize later
The area also lacks easy and safe walking and/or biking paths to the base so pedestrian and bicycle access are very limited.
The only bike lanes that are present on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling are found on NSF Anacostia along Defense Boulevard, between Mitscher and Thomas Roads. The levee trail also can accommodate bicycle activity.
Off-base, there are a few bike paths found in the vicinity of Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. There is a signed bike route northeast of the Joint Base that follows Howard Road to Poplar Point. There is an off-street multi-use trail that follows South Capitol Street and the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge and runs south toward Firth Sterling. However, the traffic conditions for biking along South Capitol Street near the perimeter of the base are rated as Fair to Poor, making it an unfavorable option for would-be cyclists.
One idea included is to create a bike share on the base, but they don't mention adding a Capital Bikeshare station near a main gate - which might encourage bike commuting to the Metro or the streetcar.
There are three parts to the base. The most disappointing part is that only the DIA is considering bike parking and showers. The Naval support facility and the Air Force base are not.
What I'd love to see is this facility shrunk/consolidated. Give everything east of the old rail line to the District, along with the shoreline and trail. That way
- the streetcar could be extended and commercial/residential neighborhoods built along the east side of the base.
- the trail could become part of the park
But that is a big pipedream.
Update: Until 1999 bike commuters could use this trail to pass through.
Currently, access to the Bolling trail requires a military ID or sponsorship by someone on the Base. With previous base commanders, non-affiliated bicycle commuters who wanted to use the trail could also obtain a badge for conditional access. The new base commander, however, has put a stop to this practice and will no longer allow access.
The Naval Air station did not close it's trail in 1999, but did at some point (anyone know when) later.