The NPS has started public scoping of the Gravelly Point and Roaches Run EA. The Park Service wants to redesign the areas to make Roaches Run more accessible and to make the Mt Vernon Trail safer with fewer conflicts. The process has been going on since 2008 and the alternatives have been narrowed down to three, with one being the no-build option. Of the two remaining options, Alternative D seems to be the better/more expensive one.
Both options will create a pedestrian trail to Roaches Run from the Crystal City Connector along an abandoned roadbed. This will not be for cycling, but a bike rack will be installed at the intersection of the two trails. Both will include interpretive sites along the MVT, a new waterless bathroom right with a wayside/bike parking node along the trail just north of the bridge over Roaches Run, and Trail/Parkway Safety Enhancements along the Mount Vernon Trail between Gravelly Point and the airport to address safety concerns due to the proximity of the trail to the road. The safety improvements could include reflective line painting on the trail, protective barriers, vegetative barriers to reduce headlight glare and signage and striping to discourage passing, or improve the safety of passing.
Concept D, shown below, also includes a trail realignment in the congested area of Gravelly Point. This includes a new “through-route” constructed to bypass congested area and cross the entrance road mid-block. The current route in the congested area woukd be converted to a pedestrian route, and extended around the east and south sides of the parking lot to the proposed wayside/bike parking node with the Mount Vernon Trail. Cyclists would be discouraged on the pedestrian path. Concept D would instead widen the existing trail from the parking lot to the turn north.
GWMP will host a Public Meeting on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 from 6:30pm to 8:30pn at Indigo Landing Restaurant on Daingerfield Island. All are encouraged to attend. Comments will be accepted until June 22nd.